HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX -- the third Harry Potter film to be converted into IMAX's format -- will be simultaneously released to both IMAX and conventional theaters on July 13, 2007. There is also the possibility of converting part of THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX into IMAX 3-D for broader appeal, as was done with SUPERMAN RETURNS.
Rhythm & Hues utilized the Massive AI-based 3D animation system as part of its vfx arsenal for Universals THE FAST & THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT.
The work follows on the heels of Rhythm & Hues' epic visual effects for THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, and saw the facility extending its command of Massive to meet such diverse new challenges as digitally creating Tokyo street scenes.
Last year at Comic-Con, director Bryan Singer said he was open to the notion of converting SUPERMAN RETURNS to IMAX 3-D, but wouldve preferred shooting it in true 3-D with multiple cameras. However, after seeing a test of the trailer this year by IMAX, Singer became a quick convert. Although there wasnt sufficient time to convert the entire live-action feature, IMAX has still managed to convert 20 minutes using a proprietary 2-D to 3-D system, which includes technology licensed from Three-Dimensional Media Group Ltd. and invented by David M. Geshwind.
Disney/Pixars CARS had plenty in the tank to outpace the competition in its second weekend at the box office. For the period ended June 18, CARS grabbed $33.7M, down 44%, for a cume of $117M. Following in the second through fourth spots were newcomers NACHO LIBRE, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT and THE LAKE HOUSE.
Rainmaker Ltd. Partnership (Rainmaker) completed 170 CG shots on the new Fox release, GARFIELD: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES. Full CG face replacements were completed on the film's new character, Winston the bulldog, and on eight other talking animals. Completing the task in just eight weeks, the Rainmaker team was led by visual effects supervisor Charlene Eberle and visual effects producer Jinnie Pak.
Paramount Pictures and Steven Spielberg are developing a space travel tale about a group of explorers who travel through a wormhole into another dimension, reports VARIETY. Spielberg plans to direct with Lynda Obst producing.
Based in real science, the plot will be based on a treatment by Kip S. Thorne, a Caltech physicist who's an expert on relativity. Thorne is most famous for his controversial theory that wormholes not only exist, but can be accessed and used as portals for time travel.
Paramount Pictures has snatched up the screen rights to the Max Brooks novel WORLD WAR Z: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE ZOMBIE WAR in a high-six-figure deal, according to VARIETY. Brad Pitt's Plan B is set to produce.
Brooks' follow-up to satire THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE spurred a bidding battle, which also included Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprios Appian Way.
The story is a somber tale of the aftermath of a war fought against an army of humans who were inflicted with a virus, died and were reanimated into flesh-eating zombies.
Warner Bros. has hired Boaz Yakin (REMEMBER THE TITANS) to write and possibly direct a re-envisioned CONAN THE BARBARIAN, based on Robert E. Howards original character, VARIETY reports. WB hopes to start production in early 2007 with Irving Azoff, Jon Jashni, Richard Alexander and Akiva Goldsman producing. Peter Sederowsky and Fredrik Malmberg of Paradox Ent., the intellectual property company that owns the rights to the Howard estate, will exec produce.
The season is ripe for beloved Girls brand Strawberry Shortcake to star in her first theatrical movie, SWEET DREAMS. American Greetings Corp. (AG), creator and owner of Strawberry Shortcake, DIC Ent. (DIC), the exclusive worldwide licensing agent and production company, along with Fox Home Ent. announced today (June 15, 2006) the STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE feature film will premiere in movie theaters across the U.S. in October 2006.
Twentieth Century Fox became the first Hollywood studio this year to hit the $1 billion mark at the overseas box office, thanks to Blue Skys animated ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN ($441M) and X-MEN: THE LAST STAND ($160.6M), according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
2006 marks the second consecutive year that Fox has led the pack in the race to break the billion-dollar threshold. But last year it took Fox International about three weeks longer, bolstered by STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Commercial director Dario Piana will make his feature directorial debut with THE DEATHS OF IAN, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Stan Winston Prods is producing the independent horror film, written by Brendan Hood, produced by Stan Winston and Brian Gilbert. The flick tells the story of an all-American guy who is murdered each day by horrifying pursuers, only to wake up in slightly different lives to experience the terror of being murdered again.
Lionsgate announced its acquisition of U.S. and Canadian rights to the computer-animated family comedy HAPPILY NEVER AFTER is directed by Paul J. Bolger and written by Robert Moreland. The film was produced by John H. Williams (Oscar-winning SHREK), BAF Berlin Animation Film and BFC Berliner Film Companie, co-exec produced by Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill of Odyssey Ent., and exec produced by Rainer Soehnlein, ceo of BFC Berliner Film Companie. It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sigourney Weaver, Freddie Prinze Jr., George Carlin, Wallace Shawn and Andy Dick.
