Archive for December, 2012

2012 in review

Hi TV and movie fans, Gene Scallop here! It’s been a long year since we last reported a few weeks before Christmas. We were very busy hammering out on what could be coming in 2013….

To check out our archival stories, check and see what we did in 2012.Click here to see the complete report.

 

Right now, we got some catching up to do.  We’ll bring you the 2013 edition of my entertainiment report as well as the news brief and box office report on the first Sunday. We’ll also bring your award season coverage so you can keep up on our awards tally. And lastly, we’ll give you some new exclusive reports hot of the gossip wires!

 

So as of tomorrow, we’ll ring in 2013 with a bang as we find out what happens to Team Skipper as they put their frienship of trust to the test against their archnemisis Dr. Blowhole. But first, Squidward the karate squid? That’s right folks, Sandy first thought The Sponge karate, and now it’s Squidward’s turn to master it! Watch on Nick this Tuesday as Squidward goes on the defensive!

 

That’s just a new piece of news there, but there’s more of that where that came from! Until this Wednesday, Gene Scallop speaking! 

 

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The Hobbit increases box office lead; Disney’s Frozen to debut next Thanksgiving; Jack Reacher fans displeased on Chris McQuarrie to choose Tom Cruise as the leading character

 

Welcome to the pre-Christmas edition of Gene Scallop’s Box Office Report! Here’s what’s at the box office this week!

 

Since Fish Head’s very busy at home, I rather sub in for him since this the last report of 2012. Here’s how the hobbits are doing…

 

With Santa doing his double gifting work, The Hobbit’s Journey dropped 73% the last time we looked. It’s still tops the box office for the 2nd week. As of Friday, the Middle Earth hit scored 113 million smackers. Now, it’s up to 303 million smackers as it continues its worldwide run.

 

Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise gives movie goers an A- as he guns down the bad guys with 18 million smackers! Speaking of guns, the movie was delayed a week because of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Hollywood was gunned down by the NRA calling it haunting and disturbing as a result of the horrific event. As for the movie, there have been some snarky remarks that Tom Thumb was replaced by Cruise. Remember Pete Tilden’s casting mistake? Fortunately, that didn’t happen. We’ll have more on that in a moment. Both Paramount and Sky Dance Entertainment kept saying that casting only costs 60 million smackers. Will it top the 100 million smacker mark or will Argo and Honest Abe stay on the list? Although Cruise’s previous flick MI:4 really paid off just in case David Ellison is wrong!

 

Universal’s adult film This Is 40 gave audiences a B- as Judd Aptow fans show disbelief due to the critics reaction to the movie. Like Jack Reacher, this 12 million smacker movie follows the same path even though it’s a soft opening.

 

Hollywood is still taken advantage by the Guardians as it continues being outclassed by previous animated movies. So much for that rebound.

 

Monsters Inc. 3D prepares for the holidays as this 2001 revamp which took in 257 million smackers years ago, could be eclipsed by Monsters U. in Summer 2013.

 

For the last recap of 2012, The Hobbit scrambles for more smackers 1st, Jack Reacher uses his secret agent prowess in 2nd, This Is 40 softens 3rd, The Guardians get outgunned in 4th, and Monsters Inc. 3D scares with screams once again in 5th.

 

Disney unveiled their next movie blockbuster Frozen scheduled for next November. With thousands of stars on hand, Perch gives the scoop on the mouse’s next animated adventure!

 

Perch Perkins (via Toon Zone)- BURBANK, Calif. (December 19, 2012) — Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) has given voice to its extreme mountain man from the comedy-adventure “Frozen.” Tony Award® nominee Jonathan Groff (Broadway’s “Spring Awakening,” TV’s “Glee”) is on board to help bring Kristoff to life in the epic journey slated for the big screen November 27, 2013.
 
Groff appears in the independent feature “C.O.G.,” which is part of 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The Pennsylvania native made his big-screen debut in Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” and went on to appear in the independent drama “Twelve-Thirty” and “The Conspirator.” His TV credits include Fox’s “Glee,” the Starz series “Boss” and CBS’ “The Good Wife.” On stage, in addition to the Tony Award®-winning musical “Spring Awakening,” Groff appeared in the Public Theater’s revival of “Hair” and off-Broadway plays “Prayer for My Enemy” and “The Submission,” among others. He made his West End debut in Ira Levin’s “Deathtrap,” and appeared in the 2010 Tony Award®-winning “Red” by John Logan at the Mark Taper Forum this year.
 
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho, “Frozen” will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

 

Getting back to the casting problem, Jack Reacher fans have been waiting a week for their hero to make his appearance. Now finally at the big screen, some fans say that Cruise shouldn’t been the leading character. Angie, what’s wrong with this picture?

 

Angie Angelfish (via Entertainment Weekly)- In the popular Lee Child thrillers from which Jack Reacher has been fashioned, the title character’s physical dimensions are integral to his mysterious-loner-silent-drifter-violent-hero stature: He’s 6′ 5”, brawny, and blond. So Tom Cruise, who is not, has his work cut out for him in his mission to impress both those who already have strong notions about how Reacher ought to look and those just now meeting the freelance one-man justice league and trying to take his measure.

That Cruise fails to make a case for Reacher’s allure, though, has less to do with physical dissonance than it does with the film’s inability — stupefying inability, really — to otherwise make a case for the character’s originality in a movie so choked with visual clichés and dreadfully moldy dialogue. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (who previously worked with Cruise on Valkyrie), Jack Reacher stumbles around looking for a unifying narrative tone, while the star soldiers on, offering up his generic action-hero stance of calm, opaque concentration. (An obligatory shirtless shot of Cruise confirms that his famous discipline in all things physical and mental still pays off.)

The story, meanwhile, is run-of-the-mill muscular pulp. While all evidence points to a former military sniper in the apparently random shooting of five victims, JR follows his own instincts — calmly, opaquely, except when he’s a coldly violent fighting machine — and draws his own conclusions. Along the way, he crosses paths with a Russian mobster sinister enough to sound exactly like Werner Herzog, maybe because Herzog plays said mobster with lip-smacking gusto and a display of tiny teeth. And Reacher works side by side with a Blond Lady DA — probably as good a name for her as any, since British beauty Rosamund Pike (An Education) is given a Jane Doe of a role to work with. Jack Reacher doesn’t play well with others; Jack Reacher is an argument to leave the guy alone.

 

Let’s do our last check of the Penguins tally for 2012! So far 333 fans have signed in as Team Skipper takes a holiday break before heading into awards season next year.

 

Well, that wraps up this box office and gossip report for this year TV and movie fans. All you have to do now is enjoy the holidays! We’ll be back January 2nd, 2013 for news and gossip around the toon world. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy 2013 from Gene Scallop!

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Cartoon Network’s schedule tops week again; Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale puts Nick on top with 3 million as the top preschool holiday special’; Disney’s re-releases in 3D hit hard due to Nemo and Beauty and the Beast 3D flop; The Hobbit tops foreign box office

 

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

 

In our Sunday news brief, we took a look at Cartoon Network’s ratings data and it was on pace to beat Disney Channel as the top basic cable channel. This week, the streak continues. As for Nick, Peter Rabbit’s Christmas tale scored 3 million viewers including preschool viewers by the time the special aired last week. Here are the numbers:

 

Cartoon Network scored as the #1 destination among boys 6-11 & 9-14 on Friday night (7-9 p.m.), with Regular Show at 7 p.m. ranking as the #1 program of the day among boys 6-11.

Tuesday night’s presentations of original series The Looney Tunes Show (8 p.m.) and Level Up (8:30 p.m.) both ranked #1 in their time periods among boys 6-11. Similarly, Wednesday night original series Dragons: Riders of Berk (8 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among boys 2-11, and Ben 10: Omniverse (8:30 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among all boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14.

Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning action-adventure animation line-up (7-11 a.m.) charted delivery gains across all kids and boys demos compared to the same time period last year—kids 2-11 grew by 13%, kids 6-11 by 1%, kids 9-14 by 14%, boys 2-11 by 6%, boys 6-11 by 3% and boys 9-14 by 11%. Premiere episodes of Beyblade: Metal Fury (8 a.m.), Pokémon BW: Rival Destinies (8:30 a.m.) and Cartoon Network original series Ben 10: Omniverse (9 a.m.) improved delivery across nearly all key kids & boys, ranging between 2% and 31%.

 

 

NEW YORK–Dec. 18, 2012 – Nickelodeon notched another winning week with the premiere of the brand-new “Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale,” which drew 3 million total viewers and ranks as the top preschool telecast for the week. Peter Rabbit also was the highest-rated show among both preschoolers and kids 2-11 across all TV in the time period. Additionally, SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) took the top spots with K2-11, respectively, and rank as the top two animated series with K6-11 this week. Victorious was the week’s number-one telecast with T9-14.

“Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale” (Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT), drew 3 million total viewers and ranked as the number-one program with K2-5 and K2-11 across all TV in its time period. It was also the top-rated and most-watched preschool telecast for the week, posting double and triple-digit gains over last year with K2-5 (6.7/891,000, +196%) and K2-11 (4.7/1.6 million, +22%); and A18-49 (.9/940,000, +73%).

Told with humor and heart, the special is a fresh re-imagining of the classic Beatrix Potter children’s books, which have sold over 250 million copies worldwide and been translated into 35 languages. In “Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale,” Peter Rabbit and his friend Benjamin Bunny take over for Mr. Bouncer when he gets sick and can’t make the important holiday supply delivery. They brave a blizzard and a sneaky fox, Mr. Tod, in order to deliver important gifts and supplies to the residents of the Lake District. Along the way, Peter and Benjamin meet a new friend, Lily Bobtail.

