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
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
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
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.
After a long struggle, Fantôme, one of Europe's premier producers of 3D animation, was put into receivership. Founded in 1985, Fantôme was a pioneer of completely computer-generated animation TV series. In addition to an Emmy, Fantôme has garnered more than 40 international prizes, and their 3D television series INSEKTORS (26 13-minute segments) has sold in 160 countries.
Award-winning animation director David Chartier has launched Loop Filmworks (www.loopfilmworks.com), a new animation production company. His stop motion animated spot, "Talk Show," won both the Gold Medal and Grand Prix award at this year's New York Festival. Since starting in the industry in 1991, he has worked for Olive Jar Studio and Curious Pictures, and recently designed two stop motion/cut-paper animation campaigns for Nickelodeon. "I started Loop Filmworks as a means of rededicating myself to creating innovative animation for advertising," said Chartier.
Cartoon producer NELVANA's fourth quarter results indicate a strong year in '98, due largely in part to proprietary shows...
One of the largest motion capture studios in the world, hOuse of mOves (HOM), has moved to a larger facility in Marina del Rey, California, situated near Los Angeles International Airport. The larger space includes a 3,500-square foot stage with a 24-foot ceiling, along with an additional 3,500 sq. ft. of space for executive offices and conference rooms. HOM has also upgraded their motion capture hardware to include a new system with 12 cameras capturing at anywhere from 60-240 frames per second.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has formed a new division (unnamed as of publication) to develop character-based entertainment primarily targeted to the kids market in live action, CGI, cel animation and other media. This is in addition to the family films, which will continue to be developed and produced by Columbia Pictures. Sander Schwartz has been named president of this new entertainment group, in addition to his current responsibilities as head of SPE's Columbia TriStar Television Children's Programming, which will fold into this new division.
Imax Corp. has agreed to make a strategic investment in Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment, producers of the 3D computer-animated REBOOT and BEAST WARS. The company will invest CAN$16 million (U.S.$10.6 million) into Mainframe to acquire an equity and convertible senior debt, giving Imax an approximate 30% stake in the company. As part of the deal, Imax and Mainframe will co-produce 3D animated films for release in IMAX theaters and other markets. Their first collaboration, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, is expected to be released to IMAX theaters by summer 2001.
In a move to consolidate, DreamWorks Television Animation has closed down, and the direct-to-video unit has merged with the feature division. A DreamWorks spokeswoman stated, "We are currently reorganizing our animation divisions so we are all operating under one umbrella. While we have decided not to continue pursuing television animation opportunities at this time, we are continuing to develop and produce animation for both feature films and direct-to-video." The TV division, spearheaded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, opened shop in 1996 headed by Gary Krisel and David Simon.
Six-time Emmy-winner Phil Roman, who in February departed Film Roman, the animation company he founded in 1984 [AF 02/16/99], has announced the formation of his new company, privately owned Phil Roman Entertainment in Studio City, California. Roman is president and chief executive officer of the full service animation firm. The new company will create, develop and produce traditional and computer animation for TV, features, commercials and promotions. The Roman company is expected to announce a number of projects soon.
Visual effects and animation studio Rhythm & Hues has purchased the VIFX portion of Marina del Rey based-effects house Blue Sky/VIFX from 20 Century Fox for approximately $5 million. Under the Rhythm & Hues banner, the combined companies will be the largest privately owned visual f/x house in Los Angeles. The core management team at VIFX will remain intact although layoffs are expected for some of VIFX's 100+ employees because of an overlap of job functions once the merger is completed.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has reached an agreement with Castle Rock Television for a collective bargaining contract covering the writers of DOWNTOWNERS, an animated series premiering on the primetime WB line-up this fall. The dispute had initially begun when writers on the show were unhappy with the benefits of the union that was representing them, the IATSE Cartoonists Local 839. A key point in the agreement was recognition of the WGA as the exclusive bargaining representative of primetime animation writers employed by Castle Rock Television and Downtowners Productions.