Columbia Pictures has optioned the feature film rights to Image Comics POWERS, created by writer-artist Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Financial terms of the deal were listed as the duo receiving low six figures up front leading to high-six figures following the films release. The comic follows the cases of two homicide detectives -- who live in a world full of superheroes and villains assigned to the "powers" division to investigate superpower-related murders. Bendis will either receive a co-producing or an associate producing credit on the film.
Geographical Region: South America
Award winning filmmakers, Derek Lamb & Jeffrey Hale are teaming up with Toonz Animation India to produce THE LAST BRITISH COLONEL IN INDIA, a short animated comedy film. The flick is based on an original song by Derek Lamb and satirizes the British Empire days in India, bringing to light for the first time the real reason why the British quit India in 1947. "This entire project began to percolate at last years Week with the Masters hosted by Toonz Animation in India. Both Derek and Jeffrey thought it was time to tell this previously unknown story.
Digital Film @ The Moving Picture Company has completed the opening title sequence for LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS-director Guy Ritchie's new gangster film, SNATCH. The titles, created by Digital Film and designed by So, a division of Picasso Pictures, depict the main characters in the movie. Spinning and strobing images, glimpses, flashes, quick cuts, flipped images, jump frames and freeze frames were added to create a hard-edged look for the opening.
The X-MEN are gaining more ground in international theatres with top seat debuts in France, U.K. and Brazil. In France, the superhero saga racked up an impressive US$5.83 million in its opening weekend. Holding steady at #2, Americas summer smash, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, amassed another $2.65 million, bringing its French cume to $23.18 million. THE PERFECT STORM sank from first to fourth, with a gross of $2.33 million, raising its French cume to $6.77 million. Falling a spot to land in sixth, GLADIATOR garnered $861,846, advancing its French cume to $29.59 million.
Serving as the major animation festival in South America, Anima Mundi has rolled out its list of winners for the 2000 competition in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The festivals goal of highlighting different styles and points of view was achieved with a list of winners from around the world. From Portuguese director José Miguel Ribeiro, A SUSPEITA took home the top prize in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The five-day event drew 16,000 people.
This weeks international box office saw big premieres for X-MEN and GONE IN 60 SECONDS and the quick disappearance of THE PATRIOT. In the U.K., X-MEN hit it big with a stellar US$7.08 million three-day take. The mighty mutants had the second highest opening of the year behind TOY STORY 2 and the eighth highest in the countrys history. Holding on at #2, STUART LITTLE landed another $1.11 million, lifting its British cume to $20.24 million. GONE IN 60 SECONDS slipped from first to third, with a gross of $952,847, raising its British cume to $7.95 million.
After its first full week in theatres, THE PATRIOT finished at the top in Germany, Spain and Brazil. In Germany, THE PATRIOT fought out the debut of CHICKEN RUN with a gross of US$1.62 million, bringing its cume to $6.05 million. CHICKEN came in with a gross of $1.35 million. Dropping two slots to fourth, THE PERFECT STORM washed up $569,269, advancing its cume to $9.63 million. TITAN A.E. premiered in fifth with a gross of $491,902. Slipping to sixth, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 added $463,141 to its German cume of $23.08 million.
Former Disney chairman Joe Roths Revolution Studios will turn the Web series, LIL PIMP, into a Flash-animated feature. The MediaTrip.com series will be the first feature length film to be animated using Macromedias Flash software. Creators Paul Gilstrap and Mark Brooks with their team of four animators are set to scribe, produce and direct the project. Production on the flick could begin as early as three to four weeks. No monetary details have been released, however Gilstrap and Brooks look to make most of their money from backend revenues.
With several debuts around the globe, THE PATRIOT has won the war for international box office supremacy. Premiering at #1 in Germany, the Mel Gibson-starrer grossed a hefty $3.23 million. Slipping to second, THE PERFECT STORM garnered $1.29 million, raising its German cume to $8.62 million. Down one to #4, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 added another $1.01 million to its $22.42 million German cume. At #8, THE TIGGER MOVIE rounded up an additional $206,761, bringing its German cume to $3.97 million. In its 10th week in Germany, GLADIATOR grossed $119,979 in tenth, advancing its cume to $19.99 million.
