Warner Bros. big screen adaptation of THE DUKES OF HAZARD debuted in the top spot at the box office for the weekend ended Aug. 7, 2005, revving up $30.6M worth of ticket sales. New Lines WEDDING CRASHERS, last weeks winner, dropped to second place again with $16M for a cume of $143.6M. Warner Bros. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (with delightful vfx from MPC, Framestore CFC, Cinesite and Digital Domain) dipped to third place with $10.9M for a total of $169.4M.
New Line Cinema is in talks with British director Anand Tucker (SHOPGIRL, HILARY AND JACKIE) to helm THE GOLDEN COMPASS, the feature film adaptation of the first installment of author Philip Pullman's popular HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, which includes THE GOLDEN COMPASS, THE SUBTLE KNIFE and THE AMBER SPYGLASS. HIS DARK MATERIALS is being produced by Deborah Forte of Scholastic Media, the publisher of the books.
Paramount Pictures announced on Aug. 3, 2005, that its film WAR OF THE WORLDS, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, has grossed over $500 million at the worldwide box office, including $218.3 million domestically and $310.7 million worldwide.
The picture has set several box office records for both Paramount and Cruise, including largest opening day, largest single day and largest opening weekend for both star and studio, and has broken several international records. The film is also Cruises biggest hit to date, passing MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: II.
Samuel L. Jackson has been signed to star and co-produce a live-action feature to be adapted from the manga property AFROSAMURAI, created by Takashi Okazaki, according to trade reports.
Japanese animation studio GDH K.K. Gonzo, Fuji TV and Mosaic Media in Los Angeles will produce the flick. Jackson will also provide his voice for the animated TV series due out on Spike TV next year.
Fox 2000 Pictures has signed a seven-figure deal with John Fusco (SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON, YOUNG GUNS) to write screen adaptation of WOLF BROTHER, the first book in the CHRONICLES OF DARKNESS books by British author Michelle Paver, VARIETY reported.
New Lines WEDDING CRASHERS, overtook Warner Bros. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE for the top spot in the box office for the weekend ended July 31, 2005. The R-rated comedy gathered $20M for a three-week cume of $115.6M. The Tim Burton movie (with delightful vfx from MPC, Framestore CFC, Cinesite and Digital Domain) settled for second place with $16.3M and a total of $148M.
Paramount has announced that Maggie Gyllenhaal and Maria Bello have been cast as the wives of Port Authority officers rescued from the World Trade Center in the studio's untitled Oliver Stone project, reports VARIETY. Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena have already been cast in the respective roles of Sgt. John McLoughlin and Officer William J. Jimeno. The film is scheduled to start filming in New York this fall.
Jeff Bridges will lead a cast that includes, Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel, James Woods, Jane Krakowski, Jon Heder, Mario Cantone, Brian Benben and Michael McKean for Sony Pictures Animations upcoming CGI feature SURFS UP.
it was announced today by Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins, executive vice presidents of Sony Pictures Animation.
Universal has bought the film rights to Sony Computer Ent.s videogame GOD OF WAR, reports VARIETY. Mosaic Media Group's Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are set to produce.
Taking place in ancient Greece, the story follows the adventures of the warrior Kratos, who battles mythological creatures like Medusa, Cyclops and the Hydra while along his quest to discover Pandora's Box and destroy Ares, the god of war.
Released in March to much acclaim, the game was created by David Jaffe and Shannon Studstill.
Monster Distributes has picked up international distribution rights to another big Annecy winner, THE MYSTERIOUS GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS OF JASPER MORELLO, and will be launching the short feature film at MIPCOM Junior.
Funded by the AFC, Film Vic and SBS Independent, animator Anthony Lucas JASPER MORELLO won the top honor at the festival, the Grand Prix award le Cristal DAnnecy, out of the 1,709 films that were entered.
Veteran producer Mark Gordon, music producer Pharrell Williams, World Events Prods. and producers Mark Costa and Ford Oelman will team to bring VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE to the big screen, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The film will be produced by Gordon (THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SPEED). Williams, Costa and Oelman will exec produce.
Tim Burtons CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (with delightful vfx from MPC, Framestore CFC, Cinesite and Digital Domain), is a double delight for Warner Bros., leading the box office for a second week in a row, taking in another $28.2M for a total of $114M for the weekend ended July 24, 2005.
LAIKA Ent. (recently doing business as Vinton Studios) has greenlit a second feature film project in less than a week. JACK & BENS ANIMATED ADVENTURE is an original idea from LAIKA Ent.s director of story Jorgen Klubien, a veteran writer, director, storyboard artist, and designer, who joined the company earlier this year.
Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures jointly announced that the upcoming film being directed by three-time Academy Award-winning director-producer Steven Spielberg will be titled MUNICH.
Animation company Out of Our Minds Animation Studios has landed nearly $2 million in funding from private investors for production of its first feature-length animated film, reports THE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The funding, which represents nearly all the total project budget of $3.5 million, allowed the Winston-Salem, North Carolina studio to begin production in March. The company also is expanding from 10 employees to 16 employees by next month, with several more to be added during the next two years.
THQ Inc. announced that it has engaged United Talent Agency (UTA), a leading Hollywood talent and literary agency, to expand the brand of THQ's recently-released, top-selling DESTROY ALL HUMANS! videogame title. UTA aims to guide the property through its development into major motion picture and television projects, overseeing activities related to development, financing, production and distribution. This is the first time THQ has secured agency representation for one of its own original properties.
Disney has won a bidding war for the domestic distribution rights to Mel Gibsons next directorial effort, APOCALYPTO, reports VARIETY. Gibsons Icon will handle international distribution. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST director also wrote the script for the film, which will start production in Mexico in October for a summer 2006 release. Icon partner Bruce Davey will produce alongside Gibson.
Renny Harlin is set to helm an adaptation of the graphic novel THE COVENANT, by CROSSING JORDAN writer Aron Coleite and artist Tone Rodriguez, reports PRODUCTION WEEKLY.
Adapted by J.S. Cardone, the story follows a group of four families whose patriarchs have great powers that have been passed down from father to son for generations. During that summer of fun and experimentation, the four boys next in line unknowingly release an evil into the world, which the Covenant must stop.
Shane Acker has landed an animation student's dream. Focus Features has agreed to turn his student short 9 into an animated feature with Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov (Russian director of NIGHT WATCH) and Jim Lemley (exec producer of RED EYE) producing, reports the trades. Acker will even get to direct. Focus president of production John Lyons will shepherd the film.
Sprite Animation Studios will premiere the original CG-animated short film, JOURNEY TO THE WEST, at the 2005 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festivals Animation Theater. JOURNEY TO THE WEST is directed by Moto Sakakibara and produced by Junichi Yanagihara and Kyoko Aihara. With its beautiful use of color and funky pop images, JOURNEY TO THE WEST is a vivid demonstration of Sprite Animation Studios imaginative creative abilities.
IMAX Corp., in association with Warner Bros. Pictures, Playtone Prods., its principals Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and John A. Davis of DNA Prods., announced that THE ANT BULLY will be released simultaneously in IMAX 3D and conventional 2D format on Aug. 4, 2006. The film will be digitally converted into IMAX 3D and feature proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The picture marks Playtone's third IMAX film project and Warner Bros. Pictures 10th film commitment to IMAX. Warner Bros. Pictures will be the exclusive distributor of THE ANT BULLY to IMAX theaters worldwide.
Bill Plympton 's new short film, THE FAN AND THE FLOWER, is now appearing in film festivals around the world. The film is about an ill-fated and unconsummated romance between an electric ceiling fan and a flower, with a magical fairytale ending, by the prize-winning indie auteur, Plympton. Based on a story by Dan O'Shannon, THE FAN AND THE FLOWER is the narrated by Paul Giamatti (SIDEWAYS, AMERICAN SPLENDOR).
Now showing at Anima Mundi in Brazil, the film was recently showcased at the Comic-Con International Film Festival in San Diego.
Realscan 3D, the next generation in mobile, high resolution, high color, structured light 3D scanning, announced the delivery of eleven scanned animation-ready models for the Disney feature SKY HIGH (opening July 29), which include models for Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston.
"Our digital doubles don't lurk in the shadows like doubles seen in other films," said Frank De Marco, president of Realscan 3D. "Our models are ready for any shot ranging from close-up to long-shot. With Realscan 3D models, directors don't have to compromise..."
John Moore (BEHIND ENEMY LINES, FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX remake) has been fired by 20th Century Fox to direct a remake of the 1976 horror classic THE OMEN titled, THE OMEN 666, reports VARIETY. Writer Dan McDermott is contemporizing the tale of the birth of the Antichrist to an unsuspecting family. Fox president Hutch Parker and Peter Kang will shepherd the project, which is set to start filming in October.
Daniel Jeannette has been hired by Animal Logic as the animation director on George Millers 3D-animated feature, HAPPY FEET, a musical comedy/adventure about a tap dancing penguin that cant sing.
For HAPPY FEET, Jeannette will be ensuring that the performance arc of the characters from motion capture and animation through to their on-screen presence fulfills Millers creative vision.