Comic Book Movies, an entertainment company established by veteran film producer and comicbook authority Michael Uslan and visionary financier M. Jonathan Roberts, has announced a strategic partnership with Skywalker Sound for all post-production and sound services for their upcoming slate of features films, television and animation productions.
Pixar Animation Studios reported 2005 was the companys most profitable year ever. For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2005, Pixar earned $152.9 million, or $1.24 per fully diluted share, on revenues of $289.1 million. Topping earnings of $141.7 million on revenues of $273.5 million for the year ended Jan. 1, 2005.
Toonacious Family Ent. has contracted with C&I Partners to raise funds for CG and 2D animated feature films with budgets targeted from $30 to $60 million. Toonacious has a slate of five animated features in development and will oversee all aspects of production from the Burbank, California, studio.
The Ashy Agency has expanded its 2006 client roster, while concurrently showcasing a new corporate logo and identity branding system for itself.
DreamWorks Animation has implemented an HP solution based on a service-oriented architecture that simplifies and consolidates key business operations.
A service-oriented architecture (SOA) is an approach to building and managing IT infrastructures using standards-based software and services as autonomous, re-usable components.
CGI animation company GigaPix Studios has opened a visual effects department headed by Emmy award-winning vfx supervisor Clay Dale. The division will provide complete, high-end visual effects design and post-production for feature films, television, commercial spots and music videos.
Leading London-based post-production facility, Rushes, has placed a landmark order with Autodesk, as part of its multi-million pound expansion. The project includes the replacement of the facilitys entire visual effects kit with the latest state-of-the-art systems, as well as doubling its capacity for visual effects work.
FUNimation Ent. and Sabella Dern Ent. announced today (March 2, 2006) the launch of FUNimation Films, a monthly initiative that will bring top-rated anime features and series premiers to movie theaters across the U.S. Set to launch on March 17, 2006, in select Landmark theaters, moviegoers will be treated to a special showing of the DRAGON BALL Z feature, THE RETURN OF COOLER, followed by the main event the U.S. premiere of the DRAGON BALL Z movie, FUSION REBORN.
FUNimation Films was developed with The Bigger Picture, a subsidiary of Sabella Dern Ent.
On Feb. 28, 2006, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) debuted Israels first-ever media center, along with a multimillion-dollar animation studio, in an effort to turn Jerusalem into a major player in the animation and gaming field, reports RED HERRING. The startup, Jerusalem Animation Lab, will include an animation and gaming studio, as well as a development lab to create animation for cellular phones.
Albie Hechts new content development company, Worldwide Biggies Inc., has formed a new division, Biggies Broadband, to develop and produce original multi-platform content, syndicated websites and broadband channels aimed at the young adult and family entertainment audience.
Grace Dimaranan, managing director at Filipino animation firm Top Peg Animation and Creative Studio Inc., has said her company does not need much money to produce quality animation, reports INQ7.net. Recently, the firm produced the award-winning educational and family-oriented animated film, TUTUBI PATROL, which was co-produced with Gecko Prods.
"You really don't need much to produce animation," Dimaranan told INQ7.net.
Wild Brain announced a majority stake acquisition of New York-based, limited edition art toy creator and pop-culture phenomenon Kidrobot. Wild Brain and Kidrobot plan to develop animated television, feature film, direct-to-video and other entertainment properties, utilizing the existing popularity of Kidrobot characters and the "Kidrobot Style" to develop future projects.
Sony Pictures Home Ent. (SPHE) will deliver the first wave of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles on May 23, three months after the rival HD-DVD format begins its launch. Delivery will coincide with the launch that day of the first commercially available BD player from Samsung Electronics, which will be followed shortly by BD players from Pioneer and Sony along with a BD compatible VAIO PC from Sony.
SPHE and MGM Home Ent. will first release eight BD titles, with another eight following shortly June 13.
In a strange move, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has banned all TV shows and films that feature live-action actors interacting with animated characters.
"These human live-action, so-called animation pieces will not receive distribution or distribution licenses," read the order, issued Feb. 15, 2006. The state-run Xinhua News Agency states that CG and 2D characters interacting with humans jeopardize "the broadcast order of homemade animation and mislead their development.
