Imax Corp. has struck a deal that will bring DreamWorks and PDIs newest 3D animated feature SHREK to the giant screen. Opening December 2001, six months after its initial theatrical release, the ogre odyssey will arrive in Imaxs 150 digital 3D theatres. Imax will foot the US$10 million bill to transfer the two-dimensional cartoon to eye-popping 3D. SHREK follows the misadventures of an annoyed ogre and his new frustratingly friendly fairy-tale neighbors.
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BKN International, a childrens animated series production, distribution and marketing company, announced their acquisition of France-based Arles Animation. Arles has worked on series such as WACKY WORLD OF TEX AVERY, SABRINA and SONIC UNDERGROUND. Arles credits itself as being the only studio in France with experience in managing and executing a two-episode per week schedule. The French firm has created work for DIC, TF1, Canal +, RTL and La Cinquieme.
The newest lawsuit hitting the embattled Cinar Corp. comes from a former exec, over his inability to exercise his stock options. At Cinar, Louis Fournier served as the companys vice president of distribution and left the company to serve as president of youth and animation programming at Montreal-based TVA International. Fournier is suing his former employer for reimbursement over stock options not paid to him when he exited the company in February 2000.
Stan Lee Media has announced a teaming with producer Mark Canton (RED PLANET), which will bring a live-action version of the Internet animated series 7TH PORTAL to the big screen. With no studio yet attached, Canton plans to take the project to Warner Bros. where he has a production deal. Currently, Canton is set to produce the feature with Stan Lee Media co-founders Stan Lee and Peter Paul serving as executive producers. Canton told the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, "The opportunity to work on the new characters and stories created by Stan Lee is about as exciting as one can imagine.
On Thursday, June 8, 2000, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winning creator of the comic strip SHOE, Jeff MacNelly passed away. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, succumbing to lymphoma, which he has been fighting since late last year. In 1972 at the age of 24, MacNelly won the Pulitzer for one of his political cartoons for the RICHMOND NEW LEADER. He had been working there for only 16 months. Before leaving the NEW LEADER in 1982, he received his second Pulitzer Prize in 1978.
On Wednesday, June 7, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered that the worlds largest software company, Microsoft, be split into two separate companies. The ruling came as no surprise as the current conclusion to this phase of the antitrust case brought against the mega-firm. Quickly after the decision was handed down Microsoft pledged it would appeal the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court.
The winners are out for the first World Internet Animation Competition, held in conjunction with the World Animation Celebration and sponsored by Shockwave.com. One grand prizewinner, one student winner and first and second prizewinners in multiple categories were awarded US$100,000 in cash and prizes in conjunction with the annual World Animation Celebration. The competition received more than 650 animations in ten categories. The winners were chosen by a jury comprised of industry headliners .
MTV viewers voted for their theater favs and THE MATRIX rose to the top. The sci-fi sensation took home nods for best picture, best actor for Keanu Reeves and best fight between Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. The naughty number "Uncle F**ka" from SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT took home the prize for best musical performance. When excepting the award Matt Stone thanked the "MTV viewers for not even nominating Phil Collins." STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 THE PHANTOM MENACE finally got some thank yous for best action sequence.
Opening this past weekend in Australia, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 uncovered US$3.7 million in 3 days on 366 screens. The total is the highest weekend take of all time for foreign distributor UIP, which also released GLADIATOR and PHANTOM MENACE Down Under. The spy sensation also racked up $893,000 on 39 screens in Singapore and $488,000 on 38 screens in Malaysia. GLADIATOR still scored big receipts raising its international cume to $97 million. The period-piece pit-fight landed atop the German, British and Italian box office.
Beating out the only major new release BIG MOMMAS HOUSE, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 finished atop the U.S. box office for the second straight weekend. The TV series redux grossed another US$27.02 million. The sensational sequel, with primary visual effects by Pacific Data Images, Double Negative Ltd. and CFC, has now topped the scales by making $130.7 million in only one and a half weeks in theatres. Now proving that Martian Lawrence in a rubber fat ladys suit is more attractive to moviegoers than realistic talking dinosaurs, Disneys DINOSAUR slipped to #3, making $12.04 million.
