Archive for November, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire sets 16.1 million record; 60 Pixar works laid off due to Good Dinosaur director position; Alice in Wonderland 2 set for 2016

 

 

The Hunger Games catch fire at the box office! I’m Realistic Fish Head. After 3 weeks of previewing the next Hunger Games saga, Lionsgate needed to prove the first Hunger Games was better than the best record breaking open since The Marvel Heroes. That was proven this week when Catching Fire proved to the test by scoring a scorching 16.1 million, the 4th best box office open for the entire month! What other achievements did the film receive Gene?

 

Gene:

 

Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire dominated the box office this weekend with an estimated opening weekend performance of $161.13 million. The highly anticipated blockbuster sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence ultimately opened in line with its massive expectations. Catching Fire was able to outpace the $152.54 million debut of last year’s The Hunger Games by 6 percent. Catching Fire set a new record for the largest ever unadjusted opening weekend for the month of November; the previous record being the $142.84 million debut of 2009’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon. If today’s studio estimate holds, Catching Fire will also set a new record for the largest unadjusted opening weekend ever for a film without higher priced 3D grosses; just ahead of the $160.89 million take of last year’s The Dark Knight Rises. Catching Fire generated the fourth largest unadjusted opening weekend of all-time (behind only last year’s Marvel’s The Avengers, this year’s Iron Man 3 and 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2).

As was the case with Thor: The Dark World two weeks ago, it was a bit of a roller coaster ride for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire throughout the weekend. The film debuted with a healthy $25.25 million from late night shows that began at 8 p.m. on Thursday, but didn’t have the greatest hold throughout Friday as it grossed $70.90 million as a whole on its opening day. In turn, the film held up extremely well on Saturday to gross $52.98 million and is estimated to decline 30 percent on Sunday to take in $37.25 million. That gives The Hunger Games: Catching Fire an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.27 to 1, which is on par with the 2.27 to 1 ratio generated by The Hunger Games. Perhaps relatively weaker non-midnight Friday grosses and stronger Saturday grosses will be a continuing trend for blockbuster level films to keep an eye on in the near future.

In addition to the strong Saturday hold, another good early sign for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the A rating it received on CinemaScore. And with this year’s Thanksgiving weekend releases appearing relatively weaker than usual (with the obvious exception being Disney’s Frozen), the limited competition could lead to an extra boost for Catching Fire over the five-day holiday frame that begins on Wednesday.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire grossed an estimated $12.6 million from 347 IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 7.8 percent of the film’s overall opening weekend gross. The audience breakdown for Catching Fire skewed towards female moviegoers (59 percent) and was evenly split between moviegoers under 25 and over 25.

After leading the box office for the past two weekends, Disney’s Thor: The Dark World slid to a distant second place with an estimated $14.12 million. The blockbuster Marvel superhero sequel fell a sharp 61 percent from last weekend, as it clearly took a significant hit from the debut of Catching Fire. Even with significant declines each of the past two weekends, Thor: The Dark World has still grossed a healthy $167.84 million in 17 days. That is 15.5 percent stronger than the $145.36 million 17-day take of 2011’s Thor (which fell 55 percent in its third weekend to gross $15.46 million). Thor: The Dark World will likely experience temporary stabilization over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday frame.

Universal’s The Best Man Holiday also experienced a sharp decline this weekend. After last weekend’s stronger than expected start, the modestly budgeted comedy sequel was down 58 percent to gross an estimated $12.5 million this weekend. While The Best Man Holiday is generating strong word of mouth, it lost momentum this weekend in part from so many fans of 1999’s The Best Man having already rushed out last weekend. In the bigger picture, The Best Man Holiday has grossed a strong $50.37 million in its first ten days of release. That places the film 17 percent behind the $60.47 million ten-day take of last year’s Think Like a Man (which fell 48 percent in its second weekend to gross $17.60 million). The Best Man Holiday should stabilize over the holiday frame, though it will also face added competition from Fox Searchlight’s Black Nativity when it debuts on Wednesday.

Coming as no surprise, Delivery Man was off to a tough start this weekend with an estimated fourth place take of $8.22 million. The Vince Vaughn comedy vehicle from Disney and DreamWorks debuted a bit below its already modest pre-release expectations. Opening against Catching Fire and Vaughn’s dwindling drawing power at the box office in recent years proved to be a poor combination this weekend. Delivery Man debuted 35.5 percent below the $12.75 million start of last year’s The Watch and represents the first time a wide release with Vaughn in a starring role has debuted below the $10 million mark.

