On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, NBC and Vivendi Universal made official the merger of their entertainment businesses. Newly named NBC Universal joins the ranks of Time Warner, Disney and Viacom. The new mega-conglom will control a broadcast network (NBC), various cable entities (USA, CNBC, Bravo, MSNBC, Telemundo, SCI-FI and Trio), a film and television studio (Universal Pictures and Television) and theme parks (Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando).
Geographical Region: North America
With growing numbers of buyers, sellers and programs, MIPCOM Jr 2003s screenings (October 8 9) broke all viewing records since the shows launch in 1996. A total of 13,815 individual screenings were carried out by program buyers, a 15% increase compared with 12,052 last year. Previously, the highest number of screenings took place at MIPCOM Jr 2000 with 12,572 viewings.
P. Jayakumar has been elevated to coo and Tiersa Christine has been moved up to director of production of Toonz USA, the Burbank-based studio's operations in India, headed by president/ceo Bill Dennis.
In conjunction with its attendance at MIPCOM in Cannes, France, Dupuis has announced that it will be launching its new TV series KID PADDLE. The show follows Kid Paddle and his friends Big Band and Horace, whose imaginations transport the troublesome trio into videogames, horror films and sci-fi comics. The show has already developed a following in France and Benelux and is available in 26x26 or 52x13 packages in both French and English. Also available are 15 three minute Flash shorts.
At a time when 2D feature animation is currently under assault in the U.S., Montreal-based H2V Entertainment has proudly announced that its initial slate of three films are all in 2D and will be ready for distribution in April 2004. Not only that but MANGA LATINA: KILLER ON THE LOOSE, MONICA MADE IN AMERICA and PIÑATAS are all contemporary, Latino-flavored stories aimed at teens and adults.
4Kids Entertainment Inc. has set MIPCOM 2003 for the launch of 26 episodes of the new TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and 47 new episodes of the Japanese sensation, YU-GI-OH!
Paramount Pictures THE SCHOOL OF ROCK toped the box office hcarts in its debut, taking in $19.6M for the weekend ended October 5, 2003. MGMs OUT OF TIME opened in more theaters but came in second at $16.2M. Boy Wonder Visual Effects worked on this action/thriller as did Dennis Hoffman, vfx producer and special effects director Kevin Harris, along with Tim Laundry, vfx supervisor. Universal's THE RUNDOWN, starring The Rock, dropped to third in its second week with $9.7M and a $32.67 cume.
Elastic Rights is looking to secure strategic, local partners at MIPCOM, including theatrical, TV, home entertainment, licensing, publishing and Internet companies for its portfolio of projects. The aim is to add value, by developing an integrated brand management strategy for each property.
Munich-based TV-Loonland has a two new series and pilots to unveil at MIPCOM and screen at MIPCOM Jr. Its U.K. production house, Telemagination, has completed production on its brand new, madcap animated series, METALHEADS, according to David Ferguson, coo, operating out of TV-Loonlands London office.
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) will bring a diverse slate of programming to MIPCOM, including the animated series ASTRO BOY and CYBORG 009, as well as STEPHEN KING'S KINGDOM HOSPITAL, JOAN OF ARCADIA, MISSING and RESIDENTS, the hit Chilean telenovela, MACHOS, according to SPTI distribution evp Peter Iacono. The SPTI booth will be at top of the Palais at M5.01.
Universal's THE RUNDOWN, which may prove to be The Rock's breakout starring vehicle, scored a whopping $18.5M in its debut for the weekend ended Sept. 28, 2003. Topping the box office chart also gives Rhythm & Hues some vfx bragging rights as well. Disney's Diane Lane romancer, UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN, debuted in second place with $9.7M.
The Indigo Group will venture to Cannes with four new projects in tow for MIPCOM. The new projects include TOBY THE PRINCE OF WHALES, TINGUARO, BRADYS BEASTS and FREDDIE THE FROG.
Kaydara has included NXN alienbrain asset management functionality to MOTIONBUILDER 5 Professional Edition, the latest version of its powerful realtime 3D character animation software that is currently shipping. The integrated support of NXN alienbrain allows MOTIONBUILDER 5 users to operate in a secure, version-controlled environment without having to leave their application.
9D8µTState University Art Museum Short Film and Video FestivalTempe, Arizona, USAApril 2004Deadline: February 13, 2004
Sponsored by the Arizona State University Art Museum, the Arizona State University Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival highlights the best in short subjects. The event is free to enter and no paper work is needed. The screening of the films will take place at the museum with the exact date announced later in the year. For more information visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu/filmfest/.
rhinofx created the effects on LOGICAL ENGINEERING, the :30 GMC spot that aired nationally in August. Working with Jim Sonzero of RSA USA, Los Angeles, California, and Lowe, New York, the rhinofx team was headed by senior inferno artist/partner Vico Sharabani.
AMD has announced the grand prize winner in the AMD Athlon 64 processor High-Tech Treasure Hunt. Marty Rice of Cleveland, Ohio, won the grand prize of an AMD Athlon 64 processor-based desktop system and $6,400 cash. The virtual geocaching contest asked participants to find 64 global locations that have significance to 64-bit computing, AMD or technology. More than 10,000 people entered the contest between August 25 and September 15.
Embassy Suites Hotels and Warner Home Video have announced a licensing promotion entitled, "Fall Family Suite Retreat," featuring a plush toy of Scooby-Doo. The promotional toy is available with advance reservations on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights now through December 7, 2003, at more than 165 participating hotels.