LucasFilm and 20th Century Foxs visual effects-driven STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE took in $61.8 million gross over the three-day weekend. Its five-day total of $102.7 million since its Wednesday debut broke the previous five-day record of $92.7 million set in 1997 by THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, but its three-day weekend gross failed to challenge the $72.1 million record still held by THE LOST WORLD.
TRON, Disney's innovative computer-animated feature, is set to return to the big screen for a special one-week limited engagement (May 14-20) at the Disney-owned Pacific El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA with a new 70mm print. A special panel discussion on May 14 and 15 will feature several filmmakers involved with the 1982 production including director Steven Lisberger, visual effects supervisors Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor, and computer-image choreographer Bill Kroyer (who went on to direct TECHNOLOGICAL THREAT and FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST).
As expected, STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 - THE PHANTOM MENACE set a record forsingle day gross on Wednesday with $28.5 million, breaking the previousrecord of $26.1 million set by THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK in 1997 on theSunday during the three day Memorial Day weekend. The previous record for aWednesday opening was $17.4 million, set by INDEPENDENCE DAY in July 1996.Despite reaching a new record, the film failed to fulfill early predictionswhich were in the range of $30 to $40 million and were based on early
A release date for Aardman Animations/DreamWorks' eagerly awaitedstop-motion feature, CHICKEN RUN, has been announced for June 23, 2000 inthe US. Fifteen minutes of completed footage were recently shown toenthusiastic Aardman employees in England. The film is being directed byAardman co-founder Peter Lord and Nick Park (The Wrong Trousers, CreatureComforts), and is described as The Great Escape with chickens. DreamWorksSKG will distribute the film in the U.S. and most international territories
In its second week of release, THE MUMMY, Universal Studios' CGI-laced revival of its mummy series remained on top in the weekend US box-office charts, grossing $25.1 million to bring its total to $80.8 million. The primary digital effects for THE MUMMY were created by Industrial Light & Magic. THE MATRIX, another effects driven action film, continues to do well, finishing third and taking in $4.5 million to bring its total gross to $145.1 million.
It is rumored that filmmakers Barry Levinson and Paula Weinstein aredeveloping a live-action/animation project that would feature Bugs Bunny.Preliminary discussions are said to have taken place for Robin Williams tobe Bugs' sidekick. The story line remains undisclosed, but it's said to beless like WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? and more like ANCHORS AWEIGH, a 1945musical which features a sequence in which Gene Kelly dances withHanna-Barbera's Jerry Mouse. There is also talk of bringing the Tasmanian
Newly released THE MUMMY, Universal Studios' CGI-laced revival of its mummyseries, which began with Boris Karloff's 1932 THE MUMMY, and continued inthe 1940s with Lon Chaney, Jr. in such films as THE MUMMY'S HAND, finishedon top in the weekend US box-office charts, grossing $43,369,635--the bestopening this year, the ninth-biggest of all time, and the highestnon-holiday debut in May. The digital effects for THE MUMMY were created byIndustrial Light and Magic.THE MATRIX remained in the top five, finishing
A BUG'S LIFE, a Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar AnimationStudios film, has climbed to $358 million in worldwide box office receiptsto become one of the top-grossing animated films of all time. With itsdomestic gross of $163 million, the film has already become the fourthbiggest animated feature released in the United States (behind THE LIONKING, ALADDIN and TOY STORY). Internationally, A BUG'S LIFE has agross-to-date of $195 million and has set records in the United Kingdom,
A May start date has been set for the production of MONSTERS, INC.(tentative title), a new computer-animated feature to be produced by PixarAnimation Studios under their arrangement with Walt Disney Studios. Thefilm is targeted for release in 2001. MONSTERS, INC. is a comedy set in aparallel world of monsters who live on the screams and fear of children.But because end-of-the-millenium kids are jaded and not easily scared, themonsters' world is in danger of becoming extinct. When one of the monsters,
Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis' new film, WHEN THE DAY BREAKS, willcompete with ten live-action films, and one animated film, BILLY'SBALLOON by Don Hertzfeldt (LILY + JIM), for the top prize in the ShortFilm competition at this year's 52nd Festival de Cannes in Cannes,France. The Festival takes place Wednesday, May 12th through Sunday, May23rd. Wendy Tilby is perhaps best known for STRINGS. For moreinformation visit the festival's official homepage atwww.festival-cannes.fr/cannes99.
In its fifth week of release, THE MATRIX, the special effects heavy action film starring Keanu Reeves, finished second in the USA weekend box office race and grossed $8.7 to bring its total gross to $129.7.
THE MATRIX, the special effects heavy action film starring Keanu Reeves,returned to the number one spot at the US box office last weekend andgrossed an estimated $12.6 million to bring its cumulative gross to $117million.
Nickelodeon has announced that, following in the wake of the success of THERUGRATS MOVIE, another Klasky Csupo produced TV series, THE WILD THORNBERRYS, will get its own shot at the big screen. The film will have abudget of at least $25 million and release is expected in 2002. THE WILD THORNBERRYS is currently the most popularanimated TV series on Nickelodeon.
