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AWN Headline News
The first two-hour installment of the Sci-Fi Channel's mini-series FRANK HERBERT'S DUNE broke the network's ratings records. The Sunday, December 3 9 pm broadcast scored a 4.6 rating and reached 3.06 million households. The final two installments aired on Monday and Tuesday at 9 pm. The previous record was set in June with the premiere of Sci-Fi's THE INVISIBLE MAN, which garnered a 2.4 rating in cable homes, reaching 1.534 million households. Sci-Fi has signed John Harrison, the writer-director of the first six-hour mini-series, to write and direct a sequel.
Around the world, moviegoers are being swept up in the sexy, high-kicking, MATRIX-like action of CHARLIE'S ANGELS. The television redux made its nod in the U.K. with an outstanding gross of US$6.74 million. In its sixth week in Britain, WHAT LIES BENEATH sunk to second, grossing $1.12 million, thus escalating its cume to $17.41 million. In fourth, BEDAZZLED possessed another $680,873, lifting its U.K. cume to $4.21 million. PITCH BLACK turned up in fifth, grossing $572,299, thereby pushing its U.K. cume to $3.64 million.
Fox's THE SIMPSONS scored increased numbers this past week with a 9 rating/13 share in a five way tie for 28th place. Specials ruled the animated field with CBS' broadcast of the Rankin/Bass classics FROSTY THE SNOWMAN and FROSTY RETURNS. The December 3 8 pm airing of FROSTY THE SNOWMAN garnered a 5.9 rating/11 share with the 8:30 follow-up broadcast of FROSTY RETURNS also pulling a 5.9 rating but with a 10 share. ABC's Sunday night animated specials were close behind with the 7:30 broadcast of TANGERINE BEAR: HOME IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS receiving a 5.8 rating/9 share.
Pulse Entertainment announced last week that they are developing a Pulse Exporter for Maya. This would allow Alias|Wavefront users to export interactive, real-time 3D animation created using the Maya platform directly into Pulse and onto the Web.
Animation house Film Roman has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to keep the company's stock traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. On November 28, 2000, Nasdaq notified Film Roman that it no longer met the minimum price to keep its listing on the Nasdaq Small Cap Exchange. Regulations say that if a stock price slips below US$1 per share for more than 30 days it risks being pulled from the market. Film Roman will defend its stance that its stock should continue to be traded at a hearing on December 19. At Monday's close, Film Roman stock was priced at $.56 per share.
Based on the graphic novel and TV series, CITY HUNTER: SECRET SERVICE is coming to VHS on December 5, 2000. This new 90-minute adventure has the savvy agent Joe Saeba hunting more assassins and chasing more women. The dubbed version of the film will retail for US$19.98.
Volumes 5 and 6 of the MONSTER RANCHERS TV series are hitting video stores across America on December 5, 2000. In volume 5 "Moo Attacks!," Genki and friends with the help of some dragons set out to rescue Holly after she is kidnapped by Moo. In volume 6 "Big Baddies & Brave Buddies," Genki and gang must navigate some choppy seas and get cornered in a city rune by unruly robots. Each volume contains three episodes and volumes 1-4 are currently available. The dubbed VHS tapes retail for US$9.99 each.
MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO Volume 7 "Contact!" is coming to video on December 5, 2000. The adventures continue with a Jovian spy infiltrating the spaceship Nadesico while Earth's network of alliances begins to crumble. Like the other volumes in the series, ADV Films will release an English-dubbed edition for US$19.98 and English-subtitled version for $29.95.
ADV Films will be heating up homes for the holidays with the fourth volume of the SAKURA DIARIES. When Urara plans her life around her boyfriend, Tomoe, her relationship with her cousin Touma becomes very strained. The rating of this series is 17 years +. Volume 4 will hit stores on December 5, 2000. All four English-dubbed volumes retail for US$19.98 each.
All five episodes of the erotic anime series, NIGHTMARE CAMPUS, are coming to DVD on December 5, 2000. The series was created by Toshiro Maeda, creator of UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND and LA BLUE GIRL. The series chronicles 19-year-old Masao's fight to save the world when a bloody sacrificial rite opens the gates of Hell. The DVD features: a "meet the cast" section; yearbook; promos; parental control features; interactive chapter stops; and three language tracks in English, Japanese and Japanese with English-subtitles.
Click 3X, a digital commercial studio, has added award-winning effects veteran Glen Bennett to their Los Angeles team. Bennett, who has worked in video and digital effects since 1986, was a pioneer in the use of Discreet Logic's Flame* software, winning a Monitor Award for Best Special Effects in 1995 for the Guinness "Enigma" spot directed by Michael Hausseman. He received the 1998 MVPA Award for Best Visual FX for his work on 311's music video "Transistor" directed by Jay Papke. Click 3X VP, executive producer Phyllis Nix said, "What can I say?
Fox 2000 has brought Ron "Gustin" Parker in to write the action-comedy-mystery feature script for THE HARDY MEN. The story will feature grown-up feuding Hardy Boys, who must re-team to save their kidnapped father. The original idea for the project came to Fox four years ago by writer Michael Sargent. Parker, who has sold his scripts TYPHOID HARRY to Paramount Pictures and IMAGING NATHAN to Universal Pictures, will do a complete rewrite of the original Sargent script.
