THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS made its worldwide debut on Nov. 5, 2003, taking in $43.1 million from 18,000 screens. The final installment in the cyber saga brought in $24.3 million in the U.S. and Canada where it played in 3,502 theaters. This amount makes it the third biggest Wednesday bow of all time in North America behind only STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE ($28.5M) and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS ($26.2M).
Category: Visual Effects
DreamWorks has tapped commercial director Noam Murro to direct the sequel to the $129 million surprise hit, THE RING, reported VARIETY. The original films star Naomi Watts has already signed on to reprise her role. The film should start filming in January and is scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 10, 2004.
Visual effects producer Leighton Greer has joined the staff of Entity FX in Santa Monica, California. Previously she was visual effects producer at A52 where she produced spots for Nike, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, Cadillac, Volvo and Sony PlayStation. Prior to A52, Greer worked at Rhythm & Hues, Pinnacle Studios and Pacific Ocean Post.
Greer recently produced the award-winning Nike MOVE, directed by Jake Scott of RSA and Sony PlayStations SIGNS, directed by Dante Ariola of MJZ.
The British Television Advertising Awards were announced on Nov. 3, 2003 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel. The event attracted more than 400 entries for its 21 categories.
Alias Systems announced the start of Expose Yourself, the upcoming contest for digital artists who use Alias SketchBook Pro, the sketching tool for Tablet PCs and Wacom tablets. From Nov. 17, 2003 until Feb. 13, 2004, artists, illustrators and designers can submit their sketches at www.sketchbookpro.com/contest. The contest is sponsored by Microsoft, Acer, Wacom, PC Mall and Intel.
HP announced the new HP Visualization Center sv7, an affordable, high-end visualization solution designed for companies, such as large automotive and aerospace firms who need to visualize designs on auditorium-scale displays. The center will allow executive committees and engineering teams to review full-scale design concepts and digital assemblies that allow users to model and walk through the manufacturing process.
The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will allocate $250,000 to 17 U. S. film festivals for calendar year 2004 programming, according to the Academy's festival grants committee chair, Buffy Shutt.
The Chicago International Children's Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival will each receive $30,000 grants.
3 Ring Circus, a full-service creative branding firm based in Los Angeles, has a new creative team on board, which has just finished a string of projects. Maziar Majd leads the team as creative director.
Elevating its position as a leading 3D animation company, Hornet Inc. recently completed ANGELS, an advertising campaign for the new BMW X5 and Fallon Worldwide. The package includes TV, print, interactive, merchandising and point-of-sale elements for BMW.
Cutting Edge VFX of Australia (www.cuttingedge.com) recently completed the animated opening and closing credits for Disney's just-released DVD premiere GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE 2 (Walt Disney Home Entertainment, $29.99).
Gregory Butler from Weta, a CG supervisor on THE LORD OF THE RINGS films, has been added as a morning keynote speaker to The Pipeline 2003, the U.K. event devoted to digital artists and animators, sponsored by Techimage, to be held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London on Nov. 20, 2003.
Right upon the heals of MGMs announcement that it has enlisted Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes to remake THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, Dimension Films plans to produce a film based on the life of George Lutz, who lived in the real Long Island haunted house, which the 1979 film was based on, reported VARIETY. Dimension obtained Lutzs life rights and a finished script from Nu Image. The film is scheduled to hit theaters early next summer.
The simultaneous release of Warner Bros.' THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS on Nov. 5, 2003 in 35mm and IMAX/15/70 represents a first for a live-action Hollywood film and the prestigious large format corporation, which is attempting to increase both its commercial appeal and profitability as a result of its aggressive repurposing strategy.
Cinesite (Europe) Ltd. will be in Los Angeles to recruit artists on Nov. 6-7, 2003 for some of its upcoming vfx projects. Recruiters will be based at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, and interested applicants are invited to meet with them to discuss professional opportunities in London. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with resumes. Cinesite will also be holding open recruitment on Nov. 6 at 6:00 pm.
The long in-development film adaptation of Maurice Sendaks childrens book classic WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE has been assigned by Universal to director Spike Jonze (ADAPTATION), reported VARIETY. Tom Hanks Playtone production house has long been developing the film as a CGI project, but Universal agreed to go live-action upon hearing Jonzes vision. Originally animation vet Eric Goldberg (ALADDIN) was attached to direct, but he left to go work on LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION after WILD THINGS seemed to be stalling.
Ogilvy PR recently commissioned leading digital effects and design studio Radium to direct and design a hip anti-litter PSA. The PSA is part of the LA County Department of Public Works' efforts to inform people about the negative impact littering has on the environment.
Ang Lees controversial, angst-ridden adaptation of the popular Marvel comic, HULK, premieres Oct. 28, 2003 on DVD (Universal Home Entertainment, $26.98). The complex, tragic story aside (the scientific sins of the father are truly visited on the son), theres the more intriguing issue of Industrial Light & Magics CG work on the Hulk to reconsider. No matter what your views on the aesthetic choices, the technical advances in character animation make the Hulk a marvel to watch.
Tom Atkin told VFXWorld that he will be stepping down as founding exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) because he's come to the realization that "the goal is accomplished and there is nothing more that I can do at this level. Now that I've built this organization, it's time to turn it over to the membership to dictate future policies, goals and business plans."
Moneyshots recently completed work on two music videos for OutKasts HEY YA! and I LIKE THE WAY YOU MOVE. Both videos were conceived, produced and edited to play together or separately and have been released simultaneously.
Artisan Entertainment has announced that upcoming release on August 27, 2004 of the feature film rendition of Marvel Comics MAN-THING. Produced by Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment in association with German equity fund Screenland Movieworld, the film just wrapped production after an eight-week shoot in Sydney, Australia. Effects pioneer Brett Leonard (THE LAWNMOWER MAN, T-REX BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS) directed the film. Hans Rodionoff (THE HOLLOW) adapted the comic for the screen.
Tom Atkin has decided to step aside as founding exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) at the end of his current contract on July 31, 2004. Atkin said he is returning to his entrepreneurial roots. He founded VES in 1993 and helped guide its growth to its current 900 global members, nine festivals worldwide and an annual awards show. The VES will begin the search for a successor. "I have been so honored to be a part of the Visual Effects Society for the past 10 years," Atkin said. "My passion for this organization is equivalent to the child I never had.
RAI Trade held a special launch reception for its new edutainment series, AMAZING HISTORY, at its stand during MIPCOM. The series strives to explain, in an entertaining manner for kids and adults, great historical events via live-action and lots of computer graphics, narrated by 3D animated hosts Mr. Chan, an alien from Mars, and Betty the sheep. They are tutored by the impeccable Prof.
Bauhaus Software Inc. has announced it has begun shipping Mirage 1.0, a unified environment for creating animated graphics and special effects. The Mirage environment provides a diverse toolset and a centralized workflow for animated graphics, 2D animation and special effects creation. It was designed for projects of any resolution, ranging from HDTV and film to Web video.
Adobe Systems Inc. has announced the release of the new, full version of Adobe Atmosphere, a powerful professional authoring tool for creating multimedia rich, interactive 3D environments for the Web and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. With the easy-to-use creation and productivity features in Atmosphere, Web designers and digital document creators - in the arts, e-commerce, entertainment and education - can quickly deliver realistic, high-impact, interactive environments.
The highly anticipated DVD release of CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE streets Oct. 21, 2003 in both theatrical and un-rated versions (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, $27.94). Directed once again by McG and starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, the sequel capitalizes on more creative stunts, sexy costumes and a pulsating soundtrack.