Warner Bros. Pictures' THE POLAR EXPRESS: AN IMAX 3D EXPERIENCE again set new records for an IMAX film by amassing more than $5.45 million from Dec. 26 through Jan.1, making it the highest grossing week in IMAX's history.
CaféFX used its CG skills to recreate the 1935 world speed record-setting flight for THE AVIATOR, as well as additional shots of Howard Hughes reviewing a fleet of Lockheed Constellation aircraft.
CaféFX artists additionally used NewTeks LightWave 3D in the production of content and shots for FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX and BLADE: TRINITY.
Hayao Miyazakis lastest HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE drew 1 million viewers in South Korea in its opening weekend, reports ASIA PULSE.
"Never before has any Japanese film reached such numbers in such a short period of time," Kang Eun-gyeong of Laughing Boa said.
The film opened on 237 screens in Korea on Dec. 23, 2004, becoming the first Japanese movie that ranked first in the local box office in its debut week (Dec. 23-26) with 770,000 viewers. Miyazakis last film SPIRITED AWAY was only seen by 2 million viewers in its entire run in Korean theaters.
With Blue Sky Studios wrapping production on ROBOTS (which parent company Twentieth Century Fox will release March 11, 2005), director Chris Wedge took time out to talk to VFXWORLD about his eagerly-awaited follow-up to ICE AGE. The 3D-animated feature will open day-and-date in IMAX DMR on IMAX screens around the globe.
Universals MEET THE FOCKERS was a no brainer in its box office debut for the yuletide period ended Dec. 26, 2005. It took in a hefty $46.1M for the weekend and $70.5M for the five days, including a record-breaking $19.1M for Christmas Day.
However, the rest of the field was less impressive and overall box office for 2004 was barely ahead of last year, with attendance down for the comparable period.
These days vampires dont merely poof away with a fabled stake through the heart, they combust into bits and vaporize away. At least thats what happens when vampires are vanquished in New Line Cinemas BLADE: TRINITY, thanks to scanning technology from Eyetronics.
POW! Entertainment and Stan Lee, the legendary creator of superheroes, has created a new superhero who, unlike all the others, is actually based on a living, breathing human being, performing his fantastic deeds in the real world. Its based on Jay J. Armes, possibly the world's most successful and colorful crimefighter, who possesses steel-clawed prosthetic hands and a lie-detecting tiger.
Warner Bros. Pictures' THE POLAR EXPRESS: AN IMAX 3D EXPERIENCE surpassed $20 million in total box office receipts in only six weeks to continue its record-setting pace for a commercial IMAX release.
Intuition and S2 Intl. have struck a project-by-project production alliance, reports VARIETY. The duo will first team on KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS director Michel Ocelots new animated feature, AZUR ET ASMAR.
Spurred by the box office success of the first animated PATORUZITO film, Jorge Rodriguez of Red Lojo Ent. has announced plans to exploit the franchise in features, television and merchandising, reports VARIETY. The story follows a boy who fights to claim the title of cacique (chief) of his tribe in Patagonia. A new studio will launch in April to handle the animation on the property.
In the latest jostling for prime release dates, Disney confirmed that VALIANT, the initial 3D-animated outing from Ealing Studio-based Vanguard Animation in the U.K. (the studios heir apparent to Pixar?) will fly in U.S. theaters on April 15, 2005. With Disneys own CHICKEN LITTLE now flying the coop in November, this highly anticipated story of a World War II carrier pigeon should fill the bill nicely.
What do a disfigured musical genius, aviation pioneer Howard Hughes and a resurrected vampire have in common? This holiday season, their stories are being told using digital content creation tools from Discreet.
Paramounts LEMONY SNICKETS A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATELY EVENTS, with Oscar-contending vfx by ILM, finished first in its opening weekend with $30M for the period ended Dec. 19, 2004. Warner Bros. OCEANS TWELVE dropped to second with $18.1M for a two-weeks bounty worth $68.5M. Sonys SPANGLISH debuted in third with $8.8M.
