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World Headline News

Noodlesoup Renamed, Launches SuperNormal Series

Animation production company Noodlesoup Prods. has renamed itself World Leaders Ent. with the launch of the new animated series SUPERNORMAL, its first global co-production with U.K. TV leader Granada Television.

SUPERNORMAL is the story of Eric Normal, a special boy with no super powers, who attends Superhero Junior High School and befriends three of the less promising but stand-out members of the student body.

Shows Headline News

Ex-FUNimation Execs Form Illumitoon Ent.

Three former execs from FUNimation have formed Illumitoon Ent. Ltd., dedicated to bringing exciting anime titles to the U.S. Formed in January 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas, the company focuses on acquiring exciting anime from Japan, with the emphasis on making them relatable for an American audience.

Of course, we always want to include the original Japanese tracks with our shows, for the serious anime fan, says Barry Watson, the companys president/ceo. Its just that we want it to be accessible and engaging for a mass audience as well.

Media Headline News

DIC Ent. & Thomopoulos Form Promise Media Prods. for Christian & Secular Markets

DIC Ent. and Thomopoulos Prods. have joined forces to launch Promise Media Prods., a new venture focused on developing, marketing and distributing properties for children and families under the positive value-based Promise Media brand for faith-based and secular markets.

Films Headline News

Judge Junks CleanFlicks

In Denver, a federal judge has ordered four companies to stop selling cleaned-up edits of Hollywood films, finding that the practice violates federal copyright law, VARIETY reports.

The decision by Judge Richard P. Matsch ends this chapter in a four-year legal battle that began when Utah-based CleanFlicks issued a preemptive suit against the DGA and 16 leading directors, which included guild prexy Michael Apted, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese hoping to obtain a positive court ruling allowing them to alter films.

Animation Headline News

Indian Film Industry to Reach $3.3B by 2010

India's prolific film industry is projected to reach revenues of $3.3 billion by 2010, reports REUTERS. As it rides new technologies and a booming economy, the Indian industry will see an expansion of 18% per year, stated an industry lobby.

India produces nearly 1,000 films a year, second only to the U.S. However, the industry remains fragmented and largely opaque, with formal funding still limited and profits rare.

Headline News

Sesame Workshop To Set Up NGO In India

In order to develop strategies and partnerships throughout India, Sesame Workshop will be forming a non-governmental organization called NGO based in New Delhi. Turner India, which produces GALLI GALLI SIM SIM along with Sesame Workshop, has contributed corporate social responsibility funds toward the establishment of the NGO. The office will drive GALLI GALLI SIM SIM's outreach projects and manage its network of collaborative partnerships with other NGOs, funding partners, consumers, government agencies, educational institutions, broadcasters and production team members.

Studio Headline News

Ubisoft Opens Production Studio in Bulgaria

Ubisoft, one of the worlds largest videogame publishers, announced on June 29, 2006, the opening of a new studio in Sofia, Bulgaria. The studio opened its doors with 21 team members and plans to hire 40 additional employees by the end of 2006. Alexandru-Ion Radu, director of recruitment and training at Ubisofts Romania studio, will manage the new studio, reporting directly to Sébastien Delen, md of Ubisoft Romania.

Disney Headline News

Jobs Won’t Take Pay at Disney

The Walt Disney Co. has amended its compensation policy for non-employee directors after Apple Computer Inc. ceo Steve Jobs requested not to be paid for serving on Disney's board, according to several news reports.

Jobs, previously Pixar Animation Studio's chairman/ceo, joined the board after Disney purchased Pixar in May for $7.4 billion in stock. Jobs receives $1 a year for his role as Apple Computer's ceo.

Films Headline News

Neptuno Films Celebrates Its 15th Birthday At The Barcelona Aquarium

With sharks, manta rays and seahorses on all sides, the Barcelona Aquarium was the setting chosen by Neptuno Films to celebrate 15 years of animation production. Almost 200 guests attended a spectacular "Fiesta" for a company that began its career with a mischievous mouse called Balin, and whose characters Connie the Cow, Dougie in Disguise, The Ugly Duckling, Tork and many more can now be seen on TV all over the world.

Animation Headline News

UTV Signs $14 Million From PorchLight & Mike Young Prods.

UTV Software Communications Ltd.s Animation division in India has signed up new deals worth $14 million, which includes a co-production with PorchLight on new animated feature film, as well as an animation services and a co-production agreement with Mike Young Prods. and Taffy Ent.

Headline News

Sojitz Corp. Invests in A.D.Vision

A.D.Vision Inc. announced a substantial investment in the company today (June 27, 2006) by Japanese Contents Investment LPS (JCI), an investor group led by Sojitz Corp., in exchange for a minority equity stake. Additionally, was made by ARM Corp., a subsidiary of JCI, made a separate capital commitment for the acquisition of new filmed content.

Through its home video, broadcast, licensing, theatrical and publishing divisions, Houston-based A.D.Vision is the leading producer/distributor of Japanese animation and anime-related content outside Japan.

