Sony Corp. has announced that it's cutting its initial U.K. shipment of PlayStation 2 gaming consoles from 200,000 to 165,000 units. The cut-back is due to a computer chip shortage, which also led to Sony halving its originally projected 1 million unit shipment to the U.S. Arriving in the U.S. on October 26, the next generation console made an estimated $165 million in its first 72 hours of release. In addition, PlayStation 2 has sold approximately 3.5 million units in Japan since its release there in March.
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AtomFilms has signed a deal with Century Theatres to screen six short films before each feature showing at the newly opened CineArts 6 in Evanston, Illinois. This move is part of Atom's plan to spur other theater chains to start screening shorts. The screenings also provide eligibility for the short subjects to be nominated for the Oscar, which could gain even more exposure for Atom and its film library. Harry Warren, AtomFilms' VP of broadcast and theatrical distribution, said, "AtomFilms strives to provide the best exposure for its talented filmmakers.
Over the past week at the international box office, DreamWorks' WHAT LIES BENEATH and Miramax's SCARY MOVIE have fought it out for global wealth. In the U.K., WHAT LIES over took the top spot by grossing US$2.98 million, thus pushing its 3-week U.K. cume to $12.28 million. Dropping 64% in its fourth full week, DINOSAUR fell to fourth in the U.K., with a gross of $1.44 million, escalating its cume to $17.44 million. In seventh, THE LITTLE VAMPIRE grabbed $670,689, growing its U.K. cume to $4.52 million. In Australia, WHAT LIES BENEATH's debut claimed first place with a gross of $1.72 million.
On Saturday, November 11, 2000, ASIFA-Hollywood held their 28th annual Annie Award ceremony. This year's big winner was TOY STORY 2 with five awards, including the nod for outstanding theatrical feature. Emmy Award winners Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, the voices of the now infamous Warner Bros. duo Pinky and the Brain, hosted the ceremony. For television, MICKEY MOUSEWORKS and the special OLIVE, THE OTHER REINDEER both tied with two prizes each. In addition, last year's winner for outstanding primetime show, THE SIMPSONS, took home the award once again.
At this weekend's U.S. box office, CHARLIE'S ANGELS held back the debut of Adam Sandler's LITTLE NICKY, which has the comedian playing the Devil's son. ANGELS kicked in another US$24.61 million. The sexy super-agent flick, with primary visual effects by Flash Film Works, has seduced $75.01 million in just 10 days. LITTLE NICKY, with primary visual effects by VisionArt, Pixel Magic and Rhythm & Hues, had to settle for second with a gross of $16.06 million. Having its release date pushed from the heavy effects laden summer, Warner Bros.' RED PLANET still had a disappointing debut in fifth.
Cinanima 2000 finished its week of screenings with the presentation of its awards on Sunday, November 12, 2000. This year's grand prizewinner was Michel Dudok Wit's FATHER AND DAUGHTER, which also won the Alves Costa Award given by journalists at the festival. In two categories the international juries awarded ties. Paul Driessen's THE BOY WHO SAW THE ICEBERG and Florence Miailhe's AU PREMIERE DIMANCHE DAOUT both took the Class B Prize for best film between 7 and 21 minutes and Mark Van Der Maarel's THE PINBOARD and Vários' DADDY AND I took home the best first film award.
Pixar Animation Studios has started production on FINDING NEMO, its fifth CGI collaboration with Walt Disney Pictures. The studio described the film as an underwater adventure about a father who must find his kidnapped son. Andrew Stanton (co-director of "A Bug's Life") had been tapped to write and direct the project. The film is scheduled for a summer 2003 release, which would be the first for a Pixar 3D-animated picture. However, Disney's traditionally animated feature LILO & STICH is scheduled for release around the same time.
Imax has canceled plans to release DreamWorks' 3D feature SHREK on 150 giant screens. Apparently, increased costs associated with creative changes at DreamWorks have led to Imax abandoning the project. Last month, Imax's stock dropped 70% after the company reported an earnings loss warning for the quarter. This project originally looked like a promising financial boost for Imax (and the distribution of animation) after their big success with the release of FANTASIA/2000. SHREK is scheduled to arrive in regular theaters on May 18, 2001.
