Geographical Region: Europe
Following up on the hugely successful WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, Discovery and the BBC have set into production on WALKING WITH PREHISTOIC BEASTS. The 3-hour miniseries will start where DINOSAURS left off. The budget is set at US$10 million, which was the price tag for the original miniseries. In addition, the two channels will create a "science behind the series" special to air after BEASTS sometime in 2001. After its successful run on the BBC in England, DINOSAURS premiered on April 16, 2000 in the U.S.
With GLADIATOR's global box office dominance slowly coming to an end, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 and GONE IN 60 SECONDS have gained top spots around the world. Grossing $804,785 and raising its Swedish cume to $1.16 million, 60 SECONDS finished atop the charts in its second weekend, knocking GLADIATOR down to second where it grossed $255,829. In its second weekend in Australia, 60 SECONDS stayed off newcomer PERFECT STORM to remain at #1. 60 SECONDS grossed $3.21 million and STORM managed $2.23 million in second place.
The annual European animation co-financing event, Cartoon Forum, will take place on the Baltic Sea Island of Gotland in Sweden. Gotland and its capital Visby will without a doubt survive the animation industry's invasion, as the city has a long history going back to the Vikings and medieval times. The nearby island of Fårö is known by many, too, as director Ingmar Bergman shot many of his films there. The 79 projects to be presented for funding have already been selected, and can be found at Cartoon's Web site www.cartoon-media.be.
A stage show starring the SIMPSONS voice-actors will come to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, before going on to two performances at the London Playhouse. The show was premiered in Aspen, Colorado earlier this year. The Edinburgh performance has already sold out. Indeed, the August 14 engagement was the fastest seller in the history of the Fringe, according to the DAILY TELEGRAPH newspaper. The tickets sold in 55 minutes. The show features original voice-actors Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa).
- Volume 8 features award-winning works by Khrjanovsky and Schnittke. Titles include: "Armoire," "There Lived Kozyavin," "Pencil and Eraser," "King's Sandwich," "Glass Harmonica," "Ballerina on the Boat" and Butterfly.
An on-line entry form which can be sent directly by e-mail is now available on the Holland festival Web site. The next Holland Animation Film Festival will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, November 15-19, 2000. Since 1985 this biennial festival has aimed to be an intermediary between animators and the business world, in addition to including film screenings, retrospectives and theater programs.
With CHICKEN RUN claiming victory at theatres, Aardman Animations ANGRY KID on AtomFilms Web site has set Internet records. In just seven weeks, ANGRY KID, Aardman's first character created exclusively for the Web, has been watched by over 1 million people -- an Internet record. With roughly 300,000 people downloading the mischievous miscreant and sending it to their friends, the total audience is nearing one and a half million people. "We knew that the Internet had vast potential as a major entertainment medium," said Dave Sproxton, co-founder and managing director of Aardman.
Avid Technology, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Fremont, California-based Motion Factory, Inc., an applications company specializing in interactive 3D software for character-driven games and the Web. Along with the deal, Avid named Motion Factorys former president and CEO, David Pritchard, as the new general manager of Softimage Co., Avids graphics and effects arm.
British audience flocked to theatres to catch the first Aardman Animation feature CHICKEN RUN. In its British premiere, the clay character cavalcade racked up an amazing US$5.8 million. The fearless free-rangers knocked seven-week champion GLADITOR into second in the U.K. The Roman romp tallied up an additional $38.8 million in its international showings. The box office blood bath has brought in $165.8 million outside the U.S. Slipping for the U.S. top ten, Disneys DINOSAUR, however, stomped over the competition in Brazil to the tune of $1.6 million.
In the international box office, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 remained #1 in Australia by holding off newcomer DINOSAUR, while GLADIATOR gained the top spot in its debut in Japan. DreamWorks GLADIATOR claimed new territories in Japan, making $982,911 in its Japanese debut. Elsewhere, GLADIATOR remained at the top in Spain, the U.K., Brazil, Italy and Sweden. The Maximus money-maker grossed $1.89 million in Spain, advancing its three-week cume to $10.05 million.
The Zagreb Animation Festival was held in the Croatian capital on June 21 25, 2000 for the fourteenth time. The atmosphere was literally hot; the sun shined more than enough during the whole festival, raising the daily temperatures easily to 35 centigrade (approximately 90+° F). No wonder the daily festival newspaper reported about the festival picnic with the headline "A hell-hot picnic". On the positive side, however, is that an effective air conditioned inside drew a large audience for the films. The four competition-screenings were very popular among the local audience.