SpongeBob SquarePants and TMNT rank as the top two animated series with K2-11 across all TV for the week, with SpongeBob averaging a 6.0/2.0 million and TMNT averaging 5.3/1.8 million. The two series are also the top animated series among K6-11, averaging a 6.3/1.3 million for SpongeBob and 4.9/979,000 for TMNT. Victorious (Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. ET/PT) was the number-one telecast with T9-14 for the week, averaging a 6.3/1.3 million.

Nickelodeon closed the week (12/10/12-12/16/12) as basic cable’s number-one network in total day with kids 2-11 (2.9/973,000) and total viewers (1.9 million).

 

Hollywood isn’t pleased with Disney’s 3D movies since the company decided to take them out of the Disney Vault. The news wasn’t good when they re-released Beauty and and Disney-Pixar’s Finding Nemo this year which turned them both into big flops. Now with Disney-Pixar’s Monsters Inc. now in theaters in 3D Johnny, will the Disney 3D slump continue or is there hope for the newest summer sequel Monsters U. that can end the mouse’s 3D losing streak?

 

Johnny Trout (via The L.A. Times)- Hollywood isn’t seeing as much green in 3-D re-releases as it had hoped.

Considered an easy new revenue source after the 3-D re-release of Walt Disney Studios’ “The Lion King” popped out of the screen and grossed nearly $100 million last year, most such follow-ups have landed with a thud in 2012.
 
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “Finding Nemo” were both disappointments, grossing $47.6 million and $40.7 million, respectively, in the U.S. and Canada. Twentieth Century Fox and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” took in a similarly unimpressive $43.5 million in February. Fox and Paramount Pictures’ “Titanic” grossed a slightly better $57.9 million domestically last spring.

Audiences, it turns out, are very selective about which movies they’ll see again in 3-D. The genre’s few hits were ones that moviegoers, or the children they took with them, hadn’t seen in a long time — or at all. “Titanic,” for instance, grossed almost $150 million in China, where few had seen the original 1997 epic romance.
 
 
That makes the stakes high for Wednesday’s 3-D re-release of “Monsters, Inc.” Disney executives were particularly disappointed by the weak 3-D box-office take for “Nemo,” one of Pixar Animation Studios’ most beloved and successful pictures. A soft performance by Pixar’s “Monsters” probably would make Disney — and other Hollywood studios — rethink their strategies.
 
“There’s a certain cultural cachet for parents bringing their kids to movies like ‘The Lion King’ the same way their own parents did for them 20 years ago,” said Vincent Bruzzese, motion picture president at research firm Ipsos Media CT. “But many of these movies, people have watched it at home with their kids, so 3-D may not be something new or extra enough to pay the exorbitant cost of going to a theater.”
 
The cost of converting animated movies, particularly those made with 3-D computer technology, is extremely low compared with a new production. Disney spent only about $3 million adding 3-D effects to 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.”
 
Pixar director of 3-D production Josh Hollander said in a September interview with the website Collider that “Monsters” was “a little easier” to convert than “Nemo” because the movie’s visuals are less complex.
 
And Pixar guru John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Disney Animation, said in November that the conversions are a worthwhile effort regardless of their commercial success.
 
“We’re going through all of the Pixar titles just so we have them,” he explained. “I just like it, it’s kind of cool. How we use it and how it plays in the marketplace? I don’t know.”
 
But for the executives at Disney’s movie studio, the marketplace matters very much. Advertising and releasing a family film nationwide costs tens of millions of dollars, and ticket sales have to be split with theater owners. That makes it difficult to turn a profit on a box-office gross of less than $50 million.
 
In addition, 3-D re-releases of films that have already been out on DVD and played on television don’t enjoy the substantial post-theatrical revenue that provide the majority of profit for new movies.
 
Nor do they tend to do well overseas — with notable exceptions such as “Titanic.” Internationally, the 3-D versions of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Finding Nemo” grossed only $17.3 million and $16.5 million, respectively.
 
Pre-release surveys show “Monsters, Inc.” is headed for a modest opening, lower than the $16.7-million start for “Finding Nemo.” The best hope for it to perform better than its underwater predecessor is a lack of new releases for families with young children over Christmas.
 
Still, Disney does not appear optimistic about continuing its recent 3-D re-release spate. It has no more planned after next September’s “The Little Mermaid.”
 
“3-D reissues are a title-by-title consideration for us, and there are several factors we look at,” Disney’s executive vice president of theatrical distribution, Dave Hollis, said in a statement. “The most important drivers are the timelessness of the story and the characters, the appeal across multiple generations, and the opportunity to meet a demand in the family market. We remain very judicious about our choices and continue to refine our offerings as we learn more about what drives consumers to these special engagements.”
 
 
Other studios seem to agree with that conservative take. Outside of more “Star Wars” re-releases and “The Little Mermaid” — the last of four animated films Disney announced in the wake of “Lion King” — only two other pictures have been scheduled for 3-D re-releases next year: Universal Pictures’ 19-year-old movie “Jurassic Park” and Paramount’s 26-year-old “Top Gun.”
 
Turning a profit on any of them may require more modest marketing budgets. To promote “Finding Nemo,” Disney brought journalists from around the country to a media day at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. There’s no similar media junket planned for the 3-D re-release of “Monsters, Inc.”
 
After the unimpressive showing for “Phantom Menace” in February, Fox and Lucasfilm scheduled the next two “Star Wars” movies just three weeks apart in September and October of 2013. That will enable the movie companies to run one set of commercials to promote both pictures.
 
“It has everything to do with getting more bang for our marketing buck,” said Fox domestic distribution president Chris Aronson.
 
Marketing may also be what ends up making the 3-D version of “Monsters, Inc.” a worthwhile release for Disney, even if it barely breaks even at the box office. Right before every showing, audiences will see a trailer for a brand-new Disney animated movie — June’s sequel, “Monsters University.”
 
And yes, it will be in 3-D.

 

In our box office report, The Hobbit’s Journey pulled in 84 million smackers breaking all worldwide box office records. How did the prequel do in the foreign box office? Danny A. has the details.

 

Danny Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- New Line/MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, director Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic opening overseas day-and-date with its domestic bow, cleaned up on the foreign theatrical circuit by bagging $138.2 million at 18,200 screens in 56 markets.

The Hobbit’s opening round offshore is the fourth biggest of the year.  Largest single market was the U.K. where the opening tally was $18.3 million at 601 locations for a 62% market share.  Germany contributed $16.3 million at 1,332 sites; France came up with $12.7 million at 958 spots; Korea bagged $8.5 million from 1,200 locations while Spain drew $8.4 million from 1,052 situations.

Other big market contributors: Sweden ($6 million from 272 sites, the second biggest opening market weekend of all time); Italy ($5.4 million from 734 spots) Mexico ($5.2 million from 2,414 venues); and Brazil ($4.9 million at 969 situations).

Separately, IMAX said The Hobbit broke the company’s December box office record overseas, setting new benchmarks in the U.K., Brazil, Spain, Singapore, Turkey and the Ukraine. Overall IMAX take was $5 million from 126 company locations for a per-screen average of $39,683.

Placing a distant second was DreamWorks Rise of the Guardians, which collected $20.1 million in its fifth round overseas from 7,400 locations in 59 markets. A No. 2 Australia bow generated $3.7 million at 259 locations.

The Paramount release, a $145 million fantasy title featuring the voices of Alec Baldwin and Hugh Jackman, lifted its foreign gross total past the $100-million mark ($119.4 million).  An India opening is on tap this week.

Sony/MGM’s Skyfall, the 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise, collected $12.2 million from 4,557 spots in 84 markets handled by Sony and licensees of co-distributor MGM.

The third outing starring Daniel Craig as 007 has collected a total foreign gross of $678.7 million of which Sony-handled territories accounted for $592.6 million. Since its overseas opening on Oct. 26, Skyfall has accumulated nearly $250 million more that the $432.2 total foreign gross of the previous franchise box office record holder, 2006’s Casino Royale, also starring Craig.

Skyfall retained its No. 1 Australia ranking for the fourth straight round with $3.3 million derived from 569 locations, lifting the market cume to $38.7 million. The film’s U.K. market cume stands at $157.5 million.

Nearing the $130-million foreign gross mark was Twentieth Century Fox’s release of Life of Pi, the film version of Yann Martel’s novel about a young castaway and a Bengal tiger. Overseas cume stands at $129.4 million after four offshore stanzas.

Directed by Taiwanese-born Ang Lee, the Fox 2000 co-production drew $11.5 million on the weekend overall playing a total of 5,076 in 13 markets, the best of of which was China (No. 2 with $6.9 million drawn from 3,600 sites for a market cume of $84.3 million).

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 from Summit/Lionsgate International finished the weekend with $11.2 million drawn from some 8,000 screens in 73 overseas markets.

The sequel’s foreign cume broke the half-billion mark ($501.4 million), making the fifth and final title based on Stephenie Meyer’s series of novels about a young woman (Kristen Stewart) in love with a vampire (Robert Pattinson) the franchise’s all-time offshore box office champ by a wide margin — beating last year’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which collected $430.9 million.

Wreck-It Ralph, Disney’s 3D family animation title, drew $4.7 million its seventh round in 29 territories, and nudged its foreign gross total $57.7.  Thanks to its strong domestic performance, the film has grossed a worldwide total of $226.5 million.

Australia provided a No. 3 market perch for Universal’s rom/com-musical Pitch Perfect, which grossed $2.1 million from 235 locations, and an 11-day market cume of $7.2 million. Weekend overall came in with $2.3 million at 410 situations in nine territories, nudging the film’s early international gross total to $12.8 million. Nine openings including Germany and the U.K. are due this week.

Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, a comedy voiced by Adam Sandler and Kevin James about a boy who discovers Dracula is real, grossed $1.9 million at 1,755 sites in 50 markets. The title’s foreign gross total stands at $162 million.

Opening No. 3 in Italy was Universal’s local language release Colpi di Fulmine (Lightning Strikes), director Neri Parenti’s comedy about love at first sight.  Weekend tally was $1.8 million at 465 situations.