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies have optioned the CG family pitch MAYFLY from writing team Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick (THE SANTA CLAUSE, SPACE JAM), reports VARIETY.
With mayflies sometimes only living a matter of days, a young bug accidentally oversleeps and must live for the moment with the help of his tortoise friend, who could live to be 100 years old.
Nick Movies exec Julia Pistor will produce.
With the successful mid-May release of the animated film, KHAN KLUAY, producer hope the films success with set the scene for more animated movies, reports THE CHINA POST.
Produced by Auchara Kijkanjanas, the film chronicles the life of blue elephant Khan Kluay (Banana Stalk) from his young days until he grows into the war elephant that led Siam's King Naresuan to victory over the Burmese in 1593.
LAIKA Ent. has struck a deal with the celebrated British comedy duo of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders to join Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher in its first animated feature film, CORALINE. The stop-motion animated movie, being directed/adapted by Henry Selick, is being distributed worldwide by Focus Features.
Selick is adapting the stop-motion flick with CG effects from Neil Gaimans international best-selling book, CORALINE. LAIKA Ent.s director of story Mike Cachuela is co-director of the feature.
Disney/Pixars CARS didnt break any records (earning less than its last three predecessors.), but still managed a respectable bow of $60.1M to lead the box office pack for the weekend ended June 11, 2006. Its the sixth best opening for an animated feature and fourth best overall for Pixar.
Massive Software was utilized by visual effects studios Framestore CFC and Weta Digital for X-MEN: THE LAST STAND. With Massive, visual effects studios can animate anywhere from a few to a few hundred thousand realistically responding digital characters, helping artists and animators tackle ever more ambitious effects challenges and scenes, such as those seen in X3.
Both Framestore CFC and Weta Digital used Massive to craft scenes of mayhem in the Brett Ratner-directed movie, which sees war breaking out after a cure for mutant genes is found.
The British directing duo, Tom and Charlie Guard, are in negotiations to remake Korean chiller, A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, for DreamWorks, according THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
The 2004 original from Kim Jee-woon was based on a classic Korean folk tale crossed with 1970s British horror. The DreamWorks version will follow modern-day teenage sisters Anna and Alex Rydell who return home from a mental hospital only to have their sanity challenged by a cruel stepmother, clueless father and a lingering ghost. Production is set to begin this fall.
Imagi Animation Studios, in association with Tatsunoko Prod. of Japan, will produce a new CG-animated feature-length theatrical release based on the long-running anime franchise GATCHAMAN. The new film will be written and directed by Kevin Munroe, who is writing and directing Imagis TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CG feature that is being distributed by Warner Bros. in the U.S. and The Weinstein Co. internationally.
London-based Framestore CFC created the climactic San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge sequence in X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, arguably the most complex vfx in the movie, as it is wrenched from its foundation to form a bridge with Alcatraz island. It features a vast array of elements: CG, digital backgrounds, miniatures, full-size sets with digital extensions, night-shot material that had to be matched with day-shots all of which had to be brought together as a seamless whole.
Despite producer Toeis reluctance to license the blood-soaked original to any North American studio for fear of cuts, New Line was able to obtain the remake rights to worldwide Japanese cult hit, BATTLE ROYALE, according to VARIETY. Neal Moritz and Roy Lee are set to produce.
Hugh Jackman (X-MEN: THE LAST STAND) has agreed to star with Nicole Kidman in writer/director Baz Luhrmann's as yet untitled epic.
The Weinstein Co. has sold most of the world on Exodus Film Groups CG-animated feature comedy IGOR, following Cannes.
Key territorial sales include the U.K. to Momentum, in France to TF1, in Germany and Switzerland to Constantine, in Spain to Aurum, in Russia to West Film Group, in Eastern Europe to EEAP, in Benelux to RCV, in Brazil to Europa, in the Middle East to Italia, in Portugal to Lusomundo, in South Korea to Jung-A Ent., in Turkey to Film Pop and in Taiwan to Applause.
The Weinstein Co. is in final talks on a three-picture deal with MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA star Ziyi Zhang, which includes a live-action version of MULAN, VARIETY reports. The second film in the deal would be a remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic, THE SEVEN SAMURAI.
Lionsgate has dropped the development on a live-action feature film version of Marvel Comics' BLACK WIDOW, reports IGN FILMFORCE. Insiders say the studio balked on the project after poor box office results for other recent female-driven action films like ULTRAVIOLET and AEON FLUX.
Writer/director David Hayter said, "Marvel and I then spoke to a few other financing entities, but I never felt comfortable that we had found a place that was willing to take the movie, and the character, seriously."