The post-New Years box office was quiet as usual with DreamWorks The Prince of Egypt on top of the animation heap grossing 6.1M for fifth place. To date, the high-budgeted religious flic has grossed nearly $75M domestically and $83.7M internationally. Disneys live-action/CGI Mighty Joe Young stayed put in sixth place with $5M for a 17-day total of $34.9M. Disney/Pixars A Bugs Life fell from fifth to seventh with $4.7M and a 52-day cume of $143M.
The top animated film of this week was DreamWorks' "Prince of Egypt," holding steady in fourth place with $11.2M for a 17-day total of $66.4M. Disney/Pixar's "A Bug's Life" continued to appeal to families with children on Christmas vacation climbing up two notches to fifth place for a weekend tally of $8.8M and a grand total of $136.4M. Disney's special-effects packed remake of the RKO ape flick, "Mighty Joe Young," continued its stay in sixth place taking in $8.1M for a two week cume of $28.1M.
"Kirikou et la Sorciere" ("Kirikou and the Witch") is a new 70-minute classically animated film by Michel Ocelot released in France on December 9, 1998. The film is about Kirikou, a tiny little boy, who's born in a small African village which has been put under a spell by the flagitious witch, Karaba. Kirikou is determined to set his languishing village free from the clutches of Karaba. The film features music composed by famous African singer/composer Youssou N'Dour.
The box office was bustling this Christmas holiday weekend with DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt" and Disney/Pixar's "A Bug's Life" holding their own against many new live-action releases including "Patch Adams," "The Faculty" and "Stepmom." "Prince of Egypt" dropped two places from second to fourth; however, the film saw a 5% rise in business grossing $15.3M for a grand total of a little over $40M. "A Bug's Life" saw a 1% jump in totals despite being taken off more than 300 screens. The film finished seventh with $10.1M and has now grossed $114.6M in six weeks.
Chris Wedge, one of the founders of Blue Sky Studios (now Blue Sky | VIFX), has released his personal film, "Bunny." The seven-minute computer-animated film utilizes "radiosity," an advanced computer rendering technique, a relative of the ray-tracing technology, that mimics subtle properties of natural light. The three-year project was written and directed by Chris Wedge, produced by Nina Rappaport, with music by singer/songwriter Tom Waits.
This year's final and quite possibly, most anticipated, animated feature, DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt" debuted this past weekend at number two with a respectable but not stellar $14.5M. While DreamWorks reps blame the impeachment proceedings, the White House affair didn't seem to have much effect on the strong $18.4M number one opening for the live-action Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, "You've Got Mail." It is too early to make any guesses on the success of DreamWorks' 'Prince' and the next few holiday weeks will be integral in determining the film's profitability.
San Francisco-based Wild Brain has completed an in-house seven-minute short film called A Dog Cartoon, featuring a highly-energetic dog who faces many perils as he attempts to recover his coveted bone.
Disney may not have an animated film to put up against DreamWorks Prince of Egypt, but theyve come up with an ingenious way of profiting from the November release of A Bugs Life. The company announced that starting December 18th, a completely new set of animated bloopers will accompany the closing credits of the film.
Coming off their successful animated feature, Antz, Pacific Data Images (PDI) and DreamWorks have announced that their next collaboration will be Tusker, directed by Tim Johnson (co-director of Antz) and Brad Lewis (producer of Antz). The film will be PDI/DreamWorks third project and will follow the release of Shrek, which is currently in production. Tusker follows a herd of elephants as they make a perilous trek across Southeast Asia confronting numerous dangers including a malevolent group of poachers.
Disney/Pixars A Bugs Life led the way at the box office for a second straight weekend beating out Universals shot-by-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcocks classic Psycho. The computer-animated film dropped a respectable 48%, earning $17.4M for a total cume of $68.7M. In fourth place, Paramounts The Rugrats Movie had a heavier drop of 64% from Thanksgiving weekend adding $7.6M for a grand total of $67.5M in 17 days.
Disney/Pixar's "A Bug's Life" dominated the box office this weekend with a staggering number one debut of an estimated $33.3M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and a record-setting $45.7M over the five-day holiday frame. If the estimates hold, the computer-generated bug picture will become the largest Thanksgiving opening in history topping Disney's 1996 release "101 Dalmatians" which debuted with $33.5M and $45.1M over the comparable periods.
