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Headline News DIC & Korea’s Ameko Ink Co-Production Deal

Walt Disney-owned DIC Entertainment and Korea-based animation firm Ameko Entertainment Co. have signed a multiyear deal to produce half-hour animated series. DIC will hold the worldwide distribution rights except in Korea. The first project, SUPER DUPER SUMOS, has already begun production. Executive producing the series will be DIC execs Andy Heyward, Robby London and Like Maliani along with Amekos Dong Chung and Robert Scharf. "The relationship between the company and Ameko has been very productive," DIC CEO and president Heyward said.

Headline News Imax Might Sell Out, Disney Style

On Thursday, July 13, 2000, Imax Corporation announced that the company has brought in financial advisors Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Wasserstein, Perella & Co. to help maximize revenues for the company, which could include the sale or merger of the company. Imax co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler said, "Imax has made tremendous strides in the last few years on several strategic initiatives including establishing the IMAX theatre network as a release window for Hollywood films and securing a role in the digital future of entertainment.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, July 11, 2000

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. Network makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seeks advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Cartoonists’ Union Rolls Out Net Contract

The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839 IATSE, has rolled out a special agreement for dotcom studios producing animation for the Net. The Union has drafted a newer, simpler contract without the traditional animation classifications and rates. The Web contract is designed to offer Internet start-ups maximum flexibility while still providing animation employees with their regular pension and health coverage. The new contract will provide health and pension benefits under the same multi-employer plan as that of other union shops.

Headline News Fox, Compaq Deal Makes Blue Sky Top 3D Studio

Blue Sky Studios, a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, has signed an agreement with Compaq Computer Corporation that will make the 3D animation studio into one of the top 50 super computing facilities worldwide, according to the Linpack-based "Top 500 list." Planning to use the new computer equipment on the upcoming ICE AGE, the Oscar-award winning company will now have more than 50 times its previous computing power, and double the power of any industry competitor to date.

Headline News Mainframe Releases Stellar 2000 Results

On Wednesday, July 5, 2000, Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000. The CGI production company reported earnings of US$1.4 million ($0.84 million attributable to common shareholders) or $0.05 per share, versus a loss of $17 million or $1.23 per share for the year ended March 31, 1999, on a revenue increase of more than 100%. The increase has been attributed to the delivery of 52 episodes, which is double the amount of the prior year.

Headline News Infogrames Gains Paradigm

Infogrames Entertainment S.A., a global publisher of interactive entertainment software, has signed a deal to acquire Paradigm Entertainment, Inc., one of the leading developers of interactive 3D video games and related technologies. Within the deal, Paradigm Entertainment will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Infogrames. In addition to developing games, Paradigm will maintain a research and development group with a focus on developing technology for current and next-generation game platforms. The deal will involve the exchange of up to 700,000 Infogrames Entertainment shares.

Headline News Avid Acquires 3D Software Company Motion Factory

Avid Technology, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Fremont, California-based Motion Factory, Inc., an applications company specializing in interactive 3D software for character-driven games and the Web. Along with the deal, Avid named Motion Factorys former president and CEO, David Pritchard, as the new general manager of Softimage Co., Avids graphics and effects arm.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Wednesday, July 5, 2000.

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. Network makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that you seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Fox Animation Phoenix Burns Out

After only six years in existence, Fox has closed the doors to its Phoenix, Arizona-based animation division, subsequently ending Don Bluth and Gary Goldmans relationship with Fox. The move comes after the recent resignation of Fox Filmed Entertainments chairman and CEO, Bill Mechanic, who had taken a big interest in animation and helped start the Fox facility in Phoenix. With the recent box office disappointment of TITAN A.E., the news is not much of a shock. In February, Fox laid off nearly 70% of its toon factory's staff.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, June 27, 2000

AWNs stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. Network makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that you seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Disney Destroyed Documents In Winnie Licensing Case

In a 22-page decision filed Friday, June 23, 2000, L.A. Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige ruled that the Walt Disney Co. willfully destroyed documents regarding the long-running litigation over royalties on WINNIE THE POOH. The judge ruled that plaintiff Stephen Slesinger Inc., owner of the rights to late author A.A. Milne's WINNIE THE POOH characters, is entitled to monetary sanctions and that the jury in the upcoming trial be instructed that Disney willfully suppressed evidence to prevent it being presented.

Headline News Cinar Stock To Be Delisted

At the end of June, before a securities commission, Cinar Corp. will have to defend why they feel their stock should not be delisted from stock exchanges in Canada and the U.S. The Montreal-based childrens producer has dates to appear with the Ontario Securites Commission on June 30 and with the Nasdaq exchange sometime next month to reveal the reason behind why the firm has been unable to file its financial statements since the period ended November 30, 1999.

Headline News Microsoft Case Could Go Directly To Supreme Court

U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who ordered the split of Microsoft into two firms, has asked the Supreme Court to hear the software giants appeal case directly. By using the obscure Antitrust Expediting Act, Judge Jackson has put the Microsoft matter on a fast track to the top court, therefore avoiding multiple appeals if Microsoft would lose again in a lower appeals court. Jackson has also postponed business restrictions against the software company until the appeal is heard.

