Archive for August, 2012

Sony Pictures releases 10th anniversary plans; Teletoon hosts first kids block including new episodes for fall; How the DreamWorks/Fox deal went down

 

 

Welcome to the end-of-summer edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!

 

This past Tuesday was Sony Pictures 10th anniversary. With the upcoming screening of Hotel Transylvania on September 5th, Perch Perkins on how the movie studio plans to do before visiting Count Dracula.

 

Perch Perkins (via Toon Zone) Culver City, CA, August 27, 2012 – The 10th anniversary celebration of Sony Pictures Animation continues with a five-week series of special screenings featuring SPA’s beloved collection of animated and hybrid films, as well as reunions with filmmakers participating in Q & As following each screening, rare footage/materials from the SPA archives and giveaways. The series, which will culminate with an exclusive screening of the highly-anticipated comedy Hotel Transylvania, in theaters September 28, was announced today by Bob Osher, President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, and Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, President of Production, Sony Pictures Animation.
 
Held in conjunction with ASIFA-Hollywood and Animation Magazine, the screenings will commence Wednesday, September 5 with the spotlight on SPA’s 2006 inaugural film, Open Season. Ensuing weekly Thursday presentations on the Sony Pictures Animation campus will feature the Academy Award®-nominated Surf’s Up, the blockbuster hit Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and last summer’s international smash The Smurfs®. The series will conclude with a screening of Hotel Transylvania during the Saturday of the film’s opening weekend of release.
 
Enhancing each film exhibition will be unique offerings of rarely- or never-before-seen footage and materials from SPA’s first decade, and presented in coordination with panel discussions led by directors, producers and key crew members from each individual film. The exclusive weekly events will be moderated by respected animation experts, and the proceedings will be filmed and documented for sharing across the social media channels of Sony Pictures Animation, ASIFA-Hollywood and Animation Magazine.
 
“Milestones are an essential step for every institution to both celebrate and inspire, and I’m very proud of all that Sony Pictures Animation has accomplished in 10 short years,” Osher said. “I think these screenings and panels will give wonderful perspective as an appreciation of how far we’ve come, what we’ve achieved, and where we can go next.”
 
“This is an exciting time at Sony Pictures Animation with so much on the horizon, both near and far, but we stand here today because of the wonderful movies and filmmakers who came before us,” said Raimo-Kouyate. “These screenings will properly honor our seminal slate of films, while also giving fans a glimpse toward our bright future.”
 
“It is truly impressive to see the strides that Sony Pictures Animation has made in its first decade.” said ASIFA-Hollywood President Frank Gladstone. “And it is an honor for ASIFA-Hollywood, working with Animation Magazine, to help commemorate that journey with this terrific retrospective film series.” Adds Jean Thoren, President and Publisher of Animation Magazine: “Throughout this past decade, we have been lucky to witness and chronicle the rise and artistic growth of Sony Pictures Animation in the pages of our magazine. Now we are honored to help celebrate the achievements of this innovative studio along with ASIFA-Hollywood and millions of fans worldwide leading to the opening of Hotel Transylvania.”
 
The series’ initial four screenings will be hosted in Sony Pictures Animation’s revered Ray Harryhausen Theater, which will feature intimate exhibitions of SPA artwork in and around its facilities. Tickets for these one-time events will be primarily made available to members of ASIFA-Hollywood and through giveaways via Animation Magazine.
 
The current slate of films, and filmmaking panel participants (pending professional availability) for the Sony Pictures Animation Special Screening Series, goes as follows:
 
On September 5, SPA will present Open Season, the first film in the studios’ decade-long history. Amongst the rarities of the evening will be a presentation of the Oscar®-winning short, The Chubbchubbs, along with a panel discussion amongst Michelle Murdocca (producer), Steve Moore (executive producer) and William Haller (character animator).
 
The Academy Award®-nominated feature film Surf’s Up will screen on September 13, followed by a panel discussion by Oscar® nominees Ash Brannon (director) and Chris Buck (director), Chris Jenkins (producer) and Rob Bredow (VFX supervisor).
 
Breakout directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (21 Jump Street) return to their animation roots to present Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs on September 20. The directors will be joined by producer Pam Marsden and VFX Supervisor Rob Bredow for a panel discussion of the film.
 
SPA’s international animation hybrid sensation, The Smurfs, will screen on September 27. A panel discussion will feature filmmakers and key artists.
 
The Screening Series will close its summer run with a Saturday, September 29 offering of Hotel Transylvania – during its opening weekend in theaters – at a public venue in order to accommodate ASIFA family members. Three-time Emmy Award winner Director Genndy Tartakovsky and Producer Michelle Murdocca will lead the festivities.

 

Just in time for fall, Teletoon dished out their fall schedule days before our fall coverage next Wednesday. Does this include our friends from Cartoon Network Angie?

 

 

Angie Angelfish- Toronto, ON, (August 21, 2012) – This fall, TELETOON is injecting more fun, more excitement and more personality on-air with the launch of its first hosted block for kids on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET/PT. This all-new hosted block debuts on Thursday, September 6 to coincide with the highly-anticipated season premieres of Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, Johnny Test, Detentionaire and My Babysitter’s a Vampire.
 
A multi-talented host and actress, Andrea Jenna will dive right into the launch of TELETOON’s fall premiere week and will continue walking viewers through the hottest night on kids television every week.
 
“With so much happening on air and online this fall, bringing Andrea on to host ‘Can’t Miss Thursdays’ is the perfect way to keep our viewers up to date on all our new episodes, games, contests and programming stunts,” said Russell Ward, Vice-President, Marketing, TELETOON Canada Inc. “Andrea will provide a more interactive viewing experience for fans and we’re confident that her energy and enthusiasm will really resonate with our audience. We’re delighted to welcome her to the TELETOON family.”
 
Viewers nationwide can catch TELETOON’s fall premiere week as part of the TELETOON free preview which continues until Sunday, September 30.

 
Highlights of TELETOON’s Fall Premiere Week include the following:
 
Adventure Time with Finn and Jake (Season 3)
 
Premieres Thursday, September 6 at 6 p.m. ET/PT
 
Adventure Time with Finn & Jake is an animated series that introduces viewers to unlikely hero Finn and his dog Jake, buddies who traverse the mystical Land of Ooo and encounter its colorful inhabitants. The best of friends, our heroes always find themselves in the middle of heart-pounding escapades. Finn, a silly kid with an awesome hat and Jake, a brassy dog with a big kind heart, depend on each other through thick and thin.
 
Johnny Test (Season 5)
 
Premieres Thursday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT
 
An action-comedy extravaganza, the Gemini-award-nominated series Johnny Test chronicles the adventures of a fearless 11-year-old boy, his genetically engineered super-dog Dukey and his 13-year-old super-genius scientist sisters Susan and Mary. Using Johnny as their guinea pig, Susan and Mary strive to solve the trials and tribulations of adolescent angst with out-of-this-world scientific experiments.
 
Detentionaire (Season 2)
 
Premieres Thursday, September 6 at 7 p.m. ET/PT
 
Lee Ping is about to start grade ten – the best year of his life – when he is blamed for pulling off an epic, mind-blowing practical joke and sentenced to spend the rest of the school year in detention. It’s goodbye freedom, goodbye girls and hello worst year of his life. Detentionaire follows Lee in his attempts to uncover the mystery behind the practical joke and clear his name.
 