Top local language newcomer in France was Pathe’s Mes Heros (My Hero), director Eric Besnard’s comedy about a harassed businessman coping with relatives and his ambulance company. Opener at some 280 sites drew $1.2 million, sufficient for a No. 4 market ranking.

Other international cumes:  Universal’s Anna Karenina, $17 million; Fox/Europa Corp’s Taken 2, $228.7 million; Universal’s Playing For Keeps, $3.7 million in Russia only; Universal’s The Man With The Iron Fists, $2.9 million; and Universal’s Ted, $283.7 million.

Opening this week:  Universal’s Les Miserables costarring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway has its worldwide debut Friday (Dec. 21) in Japan.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 339 fans sign in as Team Skipper awaits if their Annie worthy come next February. As for the show, the last 2 episodes of the Penguins 10 mission plan will have to wait to premiere next year. Luckily, Nicktoons UK, our British toon affiliate, is working around the clock to check our flightless spies.

 

We’re only 6 days away until the end of holiday shopping season as well as our holiday coverage. We’ll be looking forward to our pre-Christmas edition next week to check out some more juicy stories. Have a Merry Christmas TV and movie fans!

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The Hobbit’s 84 million breaks records world wide; Cartoon Network set to clock in viewing records as the most watched cable network; House of Anubis to return January 3rd for season 3

 

The Hobbit strikes it rich! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Peter Jackson’s prequel to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy breaks all box office records around the globe! Despite mixed reviews from critics, The Hobbit is still considered to be the one the best films since The Lord Of The Rings movies themselves. Does this mean that come 2013, will fantasy overcome all movie genres? Gene Scallop has the numbers on this very important box office record.

 

Gene: For you Lord of the Rings fans that are still into hobbits, this movie is for you! With 84 million smackers, this is an record breaker for sure!

 

This movie is the largest holiday premiere ever for the Warner’s thanks to MGM who teamed up with them since Sony joined them for the recent best 007 flick Sky fall. Their arch rival movie companies knew that the 1937 book based on the film would topple recent fantasy films since the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Thanks to an outstanding A rating, 2 box office records were broken: Friday’s December record and this weekend’s record. The 3D action packed flick was the best debut for the Warner’s since they debuted the Lord of The Rings movies way back in 2003.

 

The Hobbit’s Journey topped the top spot by a total of 56 theaters IMAX included, with 57 million smackers since Friday, just enough to make the 200 million smacker mark since Fox’s Argo did it just recently.

 

Meanwhile DreamWorks’ Honest Abe reaches the 100 million smacker mark since the film debuted 34 days into its premiere since November 9th which should improve movie going audiences by 13% for the rest of the week.

 

To recap, The Hobbits invade 1st with the Guardians close behind, Honest Abe who reached the 100 million mark moves up in 3rd, 007 fights another week in 4th, and Life of Pi explores in 5th.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 346 fans sign in as the Annie nominated Team Skipper prepares for yet another award winning year.

 

 

Back on October 1st, Cartoon Network celebrated 2 decades as the the best network for toons. But thanks to its proven primetime and weekend schedules, the network could become the most watched network in cable TV history! Here’s the proof:

 

As 2012 draws to a close, Cartoon Network, the world’s first 24-hour, all-animation cable network celebrating its first 20years, is on track to set new records this milestone year with its most-watched year in its history during Early Prime (7-9 p.m.) among kids 6-11/9-14 and boys 9-14, in the past seven years among kids 2-11 and boys 2-11, and the past eight years among boys 6-11. Additionally, the network will claim its most-watched year in Total Day (6 a.m.-9 p.m.) in the past six years among kids 9-14 and boys 9-14. All targeted kids and boys demo delivery in Early Prime grew mostly by double digits compared to 2011, ranging between 9% and 20%. Similarly, annual Total Day delivery grew across the board, ranging between 4% and 16%.

As a result, Cartoon Network is the only top kids network to increase its average delivery of kids 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14 across 2012.

On the digital front, 2012-to-date, Cartoon Network.com has been the #1 ranked website among kids 6-11 Unique Visitors in the Kids Entertainment category for seven of the past 10 months. Among overall Unique Visitors, Cartoon Network.com beat Disney Channel.com every month in 2012 to date.

“We’re extremely grateful to our audiences for helping to make 2012 one of the most successful in Cartoon Network’s 20 year history,” said Cartoon Network President and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Snyder. “It’s truly been a remarkable year to remember, one that we’re confident will fuel continued growth.”

Highlights from Cartoon Network’s 2012 year-end performance include the following:

Cartoon Network continues to rank as the #1 network in Early Prime (7-9 p.m.) on all television among boys 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14:
Boys 2-11 delivery (675,000) increased by 9%, and ratings (3.2) by 10%
Boys 6-11 delivery (502,000) increased by 11%, and ratings (4.1) by 14%
Boy 9-14 delivery (397,000) increased by 17%, and ratings (3.2) by 19%
Cartoon Network also ranks #1 in Total Day with boys 6-11/9-14.
Boys 2-11 delivery (408,000) increased by 4%, and ratings (2.0) by 11%
Boys 6-11 delivery (286,000) increased by 5%, and ratings (2.3) by 5%
Boy 9-14 delivery (233,000) increased by 16%, and ratings (1.9) by 19%
Cartoon Network recorded its highest average delivery in its history on Monday and Wednesday nights (7-9p) among all key kids and boys (2-11, 6-11 & 9-14). Both nights increased delivery by double digits across nearly all key demos vs. 2011, ranging between 9% and 64%.
Also the #1 destination on Monday Night (7-9p) with all key kids and boys (2-11, 6-11 & 9-14), Cartoon Network’s original animated comedies Adventure Time(7:30 p.m.) and Regular Show(8 p.m.) ranked #1 in their respective time periods among all key kids and boys—premiere episodes increased average delivery by double digits vs. the same time period in 2011.
Animated action-adventure series Ninjago (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m./8 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among kids 2-11/6-11 and all boys, while increasing delivery by triple digits across the board vs. the 2011 time period.
Additional Early Prime (7-9 p.m.) highlights from Cartoon Network’s 2012 year-end performance, compared to the same 2011 time period, include:

Kids 2-11 delivery (962,000) increased by 10%, and ratings (2.4) by 14%
Kids 6-11 delivery (685,000) increased by 13%, and ratings (2.8) by 12%
Kids 9-14 delivery (544,000) increased by 20%, and ratings (2.3) by 21%
Total Day (6 a.m.-9 p.m.) highlights from Cartoon Network’s 2012 year-end performance, compared to the same 2011 time period, include:
Kids 2-11 delivery (590,000) increased by 4%, and ratings (1.4) were unchanged
Kids 6-11 delivery (394,000) increased by 6%, and ratings (1.6) by 7%
Kids 9-14 delivery (318,000) increased by 16%, and ratings (1.3) by 18%

Launching on Oct. 1, 1992 within just two million U.S. homes, Cartoon Network has since grown to become the #1 television network among boys 6-11, and today seen in more than 375 million households worldwide. Currently available in 99 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families. In addition to Emmy-winning original programming and industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement.

 

For those of you who blasted Cartoon Network’s entire history a long time ago, I’m sorry to disappoint you but the current Cartoon Network learned their lesson at the time the channel launched.  They made some mistakes in the past which displease past viewers mostly been criticized, but they managed to get back in the game with new cartoons today and some old Cartoon Network shows that are continuing to air on Boomerang. For you see toon naysayers out there, the old Cartoon Network simply learned they couldn’t let those negative comments spoil their future. That’s why today’s next generation viewers are making sure that Cartoon Network does have a bright future ahead and they’ll make sure of that!

 

It’s time to go back in the house as House of Anubis returns to Nick next year with new surprises and mysteries abound! We ask Jim Fish, what shocking secrets will be revealed in season 3?

 

Jim Fish (via Nick and More)- NEW YORK – Dec. 13, 2012 – Nickelodeon’s suspense-filled series, House of Anubis, returns for season three with an hour-long episode premiering Thursday, Jan. 3, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT). House of Anubis follows a group of students who uncover and solve hidden mysteries at an English boarding school while dealing with the highs and lows of their teenage years. In season three, the Sibuna gang returns to Anubis House with new leader Eddie (Burkely Duffield) as the Osirian. It’s up to the Sibunas to untangle the mysteries and stop the adults from unleashing an evil so great it will destroy the world and everyone in it. The new season will feature returning favorite characters and also introduce new faces including KT (Alexandra Shipp), a sunny and tenacious American girl who becomes a vital part of the Sibuna gang, and Willow (Louisa Connelly-Burnham), a bright and quirky student from another boarding house.

“House of Anubis season three has new mysteries to solve, new characters, new crushes, and storylines that will both shock and delight fans,” said Marjorie Cohn, President, Content Development, Nickelodeon. “The drama and suspense will leave viewers on the edge of their seats eager to find out what will happen next.”

In the season premiere, Eddie recognizes new girl KT from a vision he had. She’s been sent here on a secret mission by her grandfather with only a key to help her. Eddie manages to get his hands on the key and has a frightening vision when he touches it. A new teacher, Miss Denby, also arrives and is protecting something very special to her….but what is it? Fabian finds Nina’s locket amongst Eddie’s things and Eddie’s forced to come clean about why Nina’s not coming back to Anubis House.

Fans can visit the House of Anubis page on Nick.com to watch new trailers, interact through message boards, take quizzes, view photo galleries, learn about the show’s new characters and play all new games beginning Dec. 31. Additionally, the season three premiere episode House of Anubis will be available for purchase the day after air – Friday, Jan. 4 – on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox Video, PlayStation Store, Vudu and Nook Video.

 

With Santa’s journey just days away, everyone in the toon world will be prepared for what may be their best Christmas this year! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, keep watching for holiday shockers!