Film Roman Inc. has launched a major expansion of its commercial production activities. As a result, Kathee Schneider has been named vice president of creative affairs and the commercial division's executive producer. Joining Schneider as executive creative director will be three-time Emmy-winning director, Eric Radomski. The artists featured on Film Roman's animation Web site, Level13.net will also be involved with the commercial division. "We are drawing on this vast new pool of talent who create avant-garde work for Level13.net," said Schneider.
Making history on June 6, 2000, 20th Century Foxs TITAN A.E. was beamed digitally from a remote location to an Atlanta theater during the Supercomm trade show. The film was sent from Qwest Communications Cyber Center in Burbank, California using a secure Internet transmission protocol developed by Cisco Systems Inc. Up until now, digital projection systems played the movies on the screen from DVD-like disks. Many studios, however, question the security of sending their top-secret premieres over satellite and Internet lines.
The FCC and Department of Justice have given the go ahead for AT&T to merge with MediaOne making the combined company the largest cable firm in the nation. One stipulation on the US$58 billion deals approval is that the company seal off its holdings in Road Runner, a high-speed Internet access service. The FCC also said that either AT&T has to sell its stake in Time Warner Entertainment, divest programming assets like Liberty Media or unload various cable systems within the next year. AT&T has six months to decided which of the three courses of action it will take.
Amidst the resignation of their three-month term CFO, Cinar Corp. announced it would regain CA$10 million more of the $122 million that was invested without the company boards approval. Cinar expects to receive the $10 million from Nassau, Bahamas-based Globe-X Management Ltd. after the investment matured May 31, 2000. Cinar said Globe-X required five business days from May 31 to "process transactions for administrative purposes" and that Cinar expected to receive the $10 million within that time.
TV veteran Larry Charles has been added to Columbia TriStars live-action TV version of THE TICK as an executive producer and show-runner. As part of the deal, Charles has extended his overall production-development pact with Columbia TriStar. Previously, Charles worked on SEINFELD and MAD ABOUT YOU and most recently executive produced Columbia TriStar's animated series DILBERT for UPN.
On Tuesday, June 6, 2000, the House of Representatives approved and sent to the White House legislation awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to late PEANUTS comic strip creator Charles Schulz. The gold medal is the highest civilian honor given by Congress. The measure, which the House passed by voice vote after unanimous approval by the Senate, praises Schulz for giving "the nation a unique sense of optimism, purpose and pride.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based Collideascope Digital Productions is looking for 2D ANIMATORS and INBETWEENERS. . . Burbank, California-based Rich-Crest Animation, an animation company that specializes in producing feature-length direct to videos, is looking for an ANIMO COMPOSITOR to finish a couple of projects. . . Atlanta, Georgia-based Turner Studios, a full service broadcast production and post-production division of the Turner Entertainment Group, is looking for an ART DIRECTOR. . .
The Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) presents "Timing For Animation" with Greg Duffell. The event will take place on June 7, 2000 at 8:00 p.m. at the National Film Board in Toronto, Canada. Admission is CA$5.00. TAIS Members get in free. Memberships will be available at the door. Also, animated films by TAIS members will be shown at Quickdraw Animation Society in Calgary on Saturday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. The films will be presented by Patrick Jenkins, President of TAIS.
"L'Equip de Folimage Studio de Films d'Animation," an exhibition on Folimage studio, the creators of numerous award-winning productions, will be opening at the Annecy Museum this week-end...
On June 9, 2000, Universal Studios Hollywood will roll out a new stage attraction based on Nickelodeons Rugrats entitled "Rugrats Magic Adventure!"
On June 9, 2000, Universal Studios Hollywood will roll out a new stage attraction based on Nickelodeons RUGRATS entitled "Rugrats Magic Adventure!" The new stage show is based off the popular RUGRATS episode, "Angelica the Magnificent." The 20-minute performance will feature musical numbers and magical effects.