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Speed Headline News

Apple’s Move to Intel Gets Mixed Response

Apple ceo Steve Jobs announcement last week that Macintosh computers will embrace Intel microprocessors next year in an effort to improve speed and efficiency, especially on notebooks, has received mixed reviews.

Some analysts fear a rocky transition ahead and a diluting of the brand. However, others are more optimistic. This move away from IBMs PowerPC would allow the Mac to eventually run Windows at full speed, opening it up to more software choices.

Headline News

Actors Flinch to Gamers’ Strong Stand

Stopping the potential for a strike, SAG and AFTRA have comes too terms with the videogame publishers, backing down from their demand for residuals from the $7 billion videogame industry, reports VARIETY. Yet, the actors will be a hefty 36% increase in the base rate of $556.20 per session for voiceover work.

Disney Headline News

Walt Disney Internet Group Acquires Minds Eye

The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) has acquired of Minds Eye Prods., one of the leading interactive TV game developers in Europe. The agreement demonstrates WDIG's commitment to the iTV games market and to developing new growth businesses for The Walt Disney Co.

Disney entered the interactive TV games market in the U.K. in August 2004, with the launch of Disney Channel Play on Sky. This service provides games featuring some of Disney's most popular TV programs, movies and characters, including those from THE LION KING and KIM POSSIBLE.

Iger Headline News

Iger Talks About Pixar, Next-Gen DVDs

Walt Disney Co. ceo-elect Bob Iger on Tuesday (June 7, 2005) said he had "really good" talks with Pixar Animation Studios Inc., reports RUETERS. He told investors at a Deutsche Bank conference that it was too early to tell if a new agreement would be reached.

"I'm not sure I really want to give you odds. We've had really good discussions," Iger said.

Disney Headline News

Delaware Court Allows Disney/Gold Lawsuit to Go Forward

The Delaware Chancery Court has ruled that the lawsuit brought by Roy E. Disney and Stanley P. Gold against the Walt Disney Co. and eight directors can go forward with an expedited trial date of August 2005.

The lawsuit, which was filed on May 9, 2005, alleges that the Walt Disney Co. board made false statements to the company's shareholders about its ceo search in order to induce shareholders to vote for the incumbent board at the 2005 annual meeting and to induce Disney and Gold not to run an alternate slate of directors at the meeting.

Disney Headline News

One Red Room Opens Doors With 2 Series For Playhouse Disney

Former Microsoft production manager and a producer of top-selling SIM CITY videogame, Matthew Thornton, established on June 1, 2005, the digital animation and production company One Red Room and is already producing two series for Disney.

Animation Headline News

China to Further Support Its Animation Industry

An official with the Chinese broadcasting regulatory agency told broadcasters and animation producers to expect more domestically produced cartoons to be broadcast and there was support to encourage the play of more animated cartoons during golden broadcasting slots, it was reported by PEOPLE'S DAILY ONLINE.

Headline News

Cookie Jar Education Acquires Kingsley & Fiesta Brands

Cookie Jar Education has acquired the Kingsley and Fiesta lines of ESL (English as a second language) and SSL (Spanish as a second language) books and education materials from San Diego, California-based Kingsley Publishing, the publisher responsible for the development of the properties.

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks Sued Over Shrek 2 DVD Sales

A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles today, (June 2, 2005) seeking unspecified damages from DreamWorks Animation for allegedly misleading stockholders about sales prospects for SHREK 2 DVDs. This is the companys first suit since going public in October 2004.

Headline News

Vizrt Purchases Curious Software

Vizrt Ltd. has acquired Curious Software, effective June 1, 2005. In consideration for the purchase of the shares or assets, Vizrt will pay $5,000,000 in cash to the Curious shareholders. Up to an additional $4,000,000 is to be paid in Ordinary Shares of Vizrt as an earn-out in four quarterly installments upon reaching certain milestones.

Headline News

Pixar Stock Hits Record High on Anticipated Production Increase

Pixar Animation Studios Inc. shares rallied to their highest-ever level on Monday, May 23, 2005, lifted by positive broker's comments about anticipated higher box office sales and expectations of a rise in the number of feature films produced.

Shares of Pixar jumped $2.29, or 4.5%, to $52.97 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq stock market. At the current price, the stock is up about 23% so far this year. In April, Pixar approved a 2-for-1 stock split.

Series Headline News

PorchLight Taps Mark Young to Head Animation Production Studio & Post Facility

Celebrating its 10th year as a global producer/distributor of award-winning childrens and family programming, PorchLight Ent. has signed animation veteran Mark Young to the newly created post of svp, animation production, to run its just opened new 4000-square-foot animation studio and post facilities in Sherman Oaks, California. Corporate offices will remain in west Los Angeles.