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Cartoon Network and Nick‘s primetime ratings improve again while Disney Channel retains top primetime ratings overall; Nick picks 4 writers for the 2012 writing program; DreamWorks names Michael Francis chief branding officer; Angry Birds movie to be released in 2016

 

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

 

Another improving week for both Cartoon Network and Nick as they both keep their top shows going strong, but Disney Channel was the clear winner overall:

 

NEW YORK–Dec. 11, 2012– Nickelodeon rang in the holiday cheer this weekend with the original It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! special (Saturday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. ET/PT), which drew 4.8 million total viewers. Nickelodeon’s first-ever full-length stop-motion animated special won its time period across all TV and posted strong, double-digit gains over last year with K2-11 (7.8/2.6 million, +30%), K6-11 (7.7/1.5 million, +45%), T9-14 (5.7/1.2 million, +84%) and A18-49 (1.2/1.3 million, +33%).

It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! was inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass specials (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town) and the popular SpongeBob song released in 2009, “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),” co-written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. The half-hour special features John Goodman as Santa Claus and follows Plankton as he turns everybody in Bikini Bottom from nice to naughty by feeding them his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake.

Nickelodeon closed the week as basic cable’s most-watched net in total day with kids 2-11 (2.8/936,000) and total viewers (1.8 million).

Cartoon Network scored as the #1 network for all boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14 on all TV on Monday Night (7-9 p.m.), and the #1 network among boys 2-11 & 6-11 on Wednesday Night (7-9 p.m.).

An all-new episode of Regular Show (Monday, 8 p.m.) ranked as the #1 telecast of the week among boys 9-14 on all TV, #1 telecast of the day among kids 9-14 and boys 6-11 & 9-14, and #1 in its time period among all key kids and boys. Adventure Time (7:30p) also ranked #1 in its timeslot among kids 6-11 & 9-14 as well as all boy demos.

Cartoon Network’s premiere of Smurfs Christmas Carol (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.) ranked as the #1 telecast of the day among boys 6-11, while #1 in its time period among kids 2-11 & 6-11, and boys 2-11. The premiere was also up by mostly double digits across the board vs. the same time period year ago. Immediately afterward, action-adventure hit Dragons: Riders of Berk (8 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among all boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14.

The annual presentation of the holiday classic Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among kids 2-11 and boys 2-11 & 6-11. Average delivery also increased vs. the same time period last year—kids 2-11 delivery grew by 11%, kids 6-11 by 5%, boys 2-11 by 1% and boys 6-11 by 1%.

 

For the week of December 3, 2012, Disney Channel was once again the go-to network across all TV, ranking as TV’s #1 Total Day network for the 78th consecutive week in Kids 6-11 (574,000/2.4 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (479,000/2.0 rating), surpassing #2 Nickelodeon by double digits for the 57th (+28%, vs. 447,000) and 59th (+47%, vs. 325,000) straight weeks, respectively.

With 3 weeks remaining in 2012, Disney Channel is pacing for its first-ever ranking as TV’s #1 network in Total Day in Kids 2-11 (952,000/2.3 rating), will rank #1 for the 2nd consecutive year in Kids 6-11 (634,000/2.6 rating) and for the 4th year in Tweens 9-14 (530,000/2.2 rating), and is in a virtual tie for #1 in Total Viewers (1.69 million vs. 1.70 million).  Disney Channel’s lead over 17-year incumbent Nickelodeon is 6% in Kids 2-11 (vs. 899,000), a considerable 30% in Kids 6-11 (vs. 488,000) and 44% in Tweens 9-14 (vs. 367,000).

In Prime, Disney Channel extended its streak as the #1 cable TV network to 393 consecutive weeks in Kids 6-11 (1.1 million/4.5 rating – 7 1/2 years) and to 129 consecutive weeks in Tweens 9-14 (905,000/3.8 rating – 2 1/2 years).

Cross over event “Austin & Jessie & Ally: All Star New Year” (Fri., 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.) ranked as the week’s #1 TV telecast in Kids 2-11 (2.9 million/7.3 rating), Kids 6-11 (2.3 million/9.9 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (2.0 million/8.4 rating), and cable TV’s #1 scripted telecast in Total Viewers (4.8 million).
Sunday’s world television premiere of “The Secret of Wings” (7:00 – 8:20 p.m.) was the week’s #2 TV telecast in Kids 6-11 (1.8 million/7.5 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (1.4 million/5.8 rating), and placed among the Top 5 scripted cable TV telecasts in Total Viewers (4.3 million).

 

After all the recent turmoil from Viacom in the past few weeks, Nick was lucky at this year’s writing program. Hey Perch, how many writers did the network pick up?

 

Perch Perkins (via Toon Zone)- Burbank, Calif. – Dec. 10, 2012 – Nickelodeon has named four new participants for its 13th annual Writing Program, it was announced today by Karen Kirkland, Executive Director, Nickelodeon Writing Program.  Aminta Goyel, who holds an MFA in Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Travis Braun, a  former USA Today  sports writer, and writing team Tiffany Lo and Ethel Lung, who have been writing together for the past 5 years, will join the 2012-2013 Nickelodeon Writing Program that offers hands-on writing experience on current live-action and animated series.  Additionally, Sasha Stroman, a fellow from the 2011-2012 cycle, was recently placed on staff of Nickelodeon’s new animated series Sanjay & Craig.
 
 
 
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome the next generation of aspiring writers to Nickelodeon,” said Kirkland. “This unique program gives Aminta, Travis, Tiffany and Ethel an incredible chance to develop a skill set that will prepare them for top writing opportunities in television, and we’re proud to showcase this impressive roster of emerging talent.”
 
 
 
Nickelodeon’s Writing Program offers aspiring television writers, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the opportunity to hone their skills while writing for our live action and animated shows.  Participants will have hands-on interaction with executives writing spec scripts and pitching story ideas.  The Program, developed to broaden Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, provides a salaried position for up to one year.
 
 
 
The 2012-2013 Nickelodeon writers:
 
 
 
AMINTA GOYEL:  Aminta was born and spent most of her formative years in Mumbai, India.  As a teenager she developed an incurable crush on Hawkeye from M*A*S*H* and found herself writing short stories and dreaming up ways she could get Alan Alda’s attention.  Aminta earned an MFA in Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and during her time there, she directed a number of shorts and wrote a sitcom pilot.  One of her past jobs has included making videos for a teen-centric non-profit, for which she wrote a number of commercial spots that have aired on networks like VH1, Fox and MTV and have featured talent such as Nick Cannon, Victoria Justice, Demi Lovato and others.  BTW – ask her about S*** Apathetic Girls Say – it’s gotten over 80,000 web views!
 
 
 
TRAVIS BRAUN:  Travis grew up on a 100-acre ranch in Texas, where his family built racecars instead of raising cattle.  Realizing he had no interest in driving racecars, at the age of nine, Travis wrote a novel, which earned him the award for “best book ever written” from his Grandma Peggy.  Travis graduated Summa cum Laude with a BA in Journalism from Franklin College.  After college, Travis found himself on the sports desk of USA Today, where he earned 30 byline articles (two on the cover of the sports section!)  As much as he loved his bylines, he had always been easily distracted by television and it wasn’t until he met a television writer at a broadcast news seminar that he realized you could actually earn a living writing for television.
 
 
 
TIFFANY LO & ETHEL LUNG:  Tiffany was born and raised in Houston, TX and despite her parents’ wish of Tiffany becoming a doctor or an electrical engineer, she took her love of funny to LA, where she attended USC and pursued a career in acting.  She would tell her mom and dad it was “just for fun”, but after years of waiting tables, assistant gigs and dog walking, she realized she wanted to create stories and characters inspired by the ridiculousness of her life and those in it, none of whom were doctors or engineers.  Acting led her to writing (and to Ethel) and she has never looked back.
 
 
 
As a child, there was one rule Ethel would always break…staying up past her bedtime and sneaking behind the living room couch to watch Three’s Company.  Her secret goal (in her 8-year old mind) was to create characters as awesome as Jack, Janet & Chrissie…  Ethel went off to Texas Tech University and eventually began work in Dallas
 
as a buyer for Neiman Marcus.  She had an impressive collection of suits, a promising retirement fund and massive happy hour bills, but she was not happy.
 
 
 
Her childhood dream was speaking to her, so she decided to pursue the one thing that has always been there, her love of writing.
 
 
 
Ethel and Tiffany have been writing together for the past five years.
 
 
 
 
Alumni of the program include:
 
 
 
Radha Blank (’00-’01): Little Bill, The Backyardigans
 
Courtney Lilly (’00-’01): Invader Zim, Arrested Development, Everybody Hates Chris, My Boys, The Cleveland Show, Guys with Kids
 
Sameer Asad (’05-’06): Mind of Mencia, Aliens in America, Modern Family, Outsourced, The Goodwin Games
 
May Chan (’05-’06): Ni Hao Kai-lan, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Phineas and Ferb, Hank, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures
 
Ron Holsey (’05-’06): Ned’s Declassified, Just Jordan, Martha Speaks, Curious George, Brave, Johnny Test, Big Time Rush
 
Jessica Gao (’06-’07): Barnyard, The Mighty B!, Kung Fu Panda, Fish Hooks, Big Time Rush, Robot Chicken
 
Kerri Grant (’07-’08): The Backyardigans, The Fresh Beat Band, Doc McStuffins
 
Itai Grunfeld (’07-’08): Fanboy and Chum Chum, Kickin’ It
 
Ed Valentine (’07-’08): Ni Hao, Kai-lan, The Fairly OddParents, Sesame Street, Doc McStuffins
 
Ivory Floyd (’08-’09): The Penguins of Madagascar
 
Jonathan Butler (’09-’10): Fanboy and Chum Chum
 
Gabriel Garza (’09-’10): The Penguins of Madagascar, Monsters vs. Aliens
 
Kevin Arrieta (’10-’11): The Fairly OddParents, Wilfred
 
Sasha Stroman (’11-’12): Sanjay & Craig

A first for DreamWorks! With some speculation that the Guardians might reach the top spot, they acquire their first ever CBO! Who’s the new branding chief Angie?

