Geographical Region: North America
Walt Disney Pictures' PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END landed a hefty worldwide gross of $58 million in its first two days of pre-weekend release. Domestically, the film was virtually sold out in theatres across the country on Thursday night and collected an impressive $17 million from the evening showings. Overseas, the film grossed a swashbuckling $12.1 million from 13 territories on Wednesday, and brought in an additional $29 million from Thursday showings in a total of 39 territories.
Entertainment and design company Imaginary Forces (IF) was recently called upon by Walt Disney Pictures to create a teaser for its upcoming feature, NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS. The teaser breaks today (May 25, 2007) with the premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END.
In the NATIONAL TREASURE sequel, treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) looks to discover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by uncovering the 18 missing pages from assassin John Wilkes Booth's diary, and embarks on an adventure with many surprising twists.
SIGGRAPH 2007 announced record submissions for this year's Computer Animation Festival taking place at the 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, Aug. 5-9, 2007 in San Diego, California.
Ed Adams joins Cookie Jar Ent. in the newly-created position of vp, business affairs and sales. Based in Los Angeles, Adams will support Cookie Jar's legal team on entertainment matters and the sales team for U.S. video and publishing sales.
"Throughout Ed's career, he has distinguished himself as a dynamic and success-oriented entertainment industry professional," said Cookie Jar's president/coo Taylor, who he reports to. "With his broad experience and knowledge, Ed will be a tremendous asset to Cookie Jar as the company continues to grow."
Rico Hill has been named vp of programming and acquisitions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Based in Atlanta, he will direct all aspects of programming for both Cartoon Network and classic cartoons network Boomerang, including scheduling, on-air event planning and program acquisitions.
At Cannes, sales rep Daniel Marquet is pitching a feature script for the TV series, TOTALLY SPIES, reports VARIETY. The Marathon production is budgeted at $7 million.
The feature's story is an origin tales, following the show's trio of high-school girls as they become spies.
The TV series was created and produced by Marathon's David Michel and Vincent Chalvon-Demersay. It airs in the U.S. on Cartoon Network, in France on TF1, in Germany on Super RTL, in Italy on Mediaset, in Brazil on Globo, in Mexico on Televisa and in parts of Asia on the Disney Channel.
TELETOON, Canada's only all animation network, announced that for the 10th edition of the TELETOON Animation Scholarship, the total prize money has more than doubled to more than $70,000 to support the development of nine talented animation students across Canada. TELETOON is also rewarding cartoon fans with the new Voter's Choice Award to allow would-be cartoon critics to have their say and possibly win $500. Applications for the Scholarship are now being accepted until June 15, 2007. More information and rules of entry are available at www.teletoon.com.
Tom Perlmutter has been named government film commissioner and chair of the National Film Board. Perlmutter secedes Jacques Bensimon as the head of the Canadian government funded film studio.
Sony Pictures Imageworks officially announced that it is expanding into Albuquerque, New Mexico, "to harness the power of scalable capacity and favorable economics."
According to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, more than 100 jobs will relocate from Culver City to New Mexico, which is providing a combined 25% rebate on taxable production and post-production expenses.
Entertainment Rights Plc. announced the appointment of Deborah Dugan to the position of ceo/president of Entertainment Rights North America. Dugan will report directly to Mike Heap, ceo, Entertainment Rights Plc,. She will be based at the company's U.S. headquarters in New York.
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division has struck a major publishing agreement for Exodus Film Group's upcoming CG-animated feature film, IGOR. The Simon Scribbles and Simon Spotlight imprints will publish seven books in a wide variety of formats.
Activision Inc. has shipped SHREK THE THIRD videogame to retail stores in the U.S. The fate of Far Far Away is in gamers' hands as they assume the role of their favorite characters from the film and embark on an all-new adventure to save the land from the clutches of the evil Prince Charming. The SHREK THE THIRD videogame is based on DreamWorks Animation's highly anticipated feature film, which opens on May 18, 2007.
Hollywood Film Festival 2007Hollywood, California, USAOct. 17-22, 2007Deadline: May 31, 2007
The Hollywood Film Festival is comprised of 10 separate film festivals, including the Hollywood Animation Film Festival. The event was created to bridge the gap between established Hollywood and the global creative community, as well as to honor excellence in the art of filmmaking.
