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Geographical Region: Australia

Headline News

Bob Won't Stop Building For 10 Year Anniversary

HIT Ent. has launched a yearlong campaign in the U.K. to mark the 10th anniversary of BOB THE BUILDER, the successful and popular preschool property. Bob's 10th anniversary campaign will feature DVD specials, events, new ranges of consumer products and a highly anticipated follow up album and music video.

2009 will also herald a new programming look as BOB moves into CG animation for the first time and is set for broadcast in late 2009.

Marvel Headline News

Paramount To Continue Distributing Marvel Studios' Films

Paramount Pictures will distribute Marvel Studios' next five self-produced feature films on a worldwide basis.

The deal, an extension of the original agreement made by Brad Grey when he arrived as CEO and Chairman of Paramount, includes theatrical distribution in foreign territories previously serviced by Marvel through local distribution entities (Japan, Germany, France, Spain and Australia/New Zealand). This new worldwide distribution pact capitalizes on Marvel and Paramount’s successful efforts with IRON MAN, which has grossed $574 million worldwide for Marvel.

Show Headline News

Mr. Men Show Gets Second Season

Following the successful premieres earlier this year of THE MR. MEN SHOW on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Five in the U.K., Chorion's broadcast partners have committed to a second season of the animated sketch show. A further 52x11 minutes are in production for broadcast in 2009, bringing the total number of episodes available to 104.

Headline News

Dive Olly Gets Home Video Deal With Universal

DIVE OLLY DIVE!, the environmentally-conscious preschool series from Taffy Ent. and Mike Young Productions, will be released on DVD in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil and other selected territories by Universal Pictures International Ent. in 2009.

Headline News

Judge Bars Punitive Damages In Rings Suit

The estate of THE LORD OF THE RINGS author J.R.R. Tolkien lost a round in its ongoing dispute with New Line Cinema, per VARIETY (via THE ASSOCIATED PRESS). A judge has barred the estate from seeking punitive damages against the studio who brought the highly-profitable trilogy to the big screen.

Tolkien's heirs content that New Line did not pay them any royalties from the estimated $6 billion the films have grossed worldwide. The lawsuit seeks more than $150 million in compensatory damages based on breach of contract, fraud and other claims.

Visual Headline News

Visual Effects Society Welcomes Australia

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has welcomed Australia on board as an official section to the society that represents more than 1,700 visual effects and computer graphics professionals internationally.

Australia joins San Francisco, London and Vancouver to become the fourth VES section, cementing its status as a significant hub of business and professional excellence in visual effects, computer graphics and digital production for the entertainment industry.

Headline News

Loonland Signs Multi-Content Deal With ABC TV Australia

TV-Loonland has signed a multi-content deal with its long term partner ABC TV Australia. This deal seals the acquisition of top titles in TV-Loonland's programming slate, namely, the international hit THE OWL (52x1), the highly anticipated PAT & STAN (39x7), the hilarious RAYMOND (26x7) and preschool property PENELOPE (54x5).

ABC TV has also strengthened its broadcast commitment to award-winning LITTLE PRINCESS by picking up her two new seasonal specials in addition to the currently airing seasons one and two.

Framestore Headline News

Northern Lights, Cameras, Action!

Most U.K. companies looking to open a new office away from the din, pollution and brutal cost of living entailed by London might turn to a nice piece of greenbelt real estate, or perhaps one of the nearby provincial towns. Framestore, on the other hand, went to Iceland.

Festival Headline News

Shaun The Sheep And Flock Return To CBBC

CBBC has acquired a second season of Aardman Animations' SHAUN THE SHEEP. The 40x7 season starts shooting in early 2009, and Aardman has already secured a number of pre-sales for the show.

Among the broadcasters who have snapped up the latest adventures of Shaun are ABC Australia, TF1 France, WDR Germany, YLE Finland, SVT Sweden, DR Denmark and Noga in Israel.

Season Headline News

Echo Bridge Goes Exotic

Following their recent purchase of Alliance Atlantis International Distribution, Echo Bridge Ent. has finalized a slate of international licensing agreements for animated children's series LUNAR JIM, DRAGON BOOSTER and ADVENTURES OF SINBAD.

Wars Headline News

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Sells 1.5 Million Units

LucasArts' STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED is on track to become the best-selling STAR WARS game of all time, selling more than 1.5 million units in less than a week.

Released on Sept. 16 in North America, Sept. 17 in Australia and Southeast Asia, and Sept.19 in Europe, STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED has demolished LucasArts sales records around the globe in record time.

Animation Headline News

Ottawa Animation Awards Announced

The Ottawa International Animation Festival came to an end with the highly anticipated closing ceremonies held Sunday night at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. Organizers announced the winners of the official competition during the ceremonies.