Delivery Man grossed $2.76 million on Friday, increased 23 percent on Saturday to take in $3.40 million and is estimated to fall 40 percent on Sunday to gross $2.05 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.98 to 1. Delivery Man received a respectable B+ rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards moviegoers 26 and older (78 percent) and was evenly split between genders.

Early results were far more promising for fellow Disney release Frozen. The latest 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation grossed an estimated $237,606 from its exclusive Los Angeles engagement at the El Capitan theatre. Frozen opens in wide release on Wednesday.

 

To recap, Catching Fire catches a record-breaker 1st while Thor 2 drops 2nd, Best Man Holiday delivers in 3rd, Delivery Man, about a man who has surprisingly been fathered by 500 kids, debuts 4th and the turkeys avoid being roasted as Free Birds moves 5th.

 

In our previous report 3 moths ago, Rob Peterson left his directing post which made Pixar lose some of their employees because of the big delay and some of them from Pixar Canada had to move out to fill the void. About those employees Angie, what happened to them?

 

Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- Director Bob Peterson exited The Good Dinosaur in August and now up to 60 employees at Pixar were let go because of the delay of the pic. Occurring earlier this week, the layoffs account for approximately 5% of Pixar’s 1,200 work force. This is just the latest twist in The Good Dinosaur tale. No replacement has been announced yet for Peterson and in September, the Disney-owned animated powerhouse moved back Dinosaur from a May 30, 2014 release to November 24, 2015 – leaving Pixar without a single movie coming out next year. Now, the fallout continues. “At Pixar, we are constantly re-evaluating the creative and business needs of our studio. With the release date change of The Good Dinosaur, we have realigned our production and support priorities, which includes a small reduction in our staffing levels,” said a Disney spokesperson in a statement Friday.  Last month Disney shuttered Pixar Canada with nearly 100 jobs lost at the Vancouver animation studio.

 

For those of you who saw the live action Alice in Wonderland back in 2010, then consider yourself lucky! The mouse has planned a sequel to the original along with another live action sequel to a familiar Disney classic. What’s the surprise Danny?

 

Danny Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)-  Alice In Wonderland 2 has been set for a May 27, 2016 release, Disney said today, finalizing a spot on the schedule for the sequel to the studio’s massive 2010 hit that made more than $1.025B in worldwide box office. The Muppets helmer James Bobin takes over from original director Tim Burton and back too is Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter. Depp of course is also in Pirates Of The Caribbean 5, which Disney moved off its original May 2015 date and reportedly was aiming it for summer 2016. That would make it the Summer of Depp if those plans are carried out.

As for Disney’s live-action Jungle Book, that pic now has an October 9, 2015 date. Deadline broke the story that Jon Favreau is aboard to direct what is a priority project for the studio from a Justin Marks script. When Favreau’s deal made Marks was wrapping the latest draft and the studio wanted to begin production next year. Looks like all systems are go now that there’s a date. Disney previously turned The Jungle Book into the classic 1967 animated film and a 1994 live-action feature helmed by Stephen Sommers.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,414 fans sign in as Team Skipper off their trip to the Artic, prepare for some Turkey Day festivities.

 

Thanksgiving Toon Week begins on Monday as Nicktoons gives fans their favorite shows such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, TUFF Puppy, SpongeBob, TNMT, and more. But it doesn’t stop there! On Wednesday, Nick unveils all the trimmings with new episodes of your favorite shows including the Nick original movie Jinxed with Big Time Rush’s Ciara Bravo! And keep on a lookout for your favorite characters for this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, serve the turkey and start shopping!

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Universal logs best box office record for the year; Triggerfish gets funding plans for a new animated action comedy; Teen Nick releases Thanksgiving schedule with an animated feel

 

 

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

 

Yesterday Universal broke a new box office record of 1.352 billion smackers thanks in part to Gru and the minions for keeping the other movie competitors at bay. But they weren’t they only ones part of the big achievement. Which of the globe’s top flicks made it happen Angie?

 

Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- Universal Pictures today announced that the studio has set a new record for its highest-grossing year ever at the North American box office with a total of $1.352 billion through Sunday. The previous record was set in 2012 with total grosses having reached $1.335 billion. The studio bested its previous international box office record ($1.794 billion/2012) in mid-August and the previous worldwide record ($3.129 billion/2012) in September. Universal’s total worldwide grosses to date are $3.49 billion.