REALVIZ announced details for their forthcoming World Image-Processing Tour, which opens in London on May 22, and continues through June, taking in key cities across Europe, the U.S. and Canada. During the tour, the company will be unveiling their latest technology releases, including version 5.6 of Stitcher Unlimited, available this week, which introduces Mac Universal and HDR capabilities for the very first time, as well as REALVIZ VTour 1.2 HDR and REALVIZ Movimento, among the most advanced video-based motion capture software on the market today.
2008 BlueCat Screenwriting LabLos Angeles, California, USAMarch 16-23, 2008Deadline: Aug. 10, 2007
Starting May 7, submissions for the 2008 BlueCat Screenwriting Lab, will be open. Short and feature length screenplays are welcome. All screenplays entered for consideration will be evaluated for narrative promise, emotional impact, original voice and personal spirit.
Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios will celebrate their animated RATATOUILLE (opening June 29, 2007) by bringing a mouthwatering experience to cities across the country with "The Big Cheese Tour." The tour will kick off today (May 11) at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, and continue to cross the country stopping at many events and major food festivals throughout the summer.
8th Annual Woodstock Museum Film/Video FestivalWoodstock, New York, USAAug. 31 - Sept. 2, 2007Deadline: July 31, 2007
Woodstock Museum is hosting its 8th film/video festival. This year's theme is "Inspiration." The festival screens completed features, documentaries and shorts, as well as works in progress. All genres including animation and digital media; everything must be in English (subtitles okay). The early deadline is May 31 with the regular deadline on June 30, and the late deadline on July 31, 2007.
Blueprint Ent., a leading creator, producer and financier of filmed entertainment based in Canada, announced today (May 10, 2007), the formation of Blueprint Kids, a new business unit dedicated to the development, production and rights management of family and children's programming. Industry veteran Frank Saperstein will head the new venture, as svp, animation and children's programming.
In promotion of DreamWorks' SHREK THE THIRD, McDonald's will launch one of its largest promotions ever. Shrek will arrive at participating McDonald's restaurants in North America on May 11, 2007, the first stop in the company's multi-faceted global promotion.
"We're committed to bringing our customers the best and most trusted properties around," said Mary Dillon, global cmo, McDonald's. "Shrek, one of the most beloved characters in the world, is helping us bring special excitement to our restaurants, everything from food and fun to activities and entertainment."
Veteran animator Terence "Terry" Harrison, who won an Emmy in 1990 as the co-director of DISNEY'S THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH, died on Feb. 28, 2007, in his native England at the age of 75.
Harrison also shared an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Program in 1992 for POOH.
Harrison was an animator and director on Halas and Batchelor's FOO-FOO (1960). Harrison directed three shorts for the National Film Board of Canada, which included IN A NUTSHELL (1971), TILT (1972) and 11 STEPS TO SURVIVAL (1973).
San Diego Asian Film Festival 2007San Diego, California, USAOctober 11-18, 2007Deadline: June 15, 2007
The Stuttgart Festival of Animation wrapped up May 1, 2007, with the presentation of its prize winners. Simone Massi's short film, THE MEMORIES OF DOGS, took home the grand prize. On the TV side, TV-Loonland and The Illuminated Film Co.'s THE LITTLE PRINCESS was awarded the top prize. In the feature category, AZUR ET ASMAR by Michel Ocelot garnered the award.
The summer season has exploded in high fashion with the opening of Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN 3, which spun a North American gross of $151M and a worldwide gross of $231M for a total of $382M for the weekend period ended May 6, 2007. It's the highest opening ever in movie history. Playing in a record 4,252 domestic locations, the film took in an average of $35,540 per screen. The film also unspooled at more than 8,900 locations abroad.
Portfolio Ent. has upped Jon Rutherford to director of sales and acquisitions, additionally responsible for sales in Europe, Latin America, the U.S. and Canada, as well as acquisitions for worldwide distribution.
"Jon is unstoppable," said Joy Rosen, founder/president, Portfolio Ent. "He has done a tremendous job cultivating new international relationships while conscientiously maintaining existing relationships with broadcasters and production companies."