20 items from 2015
Imax Corporation and 20th Century Fox have signed their first long-term, multi-picture deal.
The agreement includes upcoming Fox tentpoles, such as “Deadpool,” “Independence Day Resurgence,” “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” and the untitled Wolverine project.
“We are very happy to announce this new global affiliation with Imax and look forward to offering our audiences another choice in their viewing of our movies,” said Paul Hanneman, president of worldwide marketing and distribution, and Chris Aronson, president of domestic theatrical distribution. “We look forward to working with our partners in what is sure to be an exciting and rewarding future.”
Imax is also releasing Fox’s “The Martian” in the U.S., China and select territories for a short theatrical run in late October and early November.
“We are extremely pleased to enter into this strategic alliance with Fox, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Amazon has unveiled six new animated pilots for kids, set for debut November 5. They hail from creators including William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Scarecrow), Bill Motz and Bob Roth (The Penguins of Madagascar), Mike Owens (Yo Gabba Gabba!), Shadi Petosky (Mad), John Rogers (The Player, The Librarians), Ken Scarborough (Arthur, Doug), and Niki Yang (Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors) Amazon’s slate includes a show… »
What happens when two children’s entertainment scribes (boasting credits such as The Tigger Movie, The Penguins Of Madagascar, Peter Rabbit, and Kim Possible) collaborate on their first feature film? Obviously you get a kid friendly movie titled Blood Punch, filled with death, guts, murder, betrayal – wait, what? You heard right. Director Madellaine Paxson and writer Eddie Guzelian are ditching all that warm and fuzzy bullshit to bring you their own twisted fairy tale about three rowdy criminals forced to repeat the same deadly day over and over again. It’s like kind of like Groundhog Day – a vile, wicked, royally f#cked up Groundhog Day your mum certainly wouldn’t approve of.
It all starts when Milton (Milo Cawthorne), a shy chemistry wiz, meets Skyler (Olivia Tennet), a criminal looking for the best meth cook she can find. After meeting in Milton’s rehab clinic (where else would you find the best junkies? »
- Matt Donato
Box office reporting too often focuses on data and results that have nothing to do with whether or not a movie is a hit or a miss.
One of the great absurdities of this type of coverage is that it is dominated by a horse race mentality that studios both privately ignore and publicly encourage.
The folly of this approach was on full display this weekend when “Jurassic World” “won” the weekend with a $102 million take, edging by “Inside Out,” which had to settle for a measly $91 million. That happens to be the biggest-ever opening for an original film, crushing the $77 million high-water mark set by “Avatar” in 2009.
“‘Inside Out’ would have been number one in any other weekend,” notes Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Being number one is overrated.”
Still, “Jurassic World” gets to »
- Brent Lang
The narrative of recent months: DreamWorks Animation, which has gone through restructuring, has been hemorrhaging money. They posted a $247.7 million loss for Q4 2014 and generally things have been looking dismal. But one has to wonder who is mismanaging the company. They have the “Shrek” series which is the highest grossing animated franchise of all time ($3.5 billion and counting presuming they’ll make more spin-offs), the “Madagascar” series ($2.2 billion), and “How To Train Your Dragon” ($1.1 billion). They’ve just had too many pricey flops in the interim, “The Penguins Of Madagascar” being one of them. But with the modest success of “Home” and a third “Kung Fu Panda” film on the way, they’re hoping to turn their ship around. Here’s the official synopsis for “Kung Fu Panda 3”: When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. »
- Edward Davis
From Zoolander 2 to 23 Jump Street, with 100s in-between. Here's our rundown of the assorted movie sequels in the works...
Think Hollywood is bereft of original ideas? You just might after this. Here's our look at the assorted movie sequels currently in the works. Since we last did a list like this, we've dropped films that seem to have died a death - Wanted 2, Spring Breakers 2 - but we'll keep this rundown up to date over the coming month.
Without further ado...
23 Jump Street
Sony is pressing ahead with a third Jump Street movie, as well as a possible Jump Street vs Men In Black film, and a female-headlined spin-off. For 23 Jump Street specifically, Rodney Rothman is back and working on the script (he wrote the second one). It's unclear yet if Chris Miller and Phil Lord can find breathing space in their schedule to direct. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are both expected back, »
Once again, three new releases debuted in the top three spots on the national home video sales charts for the week ending March 29.
This time, the leader of the pack is Warner’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the third installment in the adventure fantasy trilogy, which debuted at No. 1 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert overall disc sales chart and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
The film earned $255.1 million in theaters and outsold Walt Disney Studios’ “Into the Woods,” which bowed at No. 2 on both charts, by a margin of more than 2 to 1.