Walt Disney has added a new series, featuring Mickey Mouse and Disneys full roster of characters, entitled DISNEY'S HOUSE OF MOUSE to its 2001 ABC "Disneys One Saturday Morning" lineup. Roberts Gannaway and Tony Craig will executive produce DISNEY'S HOUSE OF MOUSE. The writer-animator team was responsible for returning Mickey Mouse to cartoon shorts with the 1999 premiere of DISNEYS MICKEY MOUSEWORKS, whose crew will mostly make up the talent on the new series.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. This week's installment features kudos to Stain Boy, a few early pokes at the U.S. election fiasco and much, much more.
Get your Web Animation Guide here!
Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Read Rick's Pick For Friday, November 3, 2000!
Germany-based Dosch Design has announced the release of several new texture collections, further expanding its highly successful line of 3D-animation stock CD-Roms. The most significant addition to the Dosch family of products is a three-bundle set of texture CD-Roms called Dosch Textures Complete. Each of the three bundles is targeted at a specific area of 3D. The first collection, "Character Design," contains animal and creature eyes, human eyes and skin textures. The "Architecture and Design" bundle contains construction materials, industrial-design and reflection-maps.
At Digital Media World in London, Toon Boom Technologies will release USAnimation Version 5's second service pack. In addition to bug fixes and general improvements, this service pack brings with it a number of new features. They include a New Line Texturing, which allows for different styles of line animation (like crayon, chalk, etc.) and in Sceneplanning, one can display all the keyboard shortcuts in an easy-to-use help menu. In addition, the pack offers a horizontal flipping of images, which means that one can now flip images horizontally when scanning.
Burbank, California-based Renegade Animation, which specializes in producing cel-animated television commercials, has launched a new service to provide cel-style animation for advertising on the Internet. As the service's first job, FMT Advertising, New York, has contracted Renegade to create an animated Internet cartoon series for its client BulkRegister.com. The series, consisting of five 90-second episodes, parodies "dot com" culture, while promoting BulkRegister.com's ability to register large quantities of domain names.
Das Werk, a leading German provider of digital processing services, announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire a majority stake in Glassworks, a London digital effects studio which combines 3D computer-generated imaging with high-end compositing and special effects. In purchasing a share of Glassworks, Das Werk will further expand its international portfolio of post-production facilities and gain a hold in the high-profile London advertising and music video market.
Aaronson Ltd. is seeking an EDITORIAL CARTOONIST for mid distribution start-up newspaper. . . Aileron, Inc. is looking for a CONTENT WRITER for a new Internet site focusing on cutting-edge cartooning technology. . . Sioux Falls, South Dakota's Animation Factory, a leading destination for animated clipart and media for Internet and multimedia presentations, is looking for 3D MODELERS/ANIMATORS. . . Aristocrat, a gaming software industry leader, is looking for a GAME DESIGNER, GRAPHIC ARTIST, SOUND ARTIST and VIDEO GRAPHIC ARTIST at their newest location in Tucson, Arizona. . .
Pierre Jacquier, who served as president of the Annecy Festival from 1977 to 1984, has passed away after a long illness. Jacquier was instrumental in the festival's growth and helped push the festival toward highlighting cutting-edge work in animation. Along with Nicole Salomon, Jacquier also helped establish the festival's market. In addition to his festival duties, he was a board member of the Annecy Town Council. AWN's Annick Teninge, former assistant director of Annecy, said, "I always admired his long-term vision, his dedication to the festival and his immense cultural appreciation.
November 14-16, 2000 the 7th annual London Effects & Animation Festival (LEAF) will once again showcase some of the best achievements of the past year in computer-generated animation and special effects...
The Holland festival will be held in Utrecht, November 15-19, 2000. Besides the official competition for Independent Short, Applied Animation and Student Films in Belgium & The Netherlands, this year the festival will offer a variety of retrospectives and special programs.
The 3rd International Student Animation Festival of Ottawa (SAFO) will be held October 18-21, 2001...
On Wednesday, November 22, 2000, TAIS is hosting two different shows of films from the Short Attention Span Film Festival. At 7:00 PM: a screening comprised of independent films under 2 min. in length, includes films by TAIS animators Mike Constable and Jonathan Amitay. At 9:00 PM: a screening featuring the greatest hits of the festival's eight-year run, also includes three of Mike Constable's animated shorts. Please note: mature content; admission restricted to ages 18+; each program contains about 40% animation.
Bill Plympton has updated his appearances page. In the upcoming months, his films will be appearing in various festivals and other events, including the Regensburg Short Film Week in Germany, November 17-25, 2000; Cinanima festival in Portugal, November 6-12, 2000; Puchon International Student Animation Festival, Korea, December 16-24, 2000; and the Animation Cinema Festival in Valencia, Spain, January 16-28, 2001.
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