Howard Schwartz Recording (HSR), a leading audio facility, is recording the voice tracks for the Columbia Pictures' STUART LITTLE 2. Produced by Sony-based Red Wagon Productions, and directed by Rob Minkoff, the film is scheduled for release on July 19th, 2002. HSR engineer Bill Higley has been recording the actors directly from microphone to DAT for the sequel. The voice cast includes Michael J. Fox as Stuart, Nathan Lane as Snowbell the cat, Melanie Griffith as Margalo the bird and Steve Zahn as Monty.
Warner Bros.' SWORDFISH hooked the top spot this week, debuting with $18.15 million. DreamWorks' CG film, SHREK, held its ground at #2 with $16.52 million, taking in a cumulative $176.07 million total in its four week run. Buena Vista's PEARL HARBOR lost its #1 spot, dropping to third place with $14.72 million, bringing its three week total to $143.99 million. DreamWorks' special effects comedy, EVOLUTION, made its debut in forth place with $13.41 million. THE ANIMAL made $9.61 million, down to #5 from #3 with a cumulative total of $35.65 million.
Buena Vistas PEARL HARBOR held off SHREK to remain box office champ this week, grossing $29.5 million, for a two week cumulative total of $118.8 million. DreamWorks' CG-animated film SHREK stayed hot at the box office, bringing in another $28.1 million in its third week of release, for a cumulative total of $148.4 million. Universal's THE MUMMY RETURNS slipped to #6 for its fifth weekend with $7.7 million, boasting a cumulative total of $181.1 million. Sony's A KNIGHT'S TALE jousted the seventh slot at $3.4 million, with a $49.4 cumulative total.
IMAX Corporation has announced that Steve Oedekerk's original animated film, SANTA VS. THE SNOWMAN, will be reformatted into IMAX 3D and anchor a special IMAX holiday film program launching in November 2002. Produced by Oedekerk's O Entertainment, animated by DNA productions with additional footage being animated by Omation, a division of O Entertainment, the film features the voices of Oedekerk, Emmy Award-winning comic Jonathan Winters, Ben Stein and Victoria Jackson. SANTA VS.
In the wake of the tremendous opening of their latest computer-animated comedy SHREK, DreamWorks has announced on May 31, 2001 their plans for a theatrical sequel. According to DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, the writing team behind the first SHREK screenplay, have been set to pen the sequel. The team has also collaborated to write the Oscar-winning animated musical ALADDIN, which became the top-grossing film release of 1992.
Exploding into the top spot at the box office this Memorial Day weekend was Buena Vistas PEARL HARBOR, which made a triumphant nationwide debut, grossing $75.1 million. The 3-hour, action-packed movie is set during the time of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, where two friends (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) are caught up in the events that draw the United States into World War II. DreamWorks' CG-animated film SHREK more than withstood the heavy bombardment, slipping down one notch from first to second with $54.2 million during its second weekend.
On May 8, 2001 Argus International Film Studio signed an agreement with Germanys MC-One to produce THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING, a 70-minute animated film based on the well-known fairy tale by Hoffmann and ballet by Tchaikovsky. Directed by Tatiana Ilyina, the Russian version of the animated feature will be available at the end of 2002. The 3-minute pilot copy for THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING was awarded the World Gold Medal for best animation at the 1999 New York festivals and was in official selection at Annecy 2000.
The Walt Disney Company is moving up its large-format release of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to January 1, 2002, following on the success of last year's January 1 release of FANTASIA/2000: The Imax Experience. Produced by Don Hahn and directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has been digitally remastered and reformatted specifically for release to 15/70 and 8/70 theaters. The new version includes a never-before-seen musical sequence featuring Human Again, a song that had been written and storyboarded for the original release, but never animated.
DreamWorks' new CG-animated film SHREK rocketed to #1 at the box office in its North American debut, taking in $42.1 million. It is the second-biggest opening for an animated film and the biggest-ever for the distributor. Buena Vista's TOY STORY 2, which debuted during the Thanksgiving holiday in 1999, holds the record for animated openings with $57.4 million, while the previous biggest opening for DreamWorks was GLADIATOR with $34.8 million in May 2000. Universal's THE MUMMY RETURNS tallied $20.5 million during its third weekend to hold second place.
DreamWorks Pictures' new CG animated feature "Shrek" will be projected digitally in eleven theatres in the U.S. and Canada. This marks the first time a DreamWorks film will be shown in the digital format. In making the announcement, DreamWorks head of distribution Jim Tharp stated, SHREK represents the state-of-the-art in computer animation, so it is only fitting that it be the first DreamWorks film to be seen in this state-of-the-art format.
The English-language version of the anime thriller JIN-ROH: THE WOLF BRIGADE will have its theatrical release at New York's Cinema Village on June 22, 2001, at the Varsity Theater in Seattle on June 29, 2001 and nationally throughout the summer. A collaboration between two generations of filmmakers, JIN-ROH marries a hard-hearted script by Momoru Oshii, the internationally acclaimed maker of GHOST IN THE SHELL with the vérité direction of Hiroyuki Okiura, assistant to Oshii on GHOST. JIN-ROH's setting is Tokyo - not the Tokyo of the future, but of an alternate past.
Leslie Carlsons new short, SHRIMP AND CRAB COCKTAIL, made its debut on Ifilm May 4, 2001. This 2-minute animated short explores the shifting tides of emotion between a shrimp and crab as they flirt in an undersea cocktail lounge, with a dark twist to the old line "there are other fish in the sea." For more information, visit: www.ifilm.com/ifilm/skeletons/film_detail/0,1263,1236475,00.html. WHITE BREAD BLUES, a new animated Web series from the San Francisco office of interactive design and production company Deepend, debuts this week.
