* Sunday, January 28 Thursday, February 1, 2001. Reunion Island, France (off the coast of Madagascar).
Geographical Region: Europe
Touchstone's UNBREAKABLE is truly becoming an international box office hero with top place finishes all over the globe. In France, UNBREAKABLE held on tight to the top spot, with a gross of US$4.68 million, elevating its cume to $11.74 million. At #3, CHICKEN RUN escaped with a gross of $2.64 million, flying its French cume to $11.48 million. DINOSAUR roared in at #4, grossing $2.22 million, thereby growing its French cume to $25.14 million. In sixth, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS slew $1.16 million, increasing its French cume to $2.83 million.
Mondo Media has announced that it has obtained over US$17 million in its third round of equity financing. The round was led by SBVC with supporting investment for global expansion from Venturepark and others. Returning investors included Foundation Capital, Sofinnova Ventures and Red Rock Ventures. As part of the round, Carl Rosendahl, principal managing director for SBVC, has joined Mondo Media's board of directors. The money will be used to continue Mondo Media's current productions, develop new ones and expand the company's presence in Europe.
In light of its recent acquisitions of Sony Wonder/Sunbow Entertainment and Paris-based Salsa Distribution, German kids' production house TV Loonland has added key components to its sales staff. Marzenna Czubowicz was hired to head up sales for TV Loonland. Besides overseeing the company's sales offices in London, Paris and New York, she will direct distribution of the company's content in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Israel and South Africa. Previously, Czubowicz served as director of sales at Alliance Atlantis Television International.
This week's updates to the Calendar of Events includes the Voicebank.net Demo, Toronto, Canada, January 24-25, 2001; The Evening of Remembrance 2001, Hollywood, California, USA, January 27, 2001; Cartoon Masters, Strasbourg, France, February 15-17, 2001; Tough Eye Festival, Turku, Finland, May 15-20, 2001; and more! With multiple search capabilities, AWN's new calendar of events gives you a customized way to look through the upcoming events - by Name, Location, Entry Deadline, Category, Event Type and more.
The 5th edition of Cartoons On The Bay, International Festival of Television Animation, will be held in Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy, April 5-9, 2001. Cartoons on the Bay is the only festival in the world solely dedicated to television animation. Promoted by Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana and conceived and organized by Rai Trade, the festival is an international event with awards, workshops, lectures and events centering on the ever-changing world of television animation.
On January 19, 2001, ASIFA International will announce a joint venture with the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design to host a new chapter of ASIFA in Denver, Colorado, USA. The announcement will be made at the college in Denver during a special screening of "The Best of Ottawa '00," featuring award winners from the 2000 Ottawa animation festival. The collection, hosted by Chris Robinson, executive director of the Ottawa International Film Festival, encompasses a wide array of techniques and subjects by some of animation's leading figures.
January 1997 saw the passing of Louise Beaudet, a person who dedicated her life to helping the animation community define itself. Louise Beaudet was known for her work at the Cinémathèque Quebecoise in Montreal, perhaps one of the only archives where animation is considered a top priority. In her role as curator of the Cinémathèque, she more than helped fulfill that organization's special interest in animation. Louise was passionate about promoting independent animation. She authored a number of historical texts, essays and monographs.
UNBREAKABLE was simply unstoppable at the international box office this past week. In France, the UNBREAKABLE premiere grossed an amazing US$7.06 million. Five-week champ, DINOSAUR, slipped to second with a gross of $3.87 million, escalating its French cume to $22.92 million. In third, CHICKEN RUN cooped up another $3.58 million, flying its French cume to $8.84 million. At #6, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS drummed up only $1.67 million in its French debut. In its second week in France, POKEMON 2 collected $1.31 million, pushing its cume to $2.3 million.
Continuing its lucrative path through the international box office, DINOSAUR is still roaring with POKEMON 2000 making strong debuts, including a first place finish in Germany. In Japan, DINOSAUR took the top spot with a gross of US$1.15 million, increasing its cume to $3.62 million. In third, VERTICAL LIMIT collected another $980,996 to raise it Japanese cume to $3.05 million. THE 6TH DAY claimed the fifth slot with a gross of $870,359, advancing its Japanese cume to $1.54 million. In sixth, WHAT LIES BENEATH floated $665,857 more, pushing its Japanese cume to $1.97 million.
The Brussels Animation and Cartoon Festival has concocted an exceptional program for its 20th anniversary (February 28 - March 3, 2001). 575 films were submitted for selection, a record number of entries. To date, 113 of them have been selected. The complete list of selected films will be available in January. The feature film program includes: "The Emperor's New Groove" by Mark Dindall (USA); "Heavy Metal 2000" by Michaël Coldewey and Michel Lemire (Canada/Germany); "My Neighbours The Yamadas" by Isao Takahata (Japan) (TBC); and "Otesanek" by Jan Svankmajer (Czech Republic).
Without one Y2K fear we are slipping into 2001 already. This issue we are taking on the big questions that are facing the animation industry on the brink of the new year. For instance, Eric Oldrin discusses everyone's favorite topic, the Internet, and its current identity crisis. Michael Hurwicz is ponders whether or not the Internet is actually helping independent animators. Are there increased distribution outlets in this new age or are our fearless independents still in an unfunded jam? Finally, we take a long hard look at the U.S.
New York's Curious Pictures, a commercial animation and effects studio, is looking for a LEAD AFTEREFFECTS COMPOSITOR for miniseries. . . Kirkland, Washington's KnowWonder, a digital media works company specializing in the production of computer games and "edutainment" for children and young adults, is looking for a CHARACTER ANIMATOR/MODELER. . . Den Haag, The Netherlands' LetsLook, a company providing services for 3D visualization of real estate, is looking for a MODELER/ANIMATOR. . . Rome, Italy's Mamut is looking for a 2D ANIMATOR and a LAYOUT ARTIST for a television series. . .
Asun Gil has been named channel manager of Cartoon Network Spain. Gil joined Cartoon Network Spain as head of research where she played a key role in building 1.2 million subscribers for the network in just over one year on air. "It is very exciting to take on the channel at this stage and my brief is to increase viewers as well as moving further into the area of new media and launching additional services," said Gil.
Children's TV executive Haim Saban has exercised his option for News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting to buy his 49.5% in the Fox Family Worldwide Inc. cable network. As part of the original agreement, each side will enlist an investment bank to determine the fair market value of the company. If the two numbers come within 10% of each other, the final purchase price will be the average of the two numbers. If they differ by more than 10% than a third bank will be brought in to mediate the settlement. Each parties' bank must determine Fox Family Worldwide's value by January 31, 2001.
The government of Spain's Balearic Islands is organizing a fully paid retreat for animators from around the world to come and hone their craft in Majorca. The attending animators, writers and technicians will have their travel, living and working expenses paid for by the non-profit fund. Moreover, the foundation will invite recognized names in the field to lead seminars and workshops. Projects created during the retreat will screen at Majorca's yearly animation festival ANI.MAR. However, the foundation needs the animation community's support to receive full funding for the project.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS and DINOSAUR picked up steam at the international box office as former champ CHARLIE'S ANGELS faded a bit. In Mexico, THE GRINCH made its debut in first with a gross of US$2.29 million. BEDAZZLED fell to second with a ticket take of $1.51 million, raising its Mexican cume to $3.51 million. In fourth, CHARLIE'S ANGELS flew in another $645,425, elevating its Mexican cume to $3.91 million. Rounding out the Mexican top ten, THE CELL captured $48,406 to push its cume to $2.36 million.