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Tim Hill will direct the film, based on the 1984 children’s book by Robert Kimmel Smith, in which a boy is forced to move out of his room when his recently widowed grandfather moves in. With the help of his friends, the boy devises outrageous pranks to make his grandfather surrender the room — but he turns out to be tougher than expected and all-out war ensues.
Phillip Glasser, Marvin Peart and Rosa Morris Peart are producing with Jane Rosenthal and Barry Welsh exec producing. Lisa Addario and Joey Syracuse wrote the first draft and Matt Ember and Tom Astle are currently doing a polish on the script.
De Niro was attached to the project last month. »
- Dave McNary
Annecy — Adding to the building Paris-l.A. TV animation axis, L.A.and Paris-based Zagtoon and Paris’ Method Animation are teaming with Playmates Toys and Man of Action Studios, creators of “Ben 10” and “Big Hero 6,” on new TV action series: “Power Toys.”
Move marks Method and Zagtoon’s follow-up to “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir,” aired by Nickelodeon in the U.S. and highlighted by buyers at a TV France International Annecy Fest panel on Friday as one of the most succesful of recent French TV animation shows.
France Televisions will be French TV network partner on “Power Toys.”
Created by Zagtoon, and a hybrid mix of live-action and CG character elements, “Power Toys” turns on a 10-year-old kid who has the ability to transform himself into a toy. Supported by a band of good toys, he battles villainous toys to save the world from real danger. »
- John Hopewell
Exclusive: Good Deed Entertainment has acquired Growing Up Smith starring Alvin and the Chipmunks‘ Jason Lee. The project was directed by Frank Lotito and is the helmer’s first theatrical release. The comedy is about an Indian family in 1979 who moves to America with hopes of living the American Dream. However, their 10-year-old son, Smith, has his own dreams after he falls-head-over-heels for the girl next door and he is driven to become a "good old boy,” propelling him… »
Tim Hill will direct the film which revolves around a young man who loves his grandfather, but also loves his bedroom. When his grandpa’s wife dies, he moves in. The young man engages in a series of pranks meant to drive him out, but the old man is pretty resourceful in returning the favor.
Phillip Glasser, Marvin Peart and Rose Morris Peart are producing with Jane Rosenthal and Barry Welsh exec producing. Lisa Addario and Joey Syracuse wrote the first draft and Matt Ember and Tom Astle are currently doing a polish on the script.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
- Justin Kroll
The film and TV world lost another one of its beloved greats today, in a year where the deaths of iconic stars seem more commonplace than ever. Alan Young, who played Wilbur Post on Mr. Ed and voiced the iconic Scrooge McDuck for three decades, passed away this morning at the age of 96. The actor had been living at the Motion Picture and Television Fund facility in Woodland Hills, California at the time of his passing.
Alan Young was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England in 1919, before relocating to Edinburgh and later to Vancouver, British Columbia as a small child. He suffered from asthma as a young boy, which caused him to be bedridden for much of his childhood, when he took up a strong interest in radio. He had already become an accomplished radio performer by the age of 13, and at 17 years of age, he started writing and performing »
On the series, which ran from 1961-66 on CBS, Young played architect Wilbur Post, who was married to Carol (played by Connie Hines, who died in 2009) and kept a horse, Mr. Ed, in their suburban stable. Mr. Ed, voiced by Allan “Rocky” Lane, would speak only to Wilbur, but given Mr. Ed’s rather outlandish personality and the superbly mild affect of Young’s Wilbur, just who owned whom could occasionally be a matter of debate.
Young also voiced Scrooge McDuck and numerous other animated characters, as well as guesting on dozens of TV shows.
In 2005 “Mr. Ed” won a TV Land Award for most heart-warming pet-owner interaction. Young also directed four episodes of “Mr. Ed. »
- Carmel Dagan
The Belgian tax credit company was launched last year by production and distribution outfit Belga Films, which will release The Son Of Bigfoot in Benelux late summer 2017. The total budget is undersood to be $26m (€23m).
Studiocanal will release in France, UK, Germany and Australia/New Zealand.
Produced by Studiocanal’s nWave Pictures and Waterman Ent. (Alvin and the Chipmunks), the film centres on a teenage outsider who uncovers the truth that he is the son of the mysterious Bigfoot and as such has super powers, which he needs to save his family.
Belga fund boost
Bff founder and general manager Fabrice Delville revealed in Cannes that the fund raised a record $6.7m (€6m) in tax shelter financing during 2015 and expects to double that amount this year.