TriStar Pictures will release THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN, an animated musical film based on the novel by E.B. White, in Los Angeles, California and New York, New York on Friday, May 11, 2001. Universally hailed as a classic of children's literature, THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN follows the wonderful and witty adventures of Louie, a mute trumpeter swan who takes extraordinary steps to compensate for his lack of voice.
Premiering on the IFILM Network this week is DAMNED, a new film by Alex Crouch. Most consider a game of chess to be a fun, harmless way to pass the time, but nobody said it was fun for the pieces on the board! Witness the horrible fate of one group of chess pieces as they're thrown into the jaws of death. These guys know the true meaning of the word "Damned!" Find this short at: www.ifilm.com/ifilm/skeletons/film_detail/0,1263,1104743,00.html. .
The anime classic AKIRA, fresh from a $1 million restoration, has been released on the big screen in a few select theatres in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. With digital projection, this is the cleanest, crispest print ever seen to date. AWN was invited to a special pre-release screening and was very impressed by the quality of the print and restoration. First released theatrically in Japan in 1988, AKIRA has garnered legions of fans around the world and is still considered a masterpiece of cel animation.
Sharon Katz, creator of HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNAH (Audience Choice Award, Chicks 'n Flicks Film Festival), has finished her newest animated short, THE ANGEL'S FOOT CAKE / DER FUS TORT. In the film, Drinkeleh Fresserkeh decides to make a cake in the shape of an Angel's foot. The Angels take umbrage and the fun begins in this delightfully raucous modern Yiddish animated tale. The film premiers April 29, 2001 at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.
For the first time in 48 years, an animated film has been selected to compete at the Cannes Film Festival. DreamWorks SKGs SHREK, directed by Andrew Adamson and Victoria Jenson, was one of 22 films selected for official competition. The film, slated for a May 18, 2001 U.S. release, stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow, and was produced at PDI/DreamWorks, the companys Palo Alto CGI and effects unit.
Richard Linklater's latest film, the animated feature WAKING LIFE, has been acquired by Fox Searchlight and will hit theaters later this year. Fox Searchlight acquired the worldwide distribution rights in a deal negotiated by the companys executive VP Joseph de Marco and John Sloss of the indie financing company Cinetic. The movie debuted to critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
Emmy-nominated director Chris Prynoski, best known for his work on BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD DO AMERICA and the animated series MTV DOWNTOWN, has completed animation work on Tom Green's upcoming feature film FREDDY GOT FINGERED. In the film, Green plays a bizarre animator who desperately tries to win his father's approval. Prynoski, known for his edgy, underground style, provides animation that launches Green's skewed creations onto the big screen.
POKEMON 3, the third feature installment of the POKEMON trilogy, debuted in fourth place at the box office this weekend, taking in $9.18 million. SPY KIDS, Robert Rodriguez new espionage yarn, with primary visual effects by Hybride Technologies, captured first place for the second week in a row, grossing $17.8 million, with $49 million accumulated thus far. ENEMY AT THE GATES fell from sixth to seventh, grossing $3.45 million.
Look! Effects, a Hollywood, California digital effects and 3Danimation company, has completed a 5-minute 3D computer animationsequence for Metaphor Films and Gotham Entertainment's independentfeature FIRST WATCH. Featuring detailed models of planets, stars,their surfaces and movements that were based on some of the latestastronomical imaging and scientific data available, the sequenceconsists of a single, extended pull back where the camera lifts outof an aerial view of the Earth, travels through the Solar System,
SPY KIDS, Robert Rodriguez new espionage yarn, with primary visual effectsby Hybride Technologies, captured first place at the box office thisweekend, grossing $27.0 million. ENEMY AT THE GATES fell from fourth tosixth, grossing $5.3 million. The WWII sniper saga, with primary visualeffects by Das Werk, Die Nefzers, Double Negative, The Computer Film Companyand AudioMotion Ltd., has accumulated $34.2 million thus far. Dropping fromsixth to eighth was CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, which collected another
In a weekend with lackluster results at the box office, ENEMY AT THE GATES fell from second to fourth, grossing $8.4 million. The WWII sniper saga, with primary visual effects by Das Werk, Die Nefzers, Double Negative, The Computer Film Company and AudioMotion Ltd., has accumulated $26.2 million thus far. Staying in the sixth spot was CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON which collected another $4.62 million. The Oscar winner for best foreign film, with primary visual effects by Blue Sky Studios, CFC/MVFX and Manex Visual Effects, has amassed $106.26 million.
TriStar Pictures has announced that it will be putting the animated feature THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN into theaters for a limited release on May 11, 2001. Based on the novel by E.B. White, the film follows the adventures of Louie, a mute trumpeter swan who takes extraordinary steps to compensate for his lack of voice.
HANNIBAL held strong at the international box office with debuts of TRAFFIC topping charts in Australia and Italy. In France, however, HANNIBAL fended off the premiere of TRAFFIC, taking the top slot with a gross of US$3.17 million and raising its cume to $9.4 million. In second, TRAFFIC smuggled in $2.48 million. VERTICAL LIMIT climbed into the sixth spot, grossing $807,368, thus lifting its French total to $5.15 million. In the U.K., HANNIBAL hatched another $2.52 million in first, elevating its cume to $26.1 million.