Series Headline News

Ambiance Mows The Lawn With Larry The Lawnmower

Australian production company Ambience Ent., creator of ERKY PERKY, GO GO STOP and THE POP PUPS, is in production on a new children's property, LARRY THE LAWNMOWER.

LARRY THE LAWNMOWER (65x30) will be broadcast on the Seven Network in Australia and is a unique live action pre-school series that uses five colorful friendly puppets based on everyday garden tools.

World Headline News

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King In Stores November 13

Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING, the second expansion for its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), will arrive in stores on November 13 in North America, Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia, and November 14 in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The expansion will be available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on November 18. Details regarding the launch of WRATH OF THE LICH KING in mainland China will be announced at a later date.

Headline News

Nine Network Australia Goes Wakkaville

Nine Network Australia has commissioned the first season of Ettamogah Ent.'s animated children's program WAKKAVILLE.

WAKKAVILLE follows the adventures of Jaz: a city girl, Buzza, a wannabe surfer who's afraid of water, Martin, a farm boy with dreams of being a NASA engineer and Flick, Buzza's high octane little sister, as they explore their country town of crazy locals, solve mysteries and right wrongs.

Headline News

Activision Publishing Acquires U.K. Game Developer FreeStyleGames

Activision Publishing has acquired FreeStyleGames, a U.K.-based video game developer specializing in music-based games.

This acquisition represents the latest step in Activision Publishing's strategy to expand its global leadership position in the music-based genre. The company established the genre with the GUITAR HERO franchise, which has sold more than 22 million units worldwide. FreeStyleGames is currently developing localized downloadable content for the GUITAR HERO franchise, as well as a yet to be announced new, intellectual property in the music genre.

Disney Headline News

Disney Channels Look To Latin American Growth

Disney is looking at Latin America as a place of possible growth for the Disney Channel, per VARIETY. As it gets harder to earn money in Europe, execs predict that Latin America will be the place to be.

President of Disney Channels Worldwide, Rich Ross, in talking to reporters during a visit to London for the Disney Channel movie premiere of CAMP ROCK, said, "In the next five years Latin America is going to be an economic powerhouse for us. Poland and Australia are other growth markets for us."

Nickelodeon Headline News

Ricky Sprocket Gears Up For International Stardom

Executive production and distribution company, Bejuba! Ent., has secured Ricky Sprocket's rise to global stardom with sales of the namesake animated comedy series, RICKY SPROCKET -- SHOWBIZ BOY, to 29 new international territories through a deal with Nickelodeon. The series is co-produced by Studio B Productions, a subsidiary of DHX Media Ltd., and Snowden Fine Animation in association with Bejuba! Ent.

Cartoon Headline News

Cartoon Network Reveals Shortlisted Projects From Snaptoons

Cartoon Network continues with its intensive search for the next generation of iconic cartoons with the pioneering batch of developed concepts and ideas.

These ideas were culled from more than 300 entries received for Snaptoons (Short New Asia Pacific Cartoons), the network's pan-Asian original content development initiative. Cartoon Network's in-house Snaptoons team has been working with the shortlisted creators in developing 10 ideas and will produce at least five completed shorts this year, with a view for further development of the most promising concepts.

Series Headline News

DECODE Adds Martha Speaks To MIPCOM Line-up

DECODE Enterprises is bringing a diverse range of programming for all ages to MIPCOM 2008, including debut show MARTHA SPEAKS, from Studio B Productions and WGBH Boston. Also on its market slate are new episodes of established shows alongside brand new programming from DHX Media's production subsidiaries and third party producers.

Headline News

Dora The Explorer Live! Coming to 40 U.S. Cities In 2009

Nickelodeon and Broadway Across America are teaming up to bring DORA THE EXPLORER LIVE! SEARCH FOR THE CITY OF LOST TOYS, starring the world's most famous Latina explorer, to cities across the U.S. in 2009. DORA THE EXPLORER LIVE! will be performed in 40 cities including Chicago; Detroit; and New York City at the legendary Radio City Music Hall on April 8-12.

Imax Headline News

Under The Sea 3D To Splash Into IMAX February 13

Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX have confirmed the release date for the next original IMAX 3-D release, UNDER THE SEA 3D, will be February 13, 2009. The film follows the box office hit DEEP SEA 3D, also shot by award-winning Cinematographer/Director Howard Hall, which has grossed more than $72 million to date.

Wars Headline News

The Force Unleashed Demo Shatters Download Record

The demo for LucasArts' STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED has crushed download records since its release on August 21 on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

Eager to experience over-the-top Force powers and a brand-new STAR WARS storyline that bridges the events between the two movie trilogies, fans downloaded the STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED demo more than one million times in just eight days, topping the previous record by an entire day.