NVIDIA Corp. announced that it has completed the acquisition of ULi Electronics Inc., a leading developer of core logic technology.
The acquisition represents the company's ongoing investment in its platform solution strategy and is expected to strengthen its sales, marketing and customer engineering presence in Taiwan and China.
Indias UTV has invested in a brand new animation facility at its Andheri Studio with 225 workstations replete with blade render farms and 3ds Max software. The investment of close to $5 million will allow the more than 25,000-square-foot facility to complete High Definition (HD) work for its clients in North America and Europe.
The studio is working on 15 direct-to-video features as well as a 52-episode TV series and 20 short series.
The facility operates 24/7 with a built up capacity to execute more than 150 minutes of 3D animation a month.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark an avowed agnostic said she found the depiction of a statue of a menstruating Virgin Mary on upcoming episode of SOUTH PARK offensive, reports the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Despite protests and a call for a boycott from Roman Catholic bishops, Channel 4 plans to still air the controversial episode in May.
POW! Ent. has announced that it has acquired the exclusive rights and ownership in perpetuity to the name "Stan Lee," his likeness, brand and signature slogans "Stan Lee Presents," "Excelsior" and "Stan's Soap Box." POW! also acquired most of the intellectual properties created by Stan Lee during the period beginning after his tenure as Marvel's cco, editor in chief and publisher and predate POW! Ent. The rights are in addition to new properties that are being developed by Stan Lee for other major entertainment conglomerates on behalf of POW! Ent.
A Nasscom report on animation and gaming industry states that the Indian animation industry is expected to reach $950 million and the gaming industry to $300 million by 2009, Sify.com reports. However, the report states that Indian companies will need to improve synergy between talent and technology as well increase professional training to obtain this landmark.
At present 1,500-odd animators work in India, but the demand could reach as high as 30,000.
4Kids Ent. will ring the Opening Bell of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Feb. 13, 2006, in celebration of the 2006 American International TOY FAIR being held on Feb. 12-15 in New York.
Alfred R. Kahn, chairman/ceo of 4Kids Ent., will preside over the ceremony, which takes place at 9:30 am EST. Kahn will be joined on the bell podium by costumed characters from a few of 4Kids' popular properties, including CABBAGE PATCH KIDS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and WINX CLUB.
Alliance Gaming Corp. plans to officially change the name of the Company to Bally Technologies Inc. to more appropriately reflect the company's focus on technology and innovation and to further build on the powerful Bally brand.
Upon approval of shareholders, the name change would be officially announced at the annual meeting of shareholders on March 6, 2006. Bally Technologies, Inc. is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BYI as early as March 7, 2006.
Visual effects and 3D animation studio Ocean Visual FX has been formed in Huntington Beach, California, to design and produce effects and animation for feature films, broadcast and corporate marketing, according to Robbie Robfogel, ceo/visual effects supervisor. LuzMary Robfogel is coo.
The studio has brought aboard 3D modeler and animator Brandon MacDougall and character animator Jeff Clifton.
Japanese publisher Kadokawa Holdings Inc. announced it will sell its 2.91% stake in DreamWorks SKG to Paramount Pictures for about $21 million by the end of February, according to VARIETY.
This week, Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc., finalized its purchased of the previously privately held DreamWorks in a $1.6 billion cash-and-debt deal.
On the eve of Cosgrove Hall Films 30 years in the industry new md, Anthony Utley, has announced a major management restructure. Utley recently disbanded the management team of senior producers, which had been set up temporarily as owners ITV Granada, searched for a new md.
Two senior producer posts have been eliminated while two new roles of exec producer and creative director have been created.
Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc., has closed on its acquisition of DreamWorks SKG for $1.6 billion in cash and assumption of debt. The announcement was made today (Feb. 1, 2006) by Paramount chairman/ceo Brad Grey. The company noted that it is well along in its process to sell the DreamWorks live-action film library.
Under the agreement, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen of DreamWorks will remain in their respective roles as producer/director and chairman.