My Babysitter’s a Vampire (Season 2)
 
Premieres Thursday, September 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT
 
Last year Ethan Morgan’s over-protective parents unknowingly assigned a fledgling vampire babysitter, Sarah, to watch over him and his 8-year-old sister. As a result, Ethan and his buddies got dragged into a world of wild supernatural battles against creatures straight out of their nightmares. Season two of My Babysitter’s a Vampire finds Sarah adjusting to being a full-blooded vampire, while Ethan refuses to give up on his dreams of finding a cure for vampirism and getting up the nerve to ask Sarah on a date. On top of all that, Ethan and his friends soon discover they have a mysterious new enemy determined to wipe out all the supernatural competition in their hometown of Whitechapel. And no matter what villains the world has in store, the scariest thing of all is still high school.
 
Transformers Prime (Season 2)
 
Premieres Friday, September 7 at 7 p.m. ET/PT
 
Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet and the rest of the Autobots are back to protect Earth from the evil Decepticons who have become more powerful than ever. Team Prime may be few against the Decepticon hordes, but they find increased strength through bonds forged with three human teenagers.
 
The Ultimate Spider-Man (Season 1)
 
Premieres Friday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT
 
Over the past year, Peter Parker has been saving New York City from evil villains as the masked hero Spider-Man while balancing his heroics with homework and friends. When S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury offers Peter the chance to raise his game to the next level and become The Ultimate Spider-Man, Midtown High becomes a secret operations base for young heroes under the watchful eye of Fury and the school’s new acting principal, Agent Coulson.
 
The Amazing World of Gumball (Season 1)
 
Premieres Saturday, September 8 at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT
 
The Amazing World of Gumball tells the story of an extraordinary suburban family who just happen to live in an ordinary town. There’s Dad, a 6’4″ pink rabbit who stays at home while Mom works in the rainbow factory. Their kids are pretty standard too: there’s Gumball, a blue cat with a giant head, Anais, a four-year-old genius bunny and Darwin, a pet goldfish who became part of the family when he sprouted legs. At the heart of The Amazing World of Gumball is Gumball, a kid who faces the trials and tribulations of any 12-year-old; like being chased by a rampaging T-Rex, having a robot steal his identity, or dressing as a cheerleader to impress the girl of his dreams.

 

Speaking of dreams that came true, we told you on our Sunday news brief about the approved DreamWorks / Fox deal. Our financial friend Stan Jennings Fish was there and he’s got an update on the full skinny on the deal:

 

Stan Jennings Fish Bikini Bottom Business News (via Hollywood Reporter)- Wall Street overnight started chiming in on the late Monday distribution deal announced by DreamWorks Animation with News Corp.’s Fox, with analysts assessing the financial winners and losers.  Stifel, Nicolaus analyst Benjamin Mogil in an investor note discussed the financial benefits for DWA. “While the deal is slightly better than the current one, and Fox is a strong partner, it does not change our view that the company will continue to see gross margin pressure amid home entertainment revenues given the continued production and [advertising] cost levels,” he said in maintaining his “hold” rating on DWA’s stock.
 
For DWA, the new Fox deal comes at the same 8 percent fee as its expiring deal with Viacom’s Paramount, but “allows for the domestic television rights (pay TV, Netflix, cable, free) to be carved out from the deal,” while digital distribution revenue comes at a 6 percent fee “reflecting the lower costs associated with these revenues,” Mogil explained.
 
Most of those terms were as he had forecast, but “the lower digital fee is positive compared to our expectations,” Mogil said.
 
But Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett said the deal isn’t quite as good as he had expected for DWA. “The terms, while improved, are not quite the step up we had assumed,” he said. Combining the effects of the 6 percent and 8 percent fees, he said “the total effective fee” is about 7 percent, compared with his expectation for a 6.5 percent fee, which the analyst said slightly trims his earnings expectations going forward.
 
While DWA is paying only a 6 percent fee for emerging digital distribution opportunities, such as electronic sell-through, VOD and online rental, “DWA home video sales, aimed at kids, are mainly DVD, so the impact of the new tech exclusion is limited initially,” Crockett predicted.
 
Fox will be a strong distribution partner for DWA in today’s more global box office game, Mogil highlighted. “With the international markets, particularly the emerging ones, the key driver in global box office, the choice of Fox is strategically sound,” he said.
 
Cowen analyst Doug Creutz went further. “With Fox’s strength, upside could come from international markets,” he said. “Given the size and experience of Fox’s distribution business overseas, there could be upside to our forecasts if Fox is able to help DWA’s films perform better in international markets.”
 
Explained Creutz: “Evidence suggests potential here as animated films distributed by Paramount have earned an average international multiplier of 1.85x versus a 2.19x for animated films distributed by Fox over the past eight years.”
 
Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible suggested though that overall, for DWA, “the strategic benefits are far greater than the economic benefits.” He explained: “The deal aligns economic interests with a competitor (News Corp.’s Blue Sky Studios), which should eliminate overlapping release windows. Furthermore, News Corp. may be instrumental in helping DWA launch a new TV channel that leverages DWA/Classic Media content.”
 
Meanwhile, analysts said the new distribution relationship will be positive for Fox, but could put additional pressure on Paramount to add new content to its pipeline.
 
“The deal, we estimate, will drive close to $75 million per year in high margin new fees for News Corp., worth about a 2 cents to 3 cents after tax lift to earnings per share,” Crockett estimated.
 
And Mogil’s Stifel, Nicolaus colleague Drew Crum said that “Paramount loses a high margin distributor’s fee (8 percent of gross revenue) and may need to pursue additional cost cutting initiatives in order to maintain profitability.”
 
But he also highlighted that Paramount is only a small contributor to Viacom’s overall financials. “To put it into perspective, Paramount represents only 7 percent of Viacom’s estimated fiscal year 2012 adjusted profit,” he said.

Looking to boost its international footprint, DreamWorks Studios is taking more control of its movies in Europe in a move to increase the company’s financial flexibility.

Under a new partnership, David Garrett’s fledgling international sales and financing company Mister Smith Entertainment will handle DreamWorks titles in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
 
Disney, where Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks has a distribution deal, will continue to release DreamWorks titles everywhere else. And, as previously announced, 20th Century Fox is releasing Lincoln and Robopocalypse overseas after partnering with Disney and DreamWorks on the two films.
 
Reliance Entertainment, which holds a major stake in DreamWorks, will continue to distribute the company’s films in India.
 
The first group of films covered under the deal with Mister Smith includes the untitled Ken Scott project, which begins principal photography in October, and Need for Speed, which begins shooting early next year.
 
Garrett, based in London and one of the most respected sales agents in the business, formed Mister Smith earlier this year after Summit merged with Lions gate. Garrett was one of the founders of Summit International.
 
“David has a proven track record, and his years of experience in building Summit International will help us in this next step of growing our business.  This partnership allows us to best capitalize on the expanding global marketplace and generate foreign sales as a revenue source.  We appreciate Disney’s continued support of our company and our ongoing partnership,” DreamWorks chief operating officer Jeff Small said.
 
Insiders say Mister Smith is likely to strike multi-picture output deals with foreign distributors, providing DreamWorks with a smoother cash flow.
 
“I am incredibly excited to be working with Stacey, Steven, Jeff and the DreamWorks team. I could not hope to be working with a more exceptionally talented and delightful group of people, and I hope that we will find a way of creating new and exciting synergies together, in the ever-changing international landscape,” Garrett said.
 
