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Media Headline News

Two Viz Media Parent Companies Give Manga Comics Licensing More Flexibility

Animation publisher and licenser VIZ Media has announced that one of its parent companies, Japanese publisher Shueisha, has made an investment in Shogakukan Production Company., the licensing and merchandising subsidiary of Japanese publisher Shogakukan, Inc., another of VIZ Media's parent companies.

ShoPro will be renamed Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions.

Games Headline News

Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group Forms New Games And Virtual Worlds Divisions

To provide its audiences with more innovative gaming and virtual world experiences, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group has formed new Games and Virtual Worlds Groups.

Dave Williams will run the Games Group and Kyra Reppen will lead the Virtual Worlds Group, both under the title of SVP and GM. The announcements were made by Steve Youngwood, Exec VP, Digital Media, to whom Williams and Reppen report.

Imax Headline News

IMAX Signs Theater Deal In Dubai

IMAX Corporation has signed an agreement with Meydan, a sports and entertainment property developer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to install an IMAX theatre as part of a multi-billion development at the world-famous Nad Al Sheba, Dubai's premier thoroughbred horse racing track.

Nad Al Sheba is home to the Dubai World Cup, one of the world's most prestigious horse racing events.

Expected to be installed by the end of 2009, the new theatre brings the total number of IMAX locations in the Middle East to 12 by 2010.

Dreamworks Headline News

Spielberg And India Firm Close To DreamWorks Deal

The principals of DreamWorks SKG are close to a deal with one of India's biggest entertainment conglomerates, reports THE WALL STREET JOURNAL this morning.

According to people familiar with the situation, the deal would form a new movie venture, giving director Steven Spielberg the cash to finance his DreamWorks team's departure from Paramount later this year.

Mumbai-based Reliance ADA Group would provide Spielberg with $500 to $600 million in equity, moving them one step closer to leaving Viacom, which has been a contentious relationship from the start.

Entertainment Headline News

Entertainment Rights Eyeing Veggie Tales Sale

U.K. children and family specialist Entertainment Rights is reportedly looking to sell one of its U.S. businesses in an attempt to reduce a $200 million debt, per VARIETY.

Big Idea, the Nashville, Tennessee-based studio best known for VEGGIE TALES, is being lined up for a possible sale by Entertainment Rights' new CEO Nick Phillips. A spokesman for Entertainment Rights, however, told VARIETY that reports suggesting that Big Idea may soon be for sale was "speculation."

Show Headline News

Deadline Hollywood: Sit Down, Shut Up And Walk Out

DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY blogger Nikki Finke is reporting the 14 WGA writers and writer-producers on Sony's animated SIT DOWN, SHUT UP have walked off the show. It is scheduled to premiere on Fox's Sunday-night animated block this fall.

There is apparently a dispute over who has jurisdiction over the writing staff: the WGA or IATSE, the labor union representing technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, and trade shows.

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks' Stock Downgraded After Panda Release

MARKETWATCH reports that an analyst at UBS downgraded shares of DreamWorks to a sell rating today.

DreamWorks enjoyed a sizeable run-up on its shares leading up to the now-successful release of KUNG FU PANDA.

"We are downgrading the DreamWorks shares to Sell from Neutral reflecting our belief that the current share price exceeds the true intrinsic value of the company," analyst Michael Morris wrote in a note to clients.

Headline News

Ignition Entertainment Moves To Glendale California

Ignition Ent., a UTV Enterprise and worldwide publisher and developer of videogames, have moved from their former Marina del Rey office to a new, larger office in Glendale, California in order to better accommodate the steadily increasing size of the company.

A short 28-mile, 30-minute trip inland, their new Glendale office, located at 500 N Central Ave. will act as the central hub for a vast majority of their U.S. publishing operations.

Interactive Headline News

Animal Logic Interactive Launches In Los Angeles

Australian-founded animation and vfx studio, Animal Logic announced its expansion into the game and interactive entertainment business with the formation of Animal Logic Interactive (ALI), to be headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Giancarlo Mori will oversee the new business division of Animal Logic, which will focus on original game and interactive entertainment design and development for traditional and emerging platforms and media.

Headline News

MAXON Opens New French Office

MAXON Computer, a German-based developer of 3-D software, has opened an office in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. In cooperation with the French distributor of its award-winning products CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D, MAXON can now offer even greater support for its French user base.

