TYLER PERRYS MADEAS FAMILY REUNION from Lions Gate led the box office with an opening bow of $30M for the weekend ending Feb. 26, 2006. Slipping to second place with $15.8M was Buena Vistas sled dog race movie, EIGHT BELOW (with vfx by Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston Digital, Illusion Arts, CIS Hollywood & ILM) In two weeks, EIGHT BELOW has earned $45.2M. Holding at third place with $11M was Sonys remake of THE PINK PANTHER (2D-animated titles by Kurtz & Friends and vfx by Pixel Magic), which has a cume of $60.8M.
The Walt Disney Co. has tapped THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff to pen three projects, including the feature adaptation of Ubisofts videogame PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME, reports VARIETY. In addition to the Jerry Bruckheimer Films-produced PERSIA, he will also tackle Bruckheimer's UNNATURAL HISTORY and the LivePlanet-produced LIBERTY.
The Fukuoka City Public Library has restored to its original length the first animated film made in Japan after World War II, reports JAPAN TIMES. A complete version of PRINCESS OF BAGHDAD had not existed for years.
The library will show the 48-minute movie based on THE ARABIAN NIGHTS on Saturday and Sunday at its theater.
A Fukuoka resident donated a nearly complete version to the library in 2004. Since then, the library collaborated with the National Film Center in Tokyo to restore the film to its original length.
Blur Studios 2005 Oscar-nominated short film, GOPHER BROKE, will screen before the CG-animated feature film, DOOGAL, opening today, Feb. 24, 2006, in more than 2,200 theaters in North America.
GOPHER BROKE, written and directed by Jeff Fowler and exec produced by Blur Studio co-founder Tim Miller will be screened ahead of the feature released by the Weinstein Co. with a special introduction from Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench.
The Weinstein Co. has scooped up the rights to the script EVILSEEK from writer Wayne Kramer (THE COOLER, RUNNING SCARED) who will also direct and produce the supernatural thriller. Kramers partner Michael Pierce (RUNNING SCARED) will also produce via their True Grit Prods. banner. The Weinstein Co. will fully fund the project, which will star Thomas Jane (THE PUNISHER).
In its fourth quarter report, Marvel Ent. Inc. revealed that it has regained the film rights to the Incredible Hulk character and is very aggressively developing a sequel to the HULK feature film. Marvel Studios head Avi Arad said in the Earnings Conference Call that Universal would still distribute the sequel.
Jonathan Liebesman is in talks to helm the remake/prequel to FRIDAY THE 13TH for Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Mark Wheatons script takes place at the original films Crystal Lake location, but unlike the original will feature a hockey mask wearing Jason as the central killer.
Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller will produce with Toby Emmerich, Cale Boyter and Jeff Katz overseeing for New Line.
Disney has tapped Oscar-nominated screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs (DINOSAUR, CHOCOLAT) to rewrite LILO & STITCH writer/director Dean DeBloiss live-action script, THE BANSHEE AND FIN MAGEE, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Jacobs and DeBlois will work closely together on the revamp. DeBlios is attached to project as its producer and director. The story revolves around an ignored boy, who gains attention by posing as a ghost until he meets a real one.
Rogue Pictures has nailed down the film rights to HACK/SLASH, a cult horror comicbook series, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter will produce with music video director Todd Lincoln set to direct as well as adapted the script with Martin Schenk (THE FLY remake).
Created by Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli, the comic follows Cassie Hack and her hulking protector Vlad as they travel to small towns across the U.S. hunting down notorious slashers.
Buena Vista's sled dog race movie, EIGHT BELOW (with vfx by Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston Digital, Illusion Arts, CIS Hollywood & ILM), was the surprising winner in the four-day President's Day weekend box office race, debuting at $25M for the weekend ended Feb. 20, 2006. Also leading the pack in a strong second place was Fox's DATE MOVIE, with Furious FX and Pacific Title contributing vfx, and an opening debut of $21.8M.
TITANIC director James Cameron has confirmed that his top-secret film, PROJECT 880, will be his next film, reports ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. Previously, Cameron was set to make a live-action version of BATTLE ANGEL, based on Yukito Kishiro's Japanese graphic novels, but script issues have delayed that project.
"We've moved PROJECT 880 into first position," Cameron said. "It's as classified as the Manhattan Project." However, rumors abound that the film will be a version of AVATAR, the director's long gestating love story set against interplanetary war.
New Line Cinema has cast Rainn Wilson (NBCs THE OFFICE) and Joely Richardson (FXs NIP/TUCK) in its sci-fi family film, MIMZY, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. New Line Cinema co-ceo Bob Shaye is set to direct.
The story follows two siblings, who discover a box of toys sent from the future, which gives them strange abilities. Wilson will play a science teacher and Richardson is the siblings' mom.
The studio is hoping to begin production in Vancouver in March.
Tobey Emmerich will shepherd for the studio.
Produced by Storm Studio, SLIPP JIMMY FRI (FREE JIMMY), Norway's first CG animated feature, is set to premiere in Norway on April 21, 2006. Written and directed by underground cartoonist Christopher Nielsen, the films $16 million budget also makes it the country's most expensive film production to date.
