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Studios Headline News

Astro Boy Voice Cast Announced

Slated for worldwide theatrical release in 2009, ASTRO BOY will feature the voices of Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy and Eugene Levy with Freddie Highmore in the title role. David Bowers is directing ASTRO BOY from a screenplay written by Timothy Harris, with Maryann Garger producing.

Studios Headline News

Incredible Hulk Powers Way To Box Office Win

Universal's THE INCREDIBLE HULK won the box office (ending June 15) with a $54.414 million (actuals) opening weekend. The Edward Norton-led film's vfx were by Gentle Giant Studios, Giant Studios, Hydraulx, Image Engine Design, Lidar Services, Lola Visual Effects, Rhythm and Hues and Soho VFX.

KUNG FU PANDA (DreamWorks, vfx by PDI DreamWorks) earned $34.612M in its second weekend for second place. The animated comedy's cume is $117.290M.

Fox's THE HAPPENING (vfx by CafeFX, ILM, Quantum Creation FX and The Third Floor), opened in third place with $30.517M.

Game Headline News

Gaming Big Guns To Address Develop Conference Delegates

Develop Conference and ExpoJuly 29-31, 2008Brighton, U.K.

Video gaming masterminds David Braben (Frontier Developments), Damian Isla (Bungie Studios), Richard Lemarchand (Naughty Dog) and Phil Spencer (Microsoft Game Studios Europe) and top animator Andy Lomas (Framestore) will deliver keynote addresses at this year's Develop Conference and Expo, which takes place from July 29-31 in Brighton.

Studios Headline News

Everybody At The Movie Theater Was Kung Fu Fighting

DreamWorks' animated KUNG FU PANDA hauled in $60.24 million (actuals) at the weekend box office ending June 8, winning its opening weekend. Special effects on the Jack Black-led comedy were by PDI DreamWorks.

Adam Sandler's YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (Sony, vfx by The Orphanage, Gentle Giant Studios, Lola Visual Effects and Stan Winston Studio) laughed its way to an expected No. 2 with $38.53M in its opening weekend.

Universal Headline News

The Show Goes On At Universal Studios Hollywood Following Fire On Sunday

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk have taken a "the show must go on" stance and are open for business as usual after a weekend fire that damaged the King Kong backlot attraction and one area of film sets that were frequently visited by the Studio Tour.

Studios Headline News

Universal Studios Shows Us The Black Lagoon

Drawn from Universal's crypt of classic monsters and updated with spectacular Broadway production values and special effects, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON -- THE MUSICAL will rise, live, on stage at Universal Studios Hollywood beginning spring 2009.

Studios Headline News

Sex And The Box Office Winner

Despite some mixed reviews, hoards of SEX AND THE CITY (New Line, vfx by Big Film Design) lovers turned out to see what happened next for Carrie Bradshaw and the girls, earning $56.85 million (actuals) in the opening weekend, ending June 1. It's the best-ever opening weekend for an R-rated comedy.

Paramount's INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, last week's huge winner, placed a respectable second with $44.75M, easily pushing the two-week gross to $215.64M. The fourth Indy film's vfx were by ILM, Gentle Giant Studios and Stan Winston Studio.

Studios Headline News

Colin Hodges Joins Pendulum As Director Of Performance Technology

Digital animation and vfx house Pendulum Studios has added Colin Hodges as its Director of Performance Technology. Hodges will be directly involved with the studio's 3D animation productions as well as managing its software development team, which includes the ongoing evolution of their award winning facial performance technology, AlterEgo.

Studios Headline News

Indiana Jones And The Crystal Clear Box Office Victory

Paramount's INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL was far and away the box office winner over Memorial Day Weekend, earning $126 million (estimated) over four days. The vfx for the fourth installment in the Indy franchise were done by ILM, Gentle Giant Studios and Stan Winston Studio.

INDY 4 is now second-best in Memorial Day openings; last year's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END is number one with $139.8M. According to VARIETY, INDY 4's worldwide box office stands at $311.1 million.

Studios Headline News

Witchblade Finds Its Way to Theaters

Platinum Studios, Top Cow Prods. and Arclight Films have combined forced to bring Top Cow comic WITCHBLADE to the big screen as a live-action feature, reports VARIETY. In the comic -- which was previously adapted into a TV series -- a female warrior is chosen each generation to protect the world with the Witchblade, a bejeweled gauntlet that gives the wearer superpowers.