Animated films played a very big role at this weekend's box office whichsaw strong performances from three animated features. After eight weeks,"ANTZ" remained in the Top 10 at No. 9 pulling in $2.3 million. "A Bug'sLife" was impressive in its one-theater debut in Hollywood, California'shistoric El Capitan theater grossing an amazing $291,000 during theweekend. This opening set house records at the El Capitan according tosources at Buena Vista. The biggest story this weekend though was
Here is a look at some of the various marketing items related to Disney/Pixars massive advertising campaign for A Bugs Life. The movie web site, www.abugslife.com, launched last week complete with Shockwave and QTVR games, behind-the-scenes information on the making of the film, sweepstakes, and the ability to purchase tickets for theaters nationwide.
After six weeks of US release, Dreamworks/PDIs computer-animated bug pic Antz saw a rare 20% boost in box office business this weekend placing fifth. Despite losing 300 screens and new competition for the family crowd from the re-release of The Wizard of Oz, the film grossed an estimated $5.4 million in 2,604 theaters bringing the films cume to $74.8 million.
The 65th Milan International Film, TV and Multimedia Market (MIFED) kicks off this week with a strong focus on animation, in collaboration with the European MEDIA II program. The six-day event, November 1 -6, will include a designated animation market and even an Animation Day on November 3.
Paris-headquartered motion-capture animation company, Medialab and Canadian animation studio, Ciné-Groupe, a subsidiary of Lions Gate Entertainment, have agreed to a four-year co-production deal. The two companies plan to co-produce two computer-animated theatrical films and two TV series. The first project, starting production in December, will be Pinocchio 3001, a futuristic rendition of the classic tale.
DreamWorks Pictures and PDI's computer animated feature film, "Antz" grossed just over $8 million this past week, bringing its totals to date to just under $62 million. The third place finish represented a drop of 27% from last week, but was less than a million dollars behind first place finisher "Pleasantville". The film is currently running in 2929 theatres nationwide. If its current pace continues, by next week, the film will surpass Paramount's "Beavis and Butthead" to become the top U.S. grossing non-Disney animated film.
DreamWorks Pictures and PDI's computer animated feature film, "Antz" grossed $11.2 million last weekend, dropping to third place in the box office charts, following its first two weeks in the number one spot. The total cumulative box office gross to date is $51.5 million, and the film is currently running in 2903 theaters nationwide. "Antz" will make its international debut starting in New Zealand and Australia on October 29.
Animation historian Marcin Gizycki has begun production on a 30-minute documentary film about animator Jan Lenica, a Poland native whose credits include animated shorts such as Janko the Musician (1960), Labyrinth (1962), and several films with Walerian Borowczyk. After teaching in Kassel and Berlin, Germany for the past 20 years (and stints working in France and the United States), Lenica has returned to Poland where he is currently making a 30-minute film called Wyspa R.O. (The R.O. Island), with Studio Miniatur Filmowych.
DreamWorks Pictures and Pacific Data Images' computer-animated feature film, "Antz" opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, October 2. The film's 78 minutes of animation (112,320 frames) took two and a half years and a staff of over 200 people to produce. Character voices featured in the film include Woody Allen, Dan Akroyd, Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone and Christopher Walken.
Vancouver, Canada-based Mainframe Entertainment will produce two feature-length, stereoscopic, 3D computer-animated films for IMAX large-format cinemas. The announcement comes exactly two years after the two companies announced a production deal [AF 8/21/96] to produce two 3D CG-animated ride-films based on Mainframes TV series, ReBoot. The first one, ReBoot, the Ride opened in IMAX ride theaters last year and the second, Journey Into Chaos will open next month.
Recycling is alive and well in Hollywood. An astounding number of animation properties are being optioned for adaptation as live-action films, such as "Inspector Gadget" and "Sailor Moon." This week, two more such deals have been announced. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a book by Dr. Seuss and then an animated feature directed by Chuck Jones at MGM, will have its next reincarnation as a live-action feature starring Jim Carrey. Universal, which already owns the theme park rights to Dr. Seuss properties, and Ron Howard's Imagine Films paid Dr. Seuss' widow Audrey Geisel nearly U.S.
Animator Mark Osborne is wrapping up production on a new short film. Titled More, the film is believed to be the first stop-motion animated large-format film. It is being shot on 65mm film that will be printed on 70mm for projection in large-format cinemas such as the IMAX chains. The film, a co-production of Swell Productions and Bad Clams Productions, is being funded by a private investor, was shown in trailer form at last weeks International Space Theater Consortium conference in Australia.