One year old Vancouver-based Mercury Filmworks, a fully equipped digitalanimation facility, has added 3D production to its list of in-houseservices. Currently, the 3D animation department at Mercury is working onthe television series D'MYNA LEAGUES, which has been created and developedby Vancouver-based animation house Studio B, and is slated to air onCanada's CTV/VTV in January 2000. With the addition of the new 3Ddepartment, Mercury is now unique in its ability to take not just a single
DreamWorks SKG, the Hollywood film studio co-founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen, pulled out of a deal to build a new $250 million studio on July 1, 1999 because it could not reach a financing agreement. DreamWorks said it was unable to reach a financing deal that "makes good business sense." The closely held company also cited rising construction costs and tougher financing terms due to the rebound in the Los Angeles real estate market. Last year DreamWorks signed a deal with developer Playa Capital Co.
The Walt Disney Co. and former Disney head executive Jeffrey Katzenberg have settled a lawsuit for undisclosed terms, thus ending a months long public trial. Since it began in April, the trial has produced many headlines as Katzenberg sought to secure from Disney two percent of future income derived from all movies, TV shows and merchandise made while he was studio boss from 1984 to 1994. Katzenberg estimated his share of the bonus, which was part of his employment contract with Disney, to be anywhere between $382 million and $580 million in court filings.
MSH Entertainment Corp. has announced that it has entered into adevelopment, co-production and cross licensing agreement with Film Roman,Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will own a portion ofthe adjusted gross profits from the television broadcast, toy andmerchandising licensing rights of each other's selected animated andlive-action properties produced under the agreement. In addition, MSH willengage Film Roman for co-development funding and deficit financing of some
Chromacolour, an international leader in the manufacture and sale of traditional and digital animation materials, software and equipment, has just moved their manufacturing operation to a new 20,000 square foot facility in North East Calgary, Canada. This is also the location of their global headquarters and Sales and Distribution center. The company's European Sales and Distribution center has been recently relocated to a new facility in London, England as well.
As of July 1, 1999 Graham Ralph is relinquishing his stake in London-based Hibbert Ralph Animation, which will then be known officially as HRA. This will enable Ralph to invest actively in future films and TV series' through a new company, Silver Fox Films. He will also be acquiring the rights to Hibbert Ralph Entertainment's library.
Warner Bros. is combining its feature and TV animation divisions under one roof in Sherman Oaks, California, and TV Animation President Jean MacCurdy will take on the responsibilities of supervising the production of Warner's animated features. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, President of Worldwide Theatrical Production, will continue to supervising the creative side of animated feature production.
Geraldine Laybourne, Oxygen Media's Chairman and CEO, has announced thatOxygen Media has signed a carriage agreement with MediaOne, a domesticcable operator, to distribute Oxygen's cable network. The new Oxygennetwork, which is scheduled to launch on 02/02/2000, will be integratedwith Oxygen's existing online properties to create a "home base" for womenon cable and the Internet. Oxygen's carriage agreement with MediaOne willdeliver Oxygen to over 1 million subscribers at launch. Under the terms of
Computer Cafe has opened a full service animation studio in Santa Monica,California. The 1400 square foot site, in the heart of Santa Monica's mediadistrict, will be staffed by art director/digital artist Ron Honn, who isrelocating from the company's Santa Maria headquarters, and producerJonathan Stone, who joins the company from Saban Entertainment. Artistsfrom the Santa Maria facility will staff up the Santa Monica studio on aproject basis, and the company will also staff the new site with local
Rob Davies, a 1999 Emmy nominee for his work on STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS:PINKY, ELMYRA AND THE BRAIN, has recently returned from Warner Bros. T.V.Animation in L.A. to his native British Columbia, Canada to start up a newanimation studio, Atomic Cartoons Inc. Joining Davies is former REN ANDSTIMPY animator and Universal Cartoons director Mauro Casalese, directorTrevor Bentley (Nickelodeon's CAT DOG, Nelvana's NED'S NEWT), and directorOlaf Miller (Sony's LITTLE WITCH). "Our main focus is to assist companies
Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd., a new animation production studio inIndia, will have a limited opening in August, with an official openingfollowing November 1-5, 1999. Toonz will offer a full-range of productionservices for episodic television series and commercials. Toonz will also bededicated to developing original pilot shows based on Indian folklore andmythology. "India has a rich treasury of folklore which will form the basisfor many of our pilot shows," states Bill Dennis, President and CEO. In its
Don Spielvogel, President of VirtualMagic Animation, Inc., and JeffreyHarrison, Chairman/CEO of ImagineAsia Studio, announce the formation ofVirtualMagic ASIA, a new digital ink, paint and compositing service in thePhilippines that will operate as a subsidiary of VirtualMagic Animation,Inc. headquartered in North Hollywood, California. VirtualMagic ASIA is acorporate venture between two animation and digital service studios,VirtualMagic Animation, Inc. and ImagineAsia Studio, of Manila.
Retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Paul Breckenridge has ruledthat Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former head of Disney's film unit, did notforfeit a lucrative bonus when he left the company in 1994 and is entitledto interest on any money he is owed. Judge Paul Breckenridge issued hisdecision Wednesday and will next hear testimony to determine exactly howmuch money Disney should pay. Katzenberg, who left Disney in 1994 after hewas denied a promotion, is suing Disney for what he says is at least $250
Iwerks Entertainment Inc. continued its improved operating performance infiscal 1999 by reporting revenues of $10,423,000 for the third quarterended March 31, 1999, representing a 133 percent improvement over the sameperiod last year when it reported revenues of $4,483,000. The third-quarternet loss of $389,000, or 3 cents per share, compared favorably with theprior year's net loss of $5,077,000, or 42 cents per share. EBITDA[earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, depletion, amortization and
Macromedia (NASDAQ:MACR) has announced a 47% increase in revenues for thefourth quarter ended March 31, 1999. Revenues for the fourth quarter were$44,097,000 as compared with $30,012,000 in the same period a year ago.Gross profit increased 44% to $39,867,000 as compared with $27,653,000 inthe fourth quarter a year ago. Net income rose to $7,343,000, or $0.16 pershare, during the fourth fiscal 1999 quarter, compared to net income of$1,991,000, or $0.05 per share, a year ago.
In opening statements in the second phase of a $250 million breach-of-contract lawsuit, Jeffrey Katzenberg's lawyer Bert Fields presented a series of memos to bolster his argument that Disney concocted a contract argument over an incentive bonus to deprive Katzenberg of the money he was owed for making the Disney company a success while he was the chief of Disney's film entertainment division. During Katzenberg's first few years at Disney, operating income went from $2.3 million in 1984 to $186.3 million in 1988.
Walt Disney Co.'s earnings plunged almost 41% in its second quarter. Although Disney said it expects improvement in the second half of the year, it still plans to review its operations in a bid to make them more efficient and increase cash flow. The Burbank, California-based media and entertainment giant turned in net income of $226 million, or 11 cents a diluted share, for the quarter ending March 31, compared with $384 million, or 18 cents a diluted share, in the same period a year ago.
Pixar Animation Studios' revenues for the first quarter were $3.4 millioncompared with $5.0 million in the first quarter of 1998. Net income for thefirst quarter was $900,000 compared with $3.8 million for the first quarterof 1998. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter were $0.02compared with $0.08 for the first quarter of 1998.
A BUG'S LIFE has earned $162 million in domestic box office receipts and$190 million in international box office receipts, totaling $352 million
Silicon Graphics, Inc., the 17-year-old high-tech company known forbreakthrough graphics in movies such as JURASSIC PARK, is changing its nameto SGI. The change is part of a major branding shift, which also includes anew logo, national advertising and consolidation of hundreds of separateproduct brands. SGI decided to change its name after a branding consultantfound that while the company's products were perceived as innovative andvisionary, the company was viewed as a niche-oriented, high-performance 3D
Disney, the Burbank, California entertainment company, is considering waysin which it could package its Disney Online assets together with thecompany's 43% stake in Infoseek Corp., of Sunnyvale, California, for apublic offering, according to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Disney and Infoseekjointly created and own the Go Network Internet portal launched earlierthis year. Disney Online operates the Disney.com Web site. Disney hasrecently begun negotiations to take majority control of Infoseek sooner
C-3D Digital, Inc. has increased its content capabilities for its 24 hour3D channel by executing a definitive agreement for the acquisition ofsecurity interests in the technology and principle assets of Strata Inc., apremier name in 3D computer graphics. "The acquisition of Strata assets andtechnology has been selected for its strategic fit into the C-3D DigitalInc.'s network of companies for the ability to add eye-popping 3D effects,that Strata is famous for, to our growing content currently shown on the 3D
CINAR Corp. has announced that the company's options have been approved forlisting on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), the Chicago Board OptionsExchange (CBOE) and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX). CINAR optionsbegan trading on all three exchanges under the symbol "CUF" on Wednesday,April 7, 1999. CINAR Corporation is an integrated entertainment andeducation company involved in the development, production, post-productionand worldwide distribution of non-violent, quality programming and
The Motion Factory, developer of the award-winning Motivate IntelligentDigital Actor(TM) System, has announced the completion of a new round ofventure funding from BankAmerica Ventures, SofInnova, and Digital MediaGroup. With the newly committed funds totaling $2 million, The MotionFactory plans to accelerate the development of the Motivate system and willinvest in expanded customer support services. The company also recentlyannounced development is underway to support Sony PlayStation 2, Sega
HARVEY ENTERTAINMENT, whose roster of animated properties include CASPER,THE FRIENDLY GHOST, RICHIE RICH, LITTLE AUDREY, and BABY HUEY, has posted a1998 fourth quarter net loss of $5,869,000, compared to a net income of$627,000 for the fourth quarter in 1997, and a net loss of $11,238,000 forthe year ended December 31, 1998. Net operating revenues for the year-ended1998 were a negative $1,569,000, compared to revenues of $15,404,000 in1997. Meanwhile, the company announced that it has entered into a
Marvel Enterprises has secured a $60 million credit line from Citibank. This lends credence to rumors that it is interested in taking over Harvey Entertainment which owns the rights to many animated and comic book characters such as Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. Three years ago, Marvel Entertainment Group filed for bankruptcy. Toy Biz, which had been a subsidiary, acquired the bankrupt Marvel Entertainment Group, then created Marvel Enterprises as the umbrella company.