On Monday, April 19, a judge ruled thatViacom's claim to the rights to TV distribution of a film based on Marvel'scomic book character Spider-man is without contractual basis. This ruling,unless it is appealed, should finally clear the way for a major Spider-Manfilm. The Spider-man property had been tangled in court for many yearsbecause several companies claimed to possess various controlling rights.Sources close to the law suit say that the six companies involved in the
For the week ending April 18th, THE MATRIX, a special effects heavy action film, finished second in the US box office race and grossed an estimated $18.1 million to bring its cumulative gross to $99.1 million.
THE MATRIX, the special effects driven science-fiction adventure, remained No. 1 at the US box office for the week ending April 11, with a weekend gross of $22.2 million, and a cumulative gross of $50 million. It slipped only 20% from last week.
Universal Pictures has begun production in Los Angeles on TribecaProductions' live-action/animated comedy adventure "The Adventures of Rockyand Bullwinkle," starring two time Academy Award(R) winner Robert De Niro("Raging Bull," "The Godfather Part II"), Jason Alexander (TV's "Seinfeld")and Rene Russo ("Get Shorty"). Des McAnuff ("Cousin Bette," Broadway's"The Who's Tommy") is directing from a screenplay by Kenneth Lonergan, withDe Niro and Jane Rosenthal producing. David Nicksay ("The Negotiator") and
SPIDER-MAN TO SWING WITHOUT CAMERON. Whatever expectations were created in 1990 when Stan Lee (Spider-Man's co-creator with Steve Ditko and possibly Jack Kirby) announced that James Cameron would be directing a Spider-Man film, ended for the director of TITANIC and THE TERMINATOR on Monday when THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reported that Cameron will not be directing this long dreamed of project. This announcement comes soon after the resolution of legal disputes between most of the involved companies over rights to the Spider-Man character and related properties.
The Matrix, a new futuristic, action movie that stars Keanu Reeves andfeatures state of the art visual effects, took first place at the theweekend box office, grossing $27.6 million for the biggest opening weekendthis year, industry estimates showed Sunday.
Doug's 1st Movie, the Disney released animated feature based on the hit TVshow, finished eighth, grossing $3.1 million during its first week inrelease. The movie was based on a TV show, formerly of Nickelodeon, now
Manila-based ImagineAsia is the Asian studio chosen to do the production work for HEAVY METAL F.A.K.K. 2, the $15-million sequel to 1981's HEAVY METAL. The film is being co-produced by Canada's Cine-Groupe and Germany's Helkon Media for a U.S. Columbia TriStar release during the second half of 1999. The film is directed by Michael Coldeway, and stars Julie Strain and Billy Idol. This marks the feature debut of ImagineAsia, as well as one of the few times an Asian animation facility has been called upon to fully animate a feature film for a major U.S. studio.
Warner Bros. THE KING AND I, produced by Rich Animation, opened in North America last weekend (March 19-21) in 2352 theaters with a lackluster total of $4,007,565 million. . . . DOUG'S 1ST MOVIE, produced by Jumbo Pictures and released by Disney, will open in North America on Friday, March 26, just in time for spring break.
Paramount's THE RUGRATS MOVIE has crossed the $100 million milestone at the North American box office. This makes it the first animated non-Disney film to achieve this mark. As of March 22, the domestic box office total for the film is $100,130,568. . . . Warner Bros. THE KING AND I, produced by Rich Animation, opened in North America this past weekend in 2352 theaters with a lackluster total of $4,007,565 million.
ASTRO BOY, created by Japanese comic legend Dr. Osamu Tezuka, will be made into a sci-fi live-action/CGI/animatronics feature by Columbia Pictures. The pic, slated for Christmas 2000 release, is being produced by Don Murphy, Jane Hamsher and Jim Henson Pictures. Reportedly, Jim Henson's Creature Shop may provide the title character Astro Boy. The film is a 21st century Pinocchio about a grieving scientist who builds a robot in the likeness of his son who was killed. This "robot boy," Tetsuwan Atomu, became the first Japanese TV cartoon when it started airing in 1963.
Atom Corp., a new entertainment company aiming to distribute short animated and live-action films, has opened shop. The start-up firm has already established alliances with cable networks such as HBO and Sundance Channel, online services including Disney's Go Network/Infoseek, Mr. Showbiz, Reel.com, Warner Bros. Online and Film.com, the high-speed broadband service @Home, as well as airlines such as Air New Zealand, Air Canada and Continental Airlines.
Steve Oedekerk has stepped down as the director of Warner Bros. big-budgeted live-action/animated remake of THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET after months of bickering between him and the studio. The script is currently being reworked by MULAN writer Rita Hsaio. Jim Carrey, the film's lead, will wait to see the new script before making any decisions on his involvement with the film. The film is being produced by Barry Levinson, Paula Weinstein and Bill Gerber.