Film Headline News

Weinstein Co. Gets Investment, Distribution and Hoodwinked!

Bob and Harvey Weinsteins new Weinstein Co. will get equity investment and debt financing from Goldman, Sachs & Co. Specific terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The two firms will work closely together over the coming months to officially launch The Weinstein Co. in October 2005.

Games Headline News

Strike Looms: Actors & Gamers Break Off Talks

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists have broken off talks with the videogame industry, which makes a strike likely, reports the trades. No agreement was reached on May 13, 2005 the last day the current contract extension which was one more extension than the actors said they would concede to. Even though a caucus of SAG and AFTRA must meet to decide if there will be a strike, insiders say it is curtain.

Million Headline News

Shrek 2 DVD Sales Slump DreamWorks Ani 1st Quarter

DreamWorks Animations first quarter of 2005 was not as stellar as many had hoped. Despite being on track to become one of the biggest selling home video releases of all time, SHREK 2 did not meet the company's retail sales expectations. This sales shortfall resulted in a higher level of returns than expected. As a result, DWA recorded no revenue from SHREK 2 in the quarter other than from licensing and merchandising.

Comics Headline News

DC Comics Unveils a New Company Logo

DC Comics unveiled a new DC Comics company logo that will appear on comicbooks, graphic novels and, for the first time ever, on films and television series based on DC properties. The new DC logo will make its first appearance on a DC Comics cover May 25, 2005, when the company publishes DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #1 and will then appear on the entire DC line the following week.

Production Headline News

IDT’s Anchor Bay Closes $50M Credit Agreement with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank

IDT Ent. announced that its subsidiary Anchor Bay Ent. has closed a credit agreement with a bank group led by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. The credit agreement provides for a $50 million, five-year, secured revolving credit facility which may be increased to up to $75 million.

Disney Headline News

Roy Disney & Stanley Gold Sue Walt Disney Co. Over CEO Search

Roy E. Disney and Stanley P. Gold today (May 9, 2005) filed suit in Delaware Chancery Court against The Walt Disney Co. and certain members of the board of directors alleging that they made false statements to the company's shareholders about its ceo search in order to get the shareholders to re-elect incumbent board members and block Disney and Gold from running an alternate slate of directors.

Story Headline News

Pixar Poised for Future

Regardless of whether or not Pixar renegotiates a distribution deal with Disney, the northern California-based animation powerhouse is poised for the future. Thanks to the stellar performance turned in by THE INCREDIBLES DVD, Pixar reported first quarter revenues this week of $161.2 million and earnings of $81.9 million, up from $53 million and $26.7 million last year.

Headline News

Lions Gate Ent. Drops Out of HIT Bid Race

Lions Gate Entertainment has decided not to make an offer for HIT Entertainment Plc., the producer of children's shows BOB THE BUILDER and BARNEY leaving just HIT's original suitor, equity firm Apax Partners, on behalf of the Sunshine Acquisition Ltd.

The independent directors of HIT announced they are not in discussions with any other potential suitors and it is therefore expected that the scheme will become effective on May 24, 2005, following the court hearing to sanction the scheme on May 23.

Team Headline News

Activision Acquires Game Developer Toys For Bob

Further enhancing its internal development capabilities, Activision Inc. announced that it has acquired game developer Toys For Bob. As a result of the acquisition, Activision now has approximately 1,000 employees in its studio operations.

Company Headline News

Nippon Toy Titans Converge as Bandai Buys Namco

Japanese toy giant Bandais got game, acquiring Nippon videogame giant Namco for $1.7 billion in cash and stock, in a huge development for the gaming industry.

Bandai owns the POWER RANGERS and DIGIMON, while Namco owns the classic PAC-MAN and new hit games such as TEKKEN. The financial and trade wires are buzzing about how this combination will create Japans second-biggest maker of toys and videogames.

Company Headline News

GigaPix Opens New Facility in Chatsworth

Chatsworth, California-based computer-animation house GigaPix Studios has opened a new 32,000-square-foot facility, according to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The company intends to expand to 120-160 artists. Ceo Chris Blauvelt and president John Savage plan to move from shorts to independent computer-animated features.

"GigaPix is entering the market at an opportune time for the independent," Blauvelt said. "Financing for moderate-budget, well-crafted CGI features with great storytelling is readily available."

Studios Headline News

TrendWatch Report Finds Sharp Rise in Server Buys at U.S. Studios

TrendWatch Inc., a leading market information company for the pro-video, visual effects, content creation and graphics markets, suggests in its 150-page report (Servers Holding the Workflow Together) that server growth will be strong this year.