THE SIMPSONS skipped into the top twenty with a 9.8 rating/15 share. Tying with Sunday's DATELINE in 58th, KING OF THE HILL scored a 6.2 rating/10 share. At #75, FUTURAMA forged a 4.9 rating/8 share. THE PJS tied a rerun of THE JAMIE FOXX SHOW for 101st place, garnering a 1.9 rating/3 share. After being preempted last week, UPN aired GARY & MIKE and CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH twice this past Friday. The special 9 pm GARY ranked 109th with a 1.3 rating/2 share. The 8:30 pm airing of DEATHMATCH sunk in a 1.2 rating/2 share in 112th place.
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In a battle for first, THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE and HANNIBAL went toe to toe in Sweden and the U.K., with the cannibalistic cringer taking a good chunk out of the rest of the international box office. In Sweden, HANNIBAL knocked GROOVE out of the top spot with a gross of $1.02 million. GROOVE grabbed second, grossing $456,488, thereby lifting its Swedish cume to $1.44 million. Jumping up a spot to #7, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON floated $107,750, pushing its Swedish cume to $1.23 million. In ninth, CAST AWAY rescued another $90,711, raising its Swedish cume to $2.36 million.
The CFO of Viacom, Fredric Reynolds, has decided to step down from his post. Fredric served at Westinghouse Electric Corp. when they purchased CBS, subsequently overseeing the purchase of CBS by Viacom. Reynolds is leaving the post for personal reasons, but will continue working for the New York-based company in some fashion out of the California offices. He will remain CFO until a replacement can be found. A Viacom spokeswoman said, "He wants to spend more time with his family in California, and it wasn't possible for the CFO to be in California."
Fred Lasswell, the cartoonist behind SNUFFY SMITH for the past 60 years, passed away on Sunday, March 4 at his home in Tampa, Florida. The cause of death was congestive heart failure. He was 84 years old. He continued to work on the SNUFFY strip up until his death, leaving behind 49 unpublished cartoons. In 1934, Lasswell became an assistant to cartoonist Billy DeBeck, creator of TAKE BARNEY GOOGLE, FOR INSTANCE and SNUFFY. Lasswell took over SNUFFY in 1942 after DeBeck's death. He would focus his career on the Smith character, a card-playing, moonshine-making hillbilly from Hootin' Holler.
* Thursday, April 12 Saturday, April 21, 2001. Toronto, Canada.
The Images Festival is an exhibition of artists' film, video and new media. The event searches out cutting-edge work from inventive filmmakers. For more information contact: Tel.: (416) 971-8405; E-mail: email@example.com; or Web: www.interlog.com/~images.
* Friday, April 13 Sunday, April 15, 2001. Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Fantasm 2001 is a leading multimedia science-fiction, fantasy, horror, art, film and gaming convention. Foundation Imaging's computer animation wizard, Mojo, will be on hand to discuss his work on the TV series BABYLON 5, STAR TREK: VOYAGER and STARSHIP TROOPERS. Visitors can bring their demo tapes and questions on how to break into the computer animation business. For more information contact Fantasm 2001 at Web: http://www.fantasm.org.
U.S. Manga is sailing the first installment of the HARLOCK SAGA onto video, March 6, 2001. Leiji Matsumoto, the creator of STAR BLAZERS, created the series. "Clash of the Space Pirates" begins the voyage of noble space pirate Captain Harlock to return the ancient gods' stolen gold before the universe spirals into chaos. Volume 2: "Wrath of the Gods" and the HARLOCK SAGA DVD will hit video stores on May 8, 2001. The DVD will feature a behind-the-scenes featurette, character sketches, interview with the creator and two language tracks English and Japanese with English subtitles.
With live-action comedy/adventure THE MEXICAN taking first, three-week champion HANNIBAL slipped to second with a gross of $10.05 million. The brain-eating adventure, with primary visual effects by Mill Film, has gobbled up $142.8 million. Warner Bros.' SEE SPOT RUN posted a third place debut. The gross-out family comedy took home $9.72 million. Holding its ground in fifth, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON floated another $4.91 million. The romantic fantasy, with primary visual effects by Blue Sky Studios, CFC/MVFX and Manex Visual Effects, has secured $88.66 million thus far.