 

Angie Angelfish (via The Wrap)- DreamWorks Animation has named Michael Francis its first chief global brand officer, the studio said Monday. In his newly created position, Francis will oversee the company’s licensing and consumer products push and franchise management activities.

“This is an incredibly powerful global family brand with enviable brand equity and significant untapped potential,” Francis said in a statement.

Francis will begin at DreamWorks Animation immediately on a part-time basis and will assume his new role full-time in February 2013.

Francis comes to DreamWorks Animation from Far view Associates, a global branding firm he founded and headed. He also served as president of J.C. Penney, and spent 26 years with the Target Corporation, rising through the ranks to become executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Francis’ hire comes as DreamWorks Animation tries to move from releasing a handful of big budget movies annually to becoming a children’s entertainment powerhouse. The company has unveiled plans to build an entertainment district with shops and theaters in Shanghai as part of a Chinese joint venture and will release television shows and animated films targeted to China.

It also hopes to do more licensing not only with DreamWorks Animation characters like Shrek, but also with more evergreen figures like Casper the Friendly Ghost and George of the Jungle. It acquired them after shelling out $155 million for Classic Media last summer.

But the company needs to steer through stock turbulence. DreamWorks Animation’s stock has been in steady decline following the disappointing box office reception for its most recent animated film, “Rise of the Guardians.” The film was produced for a reported $145 million, and the company is projecting internally that it will lose $50 million on the film, an executive with knowledge of the financials told The Wrap.

 

Look out Mario Brothers, the Angry Birds are flying to the big screen! The question is Johnny, will they be able to peck through the video game based movie drought since Disney’s Mario Bros. movie back in 1993?

 

Johnny Trout (via Digital Media Wire)- Rovio’s Angry Birds feature film is getting ready to fly in 2016. Today Rovio Entertainment announced that John Cohen, who most recently produced Despicable Me, has signed on to produce what will be a 3D CG-animated movie. He joins executive producer David Maisel, former chairman of Marvel Studios and executive producer of Iron Man.
 
The business setup is interesting, too: the movie will be produced and financed by Rovio Entertainment, outside of the typical studio system. It’s a model Maisel knows well from his days at Marvel.
 
Fans have already seen these characters in animated form, thanks to the specials Angry Birds: Wreck The Halls and Angry Birds Space for Nickelodeon Extra. They’ve seen them in all kinds of other forms too, including books, toys, consumer products, playground equipment, and several versions of the games that started it all in 2009.
 
Cohen executive produced Illumination/Universal’s Hop in 2011. In addition to producing the 2010 Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures hit Despicable Me. Before that he was vice president of Production at Twentieth Century Fox Animation, where he worked with Blue Sky Studios on films including Ice Age, Robots, Ice Age: The Meltdown and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.
 
“John’s an exceptionally talented producer, and we’re delighted to have him join the flock,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment. “With John’s hands-on producer background and David´s expertise in establishing and running his own successful studio, these two are the dream team for making a movie outside the studio system. Both professionals have the ideal skills and vision to achieve incredible things.”

 

354 fans sign in the Penguins petition as Team Skipper is up for 5 Annie awards in this year’s Annie’s. Award critics say it won’t be easy like last time since the show nabbed 3 Annie’s last year. Will it be the same as before? We’ll check and see!

 

13 days are left in our Christmas countdown as we speak TV and movie fans. There’s plenty of time to get your Christmas shopping done, if you haven’t already. See you again for another edition!

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Sky Fall beats Twilight Saga for the 5th week; The Guardians possibly could top The Hobbit and other new movies; Netflix-Disney merger could be the game changer for entertainment

 

James Bond strikes yet again! I’m Realistic Fish Head. After a well earned record breaker in the box office, Sky Fall tops Twilight Saga Part 2 as the secret agent flies to the top! Gene Scallop tells us with the film on pace, Bond mania is destined to continue!

 

Gene: It wasn’t easy for super spy 007 to get out of Team Edward’s way, but he managed to escape from the vampire’s wrath! Here’s what he also found out during his mission…

 

It was the 5th week in the box office to nabbed 261 million smackers avoiding another vampire dominated week. Sony said with 007 on top, there was nothing that could demonstrate the superspy’s word of mouth and his outstating playabilities, counted by his superspy gadgets, in such in a competitive way. With the best film domestically on track as well as in Britain, Bond was able to pull it off.

 

007 also pulled off the upset by sinking Millennium Films’ Playing For Keeps. The reason behind this flop, Film District was unable to make the film but only bought distribution rights for the flick as we found out in the previous reports. For this, the film scored 2.1 million smackers forcing Peter Tilden to reiterate his snide remarks for getting the stars of the film together and use them to open their box office estimates higher rather than opening their home estimates. Whoops!

 

That door could possibly open for the Guardians to make up for lost time. For the recap this week, 007 zooms past 1st, while the Guardians await their move in 2nd. Team Edward drops 3rd fueled by 007’s big lead, Lincoln moves up 4th, while Fox’s Life of Pi is back in the race in 5th.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 355 fans sign in to rally Team Skipper as the foursome prepare to engage their last 2 missions.

 

As said in the previous box office report, it was a disaster for the Guardians. But the tide may be turning as Jim Trout predicts our holiday heroes could take the top spot! Jim come next week, will this disaster be over before we know it?

 

Jim Trout (via The L.A. Times)- It is telling that “Rise of the Guardians,” the kids’ holiday film that is off to such a bad start that DreamWorks Animation is looking at a $50 million write-down, has a good shot at winding up No. 1 at the weekend box office. And that’s in its third week.

The box office has a severe case of pre-“Hobbit”-itis. Warner Bros. will roll out the first installment of Peter Jackson’s latest Middle Earth epic on December 14 and rival studios have pretty much run for cover.

The only film opening wide this week is the PG-13 romantic comedy “Playing for Keeps,” Film District’s tale of a former star athlete (Gerard Butler) coming to grips with real life as a kids soccer coach, and it won’t finish among the leaders.

The top spot looks to be a toss-up between “Guardians” and Sony’s “Skyfall” and DreamWorks and Disney’s “Lincoln,” both of which are in their fifth week of release. Three-time champ “Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” could also figure in, and “Life of Pi” shouldn’t be far behind. Analysts say that around $10 million – or roughly $120 million less than what “The Hobbit” is expected to bring in over its first weekend – should be enough to win the weekend.

The 3D “Guardians”- now in its third weekend – has taken in $50 million since its release the day before Thanksgiving. Its holiday themes should keep it in theaters through the end of the year, but it hasn’t had the sort of start DreamWorks Animation and Paramount were hoping for from the CG-animated movie, which cost $145 million to make. It’s done better overseas, with $57 million so far.

“Playing for Keeps” has a big-name cast, with Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer, Uma Thurman and Dennis Quaid co-starring. Gabriele Muccino (“The Pursuit of Happiness”) directs. Debuting on 2,837 screens, it is expected to do around $6 million.

It has been a tough year for Butler who top lined the surf film “Chasing Mavericks” earlier this month, which opened to a very disappointing $2.2 million.

On the specialty front, this could be an important week for “Silver Linings Playbook,” now going into its fourth weekend. The Weinstein Company’s Oscar hopeful that got a boost this week when the New York Film Critics made Bradley Cooper their surprise choice for Best Actor.

It’s coming off a strong hold last weekend – just a 24 percent drop from Thanksgiving weekend – and could be building some momentum. It will be on 371 screens again.

Focus Features will debut “Hyde Park on Hudson,” the comedy-drama directed by Roger Michell (“Morning Glory”) and starring Bill Murray and Laura Linney as President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his distant cousin Margaret Suckley, with whom he had an intimate relationship.

“Hyde Park on Hudson” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and also played at the Toronto International Film Festival. The reviews have been mixed, and the film has just a 42 percent positive rating on Movie Review Intelligence. It’s rated R and will be on four screens. Focus plans to go wide with the film in January.

“Heleno,” a biography of the tragic life of one of Brazil’s greatest soccer players, Heleno de Freitas, will debut on a single screens in New York and in Los Angeles and two in Miami for Screen Media.

Rodrigo Santoro (“What To Expect When You’re Expecting”) stars in the film, directed by Jose Enrique Fonseca from a screenplay by Fernando Castets. Rated R, the film has drawn mainly favorable reviews, with a 71 percent positive rating at Movie Review Intelligence.

The Weinstein Co.’s Radius label is rolling out director Stephen Frears’ (“Tamara Drewe”) R-rated comedy “Lay the Favorite” on 40 screens. Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vince Vaughn star in the tale of a young woman’s journey into the world of sports gambling. Rebecca Hall, Laura Prepon and Corbin Bernsen co-star.

 

Following the Disney acquisition of Netflix, the mouse himself might bring a few friends along to make it a real party! Perch Perkins on why the future of streaming video could change the way viewers can see their favorite shows as well as their favorite hit movies.

 

Perch Perkins (via The L.A. Times)- Netflix’s day-old deal to be the exclusive pay-TV home for new movies from Walt Disney Studios is a “game changer” for the streaming video company and was “the highest value deal” possible for the entertainment giant, executives from the two companies said Wednesday.
 
Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said bidding away those rights from premium cable channel Starz beginning in 2016 was particularly valuable to his company because of its large family audience.
 
“The movies that constantly performed well for us are those big, animated features,” Sarandos said. “There’s lots of repeat viewing. It’s a safe brand halo.”