Software Headline News

Disney Interactive Acquires China-Based Software Developer

Disney Interactive Studios today announced an agreement to acquire Gamestar, one of China's leading independent video game software developers.

With locations in Shanghai and Wuhan, Gamestar has a six-year track record producing high quality art and technology solutions for interactive entertainment software development. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Games Headline News

Video Game Vets Start TimeFly Studios

Three longtime video game industry veterans have started TimeFly Studios, an independent video game development company.

Brad Ruminer, Dennis Booth, and Glenn O'Bannon, former employees of Rainbow Studios, will be developing games based on licensed property as well as original game concepts from action/adventure to rhythm games to puzzle games.

Studios Headline News

Pixar Offers RenderMan Certified Courseware

Pixar Animation Studios released the first version of its RenderMan Certified Courseware created in association with Escape Studios. With contributions from the world's most accomplished visual effects and feature animation studios, Pixar's RenderMan Certified Courseware is the perfect educational resource for everyone from the beginner to the advanced professional.

Studios Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

We thought we'd kick off the New Year this week with a preview of the top 20 movies with VFX to look for in 2008. IRON MAN, SPEED RACER, the new CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and the return of INDIANA JONES are among the highlights, of course. And that's just summer! Meanwhile, with next Monday's debut of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES series on Fox, Tara DiLullo goes deeper into the making of the vfx with Zoic Studios after giving us a sneak peek in October.

Bill DesowitzEditor

Studios Headline News

LG Mobile Phones To Support Iron Man

LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. announced its partnership with Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios to launch a multi-faceted campaign to promote the role of technology in the upcoming Marvel Studios film IRON MAN.

Prior to the film's May 2, 2008 release, LG will unveil advertising, as well as retail, online and consumer electronics industry initiatives, to showcase the company's high-tech expertise and role in developing sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing multimedia devices.

Studios Headline News

Quietmen Acquired by ACK Media

Popular children's brand ACK Media has recently acquired Bangalore-based animation and gaming studio Quietmen Studios, reports ANIMATION XPRESS.The studio has changed its name to Katha Studios and will develop products for a variety of platforms based on new and old properties.

Universal Headline News

Unrated Battlestar Galactica: Razor Available on DVD

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR UNRATED EXTENDED EDITION, arrives in stores today (Dec. 4) from Universal Studios Home Ent. ($26.98).

THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR UNRATED EXTENDED EDITION DVD contains an extended version of the two-hour broadcast event on SCI FI that includes all-new characters and more action and vfx than any previous episode in the popular series, as well as behind-the-scenes interviews with the series' creators.

Studios Headline News

New Line Rockets to Planet 51 Toon

New Line Cinema has acquired Ilion Animation Studios and Handmade Films Int'l's PLANET 51, launching a new push into animated feature distribution for the 40-year-old studio, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

In a twist on the alien invasion flick, the inhabitants of Planet 51 are paranoid that aliens will invade. When astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker arrives mayhem ensues and the Earthling must befriend a young Planet 51-ian to get back home.

Game Headline News

Halo 3, BioShock Lead Video Game Award Nods

Spike TV's "Video Game Awards" returns this year with a 5th anniversary celebration that will honor the year's greatest achievements in gaming. This year, HALO 3 and BIOSHOCK lead the way, with seven nominations apiece, including Game of the Year.

Spike TV's 2007 "Video Game Awards" tapes Friday, Dec. 7th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will premiere Sunday, Dec. 9th (9:00-11:00 pm, ET/PT).

Studios Headline News

BOXX & Escape Studios Partner on First Official RenderMan Learning Tool

BOXX Technologies is helping Escape Studios to develop Pixar's RenderMan Certified Courseware, the first official learning tool for Pixar Animation Studio's Academy Award-winning RenderMan software.

Escape Studios selected BOXX Technologies' workstations and render farms to provide the rendering power for this new courseware.

Studios Headline News

Foundation 9 Collects Two Facilities into One Shiny New One

Foundation 9 Ent. announced that it will combine its two existing Southern California studios, The Collective and Shiny Ent., into one larger entity. The merge will enable greater capacity to create large-scale games based on big licensed properties. Both studios have already relocated to F9E's new 60,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Irvine, California.

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