Huhu Studio -- through Wise Giant Enterprise Ltd., which it founded in 2005 -- has inked a $25 million production deal on a six-part animation series that centers on the epic stories of the Bible. The six well-known Bible stories will be made into 3D animated features. The deal was made possible through funding from iGlobe Treasury, a fund sponsored by the New Zealand's government's Venture Investment Fund (VIF).
HAPPY FEET: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE carried momentum from its record-breaking opening weekend with a strong performance through the Thanksgiving holiday, posting the highest grossing second weekend ever in IMAX theaters for a DMR release. On 79 IMAX screens, the 3D-animated feature made at Animal Logic contributed an impressive $2.25 million of the film's weekend total of $37 million. The cumulative domestic IMAX total now stands at approximately $6 million, with the film's overall domestic total topping $100 million.
Warner Bros.' HAPPY FEET (the first 3D-animated feature from Animal Logic) maintained its slim lead over Sony's CASINO ROYALE throughout the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period ended Nov. 26, 2006. HAPPY FEET collected $50.6M to up its two-week total to $99.2M, while the 21st Bond movie grabbed $44.8M to run its cume to $94M. With vfx by Peerless Camera, CASINO ROYALE is proving to be a global hit, adding another $128.7M to its worldwide coffers of $222.7M, and on its way to possibly becoming the #1 all-time grossing 007 movie.
World Events Prods., the company that introduced the world to the legendary VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE TV show and licensed toys, apparel and videogames, is relaunching products from the animated favorite starting with a new DVD release and a live-action film in the works.
Bollywood's hot young director Karan Johar has announced that he will make an animated feature, reports APUNKACHOICE.
Karan plans to make the animated feature like most popular Bollywood films, including songs and high drama. Suresh Nair will pen the script with production set to start early next year.
"Now, all I want is a good technical team," said Karan.
New Line Cinema and reality producer Mark Bennet have teamed to produce Michael Scott's fantasy series, THE IMMORTAL NICHOLAS FLAMEL, into what they hope will be a six-picture franchise, reports VARIETY.
Burnett, the producer of SURVIVOR, used his own money to buy the rights to the book series at auction. The producers are looking for a screenwriter to adapt THE ALCHEMYST, the first title in a series to be published by Random House Children's Books next May.
In a letter to TheOneRing.net website, Peter Jackson announced that New Line will be moving ahead with a film version of THE HOBBIT, as well as another LORD OF THE RINGS prequel, without Jackson's involvement.
ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN, from Blue Sky Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Animation, which grossed an exceptional $193.4 million domestically, arrives Nov. 21, 2006, on DVD (Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent., $29.98). This pre-Thanksgiving positioning for Black Friday, of course, is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.
"We had tremendous success four years ago with a similar release date for the original ICE AGE,'" said Steve Feldstein, svp marketing communications for Fox Home Ent. The first ICE AGE sold more than 14 million units.
IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures announced that HAPPY FEET: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE contributed $2.4 million of the film's $41.5 million domestic gross on its opening weekend, representing the strongest IMAX opening ever for an animated title. The IMAX gross came from 79 IMAX theaters, posting a three-day per-screen average of approximately $30,000 from Nov.17 through Nov. 19, 2006. HAPPY FEET has been digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology.
Govind Nihalani, the filmmaker behind such socio-political film such as DEV, AKROSH, ARDH SATYA and DROHKAAL, has picked as his next film KAMLU -- a 3D animation film about a baby camel, reports THE INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE.
It was extremely close, but the dancing penguins beat 007 in their head-to-head opening shootout by less than $1M for the weekend ended Nov. 19, 2006. Warner Bros.' HAPPY FEET (the first 3D-animated feature from Animal Logic) scored $41.5M, while Sony's CASINO ROYALE, the 21st James Bond movie and first with Daniel Craig, hit the jackpot with $40.8M (vfx by Peerless Camera). That's the second best opening in Bond franchise history (DIE ANOTHER DAY topped $45M). Meanwhile, overseas, CASINO ROYALE raked in another $42M in 27 countries, including a record $25.6M in the U.K.
DreamWorks has bought the film rights to CAMP CREEPY TIME, a children's book written by actress Gina Gershon and her brother, Dann Gershon, VARIETY reports.
Richard LaGravenese (FREEDOM WRITERS) has been brought on board to pen the screenplay for the film, which will be exec produced by the screenwriter and the Gershons. Nickelodeon Films is the production company on the project.
Framestore CFC not only collaborated on CASINO ROYALE'S stunning title sequence, working with title designer Daniel Kleinman, but also provided the film's full digital mastergrade.
CASINO ROYALE, the 21st film in the 44-year-old James Bond franchise, set an opening day franchise record of $3.3M in the U.K. on Nov. 16 and bows Nov. 17 domestically through Sony/MGM. It marks the debut of Daniel Craig as the sixth 007.