Columbia TriStar Home Video is set to flood stores with HEAVY METAL 2000 and the original 1981 Heavy Metal in a two-pack release. On October 17, 2000, the HEAVY METAL sequel, which never found theatrical distribution in the U.S., will be available on VHS and DVD. The special widescreen DVD will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and two-channel Dolby Surround Sound. The extra features on the HEAVY METAL 2000 DVD release will include: the short film JULIE STRAIN: SUPER GODDESS, animation tests, the trailer and multiple language tracks in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
With more summer blockbusters arriving in international theatres, the old guard is weaning. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, however, is still strong, finishing atop the charts in Italy, Sweden Japan and Spain. In its second week, M:I 2 grossed another US$700,928 in Italy, raising its cume to $6.82 million. GLADIATOR is losing its power, slipping a spot in Italy to finish at #4 with a gross of $103,693, bringing its Italian cume to $8.64 million. In Sweden, GLADITOR also finished in 4th place with a gross of $217,952, advancing its cume to $3.93 million.
Infogrames, Inc., announced that entertainment industry veterans Jason Bell and Alyssa Padia have joined Infogrames' North American management team. Bell will become senior vice president of publishing for Infogrames' North American operations, while Padia will become senior vice president of corporate evolution. Bell will head all publishing activities for Infogrames' labels in the U.S. For the past six years, Bell has worked at Electronic Arts and Kesmai. During that time, he held senior management roles focused on development of single player and multi-player games.
Effective July 1, 2000, VanArts (Vancouver Institute of Media Arts) has received full accreditation status from the Private Post-Secondary Education Commission of British Columbia, Canada. This achievement gives the institute formal recognition for its high standard of excellence in operations and delivery of animation education. VanArts offers intensive one-year certificate programs in both classical and computer animation and a two-year diploma in commercial animation.
With nods in Brazil and Hong Kong, Disneys DINOSAUR roams atop the box office charts. In Brazil, the special effects spectacle landed $2.65 million in its debut. Whereas in Hong Kong, the blue-green beasts stomped out an amazing $1.29 million on only 43 screens! The prehistoric pic adds another name to the long time three way battle between MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, GLADIATOR and GONE IN 60 SECONDS for international box office glory. Back in Brazil, M:I 2 fell to second with a gross of $1.89 million, bringing its Brazilian cume to $5.63 million.
The live-action version of DAREDEVIL has swung from Columbia Pictures to find a new home at New Regency Pictures, however, writer-director Mark Steven Johnson is still attached to the project. Marvel Enterprises moved the project due to an Internet rights dispute with Columbia. New Regencys Arnon Milchan and Marvel Studios Avi Arad are producing the flick. 20th Century Fox will distribute the film. DAREDEVIL follows the adventures of attorney Matt Murdock, who was blinded by an accident with a radioactive transport truck.
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.
Sony Pictures Digital Studios president, Kenneth Williams, has been named the new CEO and president of Stan Lee Media. Subsequently, Stan Lees acting president and CEO, Devendra Mishra, will become the president of Stan Lee International, overseeing partnerships with multimedia companies around the world. Since 1997, Williams has overseen all activities at Sony Pictures Digital. In addition, Williams is one of the founders of Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Academy award-nominated digital effects and animation division of the company.
Bill Plympton has updated his appearances page. In the next months, "I Married a Strange Person" will be appearing at Hiroshima festival in Japan; "Walt Curtis, the Peckerneck Poet" will be appearing at the Outfest, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival; "Can't Drag Race With Jesus" will be appearing at Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, Anima Mundi festival in Brazil and Hiroshima. Bill Plympton will be appearing at the San Diego Comic Convention, as well as the Krok and Hiroshima Festivals.
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.
is Brazil's international animation Web competition.
The festival has pre-selected 10 animations for the official
competition. Now, you can be part of the international cyber jury and
vote for your favorites. The jury consists of the people that have
registered on the Anima Mundi Festival Web site. The winners will be
announced on the closing night of the Anima Mundi Festival in Rio de
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.
* Friday, July 14 Sunday, July 23, 2000. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tuesday, July 26 Sunday, July 30, 2000. São Paulo, Brazil.
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.
DreamWorks' GLADIATOR continues to plunder the pockets of moviegoers around the globe. Complete box numbers from Germany, France, Australia and a number of other countries were not available due to local holidays, however GLADIATOR looks like it is still slaying the competition. The bloody blockbuster is still topping the charts after five weeks in release in both the U.K. and Australia, regaining the top spot from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 in the later. In its four weeks in release, the Roman revenge tale took the #1 spot in both Italy and Spain.