Despite its failure to catch on at the dominant box office, THE POLAR EXPRESS has clearly been a boon for IMAX, as the large-format companys maiden 3D feature grossed approximately $2,050,000 over the weekend, following last weekends record $2.1M gross. Playing on 60 screens in North America, the movie registered a noteworthy estimated per screen average of $34,000 for the period ended Nov. 21, 2004, and has now grossed a total of almost $6 million in only 11 days in IMAX theaters.
Geographical Region: North America
The inspiration and music is from Japan but the animation talent and work is all done in America in Cartoon Networks new 2D series, HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI. The 30-minute animated comedy about the fictional adventures of two very real-life Japanese pop stars, debuts Nov. 19, 2004, at 7:30 pm during Fridays, CNs popular primetime block of animated comedies.
Arthur, Barney, Bear, Big Bird, Clifford, JoJo and SpongeBob, as well as more than 100 other children's characters, have united to re-record the smash hit WE ARE FAMILY in an unprecedented music video to promote tolerance and diversity to America's children. The video, which demonstrates to children the importance of togetherness embodied in the word family, will be distributed to 61,000 public and private elementary schools in the U.S. on March 11, 2005, in celebration of the proposed National We Are Family Day.
Nicholas Longano, previously of Vivendi Universal Games, has been named chief marketing officer of Massive Inc., the creator of the world's first video game advertising network. As cmo, Longano will be responsible for continuing to expand Massive's dominant leadership position in the in-game advertising market by building the largest network of publishers and titles into a recognized and legitimized media solution for advertisers.
The American Film Institute Film Festival honored The National Film Board of Canadas RYAN by Chris Landreth with a special honorable mention in the short film category. Additionally, RYAN was recognized at the Leeds International Film Festival earlier this month with the World Animation award.
VES Awards 2005Hollywood, California, USAFebruary 16, 2005Deadline: December 15, 2004
The Visual Effects Society (VES) presents the 2005 VES Awards, a celebration of the best in visual effects. The 3rd annual event will be held at the Hollywood Palladium.
On November 16, 2004, ADV Films will release the first volume of the new expanded and updated FARSCAPE: STARBURST EDITION. The new collection includes documentaries on the series, new audio commentaries with the cast and crew and behind the scenes footage.
The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television has announced the winners of this years BAF Awards as part of the 11th Bradford Animation Festival, which took place on Nov. 13, 2004. The BAF Awards celebrate the best new animation from around the world. This years event received a record 1,065 film submissions from 52 countries -- a 78% rise on last years submissions.
The complete list of winners:
Grand Prix (overall winner)
Popeye celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a retrospective at the Museum of Television and Radio, which was unveiled on Nov. 13, 2004 and features rarities and collectibles from the cartoon hero's career.
"There are very few characters that are that old and still in the public consciousness," said Barry Monush, curator of the exhibit. "It's quite impressive to stick around that long and stay recognizable."
Ron Geraci has been promoted from up to svp of research for Nickelodeon, overseeing all programming and advertising sales research for Nickelodeon and digital channels Noggin, The N, Nickelodeon Games and Sports (Nick GAS) and Nektons.
"Ron is a well-respected and talented executive who continually succeeds in keeping the entire Nickelodeon network abreast of audience and competitive research," said Laura E. Wendt, svp of research, Nickelodeon Networks, to whom he reports. "His new role acknowledges his expertise and contribution to the success of the network."
On Nov. 5, 2004, a New York Federal Court upheld its August 2001 summary judgment granted in favor of Films by Jove, ruling it was improper for the Russian government to try to influence the outcome of the litigation by retroactively changing its laws. The Hon. David G. Trager found in favor of Films by Jove filed suit in 1998 to prevent illegal duplication of Soyuzmultfilm Studio's animated film library by Joseph Berov, a Russian émigré video distributor from Brighton Beach, NY. Films by Jove vs. Joseph Berov, Case No. 988-CV-7674 (DGT).
HALO 2 broke entertainment retail records in its first 24 hours on store shelves. Microsoft Game Studios announced that the highly-anticipated game sold through 2.4 million units in the U.S. and Canada, driving cash register receipts to the $125 million mark.
ShoPro Ent. has signed a comprehensive licensing deal with Bandai America for a line of ZATCH BELL! video and trading card games that will be sold throughout the mass market. The news follows the recent announcement that ZATCH BELL!, an action adventure series aimed at boys 8-14, will make its television debut on Cartoon Network in spring 2005. The videogames will be available on all major platforms: PS, PS2, X-Box, GameCube, and Gameboy Advance.
Amberwood Entertainment has licensed 26 half-hour episodes of its new animated series, THE SECRET WORLD OF BENJAMIN BEAR, to YLE for broadcast in Finland and TSR for broadcast in Switzerland.
This series, commissioned by Canada's Family Channel, was co-produced with Scotland's Red Kite Productions and has been licensed in numerous territories worldwide.
2005 DIY Film FestivalLos Angeles, California, USAFebruary 2005Deadline: January 25, 2005
The DIY Film Festival honors films from the growing field of cutting edge, do-it-yourself storytelling. Dramatic, documentary, animation, student and comedy feature and short films made after Jan. 1, 2002 and shot in DV, Beta, HDTV, 16mm or 35mm will be considered. All entries must be created using commonly-available tools of independent filmmaking without financing from a major film studio or corporate backer.
Nickelodeon, into its third week of presenting a festival of shorts to viewers, sees Comedy Central has jumped in on the action with its new shorts compilation show called, JUMP CUTS, that premieres Nov. 7, 2004, at 12:00 am, midnight. This half-hour for the next four Sundays is for late night, adult comedy viewing with an interesting mix of animation and live action with an encore presentation on Wednesdays at 2:00 am.
The 25th American Film Market (AFM) opened Nov. 4, 2004, in Santa Monica, California, with a record number of exhibitors, buyers, screenings and market premieres at the worlds largest motion picture trade event. New this year, the AFM has joined forces with AFI FEST 2004 presented by Audi (Nov. 4 -14, 2004). Animated offerings are sprinkled through the market.
Red Stick International Animation FestivalBaton Rouge, Louisiana, USAApril 21-23, 2005Deadline: December 15, 2004
Sun Microsystems, a major player in network servers and engineering workstations, enters the DCC market with a new pair of workstations, the Sun Java W1100z and W2100z, featuring off-the-shelf AMD Opteron CPUs and NVIDIA graphics cards. Sean Wagstaff assesses their entry in the marketplace, almost-daring pricing plan and tests the functionality of the W2100z.
Over the weekend of Oct. 29, 2004, ION International Animation, Games and Short Film Festival awarded its competition prizes. Adding to its impressive list of accolades, Chris Landreths RYAN took home the animation award. Previously announced awards went to DPS Film Roman for 20 years of excellence in animation and Fleischer Studios garnered the first Max Fleischer Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Chicago International Childrens Film Festivals closing night awards ceremony, sponsored by American Airlines, was held Oct. 31, 2004. FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR star James Avery hosted the gala as hundreds of movie lovers gathered to celebrate the most popular films of the festival.
Michele Ganeless has been appointed evp/gm of Comedy Central, reporting directly to networks president Doug Herzog and will be based in New York. She rejoins the comedy network from her previous position of evp/gm of the USA Network where she worked closely with Herzog, then president/ceo.
Ganeless oversees all programming and marketing functions, which encompasses programming, co-productions, consumer and trade marketing and advertising, creative services, on-air promotion, acquisitions, audience research, scheduling and new business.