AWN Headline News
For the week ending May 21, GLADIATOR still reigned in the U.K. and Australia and conquered new territory in Italy. By more than doubling the debut of FINAL DESTINATION, the DreamWorks colossal hit grossed another US$5.11 million in the U.K. The world champ has garnered $13.96 million on the British Isle. More than tripling the second placed newcomer ROMEO MUST DIE, the Roman ruler grossed $3.32 million in Australia, raising its cume in that country to $7.79 million. In its Italian premiere, the maker of Maximus coin landed $1.89 million.
Proving the further back in history movies go the more money they make, Disneys DINOSAUR stepped over the two week champion GLADIATOR. The nine-digit price-tagged prehistoric epic grossed US$38.85 million. DreamWorks GLADIATOR dazzled audiences to the tune of another $19.75 million. The Roman romp in only three weeks of release has made a total of $103.1 million. Slipping a spot to #4, U-571 grossed an additional $4.64 million. The Universal U-boat adventure has made $64.39 million thus far in the U.S. New Lines FREQUENCY dropped to 5th place making $4.34 million.
The former owners of Cinars subsidiary, HighReach Learning, Inc., have filed a lawsuit against the parent company to recover alleged losses related to a stock purchase agreement concluded with Cinar as part of the purchase price of HighReach in 1998. The complaint contains allegations that Cinar is liable for losses in stock due to the ongoing investigation into their alleged fraudulent actions. "These legal proceedings pertain to circumstances surrounding the stock purchase agreement negotiated between Cinar and the former owners of HighReach Learning in 1998.
On Friday, May 19, 2000, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences bestowed the honor of outstanding childrens animated program on STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS: PINKY, ELMYRA AND THE BRAIN. The toons left in their wake were ARTHUR, DISNEYS DOUG, MAURICE SENDAKS LITTLE BEAR and THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES. SESAME STREET beat out BLUES CLUES in the category of outstanding pre-school series. Other animated winners were given out on Saturday, May 13 at the technical achievement ceremony. ROLIE POLIE OLIE won the award for outstanding special class animated program.
The Harvey Entertainment Company announced that its first quarter income has improved nearly 25% over last years results. Net operating revenues improved to US$882,000 in the first quarter of 2000, compared to $562,000 in 1999. Harvey saw a reduced loss from operations of $598,000 in the first quarter of 2000, compared to a loss of $2,412,000 a year ago. These figures do not include the CASPER owners recent purchase of PM Entertainment.
Pokemon has caught new deals with several eastern European countries and renewals from around the rest of the continent. New locations of Pokemon infestation include Polsat in Poland, RTL-Klub in Hungary, Nova in Czech Republic, ETV in South Africa and Fox Kids Scandinavia Satelite service. The countries that renewed the second seasons 52-episodes were TV2 in Denmark, TV2 in Norway, TV4 in Sweden, Star Channel in Greece and RTL in Belgium.
VanHook Studios, a Hollywood-based effects and animation house, has ventured into cyberspace with a new episodic program for whatsonweb.com. VanHook has worked on the visual effects for such features as MY FAVORITE MARTIAN and 13TH WARRIOR and TV series ALLY MCBEAL, ZENA, HERCULES and MAX STEEL. The first series to hit whatsonweb.com will be the fantasy series KIRA: THE CURSED, staring adult film star Kylie Ireland. "Kylie is a great choice for us. Not only is she a wonderful actress, with great screen presence she also has an enormous and incredibly loyal fanbase.
In addition to the official competition, the Ottawa International
Animation Festival (September 19-24, 2000) will present a number of
retrospectives, tributes, special screenings and feature films. The
tentative program is as follows: thematic programs on computer
animation and jazz in animation; studio spotlight on Pacific Data
Images and Bermuda Shorts; tributes to Yvonne Andersen (who will
serve as the Honorary President for Ottawa 00), Spike and Mike's
Time Warner chairman, Gerald Levin, announced that the company has reached a "agreement in principle" with Disney about the carrying of Disney cable stations on Time Warner operating systems. The recent dispute over the price Time Warner would pay for the cable networks led to Time Warner aggressively pulling ABC from its cable system. This action quickly drew heat from regulators and the public, who had service interrupted during sweeps week specials of WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONARE?
The 8th Holland Animation Film Festival will be held November 15-19,
2000 in Utrecht, Netherlands. Besides the international competition
for applied animation and student films from the Netherlands, Belgium
and Luxembourg, this year the festival will present an international
competition for independent animation. The competition is divided
into two separate categories: one for narrative films and one for
non-narrative films. In both categories a Grand Prix will be awarded.
TAIS member Cathy Schmidt will be giving a demonstration of Flash
Animation on Thursday, May 25, 2000 at 7:30 p.m. at the InterAccess
Electronic Media Arts Centre, in Toronto, Canada. Admission is free
for TAIS members, everyone else CA$10.00. Seating is limited and
participants must register by sending an e-mail to Cathy at
firstname.lastname@example.org. TAIS also presents "Timing For Animation" with
Greg Duffell. The event will take place on June 7, 2000 at 8:00 p.m
Visual Magic Magazine, AWN's 3D animation and digital effects online
magazine, has posted a new article...
May means "Recruiting & Jobs" at Animation World Magazine. Check out
these special feature articles:
- Tom Sito, M.P.S.C. 839 President, Answers The Tough Questions
With all the hubbub recently in Los Angeles about artists being out
of work, runaway productions and the well attended PBS affiliate
station picket, Heather Kenyon sat down with Tom Sito to talk...
- Picketing In Front of PBS! Just Blame It On Canada?
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
Test your skills and challenge your brain with AWN's
Quiz. This week, we're asking questions about stop-motion and puppet
animators. Which English puppet animator was replaced by computer
animation folks on Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!?" Which Czech animator
began drawing films but ended up working with puppets? Which video
did Disney recall because a cameraman had inserted a few frames of a
This volume provides a survey of films made at Joonisfilm Studio
since Estonia's independence. Included: "Viola" (Grand Prize, 2000
Nordic and Baltic Animation Festival), "On the Possibility of Love"
(Grand Prize, Brisbane Animation Festival), "Bermuda" (Director's
Prize, Ottawa International Student Animation Festival), "Birthday,"
"Departure," "Gravitation," "Jaagup and Death," and two Estonian
films made at Finland's Turku Arts Academy: "Cappuccino" and
Creative Planet, AWN's parent company, has launched the beta version
of the new CreativePlanet.com, a cutting-edge portal for
entertainment industry professionals...
Special effects facility Digital Domain has promoted Senior VP C. Bradley Call to head of business development and chief administrative officer and Yvette Macaluso to VP finance. As the company's new #2 man, Call will continue as general counsel, but will help expand Digital Domain's feature development arm. Call will now head the effects houses human resources and purchasing departments. With the company from its inception 7 years ago, Maculas has managed the finance and accounting departments.
IPnetwork.com is one of the 100 most influential companies on the
Internet who will join forces with the most influential people in
animation at the World Animation Celebration...
Former TriStar Pictures chairman Mike Medavoy has joined the board of directors of Film Roman. The current head of Phoenix Pictures, Medavoy becomes the sixth member of Film Roman's board. Film Roman president John Hyde said Medavoy's appointment would serve to "complement" the company's business plan rather than change it. Film Roman, which produces animation for TV (SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL), expanded its operations in 1998 to include limited development and production of feature-length films and recently increased its commercial output.