“DreamWorks also have a very compelling, original and diverse slate of pictures in development, which is wonderfully refreshing. We also hugely look forward to working with the Disney team, who have been so supportive of DreamWorks’ new strategy,” Garrett continued.
 
Earlier this year — following several box office disappointments, including Cowboys & Aliens — Reliance Entertainment agreed in principle to continue financing DreamWorks in a deal that will allow the company to make at least eight to 10 movies during the next two to three years.
 
Going forward, DreamWorks will make three or four films a year, focusing on tent pole or low-budget fare and avoiding the middle. On larger movies, DreamWorks will seek a partner, as it has with Fox.

 

With the arrival of Fall season 2012 just hours away, let’s check on the Penguins tally so far this week:

 

 

753 signatures are on the board fans continue to wish our flightless spies good luck on their 10-mission finale. We’ll be keeping you close on these important updates as it gets underway very soon.

 

It’s been a great summer here at entertainment central. All summer long, we got you some updates, revisions, and breaking news.  Will there be any new movies this week, or will the pattern roll on for The Expendables? Find me here on my box office report. In the meantime, What will Fall bring this year? I got you covered with all the September news as we say farewell to summer and say hello to fall on Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. See you in September TV and movie fans!

  

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The Expendables 2 stay on top of the box office as the estimates turn weak; DreamWorks chooses Fox over Sony to beat Labor Day deadline

 

 

Goodbye Sony Pictures, Hello Fox! I’m Realistic Fish Head! On the Sunday edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report, DreamWorks had a decision to make before this week’s deadline. With The Expendables 2 leading the box office again this week with 52.3 million, Sly Stallone and company are fulfilling their mission to take out the bad guys as he explains!

 

Gene: There’s no change in the box office this week as Lionsgate’s The Expendables 2 stays on top. A weak weekend has caused the box office to hold over thanks to Sly Stallone and team. With the estimates a tad low, here’s what’s happening:

 

 

With no new films this week, Lionsgate once again denies The Bourne Legacy to reach the top spot causing exhaustion as the 7 million smacker mark is still up for grabs. Sony Pictures’ newest film Premium Rush opened softly with 6.5 million smackers. Open Road’s Hit and Run was hit too and so was Warner Bros., The Apparition. Rocky Mountain Pictures’ shocking flick 2016 Obama’s America tells whether or not President Obama can be re-elected. Remember Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11? It was a shocker for sure back then! Let’s hope that this political documentary doesn’t spoil Obama’s re-election chances!

 

 

With politics out of the way, The Expendables 2 stays 1st, The Bourne Legacy stays 2nd, Para Norman is still fighting zombies at 3rd, Batman rebounds again at 4th, and Disney’s Timothy Green goes green at 5th.

 

 

For you DreamWorks fans out there, Angie’s got the scoop on the successor for Paramount which happened back on Monday. Angie, did DreamWorks choose Sony Pictures or Fox?

Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Holly wood)EXCLUSIVE-  Jeffrey Katzenberg promised Wall Street analysts that DreamWorks Animation would have a new distribution deal by Labor Day — and he does. Sony had been in the running down to the wire these last weeks. But when it didn’t close, DWA turned to Twentieth Century Fox. which now becomes an animation powerhouse, combining under one roof two of the four most successful CGI animation companies (DWA, Pixar, Blue Sky Studios, Illumination Entertainment) and providing greater leverage with exhibition, retailers, media, buying, and promotions. Fox Filmed Entertainment owns Fox Animation Studios whose president Vanessa Morrison recently renewed her deal. Additionally Fox Animation’s Greenwich, Conn-based Blue Sky Studios recently re-upped EVP and COO Brean Keane. The companies have huge worldwide franchises in Ice Age and Rio and no doubt Epic, a 3D CGI action-adventure comedy. Now DWA will increase Fox’s market share.

At 1:40, DreamWorks scheduled a conference call at 2 PM today and just announced the deal:

Under the terms of the agreement, Fox will assume certain marketing and distribution responsibilities in both domestic and international markets for all animated feature films produced by DreamWorks Animation for release in 2013 through 2017.

“Fox has long been an industry leader in both theatrical and home video thanks in large part to its well-integrated approach to distribution across a wide range of platforms around the globe,”said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation. “Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman have built a world-class distribution team and we are excited to apply their expertise, robust infrastructure and global resources so that DreamWorks Animation’s films can reach their fullest possible potential over the next five years.”

“DreamWorks Animation is a great company that makes terrific films and everyone here feels privileged and honored to have been chosen to distribute their marvelous work throughout the world,” stated Fox Filmed Entertainment CEOs and Chairmen, Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman. “We are particularly excited to add DreamWorks Animation’s films to the strong and growing slate of movies from our outstanding Blue Sky Studios division, which is coming off another global blockbuster with Ice Age: Continental Drift, and has Epic and Rio 2 in advanced production. Together we will be a dominant force in animated entertainment for years to come.”

“Starting in 2013, DreamWorks Animation content will be distributed in the more traditional markets under a fee structure that is similar to our existing arrangement with our current distributor,” continued Katzenberg. “However, our new agreement with Fox presents more favorable economics overall for DreamWorks Animation because we are taking advantage of lower costs associated with the emerging digital distribution landscape and managing domestic television distribution in-house.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Fox will receive a distribution fee on worldwide theatrical and home video gross receipts as well as on international television, and on certain digital businesses, including rentals, SVOD and EST. DreamWorks Animation will retain the rights to distribute its product in the domestic television windows without paying a fee to Fox.

During the conference call, Katzenberg, Rothman, and Gianopulos surprisingly laid out the pay terms of the new DWA-Fox distribution deal. On theatrical releases, DWA will pay the same 8% it pays Paramount on all windows. That’s below market – 10% is probably more in line. (One analyst estimates that 5% of each DWA film’s gross revenue covers the distribution personnel and infrastructure costs.) But DWA had to drive a hard bargain because it can’t afford to take a hit to its earnings. And so DWA negotiated just a 6% fee to Fox on what are now emerging digital markets because of the lower associated costs. ”The one real difference here with Paramount is that 7 years later there are certain capabilities built within DWA that we can do ourselves. We had to rely on Paramount 7 years ago, but now we have a long-term Netflix deal that extends beyond the term with Fox,” Katzenberg told the media. “It’s a competitive deal in every respect in terms of Paramount and in digital markets it’s even better.”

Katzenberg called the deal an ”exciting business development” for DWA and “an absolute win-win” with Fox. He said that Ann Daly, who has been DreamWorks Animation’s COO since the IPO in October 2004, “spearheaded” all of the distribution deal negotiations. Time Warner, Comcast, and even Disney were approached but didn’t want a deal.

Katzenberg did note that Paramount, which has been DWA’s distributor for 7 years, will retain distribution deal rights for years to come on certain titles for varying lengths of time. “We enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with Paramount. They did an excellent job.” The duo release Rise Of The Guardians on November 21st.

Katzenberg said he did not intend to revamp Fox’s home entertainment distribution like he had at Universal and then Paramount when DreamWorks arrived. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Katzenberg said. ”When we came to Paramount 7 years ago, we brought along 400 people and we became the leadership in some areas, not all areas. Some are still in place there. That’s not the case here. “One of the great appeals is that in every area Fox is a world-class distributor, the leader in the most valuable and important area of worldwide home video, big box retail category leader, one of the leaders in worldwide theatrical distribution and first-class domestic distribution. No need for us to be doing anything but putting product in their hands.”

