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Category: Business

Headline News Sextant Entertainment Put Into Receivership

With no staff and no senior management, it seems as though Vancouver-based Sextant Entertainment Group Inc., co-producers of THE MR. HELL SHOW!, is no longer in business. A press release issued by Sextant announced that the company has been put into receivership after it was unable to come to an arrangement with creditors pursuant to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) that Sextant had been granted in early June.

Headline News Lucasfilm's THX Goes On Its Own

Lucasfilm Ltd. has spun off itsTHX digital cinema division as an independent company, THX Ltd.Lucasfilm remains an investor in the newly formed, privately heldcompany, along with other corporate and private investors. Theformation of THX Ltd. will allow the company the opportunity toexpand into markets outside of Lucasfilm's core areas. THX Ltd. willreorganize its programs and services into five key areas: THXStudio, THX Cinema, THX Home, THX Mobile and THX Games. In the

Headline News NXN Software Opens Office In Tokyo

Digital Production Management(DPM) systems provider NXN Software has expanded its Japaneseoperations by opening a new subsidiary in Tokyo and appointingindustry veteran Shigemitsu Ejiri as vice president of sales, Japan.Ejiri comes to NXN Software from Borland, Japan, where he served asthe vice president of sales. Prior to Borland, Ejiri spent 16 yearsat Nichimen Corporation, holding the position of executive directorand head of sales for four years. NXN DPM solutions are used to

Headline News How Much Does A Game Developer Make?

Thinking about a career inthe game development industry? Well, pick up a copy of GAME DEVELOPERmagazine's July 2002 issue to read the results of its annual gamedeveloper salary survey. The survey indicates that the gamedevelopment industry has remained healthy despite the downturn in theoverall U.S. economy. According to GAME DEVELOPER, the average gameprogrammer's salary is $66,000 and a technical director with six ormore years experience earns an average of $104,000. On average, game

Headline News RTV Secures Temporary Financial Reprieve

German children's television producer RTV Family Entertainment has received a temporary reprieve from its financial woes in the form of a bridge credit line issued by a banking syndicate. The funds are backed by a letter of credit from RTV's majority shareholder Ravensburger AG, and will enable the floundering company to cover all current and past due liabilities. RTV still needs approximately 4 million Euro (US$3.7M) to continue operations through the end of the year.

Headline News The Brussels Animation Festival Becomes Anima 2003

The 2003edition of The Brussels Cartoon and Animation Festival will have anew look, with a poster created by Spanish artist Carles Porta, and anew name -- Anima 2003. Since 1982, Brussels has hosted the annualevent devoted to animation and welcomed such animation luminaries asTim Burton, Paul Grimault, Kihachiro Kawamoto, John Lasseter, RenéLaloux, Peter Lord, Moebius, Yuri Norstein and Nick Park. Over thepast five years the festival organizers have initiated a

Headline News Just Group Merges With Rights Management Company Target

JustAction Group, international distributors for BUTT UGLY MARTIANS, hasrecently merged with rights management and distribution companyTarget. Just Group, which collapsed last year after CEO WilfShorrocks and commercial director Paula Shorrock were dismissed, duein part to a revision of expected revenue from BUTT UGLY MARTIANSplus a less than successful purchase of publishers MediaKey, has hada recent cash infusion of 1.85M pounds (US$2.7M) from itsshareholders, who have agreed to acquire a majority shareholding in

Headline News RTV On Brink Of Insolvency

German animation producer RTV FamilyEntertainment has announced that the recent collapse of Kirch Mediaand co-production partner Phenomedia, as well as losses from baddebts with foreign partners, has led to a rapid deterioration of thecompany's financial situation. A May 2002 cancellation of a 5 millionEuro (approximately US$4.7M) credit line from a major Austrian bankhas added to the company's dire financial straits. According to apress release issued by RTV, the company needs between 6 and 7

Headline News Viz Communications And Shueisha To Launch Manga Magazine

U.S. producer of anime and manga Viz Communications, Inc. has partnered with manga publisher Shueisha Inc. to launch a new mass-market boys' magazine. Viz currently produces Japanese animation and comics in English with over 20 monthly titles. The new monthly magazine, to be launched in November 2002, will be patterned after Shueisha's magazine SHONEN JUMP and will feature the manga from which many of the world's most popular anime properties such as DRAGON BALL Z and YU-GI-OH were derived. "U.S. kids know all about anime due to exposure on television," said Yamaji.

Headline News NewKidCo Announces First Quarter Results

Children's videogame publisher NewKidCo International Inc. has announced that the company's first quarter 2002 results were in line with its budget. The net loss of $1.8 million versus net income of $.3 million for the same period last year was a result of increased selling and marketing expenditures as part of the overall plan by NewKidCo to support its broad product rollout for the year (selling and marketing costs have been expensed as incurred).

Headline News Nicktoons TV Launches On AT&T Digital Cable

Nicktoons TV, the newly launched 24-hour network devoted to Nickelodeon animation, will be available on AT&T Digital Cable beginning July 1, 2002. The channel offers an ongoing mix of current and past Nicktoons such as SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, THE WILD THORNBERRYS, THE REN AND STIMPY SHOW, DOUG, RUGRATS and AHHH! REAL MONSTERS. In addition, Nicktoons TV will feature acquired Warner Bros. contemporary classics such as PINKY AND THE BRAIN, TINY TOON ADVENTURES and ANIMANIACS.

