The eagerly anticipated second act of George Lucas' space drama, STAR WARS: EPISODE II "ATTACK OF THE CLONES" has debuted with the highest weekday box office ever. Posting better opening day receipts than its predecessor EPISODE I, which debuted with $28.5M, EPISODE II opened in theaters at midnight on Thursday, May 16 and racked up a record-breaking $30.1M for the day. Although SPIDER-MAN still holds the one-day opening record with $39.3M, it opened on a Friday, which is considered a weekend day.
Composer James Venable will be going into the studio this month to score Cartoon Network's first feature THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE, which opens July 3, 2002. The film, directed by Craig McCracken, is based on the television series that chronicles the adventures of girl superheroes. The score incorporates both orchestral and electronic compositions. Venable is best known for scoring THE POWERPUFF GIRLS television series on the Cartoon Network, which also features a blend of traditional orchestral sound and non-orchestral techno.
Marvel's comic book superhero spun yet another record, along with massive box office receipts as SPIDER-MAN dominated the number one spot for the second weekend in a row. The film, with visual effects by Sony Imageworks, earned $72M in its second frame for a total gross of $223.6M, making it the fastest film ever to reach the $200M mark. SPIDER-MAN crossed $200M on Saturday May 11th, 9 days after it was released. This beats the previous record held by STAR WARS: EPISODE I which took 13 days to earn $200M.
SPIDER-MAN's record-breaking success means movie-goers can look forward to many more superhero flicks at the box office in the coming years, including another installment of the trials and tribulations of Peter Parker and his arachnid alter ego. Marvel Enterprises recently announced it received a seven-figure advance for the sequel to SPIDER-MAN, which will reunite stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst and director Sam Raimi, and is scheduled to hit screens in 2004.
Grossing a whopping $114.8M in its debut weekend, Sony Pictures' action- adventure SPIDER-MAN, with visual effects by Sony Imageworks, dominated the box office this weekend, setting all kinds of records along the way. Along with becoming the highest grossing debut in motion picture history, (besting previous record holder HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, which debuted with $90.3M in November 2001), the film also had the best single day gross (Saturday, May 4, 2002: $43.6M vs. HARRY POTTER's $33.5M) and became the fastest film to cross $100M, reaching that milestone in just three days.
Topping the box office for the second weekend in a row, THE SCORPION KING, with visual effects by Centropolis FX, took in $17.6M for a two-week total of $60.8M. However, THE SCORPION KING should be on the look out for SPIDER-MAN, who will no doubt dominate the box office next weekend, when it debuts on May 3rd. Psychological drama CHANGING LANES took second place again this weekend, earning $9M with $44.6M to date. Two new releases took third and fourth place with weak debuts.
Coming on the heels of an announcement that the latest Disney/Pixar collaboration, MONSTERS, INC., has become the second highest grossing animated film of all-time, the two companies have announced their next three films. First up is FINDING NEMO. Set in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the film follows two fish, a father and his son Nemo, who become separated undersea. FINDING NEMO is set for release in summer 2003, and is written and directed by Andrew Stanton, co-director and co-screenwriter of A BUG'S LIFE. It stars the voice talent of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres and Willem Dafoe.
Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS, INC., has usurped SHREK to become the second highest grossing animated film of all-time (behind only Disney's THE LION KING). The film has earned $504 million to date, comprised of $253 million in domestic box office receipts and $251.2 million in international box office receipts, where it has set records in Japan ($59.1 million, the most successful U.S. animated film ever), England ($53 million), Mexico ($20.1 million) and Spain ($13.5 million). Commenting on the announcement, Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, said, "MONSTERS, INC.
With the largest April opening in history, THE SCORPION KING, with visual effects by Centropolis FX, topped the box office this weekend. Starring The Rock, this "prequel" to THE MUMMY franchise earned $36.2M in its debut. The weekend's other new release, MURDER BY NUMBERS, debuted in third with a tepid $9.5M while last week's number one film, CHANGING LANES, took second place with $11.2M and $32.8M to date. Disney's THE ROOKIE climbed a notch to fourth place with $6.3M and a four week total of $53.7M, while ICE AGE dropped two spots to land in sixth place with $5.7M and a cume of $159.5M.
LEGO Media, the entertainment division of the LEGO Company, has selected animation studio Creative Capers Entertainment to produce BIONICLE: THE MASK OF LIGHT, a 70-minute, CGI-animated direct-to-video feature scheduled to debut in September 2003. The project is LEGO Medias first production based on original characters and story lines created by the LEGO Company. The story of BIONICLE: THE MASK OF LIGHT takes its inspiration from the folklore of many cultures and features six bio-mechanical heroes, called the Toa, who come from the island of Mata Nui.
The new psychological thriller CHANGING LANES topped the box office this week, despite a strong performance from PANIC ROOM, which fell to second in its third week. CHANGING LANES debuted with $17.5M, while PANIC ROOM, with visual effects by ComputerCafe, scared up $11.3M for a three-week total of $74.1M. The girl buddy comedy THE SWEETEST THING took the third spot with $10M. Showing that family-friendly films are holding their own at the box office, ICE AGE is in fourth place after five weeks in release.
Pixel Liberation Front (PLF) has provided a unique previsualization service for PANIC ROOM. PLF created animatics representing nearly two-thirds of the film, allowing director David Fincher to design much of the film's action and determine how it would be shot before the production began. PANIC ROOM is a thriller set in a New York City townhouse. In order to escape a trio of thieves searching for a hidden fortune, a mother and daughter take refuge in the townhouse's "panic room," a fortified shelter built to guard against home invaders.