Netflix has been courting families — especially younger viewers, for whom streaming video services come as second nature. It created a “Just for Kids” interface that relies heavily on images — to remove any barriers for finding shows. Netflix also has been striking content deals to bring popular children’s television offerings to the service, such as Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” and Disney Channel’s “Phineas and Ferb,” as well as full-length movies such as “Shrek” and “Madagascar” from DreamWorks Animation.
 
Indeed, family fare plays well around the world — including in emerging markets such as Latin America, where children’s programs are less available.
 
For many, the idea of an Internet company outbidding established cable channels for the rights to movies from giant brands like Disney’s Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm marks an inflection point in the media landscape.
 
“It is a game changer,” said Sarandos, who spoke at the conference with Weinstein Co. Chairman Harvey Weinstein.
 
Speaking soon after Sarandos, Walt Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said his company “broadly surveyed the market” before agreeing to the Netflix partnership.
 
“There are a lot of factors we put into the calculus of how we … decided to do this deal,” he explained. “At the end of the day we thought for the content we create, the value and windowing chain we create, this was the best and highest value we could create for the company. We’re thrilled to have done it and expect great things from it.”
 
Rasulo declined to discuss terms of the three-year agreement, which some analysts have pegged at potentially more than $300 million per year, depending on the number of movies Disney releases and their box office performance.
Netflix stock, which jumped 14% Tuesday after news of the Disney deal, was down 3% at $83.99 in midday trading Wednesday amid a broader market slump.
Media analyst Tim Nollen of Macquarie Securities wrote that gaining exclusive streaming access to Disney films addresses complaints over the service’s “thin film offering.” Bulking up on family fare makes the service attractive for consumers paying a low monthly fee, he added.

 
But Nollen expressed qualms about the cost of the deal — which he pegged at about $300 million annually — and wondered whether the infusion of big blockbuster movies from Disney will come too late to shore up Netflix’s domestic subscriber base, which is growing more slowly than the company initially forecast.
 
“The heart of the deal doesn’t come into effect for more than three years,” Nollen wrote. “This isn’t nearly close enough to shore up subscriber numbers, which we view as Netflix’s No. 1 problem.”

 

As Nick begins their Christmas marathon leading up to an all new See Dad Run Christmas episode, be sure for Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale this Friday night, a very special holiday treat for Nick Jr. fans! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, be sure for Peter hopping around this Christmas!

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Nick’s A Fairly Odd Christmas tops ratings list as highest holiday themed special; Gumball’s Christmas special, new Adventure Time improve Cartoon Network’s primetime schedule; Rise of the Guardians poised to lose 50 million: Disney joins Netflix

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

 

The results are in for the first week of December and Nick triumphs yet again for the 18th week in a row thanks to the new special of Fairly Odd Parents A Fairly Odd Christmas. Cartoon Network’s new episodes of Adventure Time, Regular Show, and the Gumball holiday special helped its primetime schedule to be at its best peak. Here’s what else made the list:

 

NEW YORK–Dec. 4, 2012 – Nickelodeon scored this week with the premiere of the brand-new, holiday-themed live-action/CG TV movie, A Fairly Odd Christmas (Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. ET/PT), which drew 4.5 million total viewers and ranks as the week’s top telecast with kids 2-11.

A Fairly Odd Christmas starring Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) and Daniella Monet (Victorious), posted impressive triple-digit gains over last year. The premiere also bested its closest competitor (Disney) by triple-digits, with K2-11 (7.2/2.4 million, +140%), K6-11 (8.3/1.7 million, +152%) and T9-14 (5.7/1.2 million, +119%) and total viewers (4.5 million, +164%).

A Fairly Odd Christmas follows Timmy Turner as he travels around the world granting kids’ wishes. When his good intentions get him in trouble with Santa Claus and land him on The Naughty List, Timmy must find a way to save Christmas before it’s too late.

For the second consecutive week, SpongeBob Square Pants ranks as the top animated series with kids 2-11, averaging a 6.0/2.0 million K2-11 and 3.8 million total viewers for its Saturday 9:30 a.m. (ET/PT) telecast.

Nickelodeon closed the week (11/26/12-12/2/12) as basic cable’s number-one network in total day with kids 2-11 (2.8/945,000) and total viewers (1.8 million).

Cartoon Network improved Early Prime (7-9 p.m.) delivery of all key kids demos last week compared to the same time period last year—average kids 2-11 delivery grew by 4%, kids 6-11 by 9% and kids 9-14 by 23%.  Total Day delivery averages also grew last week, with kids 6-11 delivery improving by 1% and kids 9-14 by 12%.  Accordingly, Cartoon Network ranked as the #1 network in Total Day on All TV among boys 9-14.

The Monday night presentation of Cartoon Network’s original animated comedy series Adventure Time (7:30 p.m.) scored as the #1 telecast of the day among boys 6-11, #1 in its time period among all kids 9-14 and boys 2-11 & 9-14, and charted delivery gains across all kid demos—kids 2-11 improved by 7%, kids 6-11 by 4% and kids 9-14 by 20%.  Immediately following, Regular Show claimed the #1 telecast of the day among boys 9-14, and #1 in its time period among boys 2-11 & 6-11.  Encore presentations of these original animated comedies also led Friday night’s performance to rank as the #1 destination on all TV for boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14, earning double and triple digit delivery increases vs. last year ranging between 58% and 123%.

Tuesday night’s telecast of original series The Amazing World of Gumball (7 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among boys 6-11 & 9-14, increasing kids 6-11 delivery by 11% and kids 9-14 delivery by 32%, vs. last year’s time period.  The Looney Tunes Show (8 p.m.) also ranked #1 in its time period among boys 6-11, increasing kids 6-11 delivery by 2% and kids 9-14 delivery by 9%.

Wednesday night’s action-adventure series Ninjago (7:30 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among all boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14 on basic cable, as did Dragons: Riders of Berk (8 p.m.) and original animated series Ben 10: Omniverse (8:30 p.m.).

On Sunday’s box office report, Team Edward, Honest Abe, and 007 did some extra damage as well as ruin Paramount’s going away party as DreamWorks joins Fox as of now. As if things have gotten much worse than this, the Guardians could lose 50 smackers as a result of this scenario as Jim and Stanley Jennings Fish prepare to salvage the cash.

Jim Fish (via The Wrap)- “Rise of the Guardians” is projected to lose $50 million for DreamWorks Animation, an executive with knowledge of the movie’s projections told TheWrap.

The company’s stock hit a 52-week low on Monday, but closed Tuesday up slightly at $16.52.

A spokeswoman for DreamWorks Animation declined to comment on the projected loss for “Rise of the Guardians.”
The CG-animated film’s failure will be another blow to a company that has struggled to find its footing on Wall Street and may expose cracks in film schedules that are overly reliant on animated fare.

Produced for a reported $145 million and featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman and Chris Pine, “Guardians” has underachieved at the box office despite getting strong reviews.

Since opening over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the film has grossed $48.8 million domestically and another $57 million at the foreign box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

In a note to investors Monday, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Ben Mogil changed his rating on DreamWorks Animation’s stock from a “hold” to a “sell,” citing what he called a “somewhat weak” international opening for the film. Mogil estimated that the film will lose $50 million even after the company reduces its global publicity and advertising budget to $150 million.

Mogil also argued that the lackluster box-office returns for “Guardians” could spell trouble for DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming slate of three CG-animated titles — “The Croods” (opening March 22, 2013), “Turbo” (July 19, 2013) and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” (Nov. 1, 2013).

“What we take from this ‘Guardians’ experience is that where once there was an implied domestic box-office floor on a movie from the company, particularly in the 3D era, of $150 million, that is no longer the case,” he wrote. “Also clearly no longer the case is the mantra that the lack of competing animated titles will automatically grant a movie clear box office sailing.”

There is, of course, hope that “Guardians” will pick up steam from the upcoming Christmas holidays, taking advantage of a relatively paltry set of offerings for moviegoers with young children.

Aside from the 3D re-release of “Monsters, Inc.,” there is little to appeal to families over the coming holiday period. And with a holiday-themed plot that features Santa Claus in a prominent role, the movie may be one of the rare films that has legs beyond its opening weekend.

“I can’t see anything they can do to try to really tweak the performance of the film, but I also think it would be a little premature of them to announce a write-off,” Marla Backer, an analyst with Research Associates, told TheWrap. “Let’s see how it plays over the holidays.”

Even a late surge, though, may not be enough to pull the picture out of the red ink.
“Guardians” had a modest decline of 44 percent during its second weekend of release, managing only to rack up $13.4 million domestically.

Moreover, as the weeks tick by and a film sticks around in theaters, the box-office split between exhibitors and studios changes dramatically. During an opening weekend on major releases, studios can receive as much as 90 percent of a film’s box office at certain theaters, exhibitors have privately told TheWrap.

That breakdown gradually shifts in the theater owners’ favor. In the end, studios typically receive 55 percent of a film’s receipts. The means, however, that if “Guardians” bucks the odds and attracts holiday crowds, exhibitors who kept the film in theaters could be the big winners.

“Guardians” is the final film that DreamWorks Animation released through its distribution deal with Paramount Pictures. Paramount will receive 8 percent of receipts as a distribution fee.

Meanwhile, DreamWorks Animation kicks off a new distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox with “The Croods,” an animated film set in the prehistoric era. As part of that deal, Fox will receive the same 8 percent distribution fee but will get a lower fee on digital business than Paramount did.

 
Speaking of our loyal businessman, back on November 11th Stanley took a first hand look at Disney’s recent purchase of Lucas film. Now it has another ally to add on as Johnny Trout reports. Say Johnny, has the mouse netted another entertainment company, more importantly, what kind of entertainment company has forced Starz to move out in order to merge with the mouse?

 

Johnny Trout (via The Wrap)- Netflix will replace Starz as the exclusive subscription television service for Disney’s first-run live-action and animated films, per an agreement announced on Tuesday.