As the tax credit company expands, Belga has now »
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
Agreeability gets you so far in life, but when the chips are down, it helps to lose your temper sometimes. That’s a pretty unexpected moral takeaway for a kids’ movie, and it’s just one surprise of many in “The Angry Birds Movie,” a fast, fizzy and frenetically entertaining extension of the manic gaming franchise that, at its zenith, had children of all ages glued to their smartphone screens. Establishing a basic psychological motivation for the fiery disposition shared by the feathered folk of Bird Island, this irreverent origin story takes an appropriately loose, elastic approach to its larger narrative, with frequent detours to fill in daffier details of its mad, mad, mad, mad story world.
The result, machine-tooled and technically lustrous as it is, more or less matches the bouncily anarchic spirit of the game, debuted in 2009 by Finnish corporation Rovio Entertainment. While not quite as inspired or subversive as “The Lego Movie, »
- Guy Lodge
Paris – Euro film-tv group Studiocanal, Europe’s biggest film production force, will introduce to buyers at Cannes both a new Ben Stassen movie, “The Son of Bigfoot,” and “Back to Burgundy,” from French dramedy maître Cedric Klapisch (“The Spanish Apartment” trilogy, “Paris”).
As so many companies struggle to put together high-profile movies and threaten to come to Cannes with projects that lack stars or U.S. distribution or pre-sales financing, Studiocanal’s early slate is one of the first Cannes line-ups unveiled by a top-echelon sales company. Fully-financing its productions, “we know that when we come to a market with a film that it’s set and ready to go,” said Anna Marsh, head of international film sales.
The production-distribution-sales company’s Cannes »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
With The Jungle Book now in theaters, it’s time to look at the all-time top 10 most successful live-action movies with talking animals. I’ll give you a hint, there’s quite a bit of Alvin and the Chipmunks in there. To qualify for this top 10 a movie has to have at least one animal that […]
Read Box Office: Top 10 Live-Action Movies with Talking Animals on Filmonic.
Do you remember them? Those albums featuring cartoon characters singing familiar and original songs in their wacky voices? They seem to have disappeared in recent times, but why? There was a time when they were commonplace. Cheap vinyl records put out at an unfettered rate by studios to satisfy the hungry masses. Alvin and The Chipmunks is the most famous example, but there are many others from Disney, etc. Besides being a cheap (and profitable) novelty, they endeared kids to characters in an audible way outside of the visual programming of the cartoons themselves. Time have changed though, and while Mickey Mouse still releases albums for preschoolers, any kid that’s graduated from that group has been left relatively high and dry, or to the mercy of tween stars and the top 40. This is partly the reason for the decline in such records. Kids today don’t seem to have »
- Charles Kenny
The executive arrives from original and branded content creator Rec Room and replaces the outgoing chief marketing officer Jason Cassidy.
As president of marketing, Helfgot will report directly to Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg.
Prior to Rec Room, which he founded, Helfgot served as evp of worldwide marketing for Anschutz Film Group and svp of marketing strategy and research at 20th Century Fox.
At Fox he was instrumental in strategic marketing campaigns for more than 150 films, including Avatar, Borat, The Devil Wears Prada, The Simpsons Movie, and the X-Men, Ice Age, Night At The Museum, and Alvin And The Chipmunks franchises.
“Jonathan is a widely respected and rising star marketer and will bring a boldly strategic and innovative point of view to our campaigns,” said Ortenberg. “He is a proven leader with big ideas and I am thrilled to bring him on board.”
Helfgot added: “Open Road Films is a dynamic studio that has released some of »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
A month after winning the best picture Oscar for “Spotlight,” Open Road Films has named veteran executive Jonathan Helfgot as president of marketing as chief marketing officer Jason Cassidy departs the company.
Helfgot will report directly to Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg.
Helfgot joins Open Road Films from Rec Room, an original and branded content studio, which he founded and where he most recently served as managing partner.
At Rec Room, Helfgot and his partners worked with clients including Sony Pictures, Fox, Warner Bros, HBO, Netflix, Paramount, Universal, Disney and FX. Rec Room also has digital series in development with networks including Comedy Central and E! Entertainment. The remaining Rec Room partners will continue to oversee these projects under a new banner.
Before founding Rec Room, Helfgot served as executive VP of worldwide marketing for Anschutz Film Group and was senior VP of marketing strategy and research at 20th Century Fox. »
- Dave McNary
The fifth season of the red-hot HBO TV series “The Game of Thrones” topped the national home video sales charts the week ended March 20, with the complete-season set narrowly beating the live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” movie from 20th Century Fox.
“Game of Thrones” and “The Road Chip” debuted at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on both the VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales, and VideoScan’s dedicated Blu-ray sales chart.
The latest “Chipmunks” film, the fourth since 2007’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” was released right before Christmas, just like the others, and earned $85.5 million in U.S. theaters – about $50 million less than its predecessor, “Chipwrecked,” released theatrically in December 2011.