Katzenberg did stress that, aside from exclusive distribution on the movie side, nothing was exclusive on the TV side between DWA and Fox.

Rothman and Gianopulos made the point that, since animated movies  have to be dated so far in advance, no dates need to be reshuffled between Fox and DWA product.

There was some thought that DWA might self-distribute – especially after it hired Disney’s Chuck Viane a year ago to consult on distribution options. But Katzenberg confirmed last month that he was no longer considering self-distribution. And today he glossed over the subject.

The problem for the public company is that Wall Street has soured on DreamWorks Animation. Of the 14 analysts who track the company, only one rates it a ‘buy’, 7 recommend ‘hold’, and 6 have it either at ‘underperform’ or ‘sell’. Although shares are +7.1% in 2012, they’re -11.3% for the last 12 months, and -54.5% since the company went public in 2004.

 

Luckily, Stan Jennings fish was there when the news broke. Other good news, a victory for DreamWorks as it knocks out rumors from the Sony Pictures deal helping Fox, another ailing movie movie company from too many box office disasters this summer in the process.

 

This puts an end to the battle for Paramount’s merger to give Fox the reins as of this week as both Paramount and DreamWorks release their final film Rise of the Guardians this fall.

 

Let’s check the Penguins tally:

 

770 signatures are on the board as our flightless heroes get ready to receive their last missions this fall as Summer season 2012 draws to a close. And for those of you saw the recent special Operation: Antarctica, it’ll be out October 30th on DVD during our fall coverage.

 

This week, check out Figure it Out and Brain Surge as it combines talented skills and problem solving. As we say so long to summer, this is Realistic Fish Head saying, have a good school year students!

   

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The Bourne Legacy takes Batman out with 40.3 million win; The penguins last 10 episodes including confirmed season finale set while Victorious sets 15 episode plan for season 4 finale; Fox challenges Sony Pictures to take DreamWorks

 

Move over Dark Knight, Jason Bourne is back on the case! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Another reboot for the box office as The Bourne Legacy ends The Dark Knight’s 3 week streak at #1. Gene Scallop on how this secret agent managed to knock out the caped crusader.

Gene: Hi again folks, and welcome back to pre-finale Penguins edition! You’ll see why in mere moments. But first, here’s what’s topping the box office!

Here we go again with the 3rd refresh! This week Universal’s The Bourne Legacy, a combo of the globe’s first 3 films, performed well as expected from our box office crunchers with 40.3 million smackers taking out Batman. Warner Bros. newest film The Campaign over performed 27.4 million smackers leaving Batman with 19.5 million smackers as Jason Bourne is assigned an important mission. Sony’s new film Hope Springs took in 15.6 million smackers. Universal won the gamble as it thwarts a battle between this film and Total Recall 2012 with no delays to spare. And second of all, they didn’t need the title character or Matt Damon after all. Legacy managed to score a combo of 59 million smackers less than its previous midnight showings of The Bourne Trilogy.

As for The Campaign, the comedy styling’s of Adam Mc Kay and Will Farrell, audiences were laughing summer style as the election draws ever closer.

The Dark Knight’s 3 week streak came to an abrupt stop as the caped crusader continues to get strong despite its large lead.

Hope Springs managed to get out of the weekend mess, which meant a very good plan for Sony Pictures as it outlasts Total Recall 2012. It’s possible if it reaches higher than 20 million smackers.

Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3 hangs tough as it hangs over 12.2 million smackers due to Batman’s 3 week domination.

With 10 films biting the dust, the box office is taking it really well this summer as it finishes dishing out the pros and cons of each movie.

 

To recap, Bourne hits 1st, The Campaign votes 2nd, Hope Springs goes 3rd, Batman swoops 4th, Wimpy Kid 3 drops 5th due to the holdover.

 

 

In last Wednesday’s entertainment report, we’ve found an answer that was most shocking! As Toon Zone’s Huntsman said recently:

 

It’s all a matter of canon. When a movie gets turned into an animated program, things change. It’s an occupational hazard. The Disney cartoons from the 90s didn’t have to worry about that very much because, in most cases, there weren’t going to be any new theatrical movies. Kids would watch the original movie and then watch the cartoon, accepting any changes and experiencing the transition in a linear fashion. It may not have been perfect, but it made sense. With these DreamWorks cartoons, on the other hand, kids would watch the first movie, watch the animated program, and then watch the second movie. The changes between them are jarring, even for adults. I could excuse The Penguins Of Madagascar because it was handled strictly as a comedy, even if I did grow to like the show’s voice actors far more than their movie counterparts, but the ball was dropped big time.

It, too, was primarily a comedy, but unlike The Penguins Of Madagascar, they tried to give it some degree of continuity, though it was mitigated by the way Nickelodeon kept airing episodes out of order and aired new episodes sporadically. Unfortunately, the continuity didn’t really fit in with the movies and I’m not even convinced that they tried to make it fit.

 

Spoiler Alert! He’s right folks. Due to the recent delays, some of the episodes on Nick have aired out of order since Madagascar 3 was playing in theaters just last June. And thus we’ve set the last 10 episodic missions for season 3 which means that Good Night And Good Chuck is indeed the last mission ever. Turning to the Penguins tally:

863 signatures are in as the show prepares to say farewell to the flightless spies. As for those episodes we’ll try and make sure if these exact airdates are confirmed to air sometime during our Fall coverage.

And speaking of good bye’s, Victorious is heading to season 4 because after that, so long Tori Justice as this report from The Wrap confirms this:

The bad news for fans of the Victoria Justice sitcom "Victorious"? Nickelodeon has canceled the series.

The good news? The show will air for one more season before getting yanked.

"Victorious" creator Dan Schneider confirmed the cancelation on his blog Friday, emphasizing that it was the network’s decision to pull the plug.

"By now, a lot of you have heard that Victorious will not be returning for a 4th season," Schneider wrote. "That is true. This was the network’s decision — not mine."

Schneider also confirmed that the show will run for another season.

There is a whole NEW season of ‘Victorious’ coming your way," he wrote. "We just finished shooting 15 new episodes, and they’re amazing. If you love ‘Victorious,’ I feel sure you will love the NEW episodes coming!"

Schneider — who also created Nickelodeon fare such as "iCarly" and "Zoey 101" — said he understood fans’ disappointment, but urged them not to begrudge the show’s stars.

"I know that some of you are upset and angry — and while I feel terrible about that, I’m also flattered by it. I really appreciate that you care so much. It means you love the show, which makes me feel very proud," Schneider wrote. "But I ask that you please not be angry with Victoria, or Leon, Liz, Ariana, Avan … or ANY of the ‘Victorious’ cast members or staff. They all wanted ‘Victorious’ to continue — so did I."

Nickelodeon has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

 

Well, well, well, looks like Fox is taking on Sony Pictures for control of DreamWorks as the Labor Day deadline approaches. The studio is on a worse streak and it desperately needs help fast! Here’s a known fact, 75 years ago Disney left without a TV distribution contract with United Artists due to a “sticking point”. Fortunately, Disney went to RKO Pictures and before you know it, the rest is history! Now DreamWorks has to choose one movie company to replace Paramount as it enters Thunder dome. Only one company will survive and only one will go. We’ll find out after the deadline if DreamWorks chooses either Sony or Fox!