Without any major new releases in U.S. theaters, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS grabbed the top spot once again. The cartoon redux, with primary visual effects by Digital Domain, grossed another US$27.1 million, climbing its total take at U.S. box offices to a whopping $172 million. The rest of the top five also remained the same, with UNBREAKABLE collecting $14.44 million in second. The superhero drama, with primary visual effects by The Secret Lab and TSL, has a cume of $66.35 million thus far. 102 DALMATIANS was spotted in third, with a gross of $8.3 million.
Oxygen Media, the year-old television/Internet media company dedicated to programming for women, has received a hefty investment of US$100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures. Allen's investment firm was an early fund supplier to the fledgling network. The channel has struggled since its inception to find major cable systems to carry its programming. Oxygen was founded by Gerry Laybourne, the former president of Nickelodeon, who helped build the children's network into one of the top rated cable channels in the U.S. and around the world.
EM.TV & Merchandising has announced a profit warning for its year-end report. The German children's production and merchandising firm will miss the mark by DM475 (US$214 million) the company said. EM.TV said earnings before interest and tax will be DM50 million ($22.5 million) instead of DM525 million-600 million ($236 million-$269 million) originally thought. The company also said that their 2000 revenue will be decreased 2.7% from last year's revenue of DM1.38 billion ($621 million).
Creative Planet, Inc., a business-to-business solutions firm for the film and TV production industries and parent company of Animation World Network, has announced that it has received US$30 million in financing from United News & Media PLC, a $6 billion media and market information company based in London. In addition, Creative Planet has acquired United News "The Knowledge," an industry-standard database of film and TV production professionals in the U.K and Ireland. As part of the deal, United News gains exclusive sales and marketing rights in the U.K.
ABC is bringing Betty and Mickey Paraskevas' TANGERINE BEAR to primetime with a special animated holiday half-hour. HOME IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS tells the tale of our teddy bear pal who goes unpurchased for Christmas and makes friends in a second-hand store. The special will air at 7:30 pm on Sunday, December 3, 2000 directly following the WINNIE THE POOH AND CHRISTMAS TOO! special. TANGERINE BEAR is based off the popular children's book by the mother and son duo and will feature the singing talents to Trisha Yearwood.
December feature articles are based on the themes of location-based entertainment and anime. Karl Cohen is profiling Imax -- is animation's next frontier in peril? Also, Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman is discussing the past and future of LBE, specifically VR. On the anime side of things Fred Patten is profiling "Vampire Hunter D," the latest anime release to arrive on U.S. soil. Andrew Osmond is interviewing a number of experts and scholars on the stylistic merits of Japanese animation. Be ready to put on your thinking cap before reading this one.
Toonz Animation India has announced that they have signed a production deal with Rainbow Animation Italy on a new animated TV series. The untitled toon tells the story of an 8-year-old boy named Tommy whom, along with his friend Yukari and a nervous alien, uses his uncles strange inventions to defeat the evil Caesar. Toonz Animation India CEO Bill Dennis said, "Toonz Animation is very eager to start the new project with Rainbow. The story is very fun and entertaining, but also has many important themes and lessons that are important for younger audiences.
Seoul, Korea's Pix Production Co, Ltd. is looking for 2D/3D ANIMATORS, a BUSINESS MARKETER and a COMPUTER PROGRAMMER. . . Minneapolis, Minnesota's College of Art and Design, an independent, accredited institution, is looking for an ANIMATION INSTRUCTOR to teach all levels of animation. . . Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong's STVDIO Media, a cartoon illustration studio branching out into animation, is looking for a CARTOONIST-ANIMATOR to work on cartoon illustration and animation projects. . . JC Pictures, Inc. is looking for a DESIGN COORDINATOR to work on a children's animation TV series. . .
DIC Entertainment has raised Michael Maliani to the new position of chief creative officer. His responsibilities will be heading up the creative aspects of the business such as design, development and approval of programming, advertising and consumer products. Maliani will be leaving his role as senior vice president of development, where he oversaw artists, producers and directors on DIC productions. As an executive producer on DIC programming he has won two Emmys, a CableACE award, a Humanitas Prize and two Environmental Media Awards.
The all new David Fine and Alison Snowden Website features comprehensive information and tons of images of this imaginative couple's work. It includes the TV series, "Bob and Margaret," with an episode guide for the series, a complete list of credits and places where to buy it. The Website also features David and Alison's Oscar winning short "Bob's Birthday," on which "Bob and Margaret" is based, and Oscar nominee shorts, "George and Rosemary" and "Second Class Mail." For a full history, read the Snowden Fine CV!
Destination site iFilm has cut its roster by 15 employees, about 10% of its staff. "We have recently completed three major development initiatives: the rollout of the iFilm portal, the relaunch of iFilmpro and the introduction of our online testing business," said Melissa Zukerman, the company's VP of corporate communications.
On Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 7:00 PM, the American Cinematheque and CAMEO are presenting a retrospective of animation from the Zagreb School. Directors Vatroslav Mimica and Zdenko Gaparovic will be on hand at the screening. The Zagreb School, which reached its peak in the 1960s, is considered one of the most modernist European animated film schools and produced some of the most important animated short films of its time.