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Shares in the company are up more than 8% as markets open, kicking off the day trading at $24.30. That’s the highest level they have reached since last November. It’s a welcome change for DreamWorks Animation, which has seen its stock slide precipitously since spring of 2014, weighed down by a series of film flops, write downs, failed sales to Hasbro and Softbank, and layoffs.
But “Home” briefly swept those troubles aside when it debuted to $54 million, roughly $20 million more than most analysts had predicted it would generate.
“It’s a huge morale boost both for investors and employees at the company,” said Tony Wible, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets. “The film business is what’s been languishing there and these results mean they avoid another impairment and have found a possible other franchise.”
Indeed, “Home »
- Brent Lang
DreamWorks Animation's Home (2015) was a huge hit with family moviegoers this weekend, taking first place with an excellent $52.1 million.Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard also put up strong numbers in second place, while indie horror movie It Follows did decent business in its nationwide expansion.Among recent family-friendly movies, Home's $52.1 million debut is in the same ballpark as Big Hero 6 ($56.2 million) and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($55.4 million). It also ranks as one of the top non-sequel movies ever for DreamWorks, behind Kung Fu Panda ($60.2 million) and Monsters Vs. Aliens ($59.3 million). In fact, it's the biggest debut for a DreamWorks movie since its distribution deal began with 20th Century Fox in early 2013; that includes How to Train Your Dragon 2, which opened to $49.5 million last June.If Home follows the same pattern as Monsters vs. Aliens and Mr. Peabody & Sherman, it will finish with around $180 million. »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Heading into the weekend, “Home” looked like yet another box office disappointment for DreamWorks Animation.
The studio has suffered through a grueling period of film flops like “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” “Penguins of Madagascar” and “Turbo.” “Home,” with a projected opening of $30 million to $35 million, seemed unlikely to break the cold streak.
For one thing, reviews of the story about a cute alien who befriends a young girl after earth is invaded were mediocre at best. Plus, the film is of the most dangerous of gambles — it doesn’t have a numeral affixed to its title.
Instead, “Home” put box office prognosticators to shame when it kicked off to $54 million stateside, the company’s third-biggest non-sequel opening ever, behind only “Kung Fu Panda” ($60.2 million) and “Monsters vs. Aliens” ($59.3 million). Overseas the film pulled in $24 million, pushing its global total to $102 million after two weeks in foreign theaters.
“It shows there »
- Brent Lang
Hop aboard the cinema saucer, ’cause it’s time for another animated alien adventure. Let’s see, the last big cartoon with a human and space creature teamed-up to find home may have been Lilo & Stitch (or, perhaps it was the first big feature with that theme), so we’re probably due for another spin around the galaxy. And the whole “Earthers are odd”, gags have become a comedy staple, mostly on TV with Uncle Martin, Mork, Alf, and the “3rd Rock” gang. And there’s the whole Starman/Et movie legacy. Yes, this is a mix of comedy and a dash of drama, but the real drama may be behind the scenes with this film’s producer, DreamWorks Animation. After a couple of sequels and a TV adaptation, this is their first original feature work in two years (though it is based on a children’s’ book, “The True Meaning of Smekday »
- Jim Batts
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Massive writedowns. Failed sales. Deep staffing cuts.
It’s a trifecta of troubles that has left DreamWorks Animation struggling to find its footing and move forward after the worst year and a half in its often rocky history.
The company’s suffering won’t be alleviated when “Home,” its upcoming alien invasion film, lands on Friday. The picture is on track to open to between $30 million and $35 million, a respectable result but for the fact that it also carries a $130 million pricetag.
“Home” opened to strong numbers overseas last week, leading some analysts to predict that the film should end up with more than $100 million domestically and roughly $380 million globally.
“They would skirt the writedown and be out of a deficit situation with those numbers,” said David Miller, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets.
Others are less optimistic.
“We have become a little bit more concerned that ‘Home’ could underperform expectations, »
- Brent Lang
You will see few less sane blockbuster movies than SpongeBob Squarepants' sequel...
Back in 2011, lots of people were surprised by Rango, a surreal pastiche of Chinatown through the lens of the Western genre which put Paramount's animation division on the map. Just in case you haven't seen it and we haven't stressed this enough in the last four years, then you really ought to check it out.
For those of us waiting for something as good or better from the studio, its latest effort, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water may leave you wanting. Then again, if you're a fan of the series on which it's based, it's perfectly in keeping with the surrealism we've come to expect.
