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Category: Films

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks & Aardman Get Crood Awakening

DreamWorks Animation SKG has announced their next film collaboration with Aardman, a new comedy entitled CROOD AWAKENING. The announcement was made during a tribute to Aardman at the Cannes Film Festival, by DreamWorks Animation ceo Jeffrey Katzenberg, together with Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton.

CROOD AWAKENING will mark DreamWorks fourth film collaboration with Aardman, following 2000s CHICKEN RUN, this years WALLACE & GROMIT THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT and FLUSHED AWAY, which is planned for release in 2006.

Headline News

CritterPix Nets Producer/Supervisors for Otter 3D Feature

CritterPix Studios has added key talent for a team now in pre-production on its first feature-length film, OLLIE THE OTTER, according to Kelly Williamson, ceo of CritterPix. The feature, budgeted at $30 million, is about the misadventures of a sea otter and his landlubber and oceanic friends, and is being produced in association with New Regency Prods.

From Pixar, Chris Rock has signed on as CG supervisor. While at Pixar, Rock was a technical director on MONSTERS, INC., FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES and CARS.

Headline News

Shrek Producer Goes on Odyssey for Ribbit Film

SHREK producer John H. Williams has partnered again with U.K.-based sales and financing company Odyssey Ent. to bring the animation producer's latest project, RIBBIT, to the market, according to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The new deal between Williams Ealing Studio-based Vanguard Animation and Odyssey is the fourth time Odyssey has taken international sales duties for the Oscar-winning producer's properties.

Film Headline News

Production Starts on Conan: Red Nails 2D/3D Animated Film

Sherman Oaks, California-based Swordplay Entertainment Inc., has begun principal production on the animated feature film, CONAN: RED NAILS, based on the classic story by the best-selling fantasy author Robert E. Howard, a new 2D/3D animated feature film, targeting a fall 2006 release on video/DVD, with a theatrical release pending test screening. New Line Home Entertainment has acquired all North American distribution rights to the animated feature film.

Animated Headline News

Mexico’s Anima Estudios Launches Second Feature

Anima Estudios has announced with the support of Fidecine Mexico the release of its second feature animated film, IMAGINUM. The film will be released in theaters nationwide in August 2005, distributed by Videocine, the movie production and distribution company of Televisa.

The main characters are voiced by Eugenio Derbez (Mexico´s most popular comedian), Giovanni Florido, Ilse Olivo and Ruben Trujillo.

Universal Headline News

Universal Goes to Young Adult Outcast for Next Film Deal

Universal has secured the film rights to the young adult fantasy novel series OUTCAST, reports VARIETY. Charlie Mitchell (forthcoming THE CHILDREN OF THE DUST BOWL) has been hired to adapt the screenplay. Additionally, Mitchell will produce along with Donaldson/Sanders' Peter Donaldson and Circle of Confusion's Jason Lust.

Film Headline News

Agent Smith Replaces Vendetta Star

On a film already in production, Hugo Weaving, who has been immortalized as Agent Smith in THE MATRIX films and his elfin role in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, will replace James Purefoy (RESIDENT EVIL) as the star of V FOR VENDETTA, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The reason for the move was not announced, but the film is still set to hit theaters Nov. 4, 2005. The cast also includes Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, Rupert Graves and Stephen Fry.

Headline News

Kingdom of Heaven Leads Anemic Box Office

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN opened lukewarmly for Fox yet still managed to lead a weak box office for the weekend ended May 8, 2005. Ridley Scotts epic about the Crusades took home $19.6M (with vfx from The Moving Picture Co., Double Negative, Framestore CFC and Clear), ahead of Warner Bros. HOUSE OF WAX (with vfx by Photon VFX), which bowed with $12M.

Digital Headline News

Ridley Scott Claims Too Much CGI is ‘Very Dangerous’

Director Ridley Scott, whose epic about the Crusades with Orlando Bloom, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, opens today (May 6, 2005 through Twentieth Century Fox), told VFXWORLD that the hybrid of live action and CGI that predominates the industry today is very dangerous.