The Fairly Odd Parents are back after a month long hiatus off their trip to Comic-Con, what magical surprises await the trio? The magic resumes this winter!

This is Realistic Fish Head saying, make those wishes carefully!

 

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Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja debuts September 17th; movie-based shows could turn grim with the Penguins leaving soon; Avengers 2 sequel under construction

 

 

Welcome to the ninja packed edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!

Randy Cunningham, a mild mannered 9th grade student, turns ninja! He’s kicking his way toward his long awaited debut. Angie beside the TV show on Disney XD, what are viewers looking for as the ninja warrior waits for his time to strike?

Angie Angelfish (At Toon Zone HQ)- Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja,” an action-packed, animated comedy series that follows the adventures of an unlikely hero who, with his super human ninja suit, the ‘NinjaNomicon’ (an 800 year-old Ninja guide) and the help of his best buddy Howard, finds himself as the one thing protecting his school and the world from certain destruction, is set to premiere on Disney XD. A special preview will air MONDAY, AUGUST 13 (9:00 p.m., ET/PT) with the series premiere on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 (7:00 p.m., ET/PT). New episodes will premiere Monday through Thursday (7:00 p.m., ET/PT).

Created and executive produced by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas (“Scooby-Doo”), “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” stars an award-winning cast: Ben Schwartz (“Parks and Recreation,” “House of Lies”) as Randy Cunningham, Andrew Caldwell (“Transformers,” “Hannah Montana”) as Howard Weinerman, Kevin Michael Richardson (“The Penguins of Madagascar”) as Willem Viceroy III, John DiMaggio (“Futurama”) as Hannibal McFist, Dave Wittenberg (“Stitch!”) as Bash Johnson, Jim Rash (“Community”) as Principal Slimovitz, Tim Curry (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) as The Sorcerer, Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) as Mrs. Driscoll and John Oliver (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”) as Coach Green.

The multiplatform roll-out is as follows:

Saturday, August 11
Full episode preview of “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” is available on WATCH Disney XD.

Monday, August 13
A full episode preview of “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” follows the premiere of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living “TRYathlon” special (9:00 p.m., ET/PT). In the episode “Last Stall On The Left,” Freshman Randy Cunningham discovers the ‘NinjaNomicon,’ which reveals that he has been chosen to be Norrisville’s newest Ninja. Armed with his power-packed ninja suit, he faces his first battle with McFist ’s monster Krakenstein, while juggling his new secret identity and being there for his best friend Howard.

Directly following the preview on air, “Last Stall On The Left” will be available on iTunes as a free download.

DisneyXD.com launches a “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” page featuring a new side-scrolling platformer game, “Randy Cunningham: Punchocalypse,” with intense action and high flying ninja moves.

Wednesday, August 29
“Enter the NinjaNomicon” activity launches on DisneyXD.com/Randy, allowing players to take control of Randy within the NinjaNomicon. In the activity, an evil force has scattered the pages of the NinjaNomicon and thrown it into chaos, and it is up to the player to put them back in order. Players will be able to access a special power in the activity called “Cold Rage” that can be used in the “Randy Cunningham: Punchocalypse” game.

Friday, September 14 – Sunday, September 16
Jason Dolley and Bradley Steven Perry (“Good Luck Charlie”) host the nightly programming lineup on Disney Channel and give viewers a “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” sneak peek and highlights of the new series.

Monday, September 17
Series premiere (7:00 p .m., ET/PT) – In the episode “Got Stank,” after triangle-playing band geek Bucky is benched for showboating, he is ‘stanked’ by the Sorcerer’s noxious gas which turns him into a crazy monster creating mayhem at Norrisville High. Randy must learn the secret to saving Bucky who has fallen under the influence of the evil Sorcerer’s powers by destroying the one thing Bucky holds most dear.

At DisneyXD.com/Randy, all five levels of the “Randy Cunningham: Punchocalypse” game will launch. Players take on the role of Randy, who equipped with his battle skills and ninja gear must rescue best pal Howard from their rivals.

Tuesday, September 18
“Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” episodes available on WATCH Disney XD, Disney XD Mobile VOD via AT&T U-Verse, Sprint and Verizon; along with iTunes, Xbox Live and Sony Playstation. Select episodes will be available on DisneyXD.com.

Thursday, September 20
A new episode of “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” will be available on WATCH Disney XD.

 

With the Penguins leaving to parts unknown, the future of movie-based TV shows is in doubt as this report from Toon Zone says that without the flightless spies, there’ll be a empty spot unless things go right as The Huntsman analyzes:

I have long been a proponent of movie-based animated programs. Perhaps I am unusual in that regard, but if I like a movie, I would like to see as much of its world as possible. Sure, it might not be as excellently portrayed on a TV budget, but at least you get to see its characters long after their theatrical star has burned out. That notion, however, was far more relevant when Disney held the torch. With a few exceptions, they only turned their movies into animated programs once they realized that any future movies based on the property would only be direct-to-video titles. That’s what makes the new torchbearer, DreamWorks Animation, so intriguing. They are actively striving to turn as many of their movies into animated programs as possible, while simultaneously striving to keep new sequels based on those properties in the theaters. Suffice to say, that has muddied the waters exponentially.

It’s all a matter of canon. When a movie gets turned into an animated program, things change. It’s an occupational hazard. The Disney cartoons from the 90s didn’t have to worry about that very much because, in most cases, there weren’t going to be any new theatrical movies. Kids would watch the original movie and then watch the cartoon, accepting any changes and experiencing the transition in a linear fashion. It may not have been perfect, but it made sense. With these DreamWorks cartoons, on the other hand, kids would watch the first movie, watch the animated program, and then watch the second movie. The changes between them are jarring, even for adults. I could excuse The Penguins Of Madagascar because it was handled strictly as a comedy, even if I did grow to like the show’s voice actors far more than their movie counterparts, but the ball was dropped big time.

It, too, was primarily a comedy, but unlike The Penguins Of Madagascar, they tried to give it some degree of continuity, though it was mitigated by the way Nickelodeon kept airing episodes out of order and aired new episodes sporadically. Unfortunately, the continuity didn’t really fit in with the movies and I’m not even convinced that they tried to make it fit.  The characters’ relationships imply that it takes place shortly after the first movie, but because Po is naturally learning new things and gaining new abilities, it can’t fit in with the second movie and the canon becomes branched. If there were no more sequels, this wouldn’t matter, but the sequels largely defeat the point of having the animated program and it takes away from its entertainment factor to a large degree.  Why should we be invested in seeing Po grow as a warrior if future movies don’t take his new growth into consideration?

So why, then, am I still excited for DreamWorks’ Dragons: Riders Of Berk? Because it appears that they have finally learned from their mistakes and are making an animated program that is simpatico with the movies; one that is, for all intents and purposes, a part of a non-branching canon.  This is a very good thing.   In a recent article about the show’s Comic Con panel, the show’s runners said that while each episode can be viewed as a standalone episode, it will build up the story and set things up for the theatrical sequel, promising that fans who have watched the show will be rewarded when they watch the movie. Additionally the series is using the movie’s voice actors for the main characters, and while the quality of its animation isn’t theatrical quality it’s still a huge step up compared to its Nickelodeon contemporaries.

