AWN Headline News
TV-Loonland AG and AAC KIDS, Canadian media giant Alliance Atlantis kids label, have announced their acquisition of Neptuno Films new animated preschool series, CONNIE THE COW. The three firms will partner to transform the property into a global franchise, complete with TV, home video, DVD, merchandising, publishing and Internet projects. Created and directed by Josep Viciana, this series follows restless and curious Connie who lives on a farm with her nurturing mother, who always has now handy advice, and her father, a very strong yet tranquil bull.
France-based Infogrames has announced that it has gained the gaming rights to the TV animated series, MEN IN BLACK, PEANUTS and the live-action film and TV versions of LA FEMME NIKITA. In addition, Infogrames is also in talks to secure the license for TERMINATOR and MEN IN BLACK 2. The rumored bids for the TERMINATOR property are upwards of US$10 million. Games for the first two TERMINATOR films were created by video game producer Ocean, which Infogrames acquired in November 1996.
Warner Home Video has shuffled its management into new posts in light of increased revenues from the company's DVD sales. Sales executive John Quinn has been promoted to the new post of VP, supply chain management and logistics. The 15-year veteran of Warner Home Video will oversee all aspects of manufacturing, physical distribution, customer service, vendor management and inventory systems. Exec. VP of worldwide marketing and development, Thomas Lesinski has been raised to the new position of executive VP and general manager for the U.S. Lesinski joined Warner Home Video in 1993.
Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc. has announced the appointment of Robert Chmiel to the newly combined position of Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer. In this new position, Chmiel will help direct operations in executing the company's latest initiatives in music and advertising. In addition he will actively seek out further investors and move the firm into profitability. He joins Brilliant from Phase2Media Inc.
LocoMotion Studios, an Austin, Texas-based motion-capture service bureau, recently completed the Corona commercial "Perico" using the award-winning Vicon 8 optical motion-capture system. This 30-second commercial, created for Atomic Pictures in San Antonio, Texas, features several characters who emerge from water drops off the sides of a bottle of Corona and a keg of beer to create a festive environment that recreates a bar at a tropical resort. All of the dancing and acrobatic moves were captured using a 10-camera Vicon 8 motion-capture system.
Discreet has started shipping a new version of their real-time broadcasting graphics system frost. Along with other Discreet digital workflow solutions, frost has been used by eight major networks (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNNi, CNN Headline News, Fox News and ABC) for live-coverage graphics during the surprise developments in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election. Now, version 2.5 streamlines on-air graphics development and workflow even further.
Recently, Brilliant Digital Entertainment has launched their Multipath Digital Projector for the Macintosh. Brilliant also plans to integrate its Digital Projector technology into Apple's forthcoming QuickTime 5 player as a downloadable, integrated QuickTime component. "We believe that our ability to integrate the Digital Projector technology with the Mac platform will provide even greater creative options for artists, as well as compelling new media experiences for consumers," said Kevin Bermeister, president of Brilliant.
Kaydara Inc., a worldwide leader in real-time 3D/2D production systems for film, television, games and broadcasting, has announced that it has received an additional US$5 million in funding. The investment will support future product development and marketing strategies. Investissement Desjardins, a company known for its interest in fledgling technology companies, led this first round of investment.
A week after the Super Bowl cut its numbers greatly, THE SIMPSONS rebounded with an outstanding 27th place finish, garnering a 9.8 rating/15 share. KING OF THE HILL climbed into 59th place with a 6.4 rating/10 share. At #79, FUTURAMA beamed down a 4.9 rating/8 share. Lifting itself out of WB's ratings basement a little, THE PJS finished in the 106th slot with a 2 rating/3 share. However, UPN's GARY & MIKE sunk further into the cellar with a 1.6 rating/3 share. Its Friday night toon partner, CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH placed 121st, with the worst rating of the week for UPN, a 1.3 rating/2 share.
Around the globe, CAST AWAY remains at the top of the international box office. In Germany, CAST AWAY claimed the top spot with a gross of $4.99 million, lifting its three-week total to $17.74 million. In second, VERTICAL LIMIT made its German debut with a gross of $2.51 million. BEDAZZLED bewitched third place, grossing $1.88 million, raising its German cume to $3.09 million. In fifth, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON amazed audiences to the tune of $624,096, elevating its German cume to $1.88 million. At #6, UNBREAKABLE secured another $570,085, bringing its German cume to $12.52 million.
AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.
Realviz recently announced that it has completed a third round of financing worth 10 million euros (US$9.39 million). The money will help with the future development of the company and their products. This new fundraising will enable Realviz to finance their international expansion programme in the U.S.A., Europe and Asia, as well as to finance a new Internet solutions business unit.
Microsoft has signed a deal with Lego to create games for its upcoming next-generation console, Xbox. As part of the deal, Lego will also create online activities for the children's section on Microsoft's Websites. Financial terms were not released. In recent years, Lego has aggressively moved to leverage its multicolored interlocking building bricks franchise into new technology. Lego-produced CD-Roms have proven successful and Lego Mindstorms are high-tech robots that utilize microcomputers.
Irvine, California-based Interplay Entertainment has obtained the gaming rights to Warner Bros.' hot sci-fi property, THE MATRIX. No financial terms were released, but some analysts project them to be upwards of US$8 10 million. Laguna Beach, California-based Shiny Entertainment has already signed to develop at least one title from Interplay's license. The first game expected to hit shelves is a 3D third person action/adventure title for the PlayStation 2. The release of the game will most likely coincide with the theatrical release of the MATRIX sequel in winter 2002.
Internal tensions have risen at embattled German media firm EM.TV & Merchandising over whether or not to accept German mega-firm Kirch Group's proposed bail out. CEO Thomas Haffa, whose family owns 50% of EM.TV shares, has been reported to favor the Kirch deal. Rumors have suggested that he even asked supervisory board chairman, Nickolaus Becker, to step down from his post. Becker along with other members of the board favor a deal with U.S.
California SUN International Animation Festival
* Saturday, March 24, 2001. Northridge, California, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: February 25, 2001