Counter to what the marketing would have you believe, it's not a CG/live action hybrid, or at least not until the last 20 minutes of the film. The rest is rendered »
Hey “Home,” E.T. called — he wants his huggable-alien concept back. Introduced in the film’s opening seconds, when he bumps that little boy with the fishing rod from the DreamWorks Animation logo, over-eager alien invader Oh represents Jeffrey Katzenberg’s best hope at harnessing some of his old pal Steven Spielberg’s intergalactic buddy-movie mojo. Unimaginative and downright predictable by grownup standards, but bursting with elements sure to appeal to younger auds — including cutesy character design, quotable alien catchphrases and solid musical/vocal contributions from Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, who add a dose of diversity to the human cast — Dwa’s lone 2015 feature release should manage to squeak past the $100 million mark during a relatively competition-free spring, while reinforcing the studio’s recent standing as the Pepsi of the animation world: It’s potable, but a distant second to the real thing.
Still smarting from the dual blows of a »
- Peter Debruge
Jeffrey Katzenberg diverted his attention from his core business of making family films, and it contributed to DreamWorks Animation racking up a whopping $300 million in losses last year — nearly half of what it generated in overall sales.
“The last eight months have been the worst in the company’s 20-year history,” Katzenberg told Wall Street analysts on Feb. 24, as he licked his wounds and reflected on a period of painful cost-cutting that resulted in layoffs, the closure of Dwa’s Northern California studio, and a serious re-examination of its creative choices. Analysts and stockholders don’t care about the past, however. They want to know whether Katzenberg has a plan for the future.
That future is dependent on hit movies, something Dwa has been sorely lacking. The Glendale, Calif.-based animation company’s recent success largely has ridden on the back of its “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise, and its 2013 hit “The Croods. »
- Marc Graser
This week Neil Calloway unexpectedly finds himself in agreement with the guy from Tenacious D…
It pains me to say it, but Jack Black had a point.
During his interjection into the opening song of last week’s Oscars, Black jokingly bemoaned the current state of cinema, complaining about sequels, prequels and comic book movies. It’s a familiar argument, and one that has been made before – one that I make regularly myself, to be honest. Given that it was a funny, but throwaway line during an award ceremony, you’d expect it to be forgotten quite quickly. Not so, it seems. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, wrote on Facebook that he didn’t find it offensive, before devoting 300 words as to why it was wrong.
This puzzled me. If I had just directed a film that was nudging close to $800 million at the box office, I »
- Neil Calloway
Eager to get Kung Fu Panda 3 off the ground, Dreamworks Animation has added another director to the animated threequel. According to Deadline, Alessandro Carloni will help Kung Fu Panda 2‘s Jennifer Yuh pick up the pace and get the film into theaters.
Carloni doesn’t yet have a feature film under his belt, but worked in the animation department for several big Dreamworks projects, including the How to Train Your Dragon films, The Croods, and the first two Kung Fu Panda pics. It was Yuh who actually requested that Carloni come aboard, and Dreamworks obliged.
In an effort to recover from the recent box office disappointments that were Turbo, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and Penguins of Madagascar, Dreamworks will soon lean heavily on sequels to some of their bigger films, like How To Train Your Dragon 3, and The Croods 2, as well as a Captain Underpants adaptation. They also have »
- James Garcia
Kung Fu Panda 3 has been coming together slowly and steadily for the past few years, but now DreamWorks Animation and director Jennifer Yuh are bringing on some help to pick up the pace. Alessandro Carloni, who worked on both previous Kung Fu Panda movies, will join Yuh as co-director of the upcoming sequel. More on […]
The post ‘Kung Fu Panda 3′ Adds a Second Director appeared first on /Film. »
- Angie Han
Exclusive: Jennifer Yuh will not be helming the latest installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise by herself, I’ve learned. DreamWorks Animation has brought in Alessandro Carloni to co-direct Kung Fu Panda 3 with Yuh, the first woman to direct an animated feature solo at a Hollywood studio when she helmed 2011’s Kung Fu Panda 2. Sources tell me that Yuh requested Carloni join her as a director on the pic and Dwa execs signed off quickly. In the case of adding Carloni to… »
Kinology has sold the toonpic to Switzerland (Praesens), Freeman (Eastern Europe/except Poland), Greece (Odeon) and Portugal (Cine Mundo). “Mune” previously sold to Notorious Pictures (Italy), Smile Entertainment (South Korea), Gulf Films (Middle East), Domo Media (China), Zoom Entertainment (India), Volga Films (Cis) and Blitz (Former Yugoslavia).