Headline News Film Roman And Mongadillo Studios Swim With Shawks

Film Roman, Inc. has announced an agreement with Portland, Oregon-based animation house Mongadillo Studios to develop the original web cartoon SHAWKS into a television series. SHAWKS details the struggle of four eight year olds to rid the world of its most evil foe -- sharks masquerading as people.

Headline News Disney Channel Asia Launches In Korea

ABC Cable Networks Group will be launching its Disney Channel Asia service in Korea on June 1, 2002. Korea Digital Satellite Broadcasting (KDB), Korea's first direct-to-home service provider, will carry Disney Channel's Asia service on channel 654 under its Skylife brand name. The Korean Broadcasting Commission granted Disney Channel approval as a foreign re-transmission channel early in 2002. Negotiations between KDB and Disney began in the middle of 2001 and culminated in the recent agreement.

Headline News Sunbow And Noggin's The N To Co-Develop Kappa Mikey

Sunbow Entertainment and The N, Noggin's new network for tweens, have signed a co-development deal for the anime comedy KAPPA MIKEY. Targeted at 9 14 year old kids, the series mixes comedy and action in a satire of anime-style animation and American cluelessness about foreign culture. The series was created by Larry Schwarz, founder of the kids entertainment company Rumpus. Sunbows parent company, TV-Loonland, holds the worldwide television and video distribution rights to KAPPA MIKEY.

Headline News Industry Got Game At E3Expo

60,000 interactive entertainment professionals from more than 70 countries converged on the Los Angeles Convention Center for the eighth annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo). According to the show's owner, the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), approximately 400 exhibitors showcased thousands of new computer and video games and products, including more than 1,000 never-before-seen titles.

Headline News The Little Black Book Of Visual Effects Launches Online Resource

The editors of The Little Black Book of Visual Effects have partnered with entertainment consulting company Razorview, Inc. to launch, an online resource for the visual effects community. The print version of The Little Black Book of Visual Effects currently lists approximately 4,900 qualified visual effects professionals, all of whom are now part of the online resource. All new applicants to are provided with a basic listing for free as long as they have verifiable credits and references.

Headline News Corus Does The Locomotion

Canadian-based media company Corus Entertainment Inc. has acquired a 50% interest in pay television network Locomotion, an animation channel available in over 7 million homes throughout Latin America and Iberia. Corus announced it purchased the interest in Locomotion from the Claxson Interactive Group, Inc., for a maximum consideration of US$10.5 million and a holdback in the event of certain economic changes that may impact revenue projections. The remaining 50% interest in Locomotion is held by U.S.-based communications giant the Hearst Corporation.

Headline News Pixar Posts High First Quarter Revenues

Pixar Animation Studios had a "monster" first quarter as the success of MONSTERS, INC. gave the company higher than expected revenues. For the quarter ended March 30, 2002, Pixar earned $15.6 million or $0.30 per diluted share. These results compare to earnings of $8.3 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, achieved in the year-ago quarter.

Headline News Nexus And FilmTecknarna Forge Alliance

Formalizing an existing three year relationship, London-based animation producer Nexus Productions has entered into a representation deal for commercials and music promos with Swedish animation studio FilmTecknarna. Over the past three years the two companies have worked together on various projects including the award-winning Boddington's campaign. Nexus will exclusively represent FilmTecknarna for the UK and France.

Headline News DIC Opens European Headquarters In Paris

In addition to the recently announced deal with Nickelodeon, DIC Entertainment is undertaking a major expansion into Europe with the opening of a European operations headquarters in Paris. Leslie Nelson, former managing director of international sales for BKN, has been appointed managing director of European operations for DIC and will be responsible for sales, marketing, licensing, co-productions and all other ancillary businesses in the major European territories.

Headline News Sony Pictures Establishes Feature Animation Unit

Fresh off the record-breaking success of the effects-heavy feature film SPIDER-MAN, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment (SPDE) has announced they will form an all CG feature animation division, to be headed by former DreamWorks executives Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox. Rabins and Cox will be responsible for the development and production of all-CG animated features and will report to SPDE president Yair Landau.

Headline News Toon Factory Finds New Production Partner

After finding a new co-production partner, French animation company Toon Factory has started up production again on two new series. The production of the 52 x 13-minute animated series HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MONSTER and the 52 x 13-minute series KID CLONES IN SPACE, had been interrupted after the withdrawal of bankrupt co-pro partner Luxembourg's Neuroplanet. HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MONSTER is now scheduled to broadcast in September 2003 by French partner TF1, while production on KID CLONES IN SPACE will start by the end of 2002.

Headline News Film Roman Forms New Visual Effects Division

Film Roman, Inc. continues to expand, this time into the visual effects arena. The company best known for THE SIMPSONS has announced plans to acquire visual effects house VanHook Studios and to form a new visual effects division called Forum Visual Effects, to be based out of Film Roman's North Hollywood studios.

Headline News Vinton Studios Acquires Celluloid

Portland, Oregon-based animation house Vinton Studios has acquired Denver-based Celluloid Studios, which specializes in cel animation. Vinton Studios has announced that the two companies will be combined to create a more diverse style of animation, although each studio will retain their company name. Vinton and Celluloid recently collaborated on a 4-minute advertising short for TBWA/Chiat Days client Nissan and their SE-R automobile launch.