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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

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The Royle Family Christmas special attracts over 4 million

24 December 2014 3:13 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

The Royle Family was the most-watched peak time programme last night (December 23) outside of soaps, according to overnight data.

The Christmas special - which first aired in 2012 - entertained an average of 4.22m (19.2%) on BBC One from 9pm and peaked at 4.46m.

Earlier in the evening, 4.14m (20.2%) tuned into Celebrity Mastermind, while a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys' 2012 Christmas episode was watched by 3.34m (22.1%).

On BBC Two, Masterchef: The Professionals tempted an average of 3.59m viewers from 8pm (16%), followed by 1.87m (8.5%) who stayed for The Wrong Mans.

Meanwhile, ITV showed the latest episode of Wilderness Walks with Ray Mears to 2.13m (10.4%) at 7.30pm (88.7k/0.4% on +1).

1.79m (7.8%) joined Christine Bleakley and Michael Scott for a look at Roman Britain from the Air at 8pm (128.5k/0.6%), which was followed by 1.90m (8.7%) who tuned into Lottery Stories: Be Careful What You Wish For at 9pm (202.7k/1.1%).

Over on Channel 4, festive favourite »

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Few Original Song Nominees Come From Best Picture Nominees

22 December 2014 7:28 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor 

On Dec. 12, the Academy released a shortlist of 79 songs in contention for best original song at the 87th Academy Awards, but it’s not so easy to predict which songs will be announced as nominees on Jan. 15. You can’t turn to potential best picture nominees — or best animated features, for that matter — to predict which songs make the final cut. Though a number of best picture nominees have also been nominated for best original song, there’s not much correlation between the two.

The original song category was first introduced at the 7th Annual Academy Awards, and the winner was “The Continental” from 1934’s The Gay Divorcee, also nominated for best picture.

Nineteen of the 80 Oscar-winning songs have come from best picture nominees. They are as follows:

“The Continental” — The Gay Divorcee (1934) “Over the Rainbow” — The Wizard of Oz (1939) “Swinging on a Star” — Going My Way »

- Anjelica Oswald

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The Relationship Between Highest-Grossing Films and Oscar Nominations

26 November 2014 10:07 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor 

It’s safe to assume that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is going to end the year as the highest-grossing film at the domestic box office with more than $331 million earned as of Nov. 23, but its Oscar prospects lie in below-the-line categories, such as visual effects and sound.

More often than not, the highest-grossing films tend to be neglected in the best picture category. Though The Dark Knight (2008), which was widely-acclaimed and was the highest-grossing film of the year, received eight nominations and won two (sound editing and supporting actor), it was snubbed by the Academy in the best picture category. The following year, the number of best picture nominees increased from five to 10 (and can now fall between those numbers). Since this increase though, the only highest-grossing films to land best picture nominations are 2009’s Avatar and 2010’s Toy Story 3. Neither of the films won. »

- Anjelica Oswald

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‘Penguins Of Madagascar’ Review: Pete Hammond On Earthbound Spinoff

25 November 2014 2:32 PM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Penguins of Madagascar waddles onto screens this holiday week, a spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar animated franchise. But as I say in my video review above, this film focuses on just one corner of that franchise’s winning collection of critters, the scheming pack of penguins. And it never quite takes flight, despite its manic pace and an evil octopus (!) voiced wonderfully by John Malkovich.

Other voice cast members include the seemingly omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom McGrath (director of the three Madagascar films), Chris Miller (Puss in Boots director), Christopher Knights and Conrad Vernon (director of Shrek 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens).

The film was directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith, from a script fashioned by McGrath, Brandon Sawyer, Eric Darnell, John Aboud and Michael Colton. Producers are Laura Breay and Mark Swift.

Penguins opens in the United States on Wednesday (it’s been in China and »

- Pete Hammond

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DreamWorks Animation Sale Talks with Hasbro End

14 November 2014 3:55 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hasbro does not plan to acquire DreamWorks Animation, in a deal that would have been worth at least $2.3 billion, Variety can confirm.

The toymaker ended conversations with the toon studio on Friday, causing Dwa’s stock to plummet more than $2 a share after the close of the trading day on Wall Street.

