FUNimation Ent. and Sabella Dern Ent. announced today (March 2, 2006) the launch of FUNimation Films, a monthly initiative that will bring top-rated anime features and series premiers to movie theaters across the U.S. Set to launch on March 17, 2006, in select Landmark theaters, moviegoers will be treated to a special showing of the DRAGON BALL Z feature, THE RETURN OF COOLER, followed by the main event the U.S. premiere of the DRAGON BALL Z movie, FUSION REBORN.
FUNimation Films was developed with The Bigger Picture, a subsidiary of Sabella Dern Ent.
"Anime is a growing entertainment segment in the United States and we want to give anime fans a place they can go each month to see the top anime titles in the United States on the big screen," explained Gen Fukunaga, president of FUNimation Ent. "The Bigger Picture's digital distribution network provides access to theatres throughout the country and is a great fit for FUNimation Films."
"Our partnership with FUNimation for new anime in theaters will help bring anime even more into the mainstream," added Jonathan Dern, co-ceo of The Bigger Picture, "while the communal nature of the in-theater experience is much like that of a fan convention."
The Bigger Picture specializes in the digital distribution of films targeted to underserved audiences during "off-peak" hours. This release program provides fans with an opportunity to enjoy new movies on the big screen on a regular basis.
"The theatrical exhibition community has embraced the Bigger Picture's slate of targeted content, as it provides them with a guaranteed supply of films with a built-in fan base" said Greg Rutkowski, co-ceo of The Bigger Picture.
In April, FUNimation Films will give fans a chance to preview the upcoming Basilisk series. Basilisk is a beautifully crafted ninja-horror-action series from the acclaimed Studio Gonzo. May features a preview of another Gonzo creation, TRINITY BLOOD. TRINITY BLOOD is a post-apocalyptic vampire action and conspiracy series that creates a unique visual palette by combining futuristic fantasy and gothic fashion.
FUNimation Films will be available in Landmark theaters in the Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. markets. More theater chains and theaters will be added each week. Fans can find out where they can watch FUNimation Films in their area on the FUNimation Films website (www.funimationfilms.com). A database is being created and fans can search by zip code for the nearest theater featuring FUNimation Films.
Sabella Dern Ent. (www.sdentertainment.net) is a property creation and animation studio that develops, enhances and re-brands global intellectual properties. The company has formed two theatrical distribution subsidiaries specializing in digital exhibition The Bigger Picture, a subsidiary releasing targeted content to theatrical audiences (www.thebiggerpicture.us); and KidToon Films (www.kidtoonfilms.com), a leader in the distribution of G-rated matinee movies for kids and families at theaters throughout the country.
Fort Worth, Texas-based Funimation (www.funimation.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corp., is a leading brand management company for anime content and one of the nation's largest independent home video entertainment companies. The company is best known for creating the blockbuster franchise DRAGONBALL Z in the U.S. The company's most recent initiative is the FUNimation Channel(SM), a new, 24-hour digital network featuring programming from the top anime brands in the U.S.