NIP/TUCK actress Rhona Mitra has boarded Rogue Pictures' DOOMSDAY, the next film from THE DESCENT director Neil Marshall, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Penned by Marshall, the action thriller takes place three decades after a deadly virus nearly wiped out a major country, which resulted in the country walling off its borders. When the Reaper virus springs up in another country, an elite group of fighters is sent in to tackle the crazed environment in hopes of finding a cure.
BORAT!: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN easily held its lead atop the box office chart for the weekend ended Nov. 12, 2006, taking in $28.2M for Fox. The politically incorrect and controversial comedy now has a two-week cume of $67.1M.
Holding second and third were THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE (vfx from Tippett Studio and Furious FX), which delivered $16.9M and $41M or Buena Vista, and the 3D-animated FLUSHED AWAY, which captured $16.6M and $39.8M for Aardman/DreamWorks.
Joel Silver's Silver Pictures has preemptively bought rights to Orson Scott Card's new book and videogame series, EMPIRE, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Provo, Utah-based Chair Ent. Group is the underlying rights holder.
Set in a near future after the White House has been bombed, the president assassinated and a civil war has broken out, a lone spy, who is being framed for the attack, sets out to uncover the truth. Brothers Donald and Geremy Mustard of Chair and Card have developed game prototype based on the novel, which is due out on Nov. 28, 2006.
Lionsgate announced that it will become home to the expanding entertainment franchise for BRATZ, the highly popular brand of fashion dolls manufactured by leading consumer entertainment products company MGA Ent.
Dimension Films has announced that it has teamed with Clive Barker to remake his HELLRAISER. Barker will write the screenplay and serve as a producer. Anthony Diblasi and Joe Daley will co-produce the remake. No director or cast has been attached to the project yet.
First released in 1987, HELLRAISER tells the story of an unfaithful wife who attempts to assist her dead lover in his escape from Hell. Based on Barker's critically acclaimed novella, THE HELLBOUND HEART, HELLRAISER was written and directed by Barker and spawned a film franchise.
Chris Palmer, who directed the live-action SIMPSONS opening credits, has been tapped to direct A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON for Warner Bros. Pictures, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Wolfgang Petersen will produce through his Radiant Prods. along side David Benioff.
Based on the first book in Piers Anthonys long-running XANTH novel series, the tale takes place in the land of Xanth where all the people have magical powers. The story follows a young man who is banished for not having powers.
Last night (Nov. 8, 2006), 300 director Zack Snyder introduced 30 minutes of footage for his upcoming feature based on Frank Millers graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.
Set for release March 9, 2007, by Warner Bros., there was plenty of gory battle footage screened along with the opening 10 minutes that set up the epic struggle between Greece and Persia, which helped usher in the worlds first democracy. Gerard Butler plays Spartan King Leonidas, Lena Headley plays his Queen Gorgo and Rodrigo Santoro plays Persian King Xerxes.
The Weinstein Co. has acquired North American rights to the 3D animated feature PICCOLO, SAXO AND COMPANY, based on the best-selling musical childrens story. Marco Villamizar directed the film from a screenplay written by Isabelle De Catalogne and Juliette Sales. Carole Scotta from Haut & Court and Roch Lener from Millimages produced the film.
Walt Disney Pictures has set June 27, 2008, as the release date for Pixar’s upcoming animated feature, WALL-E, directed by Andrew Stanton (FINDING NEMO) and produced by Jim Morris, formerly president of Lucas Digital and ILM’s exec in charge of production.
The premise about robots marks the ninth Pixar animated feature, with Stanton also serving as a writer on the TOY STORY, A BUG’S LIFE, TOY STORY 2 and MONSTER’S, INC.
Meanwhile, Brad Bird’s RATATOUILLE, the next Disney/Pixar release, comes to theaters June 29, 2007.
Garnering a high six against seven figures, screenwriters Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson (DRAGONFLY) have sold their latest untitled supernatural thriller pitch to Universal Pictures, according to VARIETY.
The story centers on a woman who after she moves to a small town is confronted by her past.
Scott Stuber and Mary Parent via their Universal-based Stuber/Parent company will produce with the writers exec producing. Stuber/Parent are working on the film TRAVELING with Camp and Thompson.
Lindsay Lohan has picked the thriller, I KNOW WHO KILLED ME, as her next project, VARIETY reports. Lensing is set to begin next month.
Chris Sivertson will direct the film from a script by Jeff Hammond. 360 Pictures president Frank Mancuso is set to produce. TriStar Pictures will handle U.S. distribution.
The story follows Aubrey Jordan, an abductee of a serial killer, who upon her rescue claims to be someone else and that Aubrey is still in harms way.
Roger Corman and John Davison have announced that they are producing the $20 million sci-fi flick, SPACE 3001, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The film will be partly financed through Irish government subsidies. The film companies on the project include New Horizons, Cormans Concorde Anois and Cowboy Outfit Llc., in conjunction with the Dublin-based Merlin Film Fund run by Kieran Corrigan. Sam Straider penned the screenplay. Production is set to begin in the spring.