While sources close to the merger discussions between the two companies say talks were in their early stages, the very idea had Hollywood considering the prospects of an entertainment juggernaut that would have combined popular franchises, TV shows, digital platforms, and a growing consumer products, live events, location-based entertainment business.

There were several factors that led to the talks ending between Hasbro and DreamWorks.

Hasbro chief Brian Goldner is said to have grown skittish over the impact the potential merger had on Hasbro’s stock, which fell 4% on Thursday to $54.98 and another 1.75% on Friday to $54.02.

Investors regained confidence »

- Marc Graser

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Playmobil Is Getting A Movie Because Of Course

12 November 2014 2:21 PM, PST | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

In a hardly surprising move, it has been announced that a Playmobil movie is currently in the works. Clearly a genius over at Playmobil noticed just how successful The Lego Movie was earlier this summer, added 2 + 2 together and realized that they could probably profit off of its success too. The German toy company Playmobil couldn.t just let its Danish rivals dominate the toy figurine movie market without a fight. On Entertainment, Wild Bunch and Pathe have now combined to invest $80 million in an animated Playmobil feature film, which they hope will benefit from the financial triumph of the awesome 2014 animated comedy extravaganza. According to Variety, Bob Persichetti, a Dreamworks veteran who has previously worked on Shrek 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens, has been placed in charge of developing the project. We can likely expect the finished product to have at least some similarity to the upcoming 2015 feature film adaptation »

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'Playmobil' Movie Is Happening with 'The Little Prince' Team

12 November 2014 9:20 AM, PST | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

On Entertainment, Wild Bunch and Pathe are planning an $80 million animated movie based on the Playmobil toys, which are popular worldwide.

On Entertainment acquired the film rights to the Playmobil Movie, which is being co-developed by Pathe and Wild Bunch. They have brought on Bob Persichetti to spearhead the project. He previously worked as head of story on DreamWorks Animation's Monsters Vs. Aliens, Shrek 2 and Puss in Boots. He most recently worked on a reboot of the popular French novella The Little Prince, which has previously been adapted into a 1974 live-action movie and various animated series throughout the years. On Entertainment is also producing The Little Prince, and will bring back the same creative team.

Production on the Playmobil Movie is currently being set up in Montreal with On Entertainment's animation division. No story details have been released for this ambitious cartoon. The toys have sold over 2.7 billion figures since their creation. »

- MovieWeb

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Animated Playmobil Movie in Development from On Entertainment and Wild Bunch

12 November 2014 8:18 AM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

When The Lego Movie came out, I cracked a joke on Twitter saying that The Asylum—the company you can count on for mockbusters—should handle a Playmobil movie.  It turns out there actually will be an animated Playmobil movie, but it will be coming from On Entertainment and Wild Bunch.  For those who don't know, Playmobil are like Lego minus the fun of building and adorable minifigures.  To put it another way, it's what a child gets for their birthday when their grandparents can't tell the difference between Lego and Playmobil at the toy store. Hit the jump for more. According to Variety, Bob Persichetti, who worked as head of story on Monsters vs. Aliens, Shrek 2, and Puss in Boots, is spearheading the development.  And to be fair to Playmobil (and as a Lego fan, it's so very difficult even though they're not competing brands except in my »

- Matt Goldberg

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Move Over Lego, Playmobil Is Also Headed To The Big Screen

12 November 2014 6:04 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

After the smash hit "The Lego Movie" landed earlier this year, earning $468 million worldwide, Warner Bros. wasted no time putting the wheels in motion for more. "Ninjago," "Lego Batman," and "The Lego Movie 2" are all in the works, and so of course, it wasn't going to be long until another building block company tried their hand at big screen success. And no, it's not Tinkertoys.  Playmobil, that other company that made childhood figurines and action playsets, managed to get On Entertainment, Wild Bunch and Pathe to throw $80 million towards a feature film. Bob Persichetti (“Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Shrek 2,” “Puss in Boots,” "The Little Prince") is going to guide the project, bringing in the production team of the latter to get this moving. Production will take place in Montreal, and the movie will hit in 2017. Everything is awesome, we suppose, at least if you're a toy company right now. It »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Playmobil film in the works from On Entertainment

12 November 2014 2:22 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

On Entertainment is developing an animated Playmobil film.

Wild Bunch and Pathe are teaming on the project based on the iconic kids brand, reports Variety.