Cartoon Network has kept a tight lid on the show’s production, so details are still scarce for a show that premieres in less than a month, but I’ve become more and more impressed with everything that I’ve seen. Some are concerned that the show will focus too much on discovering new dragons, similar to the mistake that the Lilo & Stitch series made when it focused each episode on a different alien, but the show’s runners have emphasized that a large portion of the focus will be on the relationships of the characters and their various adventures. There will be new villains as well as, yes, new dragons. Dragons are a key part of the franchise, after all. DreamWorks wants this show to succeed and they want to build upon what they already have, and I wish them luck.

That’s how it should be, after all. Effort, under the watchful eye of the studio to ensure that nothing in the show will contradict the movies. Now, I don’t expect that it will go down that smoothly; as I’ve said earlier, changes are an occupational hazard for movie-based cartoons. But if this show succeeds, it could set a tremendous precedent going forward. Since DreamWorks is currently working on a Monsters vs. Aliens cartoon and are pitching shows based on several other movies, it will be very interesting to see how things progress. We won’t have to wait long to find out, as Cartoon Network has scheduled a sneak peek of the series to air on August 7th at 7:30 PM. It will consist of the first two episodes, with the series premiering in full this September.

 

And for those of you who saw the 2-episode sneak peek last night, then you’re ready to experience the world of dragons as DreamWorks Dragons premieres this fall.

The Marvel Heroes may be ready to assemble again as Marvel Heroes 2 could start production very soon:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joss Whedon has been hired on again as boss of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and their superhero pals for a sequel to "The Avengers."

The news came Tuesday from Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger, who said during a company earnings call that the filmmaker is returning to write and direct the sequel adapted from the Marvel Comics tales.

Iger also said Whedon is helping to develop a Marvel-based TV series for ABC. Marvel is a Disney subsidiary.

No details were provided on a start of production or release date for the sequel to Whedon’s "The Avengers," the year’s biggest hit with nearly $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office. But the film will have to get in line behind a busy schedule of solo sequels featuring "Avengers" co-stars.

Robert Downey Jr. is filming "Iron Man 3" for release next May, while "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth will have his own sequel out in November 2013. Chris Evans’ "Captain America" sequel will follow in April 2014.

 

The signatures keep on coming as 888 fans sign in. With some new episodes set to premiere soon through the rest of the year as well as the Penguins movie in summer 2015, many fans are hoping that Team Skipper will make up ground from late summer to next spring to end the show on a happy note. But don’t worry Penguin fans, we’ll fill in the blanks for you!

As we wish them good luck on their farewell tour set to begin soon, we started to think back this past Sunday on our news brief with Fish Head, but this breaking news might be a spoiler alert for sure. To find out, make sure you see him this Sunday, and I’ll keep close tabs on Batman in the box office. This is Gene Scallop for my entertainment report telling you rest assured TV fans, everything will be okay through next spring!

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Batman triumphs yet again beating Total Recall 2012 and Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3; Nick releases 2013 schedule; Bob Schooley says “Good Night and Good Chuck could be season clincher and finale”

 

The third weekend’s the charm for The Dark Knight! I’m Realistic Fish Head It’s week 3 in the box office as Bat-fandom continues to pour in as the caped crusader increases his lead. With the rest of the movies gone soft, Gene Scallop says look for Batman to continue his dominance through the rest of the week:

Gene: With the Olympics continuing in London, the box office has been spooked due to the Colorado movie shooting. It’s theater grosses won’t come in until these events come to pass. Sorry to disappoint you movie fans. Other than that, The Dark Knight continues to defeat the bad guys with 36 million smackers making up lost time for the Warners’. Total Recall 2012 was bounced after its debut saying that the 1990 reboot wasn’t enough to take out Batman. Only Sony’s other reboot The Amazing Spidey did better than usual during the 4th of July weekend as the big winner in the month’s first 2 weeks.

 

Meanwhile Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3 turned out to be negative than the first 2 Wimpy Kid movies even less than Ice Age 4 and the first 3 Ice Age movies, yet another disappointment for Fox. Wimpy Kid 3 follows Rodrick and the others as they enter the dog days of summer, hence Dog Days based of the 4th book of the series.

The Batman still fights in 1st, Total Recall 2012 with Colin Farrell recalls in 2nd, the Wimpy Kids are 3rd as they battle the summer heat, Ice Age 4 cools in 4th while The Watch watches closely in 5th. Looks like Fox finishes 3-4-5 this week. Can Batman continue to pummel in the box office battle?

We’ve found pay dirt folks! Nick has next year’s schedule ready and we got the info. What do we have here Angie?

Angie Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)-Nickelodeon has pulled back the curtain on its plans for 2013 and beyond, green lighting a number of series and pilots from the creative teams behind Frasier, Reba, SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly and Victorious.

The assorted entries hail from both new and established creators, with spinoffs from Dan Schneider’s iCarly and Victorious among them. For his part, iCarly co-star Noah Munick will have his hand in three of the new installments.

The ambitious push comes as Nickelodeon attempts to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded landscape where outlets including Netflix and the Internet are among the rivals. For the first time in 16 years, Nick’s top competitor, Disney Channel, ended 2011 as the No. 1 kids network.

Here’s a look at Nick’s upcoming slate:

LIVE-ACTION

Current productions:

Wendell and Vinnie (Nick at Nite series): iCarly’ s Jerry Trainor stars as Vinnie, a lovable goofball uncle who becomes the guardian to his buttoned-up 12-year-old nephew Wendell (Buddy Handleson, Shake It Up). Nicole Sullivan (The King of Queens, The Penguins of Madagascar) also stars as Vinnie’s high-strung older sister Wilma. The comedy series, green lighted for 20 episodes, was written by Jay Kogen (Frasier, George Lopez) and will be executive produced by Aaron Kaplan (GCB, Terra Nova).

You Gotta See This (Nickelodeon series): Nickelodeon combines the best of the web, behind-the-scenes footage, celebrity interviews, pranks and bloopers in its new show premiering in the fall. Hosted by Chris O’Neal and Noah Crawford (How to Rock), the half-hour series rolls all the must-see clips of the week into one package. Nickelodeon is in production on this 20-episode series in Los Angeles.

Swindle (Nickelodeon movie/working title): An original TV movie with daring heists, crazy disguises, pie fights and sumo wrestlers, featuring an ensemble cast of Nickelodeon stars. When an evil collector cons Griffin out of a million-dollar baseball card that could have saved his best friend’s home, he unites a ragtag group of his classmates who need to work as a team to take down the swindler. Swindle is based on a popular children’s book by Gordon Korman. Production will commence this fall in Vancouver.

Nicky Deuce (Nickelodeon movie/working title): Based on a popular children’s book by The Sopranos’ Steve Schirripa and Charles Fleming, Nicky Deuce stars iCarly’ s Munck as Nicholas Borelli II, a nerdy, over-protected teen who transforms into the title character. Nicholas gets caught in the adventure of a lifetime when he spends the summer with an uncle he never knew he had. Production begins in the summer in Montreal.

Pilots:

Sam & Cat (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): In the comedic spinoff from iCarly and Victorious creator Schneider, feisty Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy) and daffy Cat Valentine (Ariana Grande) become best buddies and unlikely roommates. They love their freedom and independence but quickly realize that fun and adventure do not come cheap. Rather than get traditional after-school jobs, Sam and Cat become teen entrepreneurs by starting their own baby-sitting business.

