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Million Headline News

Star Wars Sinks British Publisher

London-based publisher Dorling Kindersley has lost US$40 million on the book adaptation of STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE. The educational and CD-Rom publisher had 13 million of the STAR WARS books printed for last holiday season and sold fewer than 3 million copies. After the initial news was released earlier this year, shares plummeted 40% and CEO James Middlehurst resigned. Chairman and 30% shareholder Peter Kindersley has taken over the head position. An unnamed worker told the LONDON DAILY EXPRESS that founder Kindersley has "fallen victim to a terrible error of judgment." Mr.

Headline News

Wolfmill's Elfquest With Living Toys

Wolfmill Entertainment has signed a worldwide licensing deal with Living Toyz for a line of action figures based on Wolfmill's upcoming CGI animated feature film ELFQUEST. The fantasy-action film follows the journey of Cutter, a young elven chief, and his tribe across a hostile world to find a safe refuge. Before the theatrical release of ELFQUEST, Los Angeles-based Living Toyz will produce several sets of action figures based on the original ELFQUEST comic book designs by Warp Graphics.

Story Headline News

Toy Story 2 Scores Mucho Yen In Japan

Over the weekend beginning Friday, March 10, 2000, TOY STORY 2 made history in Japan by grossing US$3.8 million on only 364 screens to become the biggest opening for a U.S. animated film in Japan and finishing #1 at the box office. The Buena Vista International release crushed the old record set by Disney's THE LION KING by nearly 80%. Woody and Buzz more than doubled this weekend's debut of the 21st installment of the Japanese animated feature series, DORAEMON.

Million Headline News

Missions To Mars Lands At #1

With bad reviews a side Buena Vista's MISSION TO MARS finished #1 at the U.S. box office. Serving as the closest thing to an event flick currently in U.S. theatres, MISSION TO MARS became the third highest March debut in U.S. history. The space spectacle, with primary special effects by ILM and Dream Quest Images, grossed US$22.9 million in its first weekend. Finishing in second place in its opening weekend was THE NINTH GATE, with primary special effects by Sony Imageworks and Mikros Image. Teaming Roman Polanski and the Devil once again, the film released by Artisan grossed $6.6 million.

India Headline News

India Reincarnates Dead Stars

In Chennai, India, Penta Media, 3D Max Media and Hewlett Packard have announced plans to produce a film, STARWAY, which will star two deceased Indian actors, brought back to life through CGI. The TIMES OF INDIA reported that no decision has been made on which stars would be reincarnated as themselves. In regards to ethical concerns, the newspaper published a comment from S. Rangarajan, director of special effects at Media Dreams: "This mixing of the real and unreal has a dangerous dimension.

Headline News

Heavenly Ratings, Devilish Reviews For God

The new NBC animated series, GOD THE DEVIL AND BOB, received heavenly ratings in spite of the devilish controversy surrounding the sitcom. After being axed or shifted by a total of nine NBC affiliates due to religious concerns, GOD, THE DEVIL AND BOB garnered time slot-winning scores of 14.42 million viewers, a 7.3/19 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.0/23 in adults 18-34. However, the show's premiere, positioned between the network's top shows FRIENDS and FRASIER, lost about 30% of the viewers from its FRIENDS lead-in.

Series Headline News

Max Steel Ratings Solid

The new animated series MAX STEEL premiered at #1 for its rating slot. The new CGI series scored a 7.6 rating/24 share, finishing #1 with Boys 6-11 against all of its Saturday morning competition. The show also garnered Kids WB! a #1 rating with teens for the first time since May of 1999. The series, set in the fictitious, futuristic city of Del Oro Bay, centers around Max Steel, a young secret agent pitted against the evil plots of the mercenary organization, DREAD.

Software Headline News

DEN Summons Sim As Head Of Digital Programming

DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK, INC. (DEN), an on-line network targeting Generation Y, announced the appointment of MORRIS SIM as head of digital programming. Formerly with Microsoft, Sim held a variety of top-level managerial positions, supervising entire teams of programmers and designers for Microsoft's extensive line of consumer software. During his seven-year tour-of-duty, Sim was a key player in the development and design of some of Microsoft's top software products, like Access, VisualFoxPro, Visual Basic, Microsoft Works, Home Suite and Microsoft Office.

Headline News

Live-Action Tomb Raider Lead

Oscar nominee Angelina Jolie is in final discussions to play buxom cyber-hero Lara Croft in TOMB RAIDER, a live-action feature based on the mega-hit video game. The Paramount project is set to begin production this summer, with director Simon West (CON AIR, THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER). Jolie is up for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for GIRL, INTERRUPTED, a film for which she has already won the Golden Globe. Known for playing wild and tough women, Jolie's star is on the rise and can easily play Croft, who is described as a female Indiana Jones.

Marvel Headline News

Daredevil & Spider-Man Directors

Mark Steven Johnson is in talks to pen and direct DAREDEVIL, the live-action adaptation of the Marvel Comics superhero franchise. The project originally started at Fox where directors such as Chris Columbus and Carlo Carlei developed the production. Now based out of Columbia Pictures, comic fan Johnson will breathe life into the story of the blind lawyer who uses his other, heightened senses to fight for justice. Marvel moved DAREDEVIL from Fox, because the studio is already busy putting together the Marvel titles X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR and SILVER SURFER.