“Into the Woods” is a cinematic melting pot of several classic Grimm fairy tales, with a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Tracy Ullman, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt. The film was a box office success, earning $127.9 million in U.S. theaters.
The third new release, debuting at No. »
- Thomas K. Arnold
DreamWorks Animation, as a company, is poised at a precarious juncture. The animation studio, founded by former Disney exec Jeffrey Katzenberg and, at one point, a genuine challenger to their throne, has been crippled by a string of financial disappointments which have led to a dramatic corporate restructuring, consolidation of efforts. There is talk that, if things continue like they have, insolvency by 2019 will ensue. Last year Dwa released three movies. This year, they're releasing one – "Home." This was a film that was supposed to open last fall, but at the last minute Katzenberg swapped its release with "The Penguins of Madagascar," hungry for a fourth quarter smash. That didn't happen and now, justly or not, "Home" carries the weight of an entire studio on its back. But if DreamWorks Animation is hoping to get back on track with this movie, a lavish sci-fi comedy based on a recent children's book, »
- Drew Taylor
Three new releases debuted in the top three spots on the national home video sales charts for the week ending March 22, led by the 20th Century Fox-distributed “Penguins of Madagascar,” from DreamWorks Animation.
“Penguins” bowed at No. 1 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales, Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined, and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart. The film, which earned $83.2 million in U.S. theaters, is the fourth film in the “Madagascar” franchise, which launched in 2005 and has since generated more than $2.25 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
In a tight race, another 20th Century Fox film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” debuted at No. 2, also on both charts. According to Nielsen data, the Biblical epic, which stars Christian Bale as Moses and took in more than $65 million at the U.S. box office, sold nearly 97% as many units its first week in stores as »
- Alex Stedman
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
Back in 2013, the release of Dreamworks Animation's Rise Of The Guardians was met with a thud and a crack in its opening weekend. While the film wound up managing to make a decent gross, compared to its budget at least, it wound up being the beginning of a dangerous spiral for Dwa's profit margin. As time went on and films like Mr. Peabody And Sherman continued to make profits, yet still lead to write downs, it looked like the studio couldn't do anything to bring itself back from the edge. Looking at the real numbers of the situation, it's not a pretty picture for the studio that gave birth to Shrek. And the final quarter of last year was particularly rough. Variety has issued a report detailing the big hit that the studio took after their last film, The Penguins Of Madagascar, and the number is a very uncool »
The cinematographic industry presented some good numbers this month. It is estimated that more than 22 million people went to the cinemas. Sales reach $161 million dollars. Korean Films were watched by 14 million people, had a revenue of $100 million dollars and were able to get 62.43% of the total market. On the other hand Foreign Films grab the 37.38% of the market, were able to sell 8.4 million tickets rising $60 million dollars.
If we compare these numbers with the ones on January 2014 we can see that the industry had a slight decrease. The total number of admissions decline a 4.62% and rise $465 thousand dollar less. Despite of this Korean Cinema was able to get a higher market share than last year. It went from 57.83% in 2014 to 62.43% in 2015.
The Korean Films release this month that gather most viewers were, Love Forecast directed by Park Jin-Pyo with 1.760.696 viewers (Cj Entertainment), Gangnam Blues directed by Yoo »
- Sebastian Nadilo
Update: DreamWorks Animation has confirmed it's shutting down one of its two studios, Pdi. Over 500 jobs are to go.
Update: Since we first ran this story, it's since been confirmed that DreamWorks Animation is to close down one of its main studios, Pdi. Pdi is the firm that made Antz, and was subsequently bought by DreamWorks. The closure will lead to more than 500 people losing their jobs.
DreamWorks' Glendale campus remains open, and the president of the firm, Jeffrey Katzenberg has admitted that the company tried to grow too fast. We send our very best wishes to all affected.
Our original story follows...
When The Penguins Of Madagascar underperformed at the box office the other month, it continued a generally underwhleming commercial run for DreamWorks Animation. It's had bright spots in recent years, namely The Croods and How To Train Your Dragon 2, both of which brought home the box office bacon. »
It’s a bittersweet moment to be at PDI/DreamWorks.
Just after celebrating DWA’s Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination for “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” the Redwood City, Calif.-based animation studio that DreamWorks Animation acquired in 2000 is being shut down as part of a major reorganization by its parent company after a string of box office disappointments have taken a creative and financial toll.
