6 items from 2015
Annecy – France remains Europe’s animation powerhouse, the third biggest producer of animated features in the world, and the locale of an equally massive toon TV industry whose shows dominate major broadcast networks and increased sales abroad for five years running over 2009-13, suggested a report from France’s Cnc film-board presented at the Annecy Festival.
But while the envy of the rest of Europe, the Cnc study paints, however, a picture of France’s animation industry where there is little room for complacency, and no clear sign as yet of a sustained commercial lift-off of its animated movie industry since Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp pulled out of big toon pic production after sustaining losses on its “Arthur” trilogy
“To talk about French animation is to talk about an industry of excellence, and that’s nit by chance but reflects the quality of our schools, R & D and technology, known the world over, »
- John Hopewell
Last year, Luc Besson steered the sci-fi movie Lucy to box office gold, marking his latest foray into a genre that he's served really rather well over the course of his career. Whether writing, producing or directing, Besson's pawprints have been on projects such as The Fifth Element, Lockout and Arthur And The Invisibles. His next film as director, however, he's already calling the "biggest challenge of my career".
The film in question is Valerian, based on the French science fiction comics series by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. Set for release in the summer of 2017, the film is set to star Dane DeHaan as a time travel agents, trying to maintain law and order in the 28th century. Cara Delevingne, currently shooting Suicide Squad, is set to co-star. »
Now that's how you join Twitter. Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element" is one of those movies that seems to have grown over the years since it was first released, and I am pleased to see how often it's mentioned these days or referenced in some way. It has been confounding to see Besson's directing career over the eighteen years since it came out, though, because he hasn't even come close to making a film in the same genre. There was a point where he claimed he was completely retired, and he's made movies like "Arthur And The Invisibles" and "Lucy" instead of making the "Fifth Element" sequel "Mr. Shadow" or something else that might scratch that same itch. When I moderated the Universal panel for "Lucy" at WonderCon in the spring of 2014, I got some time to talk to Besson about his work in general, and we talked about »
- Drew McWeeny
Within the next two weeks Pixar will officially debut its latest animated feature, "Inside Out," at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It's the Disney division's first new movie since "Monster's University" which hit theaters almost two years ago. Pixar will make up for the long absence by also releasing a second picture, "The Good Dinosaur," in November. While Pixar steps back into the spotlight its sister division, Walt Disney Animation Studios, is taking 2015 off after an incredible run of back to back animated Oscar winners, "Frozen" and "Big Hero 6." Walt Disney Animation Studio's next film is "Zootopia" which doesn't hit theaters until March, 2016. Today, they finally revealed who will be voicing the move's main characters. According to Disney, "Zootopia" is set in a "modern mammal Metropolis" (sounds like an animal version of "Monster's Inc.") and will keep it in the corporate family with "Once Upon A Time's" Ginnifer Goodwin voicing bunny Judy Hopps, »
- Gregory Ellwood
Powered up principally by income from 20th Century Fox, the U.S. distributor of Liam Neeson-starrer “Taken 3,” Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp saw fiscal third quarter (Oct. 1-Dec. 31) international sales revenues skyrocket to €33.8 million ($38.2 million) from €2.5 million ($2.8 million) a year earlier. Total 3Q sales of €64.2 million ($72.5 million) were up 88% year-on-year.
That figure adds to upbeat first-half results last year, goosed by international deliveries of “Lucy,” “Brick Mansions” and “The Homesman.” EuropaCorp’s total first nine month revenue is now tracking 67% up on 2013-14 at €160.4 million ($181.25 million) for a financial year that began March 1, 2013.
From 2010, TV production has created a significant new recurrent revenues stream for EuropaCorp. Though TV series and miniseries sales accounted for 24% of revenues over the first nine months of 2013-14 and 15% of income March 1-Dec. »
- John Hopewell
If you’ve ever longed for a movie with all the insistent life lessons of a Disney fairy tale, the tacky visual excesses of digital-era George Lucas, and enough glorified karaoke covers to fill half a season of “Glee,” then you may want to treat yourself to the altogether perplexing animated brew that is “Strange Magic.” Everyone else can just imagine a CG cartoon mash-up of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Arthur and the Invisibles” and “American Idol” populated by extras from the Mos Eisley Cantina, and they’ll pretty much get the idea. An insipid byproduct of the Disney-Lucasfilm merger that looks to attract a fraction (if that) of the audience for this year’s “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” this noisy, unappealing children’s fantasy fails to distinguish itself among January’s many, many reasons to steer clear of the multiplex.
Lucas is credited here »
- Justin Chang
6 items from 2015
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