The Tribeca Film Festival and The Children's Aid Society (CAS) will co-host the exclusive New York premiere of STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES three days before the film is scheduled to open nationwide. On Sunday, May 12, 2002 the festival will host private screenings for Children's Aid Society youngsters and for the children and families affected by September 11th. The afternoon screening will be a fundraising premiere to benefit The Children's Aid Society. Ticket sales for the afternoon CAS benefit screening have officially begun.
The Walt Disney Studios has acquired all domestic theatrical, home entertainment and television rights to Hayao Miyazaki's animated blockbuster SPIRITED AWAY, Japan's all-time top grossing film with a total to date of 29.3 billion yen ($234 million). The film, which recently received the coveted Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, is scheduled to be released theatrically in the U.S. fall 2002. Pixar's John Lasseter will serve as creative consultant for the newly dubbed version.
Despite mixed reviews, David Fincher's PANIC ROOM, with visual effects by ComputerCafe, managed to stay number one at the box office this weekend, despite a challenge from another thriller HIGH CRIMES, which came in second. PANIC ROOM took in $18.5M for a two-week total of $58.8M, while HIGH CRIMES, with visual effects by FX Concepts, debuted with $15M. ICE AGE is still going strong in its fourth week, slipping just one spot to third with $14.3M and a cume of $141.4M. Disneys family-friendly baseball flick THE ROOKIE slid into fourth place with $11.7M and $35M to date.
Miramax Films has acquired the worldwide theatrical, home video and television distribution rights outside of Asia to the next Pokemon sequel POKEMON 4: THE MOVIE -- CELEBI: A TIMELESS ENCOUNTER. Miramax also acquired the option to distribute the fifth picture in the series, which is currently in production at Japan's Shogakukan Productions. POKEMON 4 will be released in North American theaters in November 2002, and will then be distributed throughout the rest of the world.
In the newly-released Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies film CLOCKSTOPPERS, Zak Gibbs (Jesse Bradford) finds an odd wristwatch amidst his father's various inventions and discovers he can use it to freeze time -- with the help of the visual effects experts at Cinesite. "Clockstoppers was one of the most challenging and complicated visual effects projects I've ever worked on," said effects supervisor Mike Fink.
With over $100M and counting after three weeks in theaters, Fox Animation and its Blue Sky Studios ICE AGE is a success and the studio has announced development on their next project, entitled ROBOTS, based on a childrens book by William Joyce. According to VARIETY, the studio has completed preliminary storyboarding and extensive visual development on the feature.
DreamWorks has officially announced the next project for Vicky Jenson, director of the Oscar-winning hit SHREK. Vicky will team with director Eric "Bibo" Bergeron (THE ROAD TO EL DORADO) to helm SHARKSLAYER, an undersea mob comedy. Will Smith (ALI) voices Oscar, a young fish that is found at the scene of the crime when the son of the "Godfather" of all sharks gets killed. Oscar takes advantage of this opportunity to play the hero, but soon finds that there are serious consequences to his posing as the great Sharkslayer. James Gandolfini, Angelina Jolie and Renee Zellweger also star.
With a weekend take of $30M, the newly-released thriller PANIC ROOM, with visual effects by ComputerCafe, took the top box office spot, but ICE AGE stayed in second place and crossed the $100M mark, making it the first 2002 release to reach that milestone. The animated buddy comedy earned $18.1M for a three-week cume of $116.8M. Disneys THE ROOKIE swung into third place with $16M, while last weeks number one film BLADE II, with visual effects by Framestore CFC, fell three spots to fourth, earning $13.2M for a total of $54.9M.
An alien resurrection and another dose of sword-wielding vampires went up against last weekends box office behemoth ICE AGE, and the vamps of BLADE II tapped a vein with audiences to extract $33.1M for the top box office spot. ICE AGE slipped to second, but still earned $31.1M for a mammoth two-week total of $88.3M. The 20th Anniversary re-release of E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, including updated visual effects by ILM, landed with a respectable $15M in third place, and last weeks number two film RESIDENT EVIL, with visual effects by AMX Studios Ltd.
On March 24, 2002 at the brand new Kodak Theater inHollywood, California, the Academy of Motion PictureArts and Sciences announced the winners of thisyear's Oscars. For the very first time, an award wasgiven in the category Best Animated Feature, and thewinner was DreamWorks SHREK. Taking home the prizefor Best Animated Short was Pixars FOR THE BIRDS. Another animated film was represented when Randy Newman won the Oscar for Best OriginalSong for the MONSTERS, INC. theme If I Didnt HaveYou.
Threshold Entertainment, producers of the MORTAL KOMBAT film franchise, has acquired the rights to NINJA SCROLL from Japanese anime studio Madhouse. Threshold is currently in development on a $60 million live-action feature film based on the 1994 anime film by director Yoshiaki Kawajiri (VAMPIRE HUNTER D). The company hopes to cultivate the property into their next martial arts franchise and plans to produce a television series, live stage tours and video games based on the film.
ICE AGE, 20th Century Foxs first foray into CG animated features, topped the charts this weekend and had the third largest opening for an animated feature ever, behind TOY STORY 2 and MONSTERS, INC. and the largest March opening in U.S. box office history. Debuting with $47.8M, the prehistoric beasts crushed the competition, with second place RESIDENT EVIL scaring up just $18.2M. Based on the video game of the same name, RESIDENT EVIL features visual effects by AMX Studios Ltd. and MagicMove. Third place was held by the DeNiro/Murphy buddy comedy SHOWTIME with $15.4M.