The deal, which covers films released in theaters from 2016 to 2018, will grant Netflix new Disney, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Disney nature titles. Disney’s deal for Lucasfilm has not closed.

Netflix members will be able to watch films instantly about seven and a half months after they debut in theaters.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Netflix’s will pay more than Starz had been, one individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

Starz holds the rights to first-run Disney movies through 2015, which means Disney will have “exclusive” titles on both platforms during 2016 and 2017, but none of the titles will be the same.

The deal also rewards Netflix with a mutli-year catalog deal that includes such Disney classics as “Dumbo” and “Alice in Wonderland.” That deal begins today and its duration varies title to title, ranging from a few months to several years. Netflix also earns the rights to Disney’s direct-to-video new releases starting in 2013.

“Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today,” Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix, said in a statement. “It’s a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.”

Netflix’s stock rose 14 percent on Tuesday thanks to the news, a welcome shift for a company whose share price dropped precipitously last year before rebounding in 2012.

Netflix’s core business has shifted from its film library to television, where rights deals are less expensive and viewers watch multiple episodes in a row. Netflix once had a deal with Starz, which included both Sony and Disney titles, but chose not to renew the relationship earlier this year, forfeiting more than 1,000 titles.

At the same time, Netflix has begun to produce its own shows, including the resurrection of “Arrested Development” and the upcoming “House of Cards.” The latter, developed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, debuts in February.

Challengers such as Amazon and Hulu have posed a greater threat to Netflix in the streaming space, signing new licensing deals. In September, Amazon locked up a streaming deal with Epix, which once offered its titles exclusively to Netflix. CEO Reed Hastings has also hinted at the potential end of the company’s deal with Epix, which supplies films from MGM, Lions gate and Paramount.

Netflix has focused more on kid-friendly titles, including a deal with DreamWorks Animation.

This new deal with Disney provides more of those, from its catalog to new animation titles.  It also awards Netflix a new exclusive deal, filling its library with content that distinguish the service from its competitors ranging from Amazon to HBO and Starz.
That content all comes from one of Hollywood’s biggest brands, a studio home to not just Disney titles but Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilm.

We’re almost at the end of the Penguins 10-mission plan as 358 fans sign in our Penguins tally with only the return of the ICarly and the Victorious badgers, the arrival of the Big Time Beavers, and the final confrontation against Dr. Blowhole.

 

We’ve got some DVD releases for December for you box office and movie fans! Some of these titles that we’ve highlighted in our recent box office reports may want you to add them to your collection right now:

 

12/4/2012
 
Hope Springs
The Dark Knight Rises
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Wild Horse, Wild Ride
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
V/H/S
Butter
Beasts of the Southern Wild

12/11/2012
Mansome
Why Stop Now
Beloved
The Bourne Legacy
Ted
Ice Age: Continental Drift

12/18/2012
The Good Doctor
Total Recall
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Trouble With the Curve
Pitch Perfect
Liberal Arts
10 Years
Sleepwalk With Me

12/21/2012
Red Hook Summer
Arbitrage
Premium Rush
Resident Evil: Retribution
Killer Joe

12/24/2012
The Words

12/31/2012
Looper

We’re just getting started on our holiday packed month of news. As we await ourselves for the last episode of Power Rangers Super Samurai, what’s next for the franchise or better yet, will Power Rangers Mega Force cap off 14 years of Power Rangers history? We’ll find out in a future edition of my entertainment report. As for this one, we’ll see you soon for more news throughout December!

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Twilight Saga Part 2, Sky Fall and Lincoln stay on top causing Killing Them Softly to flop; Jeffrey Katzenberg admits Rise of the Guardians was released too late due to their past problems; Peter Cottontail celebrates Christmas

The top three stay on track! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Twilight Saga Part 2, Sky Fall, and Lincoln prevail in the box office yet again. Last week, the 3 movies took down Rise of the Guardians. This week, another casualty has been claimed! Gene Scallop on another December flop!

 

Gene: The damage continues as Honest Abe, 007, and Team Edward continue to rally in the box office as they take out yet another movie in the process.

 

There’s no changes this week as Twilight Saga Part 2 increases its record breaking lead as they retain the top spot with Sky fall and Lincoln as the biggest box office record continues to go higher for the 2nd week.

 

There was also good news for Fox and bad news for DreamWorks. First, the good news: Fox’s Argo surpasses the 100 million smacker mark as for DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians who suffered a big flop, disappointed Wall Street as “one of the disappointed releases in the company’s history”. What a disaster indeed!

Aside from this, the newest film brad Pitt’s Killing Them Softly was quickly botched by dismayed audiences despite descent reviews from critics and a wonderful cast in which the Weinstein’s were very surprised of the news. This wasn’t exactly what they had in mind when the film debuted this past Friday.

 

Movie going attendance is up 45% since last Thanksgiving weekend in 2011. I think it’ll go even higher once 2012 is out.

 

Twilight Saga Part 2, Sky fall, and Lincoln go 1-2-3 again but only this time they successfully take down Killing Them Softly as the same formula continues to play out.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 369 fans sign in as Team Skipper takes a well-deserved rest after a big scramble and big snowstorm were both taken care of with only 2 new episodes left.

 

Well folks after 7 years, it all ends for both DreamWorks and Paramount. Some of these news sources from as early as this summer have been dead on! So now Perch, do they finally point the finger at Jeffery Katzenberg for all the trouble he caused in the past which has ultimately ruined the company’s chances? If so, can Fox rescue it in time for next year?

 

Perch Perkins (via Variety)- DreamWorks Animation is at a watershed moment.

“Rise of the Guardians,” which debuted over the Thanksgiving weekend, ends a seven-year distribution deal with Paramount Pictures. DWA now begins a relationship with 20th Century Fox, through which DWA has dated 12 toons through 2016. There are more to come, with studio topper Jeffrey Katzenberg and chief creative officer Bill Damaschke having introduced 17 titles, in various forms of development or production, at a recent gathering of 2,300 staffers at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City.

Katzenberg, Damaschke and “Rise of the Guardians” helmer Peter Ramsey talked with Marc Graser last week on the DreamWorks Animation campus in Glendale, Calif., about the move to Fox, DreamWorks Animation’s commitment to 3D and toon technology, as well as the final pic with Paramount.

  • On DreamWorks Animation’s future

Katzenberg: “It’s a very optimistic time for us. We are going from two movies to three movies a year starting in 2013. Without a question, it’s the most ambitious and exciting slate of movies that we’ve had. I think our best years are ahead of us. We’re excited about the business.”

  • Why three movies a year?

Katzenberg: “We’ve built to that. This has been 18 years coming. We feel there is an audience for it and an appetite for it, and we have more stories to tell than we have the bandwidth to make. It’s a little frustrating. … We have a movie project that may be one of the most favorite ideas we’ve ever had and a brilliant screenplay, and we’re saying, ‘Well, is it 2016 or ’17?’ The good news is we’ve got a full slate. The bad news is we have to wait longer than we like for something that we love.”

  • Fox is getting its money’s worth

Damaschke: “Many of those films have been in the works here for many, many years. That’s 10 years of work, and we were thrilled to be with Fox and finally be able to announce them and date them.”

  • Mixing originals with franchises

Katzenberg: “We think people are still interested in original ideas. In the next 18 months, we have five original movies. No animation company has had five original movies in the past five years — not us, Pixar or Disney.”

  • The tent pole philosophy

Katzenberg: “Not every film lends itself to it. We try and identify those films very early on and then frankly, build into the movie enterprise the skill sets and the bandwidth and provisions to be able to support it.”

Damaschke: “We do talk about franchises a lot here. But there are many different sizes. There are franchises that are multiple films. There are great franchises where there’s a movie and a TV show. There are great franchises where there’s one film, consumer products or live shows. We always think about what kind of franchise is this and what works for it organically.”

Katzenberg: “We will wait and see what the outcome is (at the box office for “Guardians”). The audience gets to decide (its future). There are clearly more stories that can be told. There are more stories that Bill (Joyce, author of the source material) has written. But we’re a long way from a decision.”

The studio is analyzing what went wrong with the “Guardians” launch — a film, helmed by first-time director and longtime storyboard artist Peter Ramsey, that was well-received by critics and garnered an “A” Cinema Score from moviegoers but opened to a disappointing $32.6 million during a record-breaking holiday frame for the U.S. box office. Analysts are calling it one of the most disappointing releases in the company’s history. DreamWorks Animation isn’t shying away from that, but remains confident the film will still find an audience the way other animated fare like Warner Bros.’ “The Polar Express” and DWA’s own “How to Train Your Dragon” did after opening to lower-than-expected bows.”

  • Monday-morning quarterbacks

Katzenberg: “We stumbled out of the gate. There’s no getting away from it. Whenever something doesn’t hit the bull’s-eye there’s a degree of hurt involved. But everybody around here remains hopeful. … There’s no company that does more post mortem on every part of its movies, both the making of them and the marketing of them, than we do. We’ve done it aggressively on movies that have worked, and we’ll do it just as aggressively, if not more so, on this, to try to figure out where and what we could or should have done differently. But it’s too early. We’re happy to second guess ourselves, but not yet.”

  • International rebuttal

Katzenberg: “The international will be successful. (The film) got off to a good start (in China) and then we lost our theaters in the second week. That was really more the issue there. Russia got off to a super strong start and is doing very well. South America, Argentina, Colombia, all are very very strong. As always with these things, there are different places where it’ll play out stronger than others.”

  • A twist on popular mythology

Ramsey: “The whole idea behind the project was based on the books by Bill Joyce, who had the idea of presenting slightly different versions of these characters that everyone’s always known (while speaking) the language of big tent pole action films through texturing, lighting and the compositions and choice of shots. … We really wanted to take a step forward in terms of the look and feel of the movie to create something that is a bridge between animation and live action — something that you really hadn’t seen before. We didn’t want to try to do anything that was very photorealistic. We wanted to tell a story that could only be told through animation. Our characters are these big bold larger-than-life characters.”