The creative team of The Little Prince is developing the movie.

Bob Persichetti, who served as head of story on Monsters vs Aliens, Shrek 2 and Puss in Boots, will spearhead the development of the project.

The film follows the critical and commercial success of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's Lego Movie, which was released earlier this year.

The Playmobil film is expected to be released in 2017. »

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Look Out Lego, Animated 'Playmobil' Movie is in Development Now

10 November 2014 12:09 PM, PST | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

If for some ridiculous reason The Lego Movie just didn't do anything for you, then maybe you'll be more interested in seeing what can be done with a different toy line. The Paris-based production banner On Entertainment is teaming with Wild Bunch and Pathe to develop an animated film based on the iconic Playmobil toys. Variety reports the film's development is being spearheaded by Bob Persichetti, who was head of story on hits like Monsters vs. Aliens, Puss in Boots and Shrek 2 at DreamWorks Animation. The film will have the same creative team that just worked on an animated film called The Little Prince. As for the story, we're not sure what it will be about. But much like the Lego brand, Playmobil has over 30 different worlds in which various figures and playsets exists, so the narrative possibilities are endless. The toy is an international favorite in over 100 countries worldwide, »

- Ethan Anderton

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The Playmobil movie set for 2017 release

7 November 2014 1:12 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

There's a new Leg... oh, hang on. There's a Playmobil movie coming in 2017!

It’s a mystery where posh film people get their ideas from sometimes. Entirely independent of any other cinema trends, On Entertainment, Pathe and Wild Bunch are collaborating on bringing a Playmobil movie to the big screen. It’ll be a fully animated production based around Playmobil blocks. You never know, it may even have a catchy song with it too.

Overseeing the development is Bob Persichetti, who worked on the likes of Shrek 2 and Puss In Boots as head of story.

The Playmobil movie, whatever it ends up being called, will be released in cinemas in 2017.

In a bizarre coincidence, there’s also a further series of films based around Lego toys heading into cinemas too, with The Lego Batman Movie also due in 2017, and The Lego Movie 2 in 2018. Obviously this is just one of those weird happenings, »

- simonbrew

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Afm: On Ent. Plays With Wild Bunch, Pathe on Playmobil Pic (Exclusive)

6 November 2014 6:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paris-based On Entertainment, one of Europe’s leading production companies, is partnering up with Wild Bunch and Pathe on an $80 million animated feature based on the iconic Playmobil toys’ brand.

On Entertainment, which is topped by Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache, secured film rights to the Playmobil toys.

Pathe and Wild Bunch are co-developing the feature, while Wild Bunch will be handling worldwide sales.

Bob Persichetti, who worked as head of story on “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Shrek 2” and “Puss in Boots” is spearheading the development. Persichetti most recently worked on Mark Osborne’s (“Kung Fu Panda”) “The Little Prince,” which On Entertainment is also producing.

Rassam told Variety the Playmobil toon will bring back the same creative team as “The Little Prince.”

The production will be set up in Montreal, at On Entertainment’s animation division.

The ambitious toon feature is being produced by Dimitri Rassam, Soumache, Alexis Vonarb and Moritz Borman. »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Antonio Banderas Ups Production, Direction Priorities

24 October 2014 7:05 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Madrid – Antonio Banderas is not done yet. Currently shooting “Altamira” – his first majority Spanish film in two decades, outside his own productions and collaborations with Pedro Almodóvar – Banderas, one of Spain’s biggest Hollywood success stories, imagines a future based out of New York, Madrid and his hometown Málaga in Andalusia, Spain.

That is a sign of the times. The recipient of an honorary Goya at Spain’s 2015 Academy Awards, as an actor, Banderas is currently starring – and sporting a Victorian beard for the purpose – in Hugh Hudson’s family-skewing historical drama “Altamira,” co-stars in Patricia’s Reegen’s ”The 33,” in post; appears in Paramount Pictures’ The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” and in Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups.”