The Castle Museum and the organizers of the Annecy Festival have begun to gather a collection of animation artifacts. The museum is calling for filmmakers to contribute documents, drawings, artwork etc. from their productions to be preserved. The collection has many optical machines and toys from the early days of cinema. The museum started gathering objects of importance in the 1960s and wishes the continued support of filmmakers to protect and honor the rich heritage of the medium.
The Oscar winner for best short animated film, "The Old Man And The
Sea," has won the coveted grand prize at the International Festival
of Animated Film at Annecy. In a lively ceremony held on Saturday,
June 10, 2000, the awards were handed out by the festival's artistic
director, Serge Bromberg. The short and feature film jury, comprised
of Meral Erez (Turkey), Aida Ndiaye (Senegal), Georges Schwizgebel
(Switzerland), John Lasseter (U.S.A.) and Jimmy T. Murakami
Folioscope's catalog, "L'Equipée de Folimage Studio de Films
d'Animation," now includes an English insert for non-French speakers!
The catalog is a companion for the exhibition on Folimage, the
creators of the 1999 Cartoon d'Or winner, "L'Enfant Au Grelot"
(Charlie's Christmas), among other award winning productions. The
Folimage exhibition will be presented at the Annecy Museum, Annecy
France, June 3-October 31, 2000.
The deadline for entries at this year's Ottawa 00 International
Animation Festival is July 1, 2000. The festival will accept entries
as late as July 5, 2000. There are three competitions: independent
films, commissioned films and animation for the Internet. Categories
include: films for children, graduate films, independent films under
50 minutes, first professional film, TV series, TV special,
commercials, music videos, educational or industrial, ids, trailers
The next Holland Animation Film Festival will take place in Utrecht,
the Netherlands, November 15-19, 2000. Since 1985 this biennial
festival has aimed to be an intermediary between animators and the
business world, in addition to including film screenings,
retrospectives and theater programs. In the competition for applied
animation, films can be entered in the following categories:
publicity and promotional films; music videos; educational and
The opening week failure of TITAN A.E. may have been the final straw that has pushed Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO, Bill Mechanic, to resign. Mechanic has decided to leave Fox and form his own production company much like former Disney chairman Joe Roths Revolution Studios. However, insiders say the abrupt exit was a result of pressure from parent News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch over financial losses and questionable movie greenlights.
DreamWorks GLADIATOR is still the golden boy in many international box offices. In the most recent reports, the Roman revenge romp finished atop the charts in Brazil with US$1.18 million, Germany with US$1.06 million, Italy with $303,200, Sweden with $336,708 and the U.K. with $926,371. The Russell Crowe-starrer has grossed a total of $4.6 million in Brazil, $14.67 million in Germany, $7.2 million in Italy, $2.78 million in Sweden and $34.36 million in the U.K. Like it did in the U.K., the box office blood bath held off the debut of BATTLEFIELD EARTH.
Seagram Co.-owned Universal Studios, producer of the LAND BEFORE TIME series, will now be housed under the Canal Plus roof. The move is a result of French media mogul Vivendis recently board-approved acquisition of Seagram. The stock for stock deal values Seagram at US$34 billion. Vivendi shareholders will own 60% of the new firm, Seagram shareholders will hold 29% and the minority shareholders in Vivendi-owned Canal Plus will hold the remaining 11%. The new motion picture division of Vivendi will be entitled Canal Plus and will be lead by Canal Plus chairman and CEO Pierre Lescure.
On Wednesday, June 21, 2000, Italian animation studio Mondo TV, owner of the country's largest library of domestic and imported TV cartoons, will go public on the Milan stock exchange. Currently, the Rome-based company is owned by Orlando and Matteo Corradi. For the first-quarter, the TV toon maker saw revenue of 6.5 billion Italian lira (US$3.25 million) and net earnings of 1.3 billion ($650,000).
Palo Alto, California's Pacific Data Images (PDI) is looking for
EFFECTS ANIMATORS AND DEVELOPERS and CG LIGHTERS. . .Lombard,
Illinois-based Big Idea Productions, Inc. is looking for a 3D
MODELING SUPERVISOR. . .South River, New Jersey-based Big Brad's South
River Tattoo Studio is looking for an ARTIST/TATTOOIST to draw Flash
and tattoo pictures for customers. . .WPRI/WNAC TV of East Providence,
Rhode Island wants to find an AVID EDITOR to edit commercials,
Spain's Terra Networks have announced that their shareholders have approved the company's US$12.5 billion purchase of U.S. Internet portal Lycos. The shareholders also okayed $17.7 billion in capital increases to pump up liquidity in the new arm. "The acquisition of Lycos is the big leap that will allow us to position ourselves as a truly global company," Terra president Juan Villalonga said at the company's shareholders meeting. The Spanish-language Internet server and provider announced last month its intention to purchase Lycos as an inroad to the U.S. market.