A U.S. studio is reportedly circling “Mune” to take on various territories, including North America.
“Mune” will have its North American premiere at the Gkids’ New York Intl. Film Festival in March.
Set in an imaginary universe where the sun and the moon must be protected by guardians, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Here at Shadowlocked, we're fans of crowd-funding projects, as well as anything awesome. And few things say 'just plain awesome' as well as 'red panda samurai comic book'. It's even written by J.S. Skye, who shares his name with one of the best characters on Marvel's Agents of Shield. This project is almost a perfect example of The Lego Movie's song Everything is Awesome.
(Okay, technically samurai warriors had a strange code of honour which seemed to incorporate little regard for human life; the glorification of which hamstrings Ed Zwick's otherwise excellent film The Last Samurai. But let's not quibble. It's a red panda we're talking about. There's no way he's not the hero.)
Film scores are pretty ephemeral to a large chunk of the movie-going populace, where music isn’t noticeable unless a triumphant fanfare or sweeping ballad draws enough attention to itself. So if scoring is already the film industry’s unappreciated middle child, how silly is a list about ones that haven’t been released yet? Very silly. Oftentimes, composers don’t even sign with a project until well into production, so speculating on the best film music of 2015, like any year, forces one to work with what’s known. Sound on Sight will offer more in-depth analysis on the most buzzed about music as the year rolls on but for now, here are the ten movie scores I’m most excited to hear in 2015.
Alan Silvestri’s last great score was for a TV show, and his last great film score was for one of the more forgettable Marvel entries. »
- David Klein
Pascal, who will remain at Sony in a new role as a producer, has long been known around town for her keen eye for winning projects. Though her reputation has suffered recently as a result of North Korea’s infamous hacking attack on the studio, which revealed a few unseemly email exchanges in which Pascal and other execs criticized the attitudes of A-listers and made racially tinged jokes at the expense of President Obama, Pascal steered the studio through her share of triumphs.
Any career as long as Pascal’s is bound to have its peaks and valleys. From the highest heights (“Skyfall,” “Spider-Man 2”) to the lowest lows (“Jack and Jill,” “Sparkle”), Pascal led Sony through it all. Here’s a look »
- Kevin Noonan and Marianne Zumberge
Open Road Films has recently acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the animated family film "Blazing Samurai." The film is described as being "loosely based" on the 1974 Mel Brooks film "Blazing Saddles," which was, in turn, a spoof of '50s/'60s cowboy movies. The official synopsis reads: "An action-packed comedy about a scrappy young dog named Hank who fights to save the town of Kakamucho from becoming the litter box of a nefarious feline warlord, transforming society and himself on his quest to become a true samurai." Open Road Films recently distributed "Nightcrawler," starring Jake Gyllanhaal, and the company's upcoming features include Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden biopic and Barry Levinson's "Rock The Kasbah." "Blazing Samurai" is directed by Chris Bailey ("Alvin and the Chipmunks") and Mark Koetsier ("Kung Fu Panda," "How To Train Your Dragon") from a screenplay »
- Elizabeth Logan
The Academy Awards telecast is one of the biggest live events on TV, and for good reason. When it does its job right, the Oscars can be fun, loose, and spontaneous; like it was when Seth MacFarlane hosted in 2013. Of course, the opposite side of the coin is a night full of social media pandering, over-bloated gags, and just a general lack of enjoyable material; much like last year's ceremony entailed. With such recent history looming over his head, Neil Patrick Harris is going to need all the help he can get to make this year's show something legen . help me milk the cow here . dary. Lucky for him, he's got a pro helping him out for one of this year's segments: comedy all-star, Jack Black. The Academy has officially announced that the Kung Fu Panda himself is going to be in what Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron »
I thought for the longest time that I would be able to live my entire life without seeing a remake of Mel Brooks' genius 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles. Sadly, new developments have made it apparent that won't be the case - but the weird twist that comes with this story is that what's being made is far from a standard remake. This version will not only be animated, but feature dogs, cats and samurais. Deadline has picked up news that Open Road Films has acquired a new project called Blazing Samurai that is said to be "loosely based on the iconic 1974 film Blazing Saddles." Helmed by first-time feature directors Chris Bailey (who served as an animation supervisor on the first two Alvin and the Chipmunks movies) and Mark Koetsier (a story artist on Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon), the new family film is said to center »
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