As large questions remain about Spain’s future state financing structures, Banderas is emerging as a possible lynchpin between the U.S. industry, its finance, distribution muscle, studio facilities, »

- John Hopewell

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Joan Rivers Died From Lack of Oxygen During Procedure

16 October 2014 12:49 PM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Joan Rivers died of low blood oxygen during a procedure to evaluate voice changes and reflux, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner has ruled, according to The Associated Press. The comedian and actress died at age 81 at Mount Sinai Hospital a week after the operation, a laryngoscopy and an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy which took place on August 28th at New York's Yorkville Endoscopy clinic. The official cause of death was "anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest" – brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen.

"The classification of »

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First Look at Matthew McConaughey in 'Sea of Trees'

30 September 2014 3:04 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Two-time Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) has wrapped principal photography on The Sea of Trees, which filmed on location in Japan and Massachusetts, starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street), Ken Watanabe (Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Samurai) and two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams, King Kong, Mulholland Dr.). The cast also includes actors Katie Aselton (star of FX's The League) and Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black).

Arthur Brennan (McConaughey) treks into Aokigahara, known as the The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to contemplate life and death. Having found the perfect place to die, Arthur encounters Takumi Nakamura (Watanabe), a Japanese man who has also lost his way. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will »

- MovieWeb

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"Sea of Trees" Wraps Production

30 September 2014 12:30 PM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Two-time Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) has wrapped principal photography on "The Sea of Trees", which filmed on location in Japan and Massachusetts, starring Oscar winner Mathew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street), Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Samurai) and two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams, King Kong, Mulholland Drive).  The cast also includes actors Katie Aselton (star of FX's The League) and Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black).   Arthur Brennan (McConaughey) treks into Aokigahara, known as the The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to contemplate life and death.  Having found the perfect place to die, Arthur encounters Takumi Nakamura (Watanabe), a Japanese man who has also lost his way. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms »

- Press Release

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 10 years on: A ground-breaking blockbuster

27 September 2014 2:00 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

It's 1994, and aspiring filmmaker Kerry Conran sits down with his Macintosh IIci to begin work on a short film that's a throwback to the buccaneering adventure serials of the '30s and '40s. In those post-Jurassic Park days, computer-generated visual effects technology was still in its infancy, but Conran, a former CalArts student, saw the potential to tell a story he'd dreamed about. After four years of painstaking work with blue screen and his already-obsolete Mac, he fashioned a black and white teaser trailer for The World of Tomorrow.

Alongside Conran for the entirety of the journey was his brother Kevin Conran, who served as production and costume designer on both the short and eventual feature film. Speaking to Digital Spy from his home in California, Kevin recalled the lightbulb moment when his brother first pitched him the idea.

"At the time I was working as a freelance »

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Dark Horse Comics' 'Breath of Bones' Lands 'Shrek' Director

23 September 2014 5:41 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Shrek director Andrew Adamson has signed on to helm an adaptation of the Dark Horse Comics title Breath of Bones.

Steve Niles and Matt Santoro wrote the three-issue Breath of Bones mini-series, with artwork by Dave Wachter, who received a 2012 Russ Manning Award nomination for his work. The story is set during World War II, centering on a Jewish community that is discovered by the Nazis after a British plane crashes into their village. As the Nazi soldiers advance on their land, a Rabbi and his grandson construct a massive Golem monster to help defend them from the Third Reich. In Jewish folklore, a Golem is a creature made of clay that is brought to life through the use of magic charms or sacred words.

Here's what Steve Niles had to say about Breath of Bones, which was published in 2012.

"Telling a story can be tough. It's the one monster »

- MovieWeb

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‘Shrek’ Producer John Williams Launching Animated Production Company (Exclusive)

18 September 2014 5:11 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Shrek” producer John H. Williams and Henry Skelsey, managing partner of Fulton Capital Management LLC, have formed 3Qu Media as a specialist in CG-animated feature films for the international marketplace.

3Qu Media has completed funding from a group of investors for its initial slate of four films with budgets under $20 million, starting with animated comedy “Charming.”

Ross Venokur will direct from his script, which re-imagines the tales of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty after they discover they are all engaged to the same Prince Charming.

“Our purpose is to produce mainstream and commercially successful CG-animated family films with elements of comedy, adventure, romance and personal inspiration for the global market,” Williams said.

3Qu Media is producing in association with Wv Enterprises. Williams is producing and Sc Films International is handling foreign sales.

Production has started at Cinesite’s new animation studio in Montreal.

Williams has  a producing credit on »

- Dave McNary

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