Propelling Universal’s success at the North American box office this year were eight films that claimed the number one spot including: Mama ($71.6 million), Identity Thief ($134.5 million), Oblivion ($89.1 million), Fast & Furious 6 ($238.7 million), Despicable Me 2 ($365.9 million), The Purge ($64.5 million), 2 Guns ($75.6 million) and Riddick ($42 million). Identity Thief, Fast & Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2 each claimed the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office twice. Fast & Furious 6 was Universal’s top North American opening of 2013 ($117 million) and the second-highest domestic opening of the year (behind Iron Man 3). Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2 had the highest opening for an animated film in 2013 domestically ($83.5 million). In addition, Universal’s first micro-budget film under the studio’s production deal with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, The Purge, grossed more than ten times its $3 million production budget in its North American opening weekend and has gone on to gross $89.9 million worldwide.

On a worldwide basis, Universal Pictures boasts the second and third highest-grossing films of 2013 with Despicable Me 2, having grossed $916.1 million to date, and Fast & Furious 6 with $788 million. Despicable Me 2 is the highest-grossing animated film of 2013 and is currently the fifth highest-grossing animated film of all time. Despicable Me 2 is also the studio’s second highest-grossing film of all time behind 1993’s Jurassic Park.

Universal has two films yet to be released in 2013. These include 47 Ronin, the epic 3D feature that stars Keanu Reeves in his explosive return to the action-adventure genre on Christmas Day; and also in limited release on December 25, Lone Survivor, based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.

 

Triggerfish Studios strikes again this week as it prepares for yet another animated film to add to their collection. What could it be this time Jim?

 

Jim Fish (via Hollywood Repoter)- South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios has secured development funding that it says will allow it to develop the first two projects in a slate of five movies, company executives said.

Financial details weren’t disclosed. The company also continues to explore additional financing options and the possible sale of a stake to a strategic partner.

Triggerfish also said it plans to release one movie a year starting in 2016.

The Cape Town-based company, which has been dubbed the “Pixar of South Africa,” said in the first phase of development of its slate it would focus on previously announced sea monster adventure Here Be Monsters and a new project with the working title Seal Team.

Triggerfish’s first two features, Zambezia, starring Samuel L. Jackson among other voice actors, and Khumba, starring the voices of Liam Neeson, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Buscemi, have performed well in South Africa and beyond.

Here Be Monsters was selected for the Creative Focus pitch at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival earlier this year. It is based on an original story from writer Raffaella Delle Donne who worked on both of Triggerfish’s previous films. The movie will tell the story of a boy and a sea monster, marking the studio’s first foray into animating human characters.

Seal Team is described as an action-comedy that pits a group of seals against the great white sharks of South Africa. The script is currently being written by Brian and Jason Cleveland of Cinema Management Group who handled world sales on Triggerfish’s previous films.

“We had a good working relationship with the Clevelands on Zambezia and were impressed by their passion for the medium and for great stories,” said Triggerfish CEO and producer Stuart Forrest. “So it was great when they came with this concept that is so close to home for us.”

“We have a number of exciting properties in the pipeline,” said head of development Anthony Silverston. “But we’re particularly excited by these two highly original and exciting high-concept stories. And although both stories have an ocean setting, they couldn’t be more different!”

Asked about how much financing Triggerfish had secured, Forrest told THR it was enough to get the two scripts developed on the studio’s budgets, which are much smaller than budgets for Hollywood animation fare.

“We are still looking for a strategic partner to take a stake in Triggerfish and help to take us to the next level,” he added without providing further details.

“We want to build the business and have a stronger platform for the next movie to launch it broader into the world and have even better success,” Forrest had told THR earlier this year. He argued that  the budgets for his firm are low enough that it can make five films for the price of one “and have five chances to find a franchise hit.”

According to the CEO, Zambezia has grossed more than $30 million to-date. “I believe it is the highest-grossing South African-owned film in around 30 years,” he recently told THR.

Although Triggerfish’s stories so far have been set in Africa, the company has said it has “a global vision to create animated films with universal messages for all ages.”

The studio secured the new development funding from Business Partners’ Venture Fund, a finance company that focuses on small to medium-sized companies.