Headline News Universal To Move To France-based Vivendi

Seagram Co.-owned Universal Studios, producer of the LAND BEFORE TIME series, will now be housed under the Canal Plus roof. The move is a result of French media mogul Vivendis recently board-approved acquisition of Seagram. The stock for stock deal values Seagram at US$34 billion. Vivendi shareholders will own 60% of the new firm, Seagram shareholders will hold 29% and the minority shareholders in Vivendi-owned Canal Plus will hold the remaining 11%. The new motion picture division of Vivendi will be entitled Canal Plus and will be lead by Canal Plus chairman and CEO Pierre Lescure.

Headline News Activision Restructures Into New Holding Company

On June 19, 2000, Activision, Inc. announced that on June 9, 2000, it reorganized into a holding company structure. The purpose of the reorganization was to provide the company with a more flexible organizational and capital structure and to enhance its financing options. As a result, the new Activision Inc. owns 100% of the previously publicly held Activision, Inc., which has been renamed Activision Publishing, Inc. The company structure will not change as a result of the reorganization. The company's existing stock certificates represent shares of the new holding company.

Headline News Microsoft Buys Bungie Software

Microsoft Corp. announced it acquired Chicago-based Bungie Software Products Corp., a leading developer of action oriented computer and video games. As a result, Microsoft gains exclusive publishing and distribution rights to select Bungie-developed titles, including the highly anticipated HALO. Bungie's development staff will become an independent studio within the Microsoft Game Division. Microsoft expects the Bungie team to play a key role in the development of content for Microsofts X-Box console.

Headline News SteeleVFX Sets Up Santa Monica Headquarters

SteeleVFX, Inc. has relocated its visual effects studio to Santa Monica. The new facility includes: a Java-enabled Henry Infinity suite (with Masher and Chaser planned); a Mac Graphics Suite featuring After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightwave 3D; a Sony 2000 D1; a Sony A-500 DBC; Beta SP; 60 Sec. DDR; dubbing facilities; a Tascam DAT; and D2, PAL DBC and FTP file transfer services. SteeleVFX was founded in 1996 by Jo Steele and visual effects artist Jerry Steele and specializes in non-linear on-line editing and visual effects compositing.

Headline News Italy’s Mondo TV Goes Public

On Wednesday, June 21, 2000, Italian animation studio Mondo TV, owner of the country's largest library of domestic and imported TV cartoons, will go public on the Milan stock exchange. Currently, the Rome-based company is owned by Orlando and Matteo Corradi. For the first-quarter, the TV toon maker saw revenue of 6.5 billion Italian lira (US$3.25 million) and net earnings of 1.3 billion ($650,000).

Headline News Sony Acquires On-line Gaming Company Verant Interactive

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced it has acquired the on-line game company Verant Interactive, Inc. and named digital gaming executive Kelly Flock as president and CEO of Sony On-line Entertainment (SOE). Verant will be blended into SOE, which will base its operations in San Diego, California. The new arm of Sony has been responsible for operating the popular on-line games EVERQUEST, TANARUS and SOVEREIGN. Verant President John Smedley will become SOEs executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Headline News ILM Enters 3D Animation Game

George Lucas' special effects powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has announced plans to expand into the animation game, creating 3D computer-generated films and television shows. These new projects will be co-productions with various major studios. Three years ago, ILM had planned to make the CGI animated FRANKENSTEIN with Universal but that project fell through due to creative differences. Patty Blau has been named senior VP of production for the animation division. Previously, Blau served as president of feature production. "Now we're really putting our weight behind it.

Headline News Nintendo Sues SongBoy.Com

Nintendo of America Inc. has filed an infringement complaint against SongBoy.Com, a minority-owned company that has developed a digital multimedia player plug-in module that transforms the Nintendo Gameboy player into a CD-like music player. SongBoy.Com offered Nintendo a deal to become a licensee but was denied. SongBoy.Com claims that Nintendo's lawsuit is not valid and is a harassment measure. "Our legal team has taken great measures to ensure that we have in no way violated the Nintendo patent and trademark.

Headline News Spain’s Terra Injects Lycos With $17 Billion

Spain's Terra Networks have announced that their shareholders have approved the company's US$12.5 billion purchase of U.S. Internet portal Lycos. The shareholders also okayed $17.7 billion in capital increases to pump up liquidity in the new arm. "The acquisition of Lycos is the big leap that will allow us to position ourselves as a truly global company," Terra president Juan Villalonga said at the company's shareholders meeting. The Spanish-language Internet server and provider announced last month its intention to purchase Lycos as an inroad to the U.S. market.

Headline News Cinar's Insurance Company Investigates

Cinar's insurance company, Liberty Mutual, has hired private investigators to look into the allegations of fraud against the children's television producer. Liberty may have to pay out millions if the board of Cinar is found liable. The insurance company's law firm Gasco Lelarge hired two former Montreal police detectives, Alain Pirrol and Andre Boudreau, to head up the investigation. Pirrol and Boudreau run the Montreal-based investigation agency Quali-T Investigation.

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