Headline News

Planet Of The Apes Gothic Director

Tim Burton is going ape over the chance to remake 20th Century Fox's 1968 sci-fi classic PLANET OF THE APES. If the final negotiations finish as planned, Burton could be helming Fox's big picture for summer 2001. Rumors have attached names like Oliver Stone, Chris Columbus, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the project. In development since 1993 (longer than it took to make the original and four sequels), Bill Broyles has written the newest and hopefully final version of the new APE flick.

Series Headline News

Toy Story's Buzz On TV

A new television series based on TOY STORY's Buzz Lightyear character will be coming to ABC and UPN in October. Walt Disney Television Animation is producing 65 episodes of BUZZ LIGHTYEAR OF STAR COMMAND -- 52 for UPN's "Disney's One Too" and 13 for ABC's Saturday morning lineup. Pixar will produce the CGI opening, but the series itself will be traditional 2D animation. Taking on voice duties as Buzz will be SEINFELD's Patrick Warburton, who's also starring in the live-action THE TICK series.

Shows Headline News

Snoopy Cursing Like The South Park Kids?

"They'll end up being like SOUTH PARK or something like that," said Charles Schulz's son Monte regarding the future of his father's PEANUTS comic strip, in an Associated Press article by Mary Ann Lickteig. Before Schulz's death, he strictly left instructions that nobody else could draw THE PEANUTS strip and the animated shows must end. In regards to honoring their father's wishes, Schulz's children's concern centers around United Media, who holds the copyrights on the PEANUTS characters.

Series Headline News

Creator Smith Steaming Over Clerks' Future

Director Kevin Smith is steaming over the treatment ABC has given his new animated series version of his cult-classic film CLERKS. After Disney owned ABC pushed back the premiere of the new series to May 31, 2000, Smith said the summer release date "almost ensures the show's failure" due to the traditionally low TV ratings of the summer months.

Channel Headline News

New Nursery Net Hops Into Homes In Israel

Recently, Gold Zebra Communications launched its new preschool network Hop! The Israeli Nursery Channel. The net airs daily from 6 am to 7 pm catering toward the youngest viewers. The completely non-violent content has been acquired from producers in Europe and the States. Recently, Hop! appeared at the Monte Carlo Television Market to promote and attach new content for the fledgling channel. For more information contact Gold Zebra Communications Ltd. at: 7 Harugei Malchut St. Tel-Aviv 69714 Isreal; Tel.: ++972-3-649-6228; Fax: ++972-3-649-6229; or E-mail: zebracom@internet-zahav.net.

Headline News

Stuart Little II Writer Named

The writer behind GHOST and DEEP IMPACT will be writing the second installment of STUART LITTLE. Bruce Joel Rubin will have to be typing like a madman to meet the proposed Christmas 2001 release date for the STUART sequel. The star of the first picture, Geena Davis, is reportedly committed to STUART II, but it is yet unknown if director Rob Minkoff will return. However, the current US$136.9 million at the U.S. box office might be a convincing enough number to lure him.

Animation Headline News

Bardel Brings Silverwing To The Big Screen

Bardel Animation Limited has secured the rights to bring the young adult adventure SILVERWING to the big screen. SILVERWING, a novel by Ken Oppel, follows the coming-of-age tale of Shade, who is in search for his father. The book has sold more than 250,000 copies internationally and still remains on the bestsellers' list two years after its initial publication. Ken Oppel will help develop the story with Bardel Animation.

Animation Headline News

A Closer Look: Are Schools Selling Out?

Two weeks ago, AtomFilms announced that it has locked the first-ever,

exclusive, on-line distribution deal with the University of Southern

California (USC) School of Cinema-Television to broadcast student

films from the illustrious film school's catalog, giving USC students

a worldwide public venue for showcasing their work. As part of the

deal, for the next 18 months, USC will provide AtomFilms with

exclusive on-line distribution rights to 100 student titles which

Software Headline News

New Jobs: Animators, Digital Artists and Tech Support/Producion Management

Dream Theater is seeking an ART DIRECTOR to work on the creation of

concepts, presentation materials and the refinement of design

directions in production. . . Hammerhead Productions is looking for

SENIOR ANIMATORS 2D/3D/TD for feature film visual effects. . . San

Francisco, California-based Attik is looking for a SENIOR ANIMATOR. .

. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico post-production house PubliK is looking for

a creative 3D SGI ANIMATOR. . . The Chimney Pot (Sweden) is seeking a

Headline News

Ottawa 2000 Presents Selection and Jury Members

The Ottawa 2000 Independent Film Competition will be selected by

festival organizers. The Commissioned Films Competition will be

selected by Curtis Crawford (Canada), Chris Landreth (US), Pjotr

Sapegin (Russia) and Andrei Svislotski (Russia). The Ottawa 00

International Jury will be comprised of Suzanne Gervais (Canada),

Wendy Jackson Hall (US), John Hays (US), Priit Parn (Estonia) and Jin

Guo Ping (China). Jury member bios are now available on the festival

Animation Headline News

FPS Celebrates British Columbia Animation

FPS magazine

has posted another article in its new Festival Review

section. In "The Celebration of BC Animation," Leslie Bishko reviews

the event which presented an impressive 25-year retrospective of

independent animation in Vancouver last October.

You can subscribe to FPS and all your favorite animation publications

directly from the Internet 24 hours a day! Available in AWN's

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