Universal's Noah-influenced comedy, EVAN ALMIGHTY (with vfx from ILM and Rhythm & Hues), lead the box office with $31.1M in its debut for the weekend June 24, 2007. Another newcomer, the chilling 1408 from MGM/Weinstein Co., followed in second place with $20.6M. Last weekâs leader, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (with vfx by Weta Digital, SOHO VFX, Hydraulx, Giant Killer Robots, Hammerhead, The Orphanage, Frantic Films, Lola Visual Effects, Digiscope and Image Engine), finished third for Fox with $20M and a cume of $97.4M.
Geographical Region: South America
Signaling a continuation of the character-driven approach introduced by last year's phenomenally successful CASINO ROYALE, Marc Forster (THE KITE RUNNER, FINDING NEVERLAND, MONSTER'S BALL) will direct BOND 22, it was announced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond films, Sony Pictures Ent. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.
Forster will commence work shortly with screenwriter Paul Haggis on a draft of the screenplay by Neil Purvis and Robert Wade.
Fox's FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (with vfx by Weta Digital, SOHO VFX, Hydraulx, Giant Killer Robots, Hammerhead, The Orphanage, Frantic Films, Lola Visual Effects, Digiscope and Image Engine) crested the box office to the No. 1 position taking in $58.4M for the weekend ended June 17, 2007. Warner Bros.' OCEAN'S 13 dropped to the second position with $19.7M and a cume of $70.4M.
Shari Weisenberg joins SCI FI Channel in the newly created position of vp, strategic marketing, to lead all sales marketing initiatives for the SCI FI brand. Her appointment signals the Channel's commitment to leveraging its multimedia assets to maximize the reach and impact of all sponsor messaging.
The Annecy international animation market MIFA opened its doors this morning to sunshine and a marked growth in, as well as a greater variety of participants, while the festival, which started on Monday, dealt with rain and less U.S.-based company sponsors.
While the absence of a big presence from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network is quite noticable, the French broadcasters and other Europeans have filled the gap for what is the premiere animation festival in the world.
Warner Bros.' OCEAN'S 13, the latest all-star heist escapade from Steven Soderbergh, seized the number one spot at the box office with $36.1M for the weekend ended June 10, 2007. Dropping to second place with $21.1M was PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (with more cutting edge vfx from ILM). After its third weekend, AT WORLD'S END has captured $253.4M for Buena Vista. Universal's romantic comedy, KNOCKED UP, scored the third spot with $19.6M and $65.8M. Debuting in fourth with $17.6M was SURF'S UP from Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures.
Veteran Warner Bros. Ent. business operations exec Andy Lewis has been named evp/general administrative manager at Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD), overseeing all business operations, including finance, administration, planning and analysis for WBDTD, one of the leading distributors of first-run and off-network programming in the domestic television marketplace. Lewis comes to WBDTD after a decade at Warner Bros. Animation (WBA).
Sony Pictures Studios announced that beginning June 14, 2007, visitors will be able to take Twilight Tours of the historic studio every Thursday through September 28.
"From THE WIZARD OF OZ to SPIDER-MAN 3, this is the lot where dreams are made," said Pam Byrne, director of Studio Services. "Now people can enjoy warm summer evenings by experiencing the glamour and history of Sony Pictures Studios. Our Twilight Tours offer the perfect opportunity to treat family, friends and out-of-town guests to a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable Hollywood experience."
Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN 3: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE has grossed more than $20 million worldwide since premiering on May 3, 2007. The picture continued its heroic box office performance by reaching the $20 million milestone faster than any other 2-D digitally re-mastered IMAX release, between its opening on May 3 and June 3. SPIDER-MAN 3 is currently playing on 84 domestic IMAX screens and 34 international IMAX screens, the largest opening in IMAX's 40-year history.
The ninth annual Leo Awards took place on June 1-2, 2007, at the Westin Bayshore Vancouver, celebrating the best in film and television programs in British Columbia.
BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA: MAGIC OF THE RAINBOW was awarded in the category, Best Animation Program or Series. The program also won for Best Overall Sound in an Animation Program or Series. Peter Eliuk, Pat Haskill, Christine McLeod, Maureen Murphy and Gordon Sproule received the award.