He recounted how Doug Trumbull advised him 25 years ago on BLADE RUNNER to shoot live whenever possible, and he only selectively goes digital to enhance reality out of necessity. It isnt easy getting 70,000 troops out there in one shot, Scott admits.

Imax Headline News

Polar Express Chugs Onto IMAX Again

IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures announced that THE POLAR EXPRESS: AN IMAX 3D EXPERIENCE, the highest grossing and most successful IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) release to date, will return to IMAX theatres in November 2005. First released on Nov. 10, 2004, and co-financed by Shangri-La Ent., the film broke virtually every box-office record for a digitally re-mastered Hollywood film in IMAX's format, and set the record for the highest grossing week in IMAX's 35-year history.

Headline News

IDT Brings Hair High & Other Features to Cannes

IDT Ent. Sales (IDTeS) will attend Marché du Film in Cannes with a slate of new animated and live-action theatrical features. Among the new properties to be offered are the highly anticipated horror anthology MASTERS OF HORROR, featuring the most prominent horror directors, the thriller ROOM SI starring Jerry OConnell and Christine Taylor, and two-time Oscar-nominee Bill Plymptons animated HAIR HIGH, which was just selected to screen at the prestigious Melbourne International Film Festival for 2005.

Animation Headline News

Graphic Novel MasterMinds An Animated Feature

Korean animation house DG Spot and its production division Morph have bought the rights to graphic novel MASTERMINDS and plans to turn it into an animated feature. The property is the lead franchise of Los Angeles-based animation house MasterMinds Unlimited. Production on the film, which will include a role voiced by Stan Lee, is set to begin this summer.

Headline News

Hitchhiker’s Guide Has the Box Office Answer

Buena Vistas THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (with vfx by Cinesite) topped the box office chart in its debut for the weekend ended May 1, 2005, collecting $21.1M. Universals THE INTERPRETER, last weekends winner, slipped to second place, with $13.8M for a two-week total of $43.1M. The other big opener, XXX: STATE OF THE UNION (with vfx from ILM), didnt fare so well for Sony Revolution, as Ice Cube stepped in for Vin Diesel. The Lee Tamahori actioner netted a disappointed $12.7M for a third place finish.

Pitch Headline News

American Dad Short in Theaters Before Fever Pitch

Crossing over from small screen to big screen fans, 20th Century Fox has been exercising some synergy, releasing AMERICAN DAD: INSIDE THE CIA, a never-before-seen short, running exclusively before the film FEVER PITCH, starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. The three-minute short, which is a take-off on CIA training films from the 50s, is screening before the Fox film, FEVER PITCH, holding in seventh place at the box office in the U.S. in its fifth week of release while the Fox TV series, AMERICAN DAD, premiered May 1 9:30 pm on FOX.

Imax Headline News

Harry Potter 4 Headed to IMAX Day-and-Date

IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures announced that HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE will be simultaneously released to both IMAX and conventional theatres on November 18, 2005. The film is based on the best-selling J.K. Rowling book and is the fourth installment of the tremendously successful HARRY POTTER film series, which has grossed a total of more than $2.6 billion around the world. HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE will be digitally re-mastered into IMAX's format through the company's IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology and released to the worldwide IMAX theatre network.

Movie Headline News

Seinfeld’s Animated Bee Movie Attracts A Swarm Of Talent

DreamWorks Animation has assembled a top-tier roster of voice talent for its upcoming computer-animated comedy, BEE MOVIE, which will star the films co-writer and producer Jerry Seinfeld. Starring opposite the famed comic will be Academy Award-winner Renée Zellweger (COLD MOUNTAIN, CHICAGO). BEE MOVIE is slated for release on November 2, 2007, following the May 18, 2007 release of the third SHREK movie.

Marvel Headline News

Marvel & Paramount Pact on Capt. America, Nick Fury Pics

Marvel Enterprises Inc. and Paramount Pictures announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Paramount will distribute a slate of feature films to be produced by Marvel, which include titles such as CAPTAIN AMERICA and NICK FURY. Marvel also announced a new, non-recourse financing facility to be provided by Merrill Lynch Commercial Finance Corp. that will allow the company to produce its own slate of feature films based on its renowned comic book characters.