But its home video performance was once again formidable, with the film selling 94% as many units as “Game of Thrones” overall, according to VideoScan research. On Blu-ray the gap was a »
- Thomas K. Arnold
When Viacom’s Nickelodeon sketches its future for advertisers Wednesday afternoon, one of the elements it will touch upon will be its past.
As part of a presentation to promote its upcoming slate of programs, the kids-content media empire (comprising several cable networks and more) will unveil a live-action TV movie inspired by its mid-1990s game show “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” as well as a two-part TV movie based on “Hey Arnold!,” one of its best-known animated series that ran between 1996 and 2004. The company will also talk up a slate that includes what its top executive calls “happy reality” programs, like “All In,” an adventure docu-series led by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and “Crashletes,” a half-hour series that will feature crazy viral sports clips. The programs downplay mean-spirited competition in favor of showing people having fun.
“There’s a tremendous amount of attention on kids these days. »
- Brian Steinberg
We may all be gearing up to stay up late and watch The Oscars later on this evening, but last night saw another important awards ceremony take place. The 36th Golden Raspberry Awards took place as they do every year on the eve of the Academy Awards. This year’s big winner was Fifty Shades of Grey.
It shouldn’t be too surprising given that the book from which the film was spawned was also utterly awful. The film which starred Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan took home five of the big awards of the night, although it had to share the Worst Picture prize with the equally mediocre Fantastic Four.
A year on from his Oscar win for The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne found himself the recipient of Worst Supporting Actor for his whispering and shouting performance in Jupiter Ascending, a film which dodged quite a few bullets »
- Kat Hughes
As is customary on the eve of the Oscars, The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation “celebrated” the very worst in cinematic achievement over the past twelve months with the 36th annual Golden Raspberry Awards.
Worst Picture was a tie between Fantastic Four and Fifty Shades of Grey, with both films sharing the majority of the remaining awards between them save for Worst Supporting Actor (Eddie Redmayne for Jupiter Ascending) and Worst Supporting Actress (Kaley Cuoco for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and The Wedding Ringer).
Meanwhile, Sylvester Stallone was the recipient of the Razzie Redeemer Award, given to a past Razzie winner who has since redeemed themselves.
Here’s a full list of the “winners”, highlighted in red…
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
- Gary Collinson
The 2016 Oscars air this Sunday on ABC, and afterward Jimmy Kimmel has his "After the Oscars" special. On Wednesday night, he told his audience they've been working on a project they hope to someday be recognized by the Academy -- creating family-friendly versions of R-rated movies.
This week's "Kimmel Kartoon" combines Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" and "Looney Tunes," taking real audio from the film and giving it to cartoon characters. So, as Kimmel put it, "This is what happens when Sam Jackson meets Yosemite Sam":
Samuel L. Jackson got to be Bugs Bunny, of course, 'cause they are the biggest BAMFs in their saloons.
You can check out past Kimmel Kartoons over here, including Charlie Brown as Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump as Batman, "Straight Outta Compton" meets "Alvin and the Chipmunks," etc. Meanwhile, "The Hateful Eight" is up for a few Oscars this week, including Best Supporting Actress, »
- Gina Carbone
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Genius Brands International have set a multiyear deal for Sphe to provide marketing and distribution of content from Gbi’s Kid Genius and Baby Genius labels in North America, Variety has learned exclusively.
The agreement covers a quartet of brands — new music- and fashion-driven brand for tween girls SpacePop; a new original “Baby Genius” series to coincide with the brand’s expanded launch in 2016; Warren Buffett’s animated series “Secret Millionaires Club”; and “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 (Slam 7).”
Genius Brands is also developing three new properties included in the agreement that will be announced shortly.
The deal also allows Sphe and Gbi to co-develop, distribute and globally merchandise future animated or live-action properties derived from their respective programming libraries.
“Sphe will work with the Gbi team to deliver enriching learning experiences and inspiring entertainment content to families and children across North America,” said Ben Means of Sphe. »
- Dave McNary
Green-Light International is fully financing and launching worldwide sales at the Berlin Film Festival with the aim of beginning production this year. Gli, which launched at the American Film Market, is headed by Christian de Gallegos, Jeff Elliott and Chad Moore.
“Johnny Two-Guns” is written by Dito Montiel (“A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”), Allan Ungar and and Chad Law. Oriah Entertainment will co-produce the movie, which centers around war veteran and sharpshooter Johnny “Two-Guns” Trale after he returns home from Afghanistan to find that his wife and daughter have vanished without a trace — forcing him to take a job as an enforcer for a corrupt music mogul in an effort to fund his search efforts to find his family.
- Dave McNary
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