Ubisoft has shipped the SURF'S UP videogame to store shelves, in anticipation of the June 8, 2007, release of the Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation theatrical release of SURF'S UP.
SURF'S UP for the PSP, consoles and PC are rated E10+ and have a MSRP of $49.99 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii; a MSRP of $39.99 for the PlayStation 2, PSP and GameCube; and a MSRP of $19.99 for the PC. SURF'S UP for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance is rated E and has a MSRP of $29.99.
Teri Meyer has been promoted to the newly created position of evp of worldwide publicity for Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing. She will be responsible for formulating and executing worldwide publicity campaigns for all live-action and animated features released under The Walt Disney Pictures (live action and animation), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures banners.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (with more cutting edge vfx from ILM) continued to chart new waters and rewrite the record books at the global box office with its unprecedented six-day opening tally of $404M. The film easily surpassed the previous opening record of $382 million set by SPIDER-MAN 3 just a few weeks ago.
Former Mainframe Ent. ceo Rick Mischel announced today (May 29, 2007) that he has launched Reach Games a new games company specializing in supplying art, design, modeling, animation and localization services to the videogame industry. Based in Vancouver, Reach plans to service other developers and publishers from around the world. Reach also plans to co-develop casual games and handheld games with other developers.
Sander Schwartz is stepping down as the president of Warner Bros. Animation. He plans to move into a production deal with the studio working on broadband and new media animation. Warner is looking for his replacement.
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.
Universal Pictures has confirmed that, beginning in October 2007, Christian Grass will become president of the studio's new international production arm at Universal Pictures International (UPI).
The SIGGRAPH 2007 Papers Program features the year's best research innovations in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Of 455 international submissions, a record-breaking 108 of the world's most prestigious papers will be presented at SIGGRAPH 2007 taking place Aug. 5-9 in San Diego, California.
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.
Nickelodeon Latin America announced today (May 18, 2007) it has closed several key broadcast deals for KAPPA MIKEY, the channel's first anime series created and produced entirely in the U.S., by Animation Collective.
Eleven students from nine different colleges and universities have been named winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 34th annual Student Academy Awards competition. They will participate in a week of industry-related activities and social events culminating June 9, 2007, with the awards presentation ceremony at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. One film student from Germany also has been selected to receive this year's Honorary Foreign Student Film Award.
The winners are (listed alphabetically by film title within category):
FIAE 2007 - International Festival of Erotic AnimationRio de Janeiro, BrazilNov. 6-8, 2007Deadline: Aug. 1, 2007
The FIAE 2007 - International Festival of Erotic Animation aims to contribute to the discovery and revealing of new films and new directors, within the universe of erotic animation, in Brazil and abroad. The event will be at the Movies Odeon BR, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Stage 3 Media Inc., an independent production company, announced the worldwide premiere of SANCTUARY, a new webisodic series created by veteran science fiction writer/producer Damian Kindler and led by actress Amanda Tapping (STARGATE: SG-1, STARGATE ATLANTIS). Featuring stunning visual effects and innovative interactive elements, SANCTUARY takes the viewer into a thrilling world where science meets the supernatural. The first of Sanctuary's eight 15-minute webisodes can be viewed exclusively online at www.sanctuaryforall.com.
Warner Bros. Pictures and Animal Logic have taken the logical step after the financial and Oscar-winning success of HAPPY FEET to extend their partnership. The two companies will jointly develop and co-produce a slate of animated features, with three projects, to be announced in the coming months, already earmarked for development. Warner Bros. Pictures will have worldwide distribution rights for all films produced through the deal.
It's uncertain whether a HAPPY FEET sequel would be part of this package, since director George Miller is first eying a few other projects.
The May 10 episode of SMALLVILLE titled "Prototype" (airing 8:00 pm on the CW network) marks the directorial debut of Entity FX founder/president/vfx supervisor Mat Beck. The episode continues to expand Beck's career in film and television as a supervisor, producer, cinematographer and second unit director.