British actor/comedian Simon Pegg (SHAUN OF THE DEAD) wrote the English screenplay and the English-versions voice cast features Woody Harrelson, Kyle MacLachlan, Samantha Morton, Simon Pegg and Jim Broadbent.
Production has begun in Los Angeles on the family mystery adventure, NANCY DREW, starring Emma Roberts (Nickelodeon's UNFABULOUS), Josh Flitter (THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED), Max Thieriot (THE PACIFIER) and Tate Donovan (GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.).
Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International have partnered to bring the Academy Award-nominated live-action and animated short films to select U.S. theaters before the Oscar broadcast on March 5, 2006. The films will later be available through HDNet and Magnolia's new Home Entertainment division, as well as across other platforms that include ShortsTV on mobile phones.
Toon Boom Animation Inc. celebrates the strong opening of CURIOUS GEORGE, a 2D animated feature from Imagine Ent. and Universal Pictures that employs the software company's Opus to the production of this globally known character. Ranking third place in past weekend box office, the feature offers an all-new adventure based upon the beloved tales of George, the inquisitive little guy with an insatiable taste for action.
Universal Pictures has obtained the rights to Christian Gossett's award-winning comicbook THE RED STAR, tapping NIGHT WATCH director Timur Bekmambetov to develop and possibly direct the sci-fi epic, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Marc Platt will produce from his Marc Platt Prods., along with Bekmambetov via his Tengri shingle. Jim Lemley and Jason Netter will also produce. Gossett and Ken Levin will serve as exec producers.
The epic war saga is set in a re-imagined Soviet Union, where militarized sorcery and monolithic technology live side by side.
20th Century Fox is ready to blast off on STARSHIP DAVE with Eddie Murphy starring and Peter Segal (THE LONGEST YARD) directing, VARIETY is reporting. The film was originally set up at Paramount. Deep River Prods. will produce along side Guy Walks Into a Bar.
The film follows a crew of miniature human-looking aliens who search for a way to save their doomed world.
David Friendly and Marc Turtletaub are producing for Deep River with Jon Berg and Tom Komarnicki for Guy Walks Into a Bar. Segal's producing partner Michael Ewing will also produce.
Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes is set to produce the 11th film in the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise for New Line, reports VARIETY. Bay will produce with Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form.
Mark Wheaton (SON OF THE MORNING STAR) has been hired to pen the prequel that will deal with the origins of the Jason Voorhees. New Line hopes to release the film on Friday, Oct. 13, 2006.
Studio president Toby Emmerich shepherding with execs Cale Boyter and Jeff Katz.
The Weinstein Co. has acquired the rights to ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH, a CG-animated comedy feature to be written by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards, the duo behind the box office animated hit HOODWINKED. Leech is set to direct the project and Preston Stutzman of Blue Yonder Films will produce it along with Jonathan Shestack (AIR FORCE ONE), Brian Inerfeld and Gregory R. Little with Mainframe Ent., which will animate the film in Vancouver. Jeremy Stein of Jon Shestack Productions will co-produce. Mainframes ceo Rick Mischel will exec produce.
Renegade Animation embarks on its own first feature, partnered with writer/director Robert Zappia to produce an animated, holiday-themed feature film, WHO STOLE SANTAS SACK? for release in late 2006. Carole Ann Zappia and two-time Emmy winner Marco Zappia will exec produce through Easy To Dream Ent.
CORPSE BRIDE director Tim Burton was on hand in New Yorks Union Square Virgin Megastore on Feb. 11, 2006, for an afternoon of DVD signing, photographs and handshakes.
Hundreds of fans spent hours snaked around the store entrance, down the street and past the multiplex a block away for their chance to say hi to the former Disney animator turned fantasy filmmaker. Burtons return to his stop-motion roots has earned CORPSE BRIDE a nomination for this years Best Animated Feature Oscar.
Inspector Clouseau and his animated buddy returned to top the box office in the Sony Pictures' remake of the PINK PANTHER (2D animated titles by Kurtz & Friends), which debuted $20.2M for the weekend ended Feb. 12, 2006. Audiences obviously weren't tired of sequels either as New Line's FINAL DESITNATION 3 opened in the No. 2 spot with $19.2M. Scampering into a respectable third place on its debut was the 2D-animated CUROUS GEORGE from Universal and Imagine Ent., taking in $14.7M. Moviegoers obviously were ready for fresh film, giving another new release, Warner Bros.
German-born commercial director Marc Schoelermann will make his feature film debut on Mandalay Pictures HEXXX, reports VARIETY. The supernatural thriller starring THE O.C. star Mischa Barton is set to go before cameras this spring.
Little detail is known about John Raffo and Mark Gibson script, which centers on college students in New Orleans.
Apartment 3B Prods. principal Jennifer Klein will produce with Mandalays evp David Zelon shepherding the project.
Mandalay picked up the film in turnaround from MGM late in 2005.
IDT Ent. Sales will attend the European Film Market in Berlin from Feb. 9-20, 2006, for the first time with a slate of films, including the computer-animated YANKEE IRVING, which features the voices of Rob Reiner, William H. Macy and Whoopi Goldberg and is scheduled for theatrical release this summer by 20th Century Fox in the U.S. and Canada.