Gibby (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): Munck reprises his role as Gibby in the spinoff from iCarly creator Schneider. In the comedy pilot, Gibby takes a job at The Bixby, a recreational center where kids of all ages hang out, socialize, play sports and take unique classes. Gibby becomes a mentor to four quirky middle-schoolers, helping them break out of their shells and embrace life in true “Gibbehhh” style.

The Haunted Hathaways (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): Life in the Big Easy gets a little more complicated and way more spirited when the Hathaway siblings move into a house occupied by a family of ghosts. The pilot is written by Robert Peacock, who served as writer-producer on several series including Reba, Blue Collar TV and Coupling.

The Thundermans (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): Written by Jed Spingarn, the series follows 13-year-old Phoebe Thunderman, who just wants to be normal — but that’s impossible when she comes from a family of superheroes. While most superheroes are lucky to have one power, Phoebe happens to have 12. A longtime producer for Nickelodeon, Spingarn most recently served as co-executive producer of Big Time Rush. Prior to that, he was a producer on Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Johnny Bravo.

Instant Mom (Nick at Nite pilot/working title): Instant Mom centers on a 25-year-old party girl who trades in Cosmos for carpools when she marries an older man with kids. The project is executive produced by Aaron Kaplan (GCB, Terra Nova) with Warren Bell (Ellen, According to Jim, What I Like About You) and Jessica Butler (According to Jim, In Plain Sight) serving as writers/executive producers.

ANIMATION

Current Productions:

Sanjay & Craig (Nickelodeon series): A classic tale of boy meets snake, this 20-episode, 2D-animated series follows two best buds who dedicate their lives to becoming the coolest, most rebellious dudes in the neighborhood. Sanjay & Craig is created by Jim Dirschberger, Jay Howell and Andreas Trolf and executive produced by Nick alumni Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi (The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Alvin and the Chipmunks).

Monsters vs. Aliens (Nickelodeon series): An extension of the 2009 movie, the CG-animated series features the lovable monsters and a whole new group of nefarious aliens living and working together at Area 50-something. Green lighted for 26 episodes, the series will be executive produced by Bob Schooley, Mark McCorkle and Brett Haaland (The Penguins of Madagascar).

Monty and Norville (Nickelodeon preschool series/working title): The series follows the adventures of a 5-year-old troll named Monty and his dragon friend Norville. With the help of viewers at home, Monty can use his magic stick to make incredible things happen as long as he uses the right words. The new 26-episode series, created by Adam Peltzman (head writer of Blue’s Clues, The Backyardigans), will introduce a literacy curriculum to Nickelodeon’s preschool audience.

Pilots:

Bad Seeds (Nickelodeon pilot): From Chowder creator and SpongeBob SquarePants alumnus Carl Greenblatt, Bad Seeds is about a good bird running with the bad crowd — and having a great time.

Blaze and the Monster Machines (Nickelodeon preschool pilot/working title): The CG-animated, interactive program revolves around an 8-year-old boy named AJ and his incredible monster truck Blaze. AJ, Blaze and their friend Maddie fight their arch nemesis Crusher along with a fleet of other trucks. The series features a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum and is created by Jeff Borkin (head writer of Team Umizoomi, Little Einsteins) and Ellen Martin (producer of Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans).

 

These working titles mentioned above might be subject to change, so keep your eyes peeled!

We’ve reached the 2000 mark last week, and this week and we’re currently headed for 3000 as 999 fans continue to support the Penguins in the Penguin tally. Keep watching for both the Luna corn Special, the final Blowhole special with Doris, and the last episode of season 3 “Good Night and Good Chuck” which could be the flightless spies’ final mission. Remember TV fans, according to Bob Schooley, there could be possible spoiler alerts!

Flash! The official date for TMNT 2012 has been released as a 1-hour special! Johnny Trout on the turtles’ arrival and what the series goes on from here once the TV series premieres soon!

Johnny Trout(via TV by the numbers) Beverly Hills, Calif. – August 3, 2012 – Nickelodeon launches an all-new, CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11:00 a.m. (ET/PT)in a special one-hour television event, bringing the turtles up from the sewers with the mythology and comedic sensibility for a new generation of fans. The series stars Jason Biggs (American Pie) as “Leonardo,” Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) as “Raphael,” Rob Paulsen (Planet Sheen) as “Donatello” and Greg Cipes (Teen Titans) as “Michelangelo.” Additional cast members rounding out this iconic hit franchise include Mae Whitman (Parenthood) as “April O’Neil,” Hoon Lee (Royal Pains) as “Master Splinter” and Kevin Michael Richardson (Penguins of Madagascar) as “Shredder.” The half-hour weekly series is layered with action, fantasy and comedy and draws inspiration from both American and Japanese animation, showcasing a stylistic effect of a printed comic.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will air regularly on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. (ET/PT).
“With its heart, humor and larger-than-life adventures, our new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series builds on the legacy of these great characters and moves their story forward for a whole new generation of fans,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon. “Every episode features non-stop action and fun from the first frame to the last, and the gorgeous CG-animation offers a whole new way to experience the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set in present day New York City, from the glittering towers of Manhattan to the dark depths of the sewers, and follows the adventures of four humanoid turtles and a six-foot-tall rat, Master Splinter.  One day, while living a life in seclusion with his four pet turtles, the once human, Splinter, encountered a mysterious green ooze that covered him and his pets. Overcome by the mutagen, he was transformed into a rat and his four pets became humanoid turtles.  Fearing persecution from humans, he brought the Turtles underground and raised them, training them to become ninjas.  Years have passed since that point and the four turtles, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, are now headstrong teenagers, filled with the confidence of youth and a burning desire to see the world.
In the one-hour premiere, Master Splinter allows his teenaged sons to visit the surface for the first time, with strict instructions to remain unseen.  But when they spy a group of thugs attempting to kidnap a teenage girl (April O’Neil) and her father, the Turtles must leap into action. They soon discover that the surface world isn’t as simple as it first appears, as they find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy involving alien creatures, robotic droids, missing scientists and come face-to-face with the same glowing green mutagen that mutated them in the first place.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on four mutant turtles—Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo—trained in the art of ninjutsu by their mutant rat sensei, Master Splinter, who teaches the turtles to battle evil from the New York City sewers.  The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series will be funnier and “ninja-ier” than ever before. The action comedy explores the camaraderie of four teenage brothers learning to rely on one another as they unravel the mystery of their existence and train to become the heroes they’re destined to be. The heroes in a half shell will confront the wondrous and hostile world of New York City, facing enemies more dangerous and pizza more delicious than anything they could have imagined. The executive producers for the series are Ciro Nieli, Joshua Sternin & Jeff Ventimilia and Peter Hastings. The series will premiere globally across Nickelodeon’s channels around the world starting on September 29th.
Considered one of the most popular kids’ television programs of the 1980s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a classic, global property created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  It first debuted as a successful comic book series and then became a hit animated TV show, a live-action television series and later spawned four blockbuster theatrical releases.  The property also has translated into a significant consumer products business—with DVDs, video games, toys and more–that has generated billions of dollars at retail.

 

With 2 arrivals from Nick as they welcome Robot and Monster as well as Cartoon Network’s DreamWorks’ Dragons with DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens coming in 2013 on Nick with the addition of Mega Mind. Like The Penguins of Madagascar, they’re ready to pick up where they left off since their first appearance in the box office. But rumors say should these 3 series get cancelled suddenly and Robot and Monster continues running weekend errands, the Penguins might get hit with a big loss! How will it shape up between now and Spring 2013? This is Realistic Fish Head saying, don’t get your Dragons, Monsters, and Mega mind’s hopes up!

