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Category: Films

Headline News Did DINOTOPIA inspire PHANTOM MENACE?

A bit of controversy has arisen due to the striking similarity between somescenes in James Gurney's DINOTOPIA books and George Lucas' STAR WARSEPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE. The questionable parallels include thatbetween PHANTOM MENACE's royal Naboo city of Theed and DINOTOPIA'sWaterfall City; the trip through PHANTOM MENACE's Naboo's core and asubmarine ride in THE WORLD BENEATH; the celebratory parade at the end ofthe film and several scenes from DINOTOPIA books; and between Jar Jar Binks

Headline News STAR WARS falls to second place

STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE, the digital effects driven actionfilm from Lucasfilm, grossed $25.4 million to bring its total to $296.7million while finishing second to newly released AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHOSHAGGED ME in the US weekend boxoffice race for the week ending Sunday,June 13. Universal's THE MUMMY, with digital effects by ILM, finished fifthwhile grossing $5.48 million to bring its total to $136.2 million; THEMATRIX, directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, finished seventh, grossing

Headline News STAR WARS coasts on top

Four effects driven action films finished in the top ten this week, led byLucasfilm's STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE which grossed $32.2million to bring its total to $255 million. Universal's THE MUMMY, withdigital effects by ILM, finished fourth, grossing $7.5 million for a totalof $127.6 million; THE MATRIX, directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski,finished sixth, grossing $2.4 million for a total of $158.2 million; THETHIRTEENTH FLOOR, with digital effects by Centropolis Effects, finished

Headline News Warner greenlights OSMOSIS JONES

Warner Bros. has greenlit OSMOSIS JONES for a Thanksgiving 2000 release.The film is a comedy/adventure about a street smart white blood-cell calledOsmosis Jones who teams up with a rookie cold tablet to fight a virus thatis attacking their host body, a construction worker named Frank Detomello.The film is written by Marc Hyman, with Tom Sito and Piet Kroon directing.The film will be Warner Bros. Feature Animation's third completely animatedrelease after QUEST FOR CAMELOT, and the upcoming THE IRON GIANT. In

Headline News Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace passes 200 million

THE PHANTOM MENACE finished first in last week's Memorial Day weekend USboxoffice race, taking in an estimated $64.8 million to bring its total to$204.8 million. Based on this, experts are now predicting that the filmwill eventually pass $400 million in North Amercian receipts. THE MUMMYfinished in third place, taking in $12.7 million, for a total of $117.1million. Newcomer THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR, an effects driven thriller aboutvirtual reality, finished fifth, taking in $4.3 million. THE MATRIX

Headline News EPISODE II is in pre-production

Pre-production on STAR WARS EPISODE II (Lucas reportedly has a title inmind, but it has not been released) has already begun. Shooting is set tostart in June 2000 with locations at Fox Studios Australia, Tunisia, andItaly, and the release is scheduled for summer 2002. The story will focuson the romance and marriage between Anakin Skywalker (the future DarthVader) and Queen Amidala, and the Siths' attempt to gain control of thegalaxy. Whereas the budget for EPISODE 1 was $115 million, Lucas says he

Headline News PHANTOM MENACE sets boxoffice record

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.

Headline News See TRON on the big screen!

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).

Headline News Record opening for PHANTOM

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

Headline News Aardman chickens are set to run

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

Headline News THE MUMMY remains on top

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.

Headline News Warner Bros. has three new toon features in the works

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

Headline News THE MUMMY has record debut

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

Headline News A BUG'S LIFE becomes fourth highest grossing animated film of all time

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,

Headline News Pixar announces new film

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,

Headline News Wendy Tilby at Cannes

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.

Headline News WILD THORNBERRYS coming to the big screen

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.

Headline News Marvel/Sony win Spider-Man suit

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

Headline News ROCKY & BULLWINKLE Starts Production

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

Headline News SPIDER-MAN to Swing without Cameron

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.

Headline News Matrix tops at the weekend box office

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

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