After searching for theatrical distribution for quite awhile, the third installment of the CROW trilogy, THE CROW: SALVATION, will find a home on video. To be released January 23, 2001 by Dimension Films, the film stars Kirsten Dunst and continues the tortured tale of a man murdered, who returns from the dead to seek revenge on his killers. The new film is directed by Bharat Nalluri (KILLING TIME) and written by THE CROW comic book author, James O'Barr, and Chip Johannessen (TV's MILLENNIUM).
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The popular syndicated series, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, will finish its six-season long run on television at the end of this season. Producer Studios USA made the announcement on Monday, October 16, 2000 that they were pulling the plug on the series after it finishes its summer run. The reasoning behind the show's cancellation was its declining ratings, which were due to the series being pulled from primetime slots on the WB and UPN. XENA's ratings for the 1999-2000 season were 3.4 down from its peak in the 1996-1997 season when it averaged a 5.7.
The Golden Globe winner for best comedy/musical, TOY STORY 2, will be riding onto video and DVD on October 17, 2000. The sequel to the 1995 blockbuster continues the story of Woody and Buzz with Woody getting kidnapped by a money-grubbing toy collector. The TOY STORY 2 DVD will feature a widescreen version, outtakes, French language track, a sneak peek at Pixar's next film MONSTERS, INC. and the Oscar-nominated short film LUXO JR. Walt Disney Home Video will also be offering a TOY STORY DVD 2-Pack featuring the original movie.
Mindfire Entertainment and Sega are set to transform the top-selling video game and arcade series THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD into a feature length film. THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD feature will follow the game's plot, where genetic research leads to the creation of zombies, which threaten Earth's future. The movie is being penned by Dave Parker and Mark Altman and will be produced by Mindfire Millennium, a division of Mindfire Entertainment set-up to turn games and comics into features and TV series.
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With WHAT LIES BENEATH slowly sinking, THE X-MEN have claimed debut victories around the globe. In Spain, the mighty mutants premiered in first with a gross of US$2.02 million. In its second week in Spain, THE CELL fell to third, grossing $997,797 thus elevating its cume to $2.02 million. Dropping 46%, HOLLOW MAN placed sixth with a gross of $381,275, lifting its Spanish cume to $8.86 million. In eighth, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS fell a humongous 52%, grossing $315,201 and raising its Spanish cume to $1.65 million.
On Monday, October 16, 2000, Z.com, an Internet comedy content site, laid off 50 workers -- half of its staff. However, the Webcaster has secured additional financing to keep it operating until at least next spring. The company's major backers include Internet incubator Idealab, Basic Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Maverick Records partner Guy Oseary. "It's a tough time," Z.com CEO Joe DiNunzio told THE DAILY VARIETY. "Today's a very challenging day to have to let some really talented people go, but it's in the best interest of the company.
In February, Warner Bros. will start shooting their live-action adaptation of SCOOBY-DOO. Raja Gosnell, director of HOME ALONE 3 and the Drew Barrymore comedy NEVER BEEN KISSED, will direct the film from a script by James Gunn, with Chuck Roven producing. The picture will shoot in Australia and no cast has been announced. The story will feature the gang of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby, but no specific plot summary has been release.
* Wednesday, October 25, 2000. Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Yuri Norstein is coming to Georgetown University. Norstein will talk about his life and work, in a program called "Animation & Me." The event is being sponsored by the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. The event is free to the public and will take place from noon to 2 pm. For information call Astrik Teni at Georgetown University (202) 687-5576.
* Wednesday, November 8 Friday, November 10, 2000. Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
The ANIMATION MAGAZINE Animation Business Marketplace is dedicated to expanding opportunities for professionals working in animation and new media. The conference will have presentations to explain the art, technologies and challenges confronting the industry today. The event gives visitors a chance to interact with other people working in the booming sector of new media and animation. For more information contact John Tidwell at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slipping from second to fourth, THE EXORCIST still scared up more money than the debut of DIGIMON: THE MOVIE. The horror classic, with digital clean-up by Pacific Title Digital, possessed another US$4.44 million, levitating its reissue cume to $23.94 million. 20th Century Foxs DIGIMON: THE MOVIEs premiere placed an unimpressive fifth, grossing $4.23 million. With a gross of $3.72 million, ALMOST FAMOUS fell three slots to finish sixth. The 1970s coming-of-age tale, with primary visual effects by Manex and Pacific Title Digital, has pushed its cume over the $23.26 million mark.
The WB Network's Kids' WB! has ordered 13 additional episodes of its new cartoon series JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES from Sony Pictures Family Entertainment. Since its debut on September 9, 2000 the toon has led its time slot among the major networks in the kids 2-11 demographic. In addition, the series is the second ranked Kids' WB! series only behind POKEMON. Kids WB! senior VP Donna Friedman said, "We are thrilled that JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES has proven to be a breakout hit we knew it would be.
Disney vice chairman Sanford "Sandy" Litvack has decided to leave the company at years end. The move has been long rumored since the very public fight in court between Disney and former Disney executive and now DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Apparently, the feud weighed a great deal on Litvack. Disney chairman Michael Eisner said, "I regret Sandys decision, but I accept it and respect his desire to pursue new ventures." Litvack did not announce any specific new business plans.
Director of the original TRON, Steven Lisberger, has said that he is in the early stages of developing TRON 2.0 for Disney. Apparently, two scripts have been written for the sequel one by Lisberger and one by Richard Jeffries, who penned the unproduced screen adaptation of Marvel Comics, SILVER SURFER. Lisberger said, "Its been an interesting experience for me, certainly, to go back to that film after 20 years and really study it and see what it was about from this perspective. I learned a lot about my own film.
* Tuesday, October 24, 2000. Rockville, Maryland, U.S.A.
Yuri Norstein will be presenting videos of his work, discussing his current projects and answering questions from the audience. The event will be in Russian and admission is US$10. The proceeds will go toward the completion of his work-in-progress THE OVERCOAT. The event will take place from 7 - 9 pm. For information call the Jewish Community Center at (301) 881-0100 (in English) or (301) 230-3728 (in Russian).
With live-action films MEET THE PARENTS and REMEMBER THE TITANS reclaiming their first and second spots respectively, the debut of New Lines LOST SOULS only managed to place third. The anti-Christ adventure, with primary visual effects by Cinesite, grossed US$7.95 million. The reissue of THE EXORCIST slipped to sixth with a gross of $5.24 million. The horror classic, with digital clean-up by Pacific Title Digital, has scared up $30.53 million thus far. When the dust cleared, ALMOST FAMOUS edged out live-action mockumentary, BEST IN SHOW, to claim ninth place, grossing $2.19 million.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. This week's installment features toons from Tom Snyder, Corky Quakenbush 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, October 6, 2000!
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
AWN is pleased to announce the additions of Tony White, Kyle Clark, Michael Ford, Larry Lauria and Chris Robinson as hosts of new AWN Discussion Forums. Launched within the Community Center section of our parent company Website, CreativePlanet.com, these new forums give you direct access to an unparalleled group of animation industry experts. Don't be shy! Do you have questions about animation techniques, styles, tools? Have an opinion about a particular animated feature or series? Check out this forum lineup!