Ramsey: “We’ve had a year and half where we’ve been screening versions of the movie to recruited audiences. If there was any sort of issue, it would have come up, but there never has been.”

  • How the pic hooked the studio

Damaschke: “Bill (Joyce) always described (the characters) as the original superheroes. For us, it was all about fulfilling the promise of that idea, and presenting them as bigger than life and heroic. They do all the things we know that they do, plus they have in many cases an implied backstory that’s in the movie and in the books.”

  • Does the world know what a tooth fairy is?

Damaschke: “We did think about it. We care a lot about the international audience. In the making of this movie, we had charts by character and by country of what their recognition (factor) is. A lot of the characters exist everywhere. For some of the characters, the function of what they do exists, but in a different form. For example, the Tooth Fairy in Spain and in France is a mouse that collects the teeth of children and leaves gifts or candies, so to try to embrace that bigger mythology of tooth collection around the world, we have a brief appearance of a mouse character in a European segment of the film.”

  • ‘Guardians,’ dimensionally

Ramsey: “It’s been the same process that’s evolved at the studio over the past several years, which is using (3D) as a tool to increase immersiveness and depth, rather than throw ping pong balls at you. It’s used as a storytelling tool. Our stereographers construct with me a 3D script to track every scene in the movie according to its emotional context — and we either increase the stereo or increase the depth if we want more of a feeling of uncertainty or fear or danger. We decrease it when we want moments of intimacy and want to be close to the characters.”

Katzenberg: “We’ve had the same group of stereographers and artists working on the past nine movies. They’re taking this residual knowledge and experience, and (they) keep growing. Each time they’re challenging themselves to keep pushing the 3D work.”

  • The state of 3D

Katzenberg: “3D has had its ups and its downs and its sideways. Right now, it’s OK. Internationally, it’s spectacular. In the domestic market, people are much more cautious to commit the extra dollars to see a 3D film. They need to be told by word of mouth, by critics, by others that it’s worth it.

It got off to a spectacular start in 2009 with a couple great movies. Our first couple of entries, ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ were held in extremely high regard by the audience and the critics. And then certainly ‘Avatar’ set the high benchmark for everybody. Then, unfortunately, a bunch of stuff came along that really disappointed the audience and devalued the extra investment that the audience is being asked to make. It’s been a hard road back from that. The animation business has probably done the best job of mostly offering pretty high quality.”

Ramsey: “Look at a guy like Ang Lee and what he does with it (in “Life of Pi”). It’s clear it’s not a gimmick. You can really create a completely new experience with it. You can push it a lot further. It would involve changing the actual grammar of cinema, but (3D is) kind of a medium in its own right. Even within the boundaries of where we are now, we can do a lot more.”

  • Big screen event planning

Damaschke: “It’s got to feel like an event, and something you really want to experience, at least initially in a theater with your family and your kids and your parents and your friends, and then many times after that in some other form. It’s about the same foundational things that always existed: great stories, great characters and surprising, amazing worlds that people have never been to before.”

Katzenberg: “(With 3D), what we need to do is make it worth it for people to go to the extra expense. If they don’t want to or can’t afford to, we still want them to be able to see our movies. We’ve always said that no matter what, we would always offer a 2D experience.”

Damaschke: “Engaging and appealing characters that are relatable and going through something relatable, world’s they’ve never seen before.”

Katzenberg: “Each film has its own challenges and (its) own opportunities. The fact that something (can be) pre-sold and known maybe is an advantage in the marketing of the movie, but is a disadvantage in the making of the movie in that you still have to surprise (the audience) with something new and different and special. How do you make (a film) unpredictable with something they’re very familiar with?”

  • Why toons draw talent

Ramsey: “People are drawn to something new. It’s fresh and it’s uncharted territory for a lot of filmmakers who haven’t looked at it before. It feels like a renaissance, but at the same time a real flowering. A lot of people see a lot of exciting things happening, and it’s just the energy. In any artistic thing you do, there are some limitations. Here, you do get a chance to stretch.”

Damaschke: “We started with the rich and unbelievable backstories of these characters, and then we had the beautiful and inspiring artwork that Joyce had done, the very illustrative book-type art. We were trying to figure out how to take all of that and make it a cinematic experience both from a storytelling perspective and look perspective.” The studio was able to crack the story when filmmakers realized “it’s great you have all of these reinvented characters everybody knows, but the character most people know hardly anything about and that we can actually tell a real story through is Jack Frost. It all came together around that character.”

  • Reflecting on DWA’s past

Katzenberg: “It’s been a bumpy road. We’ve had our ups and our downs along the way. But there’s nothing more exciting, nothing more fun (than) to come through these gates every day and be surrounded by people who genuinely love what they’re doing. The average age here is 29 years old and I’m unfortunately more than twice their age. To be out and about on this campus and interact with them every day makes me feel like I’m their age. It keeps me young being surrounded by these people — these artists and filmmakers and technicians and rocket scientists and engineers and software programmers and fine artists and botanists. You can’t imagine the diversity of skill sets. We speak 38 languages on this campus.Whenever there’s a visitor coming here, there’s a pretty good chance we speak your language.”

Ramsey: “There really is a rocket scientist here. (He) was going to work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on nuclear weaponry or he was going to take this job here in software development, and he took this job.”

 

We wish DreamWorks the best of luck with Fox as it begins to pick up the pieces from the Guardian’s disaster. In other news, Beatrix Potter’s Peter Cottontail celebrate the holidays as Angel Bluefish finds out what the rabbit is doing this year with his friends.

 

Angel Bluefish (via Nick and More)-NEW YORK, Nov. 28 2012 – Peter Rabbit hops on to the TV screen with the premiere of Nickelodeon‘s brand-new primetime holiday special, “Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale,” Friday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT).  Told with humor and heart, the special is a fresh re-imagining of the classic Beatrix Potter children’s books, which have sold over 250 million copies worldwide and been translated into 35 languages.  Peter Rabbit is produced in conjunction with Silvergate Media and animated by Brown Bag Films.

“Nickelodeon is thrilled to bring this beloved book series to life on TV so kids can experience Peter Rabbit in a whole new way this holiday,” said Teri Weiss, EVP, Production and Development, Nickelodeon Preschool.  ”We have captured the spirit of the Peter Rabbit stories, while modernizing for today’s preschoolers through high-stakes adventures, comedic characters and vibrant CG-animation.”

In “Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale,” Peter Rabbit and his friend Benjamin Bunny take over for Mr. Bouncer when he gets sick and can’t make the important holiday supply delivery.  They brave a blizzard and a sneaky fox, Mr. Tod, in order to deliver important gifts and supplies to the residents of the Lake District.  Along the way, Peter and Benjamin meet a new friend, Lily Bobtail.  Inspired by Beatrix Potter, Lily is strong, smart, independent, curious, a nature-lover and artist who is just as willful and playful as her male counterparts.

Set in Potter’s treasured Lake District, Peter lives in a world where behind every rock there is a surprise to discover and where dangers (be it a sly fox or bad-tempered badger) lurk around every corner.  Peter Rabbit features educational goals that encourage preschoolers to learn problem-solving and interpersonal skills, self-efficacy, resilience, positive re-framing and fostering an interest in and respect for nature.

On Monday, Dec. 3, nick jr.com will launch “Presents from Peter,” where users will be able to go online every day to unlock a new special gift from Peter Rabbit such as holiday ornaments, holiday cards, activity packs and more.

 Nick’s new live action show Sam and Cat gets the green light but not the Gibby show. Jimmy Trout has the story!

 

Jimmy Trout  (via Nick and More)- Santa Monica, Calif. – November 29, 2012 – On the heels of last week’s series finale of iCarly that topped all basic cable with 6.4 million total viewers, Nickelodeon is announcing the series pick-up of Sam & Cat (20 episodes), a spin-off comedy from award-winning creator and executive producer Dan Schneider (iCarly, Victorious, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101). Starring Jennette McCurdy (iCarly’s Sam Puckett) and Ariana Grande (Victorious’ Cat Valentine) reprising their roles from their respective hit shows, Sam & Cat features the pair as unlikely roommates who become teen entrepreneurs by starting their own after-school babysitting business. Sam & Cat will premiere in 2013, with production beginning this January in Los Angeles.

“Jennette and Ariana are adored by our audience, and it’s great to unite these talented actresses in this hilarious new comedy from Dan Schneider,” said Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon. “This show promises to deliver on what our audience loves most about these two favorite characters — laugh-out-loud humor and non-stop adventure, and is sure to be a compelling new chapter for our new comedic duo.”

Best known for her comedic portrayal of Sam Puckett on the mega-hit Nickelodeon series iCarly, Jennette McCurdy most recently wrapped production on Nickelodeon’s original TV movie Swindle. In addition, she was featured in two other Nick original TV movies, Fred: The Movie and Best Player. McCurdy has also guest starred on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Strong Medicine, Law & Order: SVU, Medium and Judging Amy.

Prior to garnering attention as the beloved character Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon series Victorious, Ariana Grande performed on Broadway in the musical 13. This holiday, Ariana will star as Snow White at The Pasadena Playhouse in a presentation of “A Snow White Christmas” alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Charlene Tilton. Grande’s other acting credits include a feature role in Nickelodeon’s original TV movie Swindle and voiceover work on the animated Nick series Winx Club. Grande is also signed to Universal Republic Records and her first single, “Put Your Hearts Up,” debuted at #24 on the pop charts. Grande is leading the way with her social media efforts on Twitter, Instagram and Keek, and her YouTube account has garnered over 115 million views.

The fun starts this week as Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Nicktoons, Nick, and ABC Family celebrate the season with new episodes and specials! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, be extra jolly this year!

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