Mobile Headline News

Report Ranks Casual Games As One-Third Of Mobile Market

Puzzle/Strategy games drive one-third of the total mobile game revenues, according to Telephia, the leading provider of performance measurement information to the mobile industry. The Telephia Mobile Game Report for Q1 2006 shows that four of the top five revenue-generating titles fall into the Puzzle/Strategy (casual games) category, with TETRIS, TETRIS DELUXE and BEJEWELED securing the top spots. TETRIS and TETRIS DELUXE secured 5.2 and 3.6% of the total mobile game revenue share for the quarter, respectively, while BEJEWELED posted a 2.6% share. JAMDAT MAHJONG and MS.

Headline News

Supreme Court Refuses Winnie the Pooh Case

In another chapter in the on-going Winnie the Pooh legal battle, the Supreme Court refused on June 26, 2006, to decide whether the granddaughter of A.A. Milne, creator of Pooh, can recapture control of the copyright, reports CNN.

Milne wrote the Pooh books between 1924 and 1928 and granted a U.S. license to Stephen Slesinger in 1930, which Slesinger signed over to Stephen Slesinger Inc. Later Slesinger Inc. sublicensed certain rights to Walt Disney Prods.

Games Headline News

Gaming Expected to Reach $46B by 2010

By 2010, the worldwide videogame market is expected to reach $46.5 billion, at an average 11.4% compound annual rate, global consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts in an article by THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

PwC estimates the filmed entertainment business will grow at a 5.3% compound annual rate, to become a $104 billion market by then and the television business is targeted to grow at a 6.6% rate to $227 billion.

Online Headline News

EA to Transform Mythic Ent. Into EA Mythic

Electronic Arts Inc. announced today (June 20, 2006) it has entered into an agreement to acquire Mythic Ent. Upon completion of the acquisition, Mythic Ent. will become EA Mythic, a wholly-owned studio dedicated to developing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). Mythic has revolutionized the online gaming space with the award-winning DARK AGE OF CAMELOT and is currently developing WARHAMMER ONLINE: AGE OF RECKONING, under license agreement with Games Workshop.

Studios Headline News

Apple Wants to Bite into Feature Film Downloads

After conquering the digital music business, Apple is now in talks with the movie studios to make feature films available through its iTunes Music Store, reports various news outlets.

However, the main issue is price. Apple ceo Steve Jobs, who is personally involved in the talks, proposed selling all films at a flat price of $9.99, which the studios flatly rejected.

Netflix Headline News

Netflix Plans To Enter Digital Download Biz

Speaking at an Independent Film & Television Alliance production conference in Beverly Hills, Netflix vp of original programming Eric Besner said on Friday his company plans to launch a proprietary set-top box with an Internet connection that can download movies overnight.

Besner said the business model is still being worked out, but the download service would work much like the monthly subscription fee for its conventional DVD rentals. Service could launch as early as this year.

Digital Headline News

Qi Commercials & Golden Square Post Launch Digital Production Operation

Baggy Shorts, a dedicated portfolio of directors with digital production skills and a satellite of Qi Commercials, and Disqo, a division of Golden Square Post Prod., have formed an affiliation with the aim of offering creative and production expertise in the digital arena.

Production Headline News

ILM To Sell Physical Production Unit

Industrial Light & Magic is in discussions to sell its physical production unit, the legendary unit that works with models, miniatures and stage work, VARIETY reports. The sale would mark the end of an erabeginning as the unit that produced the effects for George Lucas' original STAR WARS moviesand solidify ILM's status as a digital effects house.

Animation Headline News

LAIKA Building State-Of-The-Art Feature Film Animation Campus In Portland

LAIKA Inc. will build a state-of-the-art feature film animation campus to house its burgeoning entertainment division. LAIKA owner/chairman of the board Philip H. Knight has purchased 30 acres of land in Tualatin, Oregon, just 12 miles south of Portland, as the future site of LAIKAs world-class animation facility, scheduled to open in 2008.

With its expanding film production schedule, LAIKA anticipates its employee roster to soar to more than 400 within the next two years.

Headline News

All News Corp. Units on Go for Simpsons Film

Leading up to the 20th Century Fox launch its feature version of THE SIMPSONS next year, parent company News Corp. will synergize all units throughout its empire promote the film, president/coo Peter Chernin said today (June 14, 2006), according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Animation Headline News

Toon Boom Animation Acquires Pegs

Emmy award-winning Toon Boom Animation Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Pegsn Co, a privately held developer of 2D bitmap animation technology.

"Toon Booms software solutions are recognized as the market leading technology in the animation industry and the integration of Pegs technology in Toon Booms portfolio will enable the company to continue delivering quality, efficiency and reliability to the animation community - for all animation styles, formats and users," said Joan Vogelesang, president/ceo at Toon Boom.

Animation Headline News

Crest Animation Studios Moves to Bigger Facility & Lands $18 Million Contract

Mumbai-based Crest Animation Studios Ltd., one of Indias leading animation studios has moved to a new state-of-the-art digital studio in Ghatkopar and has landed a big series deal with French producer Marathon.

The shift to this spacious 45,000-square-foot studio will accommodate the companys expansion plans to moves up from work for hire into production of its own full-length 3D animation feature films for a global audience.