* Monday, December 3 Saturday, December 8, 2001. St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Virgin Islands, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: August 31, 2001
* Thursday, April 5, 2001. Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
ASIFA-Colorado is presenting a discussion by Polish computer animator Zbigniew Dowgiello. He will screen excerpts from his computer animated film and discuss the ways in which computers empower today's artists' ideas and visions of the world and universe. The event will begin at 6:30 pm. For more information contact ASIFA-Colorado at: ASIFA-Colorado @ RMCAD, 6875 E. Evans Ave., Denver, Colorado 80224, U.S.A.; Tel.: (800) 888-ARTS or (303) 753-6046; Fax: (303) 759-4970; or E-mail: ASIFA-Colorado@rmcad.edu.
India-based Pentamedia Graphics has agreed to buy California-based movie production company Improvision for US$19.8 million in stock. Pentamedia first teamed with Improvision as co-production and distribution partners for the animated film SINBAD: BEYOND THE VEIL OF MISTS. Currently, a sequel to that 3D motion-capture film is in production. Improvision's purchase will "help strengthen Pentamedia's pre-production and post-production skills and also its distribution reach in the United States," the company said.
The 20th Brussels Cartoon and Animated Film Festival - Festival du dessin animé et du film d'animation handed out its top European awards. There were prizes only for national films, because the international official selection is non-competitive. Because Brussels is the capital of Belgium, a country with two separate language-based communities, there are, of course, two national Grand Prixs.
UGO Networks, an online entertainment community company, announced that it closed a new round of funding worth US$23 million. Lead investors were GRP and Missouri-based Gryphon Holdings II, LLP Inc. and their investment partners.
Adam Sandler's feature foray into animation has dropped the controversial name. Originally titled, WHITEY & DAVEY, the feature will be distributed through Columbia TriStar under the new name ADAM SANDLER'S 8 CRAZY NIGHTS. Production on the traditionally animated film is being done at Sandler's Toronto animation studio Meatball Animation. Called a "Hanukkah musical," the toon centers on Davey, a pro basketball executive, who befriends an old-fashioned coach named Whitey. The toon is set to hit theaters on December 14, 2001.
The Walt Disney Co. has purchased the rights to Winnie the Pooh for an amazing $350 million. Former rights holders Westminster School and the Garrick Club will receive $88 million each and the Royal Literary Society will gain $132 million. Disney first licensed the rights to Winnie in the 1960s and has been paying twice-yearly royalties to the owners. Disney will hold the copyright until it expires in 2026. The last relative of POOH creator A. A. Milne to hold a share in the copyright was Christopher Robin Milne.
Motion Theory designed, animated and finished three 30-second TV spots for Suzuki motorcycles, ATVs and street bikes. Creative director Mathew Cullen described the style of the spots as reminiscent of "vintage boxing posters." In the commercials, the use of animated stills of the vehicles make posters seem like they come to life. Once the footage was color timed the final compositing and onlining was done by Motion Theory.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. In this week's installment a new Bill Plympton Webtoon, THUGS ON FILM's 2nd Tosser Nominees, an interesting looking Yogi Bear short 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!"
Bugshop, a New York motion graphics and effects shop, has completed four spots for the Animal Planet imaging campaign, "Life is Better with Animals." Ross Shain, creative director at Bugshop, served as visual effect supervisor, compositor and designer. He completed seven composite shots and designed the endtags, which involved compositing exotic animals such as a mountain ram, mandrill and alligator on green screen to hide then reveal the Animal Planet logo and tagline stamped into the background.
Black Logic has added five 3D artists to its CG department. The new Black Logic CG staff members include: Scott Petill, senior animator; Sebastian Bilbao, technical director; Julio Soto and Andrew Dayton, CG artists; and Glenn Harper, visual effects animator. Prior to joining Black Logic, Petill was at Post Perfect and earlier at ad agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer. In addition, he has consulted with Pixar on their commercial software releases, and designed a library of 3D textures for broadcast and print applications. "Scott is a wizard with motion and light.
Nicolas Gorse has been appointed distribution director for France and French-speaking Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg for TBS Europe. Gorse will be responsible for the distribution of all three Turner channels, CNN International, Cartoon Network and TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Previously, Gorse served as development and marketing director of SOFIRAD. "Nicolas has an excellent knowledge of marketing and distribution, as well as of the various satellite platforms and their specific offerings in France.