MAXON's products have been used in productions worldwide, ranging from architecture to medical, from advertising to industrial design and from broadcast to major Hollywood movies.

Company Headline News

Indian Media Company Buys U.K. VFX House Men-from-Mars

Century Communications, one of India's largest independently owned media companies and owner of leading Indian vfx company Pixion, is making its first move into the global arena with the acquisition of U.K. based, vfx house Men-from-Mars.

Studio Headline News

PS3 Game Developer Insomniac Games Expands To North Carolina

Insomniac Games is opening a North Carolina-based development studio.

The new studio, which will be located in the Raleigh-Durham area, marks the first expansion in Insomniac's 14-year history. The North Carolina studio will also be known as Insomniac Games, and will focus both on developing current and new intellectual properties. While the new studio will operate largely autonomously from Insomniac's Burbank group, it will receive administrative support along with shared tools and technology.

Company Headline News

The Electric Sheep Company And ILL Clan Agree to Split

After a 16-month run, virtual world content creator The Electric Sheep Company (ESC) and its critically acclaimed machinima animation division, previously ILL Clan, have restructured to operate as distinct business entities.

Sega Headline News

SEGA Purchases New Unreal Engine 3 License

SEGA of America has extended its relationship with Epic Games by signing a new Unreal Engine 3 licensing deal for an unannounced, cross-platform game.

SEGA entered into its original licensing agreement to develop multiple titles with Unreal Engine 3 in May 2007. Details of the project in development will be released at a later date.

Digital Headline News

Studios To Finance European Digital Cinema

Four major U.S. studios will co-finance the digital cinema rollout in Europe, which will cost around $945 million, says VARIETY.

Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Disney entered into a non-exclusive agreement with digital cinema service company XDC on Friday, and will cover up to 8,000 installations in 22 European countries.

Headline News

TV-Loonland Rival Buys Up 3 Percent Stake

Your Family Ent. has bought a three percent stake in German-based TV-Loonland.

Your Family issued a press release saying, "We are of the opinion, that after its restructuring TV-Loonland is an interesting investment. Content in the children and youth segment like the programmes of TV-Loonland are in Germany at the moment undervalued."

Work Headline News

Data Design Interactive Open Office In Florida

Video game developer and publisher Data Design Interactive has opened a U.S. office in Sarasota, Florida.

The purpose of opening this new studio is to help provide the correct creative atmosphere required to work effectively on today's projects. The emphasis has been placed on providing both a natural and open work environment with sunshine 320 days of the year, a central location, a ten minute walk to the ocean and a two-hour drive to Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Wild Headline News

Wild Canary Media Opens Its Doors In Burbank

Richard Marlis, the former exec VP of Hollywood-based ka-chew/Klasky-Csupo, and Carmen Italia, an advertising and marketing exec and founder of Italia Partners, announced the opening of Wild Canary Media today, based in Burbank, California, USA.

Joining Marlis and Italia at Wild Canary are executive producer of animation Liz Seidman, directors Paul DeMeyer and Gary Johns and producer Chris Hutchison. Heading up the CG animation team are CGI supervisor Bryan Blevins and lead TD artist James Parks. Spearheading the broadcast entertainment business is Mark Pinsker.

Effects Headline News

VES Publishes First VFX Industry Credit Guidelines

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has published the first ever set of VES guidelines for titles in the visual effects industry. The list has been vetted by VES members and ratified by the VES Board of Directors. Major studios have reviewed the list as well and are encouraged to utilize it.

Kitty Headline News

Hello Kitty To Help Promote Japanese Tourism Industry

Hello Kitty has been an international "ambassador of cute" for years, and can now claim "official government envoy" to that list, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Japan's tourism ministry on Monday named Hello Kitty as its choice to represent the country in China and Hong Kong, two places where she is hugely popular among kids and young women. Officials hope to tap that fan base to lead a larger flow of tourists to Japan and get the country closer to its goal of 10 million overseas visitors a year, the "Visit Japan" campaign.

Headline News

TV-Loonland Out Of Debt, Chairman To Step Down

TV-Loonland has successfully concluded the sale process of its shareholding in Metrodome Group, its U.K. subsidiary, making them debt-free for the first time in seven years. Their CEO, Simon Flamank, also announced he will be stepping down as chairman of the company after the sale is complete.