Studios Headline News

Platinum Studios To Make CG Horror Flick Bonesaw

Platinum Studios and The Shop Prods. have chosen Alan McElroy (SPAWN) to write the screenplay for the $18 million budgeted first ever CG theatrical horror feature, BONESAW, based on the Platinum Studios graphic novel by acclaimed Scots writer Rob Moran. Relativity Management, one of Hollywood's leading talent management firms, will be co-financing the picture and is arranging the international elements. Production is set to begin in early 2006, and be completed fall 2007. McElroy will be splitting his time between his Ohio home and the Vancouver production offices of BONESAW.

Digital Headline News

ILM Uses Digital Vision to Prepare Master of Revenge of the Sith

Digital Vision announced that Industrial Light & Magic has used its AGR4 ME motion-compensated grain & noise management system to prepare the digital cinema master for George Lucas STAR WARS: EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH, which hits theaters May 19, 2005.

Birds Headline News

Michael Bay To Produce The Birds Remake

Universal Pictures is set to remake Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1963 horror film, THE BIRDS, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes is in talks with the studio to produce along with Peter Guber and his Mandalay Pictures. The new version will be based on the original short story by Daphne Du Maurier, which inspired the Hitchcock film. The story chronicles the events that transpire in a small Pacific Coast town after the birds begin attacking in mass for no reason.

Films Headline News

Craven Can’t Wait to Produce Ghost Flick

Wes Craven's Craven/Maddalena Films is teaming with Gold Circle Films to produce indie horror flick THE WAITING, written by BOOGEYMAN scribes Juliet Snowden and Stiles White, reports VARIETY. Craven/Maddalena president Marianne Maddalena and Gold Circle president Paul Brooks will produce the film with Craven serving as exec producer. Craven/Maddalena Films vp of development Alix Taylor will co-produce with Wendy Rhoads of Gold Circle, whose Zak Kadison will oversee the project.

Headline News

Silent Hill Gets its Star

PITCH BLACKs Radha Mitchell will star in the film adaptation of the hit videogame SILENT HILL, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. TriStar Pictures will release the film in the States. Christophe Gans (BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF) will helm the $45 million-$50 million picture, which has started production in Toronto.

Series Headline News

Will Ferrell Travels to the Land of the Lost

Universal has tapped funnyman Will Ferrell to star in a big screen adaptation of campy '70s kids show THE LAND OF THE LOST, reports the trades. TV series original exec producers Sid and Marty Krofft will produce the film for the studio along with Mosaic Media Groups Jimmy Miller and Julie Wixson-Darmody. ANCHORMAN director Adam McKay will direct the film based on a screenplay by Chris Henchy (TVs SPIN CITY, ENTOURAGE) and Dennis McNicholas (TVs SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE).

Spot Headline News

The Interpreter Translates to Number One at the Box Office

Sydney Pollacks THE INTERPRETER, starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, captured the top spot at the box office in its debut weekend ended April 24, 2005. The old-fashioned suspense thriller took in $22.8M for Universal, upending MGMs remake of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, last weeks champ, which hauled in $13.7M and $44.3M for a second place finish. Paramounts SAHARA (with vfx from Cinesite and Double Negative) dropped to third with $9M for a cume of $48.9M. Buena Vistas A LOT LIKE LOVE with Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher bowed in fourth place with $7.5M.

Film Headline News

Donnie Darko Director Gets Southland Stars

Cherry Road Films and Darko Ent. announced that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will star opposite Seann William Scott (AMERICAN PIE films, THE DUKES OF HAZZARD) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (THE GRUDGE) in the science-fiction thriller SOUTHLAND TALES for writer-director Richard Kelly (DONNIE DARKO). Sean McKittrick will produce under the Darko Ent. banner he co-founded with Kelly. Cherry Road principals Bo Hyde and Kendall Morgan will produce.