BLADE: TRINITY director David Goyer has signed on to write, produce and direct a film adaptation of DC Comics Flash for Warner Bros. Pictures, reports VARIETY. His wont be the first time that Goyer has entered the DC superhero universe he wrote the script for BATMAN BEGINS.
CROUCHING TIGERs Chow Yun-Fat is in negotiations to play the villain in the upcoming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels, reports APPLE DAILY. The actors wife, Jasmin Chan Wui-nin, said the actor will play the famous 19th century Chinese pirate Cheung Po Tsai for the second and third installments of the franchise. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley are expected to return in their roles.
Hot on the heels of the record-setting THE POLAR EXPRESS: AN IMAX 3D EXPERIENCE, IMAX and Warner Bros. Pictures will next bring Tim Burtons CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to IMAX theaters, day-and-date with conventional theaters on July 15, 2005. The event marks the seventh IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) collaboration between IMAX and Warner Bros.
Harrison Ford is set to star in the feature film version of the forthcoming Iraq War book, NO TRUE GLORY: THE BATTLE FOR FALLUJAH, reports VARIETY. Universal-based Double Feature partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher have optioned the book, which will be published by Bantam in May. Carla Santos Shamberg will produce with Shamberg and Sher.
Director Chris Weitz has stepped down as director on HIS DARK MATERIALS: THE GOLDEN COMPASS, citing the expansive technical challenges. New Line will launch a search for a new director immediately. The ABOUT A BOY helmer made it clear that the move was not due to creative differences, thus heading off rumors that the move was over the recent announcement that the film would secularize the Philip Pullman novel in an effort to make the film not seem anti-religious. Weitz penned the screenplay, which will be used by the new director.
Platinum Studios and Relativity Management have signed a deal with Vancouver-based the Shop Animation Studios to develop and co-produce a CG feature based the Italian comicbook series DYLAN DOG: THE FOURTH KINGDOM. Production will begin in March and Relativity will handle all foreign sales. The Shop co-founder Ian Pearson will direct, from a screenplay he co-wrote with Gavin Blair. Producers include Aaron L. Gilbert, president/co-founder of the Shop, and Platinum Studios chairman Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. Relativity ceo Ryan Kavanaugh will exec produce with Ervin Rustemagic.
How did Pixel Magic create realistic driving and flying sequences for James Brooks dialogue-heavy film SPANGLISH (opening Dec. 17 through Columbia Pictures) without hindering his ability to elicit great performances on set? Answer: By creating a shooting environment that complemented the director's style.
SHARK TALE co-writer/co-director Rob Letterman has inked a deal with Universal to write his first live-action film, reports VARIETY. The film is titled THE UNPROFESSIONALS, a military comedy similar in tone to STRIPES. THE FAST AND FURIOUS producer Neal Moritz is in talks to produce. Universal production exec Scott Bernstein will shepherd the project.
Walt Disney has given is Mandeville Films production shingle the go-ahead on a remake of the SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON as well as a feature based on the classic Disneyland theme park ride JUNGLE CRUISE, reports VARIETY. Despite Disney saying it wouldnt produce any more features based on theme park rides after the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels, producer/ Mandville head David Hoberman announced in May 2004 that the studio has looking at JUNGLE CRUISE as a possible feature.
Phobos Ent. has obtained the media rights to Ursula K. Le Guin's sci-fi novel THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, reports VARIETY. Phobos head Sandra Schulberg hopes to exploit the property as both a feature and videogame.
The story is set on lost planet called Winter, whose inhabitants can physically change genders. A human emissary is sent to connect with the people of Winter to bring them back into the galactic community.
Le Guin's EARTHSEA has been adapted as the Sci Fi Channel minseries from Hallmark. This series airs Dec. 13-14, 2004.
Twentieth Century Fox has hired Sheldon Turner to pen a Magneto spinoff film from the X-MEN franchise, reports VARIETY. This will be the second film spun off from the series with Fox previously greenlighting WOLVERINE to be written by Troy scribe David Benioff. Ian McKellen has played the angry mutant leader in the X-MEN features, however the spinoff will be a prequel dealing with the characters experiences as a boy during World War II. The Prof.