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Looney Tunes Platinum Collection to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray October 16th; Beware The Batman to premiere in 2013

 

Welcome to the Warner edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!

 

 

For those of you who first bought the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection on DVD, the same collection will be released on Blu-Ray for the first time! What does this DVD and Blu-Ray have here Angie?

 

Angie Angelfish-BURBANK, CA., (August 1, 2012) – What’s up doc? More classic Looney Tunes greats on Blu-ray™ & DVD! Get set for another fun-filled installment of Warner Home Video’s (WHV) Looney Tunes Platinum Collection, which is set for release October 16, 2012. Titled Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 2, this compilation will showcase 50 all-time favorite cartoon shorts which have been digitally remastered and restored. Available just in time for the holiday gift giving season, Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 2 will be sold on Blu-ray which retails for $44.98 SRP and on standard DVD, which retails for $26.99 SRP. The Blu-ray includes a cartoon guide with rare images compiled by animation historian Jerry Beck and a disc comprised entirely of bonus material.

Some of the best and most enduring theatrical shorts from the Looney Tunes franchise are featured on the highly-anticipated release of Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 2. That wascally wabbit and the rest of the gang are back in an all-star collection that features 50 of some of the franchise’s greatest shorts. The selection contains a variety of memorable works, by some of the most renowned animators in cartoon history including Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Robert McKimson, Friz Freleng and others.Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 2 is aimed at adult collectors of animation.

Disc one offers a collection of 25 signature cartoon shorts featuring an all-star line-up of some of the best-known Looney Tunes characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn , Speedy Gonzales and others. Three featured cartoons, A Wild Hare, Tabasco Road and Mexicali Shmoes are Academy Award® nominated shorts (Best Short Subject, Cartoons, 1941, 1958 and 1960). The Blu-ray disc is loaded with bonus featurettes, commentaries by animation experts and alternative audio tracks.

Disc two is comprised of 25 shorts, including a collection of memorable one-shot classics such as Hollywood Steps Out, which features cartoon versions of such legendary actors as Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and many others. Also included is the war-themed Russian Rhapsody and Rocket-Bye Baby, a Chuck Jones-directed short about a Martian baby who’s accidentally sent to Earth. Featured also are the complete collections of cartoons starring some of Looney Tunes notable but seldom seen characters such as Nasty Canasta, Cecil Turtle, Beaky Buzzard, A. Flea and others. This disc also includes the complete collection of Chuck Jones’ hunting trilogy, a set of three cartoons which star Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd (Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning and Duck! Rabbit, Duck!). This disc presents a special favorite selected by cartoon fans in an online poll: Bugs Bunny in Wabbit Twouble. The Blu-ray disc is packed with bonus featurettes, commentaries by animation experts and alternative audio tracks.

Disc three, which is only available in the Blu-ray of the release is devoted entirely to special content and rarities from the vault. Hours and hours of extras include several documentaries with expert commentary and behind-the-scenes information from popular animators, famous directors, animation historians and celebrated devotees. Lost cartoons from the World War II era, including Private Snafu and Seaman Hook, rare Leon Schlesinger staff Christmas Party films, documentaries covering Friz Freleng and Tex Avery with bonus Freleng Captain and the Kids cartoons and a selection of Tex Avery’s best cartoons from MGM are also included.

“Looney Tunes cartoons have been entertaining consumers for generations with popular, enduring characters that continue to capture the hearts of viewers”said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing and Partner Brands. She added, “We think Looney Tunes fans will be really pleased with the variety of selections we’ve included on this compilation, which range from highly-popular favorites to some lesser seen gems. This release has something for everyone. It’s a must-own title for animation lovers.”

 

Remember the Colorado movie shooting 3 weeks ago? Well, we found another series that was supposed to premiere on Cartoon Network this year: Beware the Batman. Fans of the cartoon series won’t see it as a result of the tragedy as Perch Perkins found out while we were busy digesting the  recently breaking news story:

 

Perch Perkins (via Variety)- Heightened sensitivity over violent imagery at Warner Bros. in the wake of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado., is extending to another iteration of the “Batman” franchise.
Multiple sources divulged that Warner Bros. Animation ordered a review earlier this week of “Beware the Batman,” an animated series the unit is producing for Cartoon Network.

A Warner Bros. spokesman declined comment.

Producers of the series were asked by WB Animation executive VP Sam Register to scrutinize depictions of weapons on the program, which isn’t expected to debut on the cable network until next year.

An unspecified number of alterations were made to some designs and situations on the series to minimize the amount of weapon imagery deemed too realistic.

The review process, which isn’t expected to be cheap, will be as detailed as changing the shape of gun barrels from round to square for the purpose of rendering the weapons in a more stylized manner reminiscent of sci-fi fare.

Like WB Animation and its production partner on “Beware,” DC Entertainment, Cartoon is also owned by Time Warner. The network first announced the series as part of its slate at its March upfront presentation.

Sources added that Register, who is listed as executive producer of the series, did not make the changes at the behest of higher ranking execs at the conglom, but did so proactively on his own.

Warner Bros. has been treading carefully in the days since “The Dark Night Rises” provided unfortunate backdrop to the shooting in Aurora, which claimed 12 lives and injured dozens of others.

WB postponed the release of another of its films, “Gangster Squad,” for reshoots in light of a scene depicting a shooting at a movie theater.

Utilizing cutting-edge CGI, “Beware” was intended to offer Batman fans an animated version of the franchise in keeping with the more serious tone of “Dark Knight.” The series will bypass some of the more well-known villains depicted in the films for more obscure arch enemies derived from the comics like Anarky, Professor Pig and Mister Toad.

Because the series was produced for Cartoon Network — whose target would be boys and teens — the content guidelines would already be considerably less graphic than the live-action films.

Further cashing in on the Batman brand, WB will also release an animated feature in the fall adapted from the Frank Miller graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns.” Those films tend to be more adult in tone and traditionally carry a PG-13 rating.

 

Our day of reckoning is almost here as the Penguin tally is almost tallied up. As of Monday, 76 fans have signed on off a recently new episode that aired Sunday which featured the return of the blue hen as Skipper performed the P.E.L.T. test or the Physicial Endurance Leadership Test exam on his own. Now that the leader has his endurance, he and his team are ready for their next mission.

 

We enter August with plenty of DVD and Blu-Rays’ to buy and watch as summer prepares to come to a close after 2 months and 30+ days of news and gossip. Here’s what to look and see this month:

 

8/7/2012
Marley
Bel Ami
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale
Blue Like Jazz
Girlfriend
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
8/14/2012
The Snowtown Murders
The Raid: Redemption
Kill List
Tonight You’re Mine
Hick

8/18/2012
The Hunger Games

8/21/2012
The Dictator
Payback
Chimpanzee
Hide Away
Virginia
Bernie
A Separation
Weekend

8/28/2012
Think Like a Man
The Five-Year Engagement
Darling Companion
Apartment 143
Battleship
The Lucky One
Lovely Molly
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Citizen Gangster
L!fe Happens
Headhunters
Monsieur Lazhar
The Moth Diaries

 

This month will be filled with the last of this summer’s greatest surprises until the kids head back too school next month. Be sure to find me in my box office report to see if The Dark Knight can stay on his 3rd week in the top spot to see if the movie’s earnings increase its lead. Until next time, will see you on another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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