Pdi, which was founded by Carl Rosendahl in 1980 as Pacific Data Images, started as a visual effects studio, producing computer-generated graphics for broadcast networks, TV shows and commercials before working on films such as “Batman Forever,” “The Arrival,” “Terminator 2,” “Toys” and “Angels in the Outfield.”
It later expanded into feature animation, with its first Dwa collaboration, 1998’s “Antz,” launching Katzenberg’s toon studio. “Shrek” soon followed in 2001, also produced by Pdi, which went on to win the Oscar for best animated »
- Marc Graser
“Making three films a year was too ambitious,” Katzenberg told analysts after announcing a major reorganization of the Glendale, Calif., toon studio that is resulting in layoffs of around 500 people, including its chief marketing officer, Dawn Taubin, and chief operating officer, Mark Zoradi. Chief creative officer Bill Damaschke already had stepped down, while vice chairman and former chief financial officer Lew Coleman is retiring.
After a string of box office misfires that have included “Rise of the Guardians,” “Turbo,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and, more recently, “The Penguins of Madagascar” — forcing the company to write off more than $290 million in losses — Dwa was forced to make changes.
- Marc Graser
Following a number of high-profile failures in recent years, DreamWorks Animation has announced plans for a massive restructuring of its core business. The overall reduction will result in a loss of approximately 500 jobs across all locations and all divisions of the studio.
Dwa intends to drop its feature production output down from three films per year to two. On top of that, the plan is to stick to one original film and one sequel each year starting next year, and each of the films will tighten their budgets with costs to be reduced to $120 million per film starting with "Trolls" late next year.
Their release slate has been switched around and the next four years will be as follows:
March 27th 2015: "Home"
March 17th 2016: "Kung Fu Panda 3"
November 4th 2016: "Trolls"
January 13th 2017: "Boss Baby"
December 22nd 2017: "The Croods 2"
February 16th 2018: "Larrikins"
June 29th 2018: »
- Garth Franklin
“How to Train Your Dragon 2″ is providing DreamWorks Animation with a much-needed morale boost after a tough 2014 filled with disappointing films at the box office, a significant drop in its stock price and drama surrounding a potential sale.
With the company’s first-ever win in the animation category at the Golden Globes and now an Academy Award nomination, the “Dragon” sequel looks to be the frontrunner when the Oscars are handed out Feb. 22. Disney had won seven of the past eight years at the Globes.
Awards recognition is great, but with no sequels on the horizon for 2015, it could be another tough year at the box office for DreamWorks Animation.
The awards recognition comes shortly after Dwa chief Jeffrey Katzenberg named Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria as co-presidents of the studio. Both have extensive knowledge in launching and running successful franchises, with Arnold having overseen “How to Train Your Dragon, »
- Marc Graser
The sound mix for “Interstellar” had generated complaints that loud music overwhelms dialogue in scenes, but the filmmakers asserted that was their intention.
Winners will be unveiled on Feb. 14 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
The group also announced nominations Tuesday in four television and two technical categories.
The entire nominations list:
Motion Picture – Live Action
Production Mixer — Walt Martin, Cas
Re-recording Mixer — Gregg Rudloff
Re-recording Mixer — John Reitz
Scoring Mixer — Robert Fernandez
Adr Mixer — Thomas J. »
- Dave McNary
The top three spots at the Korean box office remained unchanged from last week as the “Ode To My Father” stream roller continued strongly. The film is now close to achieving 10 million admissions, a mega-blockbuster status that would put it in the top 10 films of all time in Korea.
“Ode,” a melodramatic, nationalistic metaphor filled with nostalgia and struggle, dropped only 31% in its fourth week on release and held on to an unchanged 42% market share. Its weekly haul was $8.33 million, propelling it to a cumulative score of $68.9 million. As of Sunday night it had sold 9.68 million tickets, according to Kobis, the box office tracking service of the Korean Film Council (Kofic).
Holding on second was “Taken 3” which added $2.74 million for an 11 day cume of $12.9 million. It was followed by “The Penguins of Madagascar,” which added $2.1 million for a 12 day cumulative score of $9.48 million.
- Patrick Frater
Bill Damaschke will step down as chief creative officer, as part of the move.
At the moment, those are two of Dwa’s most reliable moneymakers, after being forced to take writedowns on the poor performance of its films. It took an $87 million loss on “Rise of the Guardians,” a $13.5 million hit on “Turbo” and $57 million writedown on “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”
“Three of our last four films have not delivered in terms of audience turnout or financial performance,” Katzenberg told analysts in April 2014, before “The Penguins of Madagascar” also underperformed in the latter part of the year, with nearly $271 million worldwide, $78 million coming from domestic theaters. »
- Marc Graser
20 items from 2015
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