“The funds will be used towards developing Triggerfish’s slate of five animated feature films and to expand the studio’s digital department building on existing properties and exploring new ideas with apps and games,” the studio said.

Khumba, which has been at festivals and film markets all year, is currently in cinemas in South Africa. It has held the top spot for two weeks and will be rolling out throughout the rest of the world going into 2014.

In our last edition, Dan Barry found out that Boomerang might not be able to keep up with their Thanksgiving tradition with their own schedule sticking with their current weekday schedule. This time Teen Nick’s Thanksgiving schedule takes their shows by using animated GIF’s. Who’s coming to Turkey Day this year Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- TeenNick is celebrating Thanksgiving November 25 – December 1 with a special event called ThanksGIFFing week, in which hour long specials and movies will air. The event starts each night at 8pm ET and will feature special GIFs from the series/movies featured.

The schedule is as follows:

Monday, November 25

8:00 PM VICTORiOUS – “Tori Goes Platinum”
9:00 PM VICTORiOUS – “Locked Up!”
10:00 PM Zoey 101 – “Chasing Zoey”

Tuesday, November 26

8:00 PM iCarly – “iStart a Fan War”
9:00 PM iCarly – “iPsycho”
10:00 PM Zoey 101 – “Goodbye, Zoey?”

Wednesday, November 27

8:00 PM Big Time Rush – “Big Time Dreams”
9:00 PM Big Time Rush – “Big Time Concert”
10:00 PM Zoey 101 – “The Curse of PCA”

Thursday , November 28

8:00 PM Ned’s Declassified – “Field Trips, Permission Slips, Signs & Weasels”
9:00 PM How to Rock – “How to Rock Cee Lo”
10:00 PM Zoey 101 – “Spring Break-Up”

Friday, November 29

8:00 PM Bandslam
10:30 PM Bandslam

Saturday, November 30

8:00 PM Rags
10:00 PM Swindle

Sunday, December 1

8:00 PM Jinxed
9:30 PM Drake & Josh – “Go Hollywood”
11:00 PM Drake & Josh – “Really Big Shrimp”

 

 Checking the Penguins tally, 2,440 fans sign in as Team Skipper plans a trip to Antarctica as they discover great danger ahead! A few editions ago, we took a look at secret crushes in the show. The secret crush we took a look recently was Private and Hunter. The writers of the show made sure that both of them could trust each other by keeping their crush a secret from anyone else. Not according to Skipper, Rico, and Kowalski! They classify Hunter as a “friendly killing machine”. Private has to prove to the team that leopard seals and penguins can be true friends. Should his theory prove a success, Skipper will have to realize that both Private and Hunter can be best friends. And as the team’s enemies, they should heed Private’s promise if Team Skipper gets through the rest of their missions without a scratch.  We’ll see if it plays out for the rest of the season as Saturday weekend sweeps continue.

 

With a week to go before this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, be on the lookout for The Sponge’s new balloon on the current parade route that was modified last year, plus all the current and new arrivals that we could see this year as the holidays are fast approaching! We’ll see you after the T’giving day parade for more of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Until then, enjoy the turkey and trimmings!

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Thor 2 stays #1 at the box office but Best Man Holiday opens strong 30 million debut; Josh Book joins GhostBot Studios; Boomerang to abandon Thanksgiving schedule

Thor stays on top, but the best man scores big! I’m Realistic Fish Head. When we last left Thor, he struck down the box office with 86 million, the most anticipated debut since Thor 1. But this week the god of thunder stayed on top but which movie managed to please audiences Gene?

Gene:

This weekend’s box office race between Disney’s Thor: The Dark World and Universal’s The Best Man Holiday ended up being closer than was widely anticipated, but Thor: The Dark World was still able to lead the way with an estimated $38.45 million. The Marvel superhero sequel starring Chris Hemsworth slid 55 percent from last weekend. While that is a respectable second weekend decline for a superhero sequel, it isn’t a great hold by any means either, especially with the film likely having received a bit of an extra boost this weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch it before Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire enters the marketplace next weekend. In comparison, 2011’s Thor fell 47 percent in its second weekend to gross $34.70 million, while last year’s Skyfall fell 53.5 percent to take in $41.10 million.

In the bigger picture, Thor: The Dark World has grossed a healthy $149.97 million through its first ten days of domestic release. That places the film 26 percent ahead of the $119.46 million ten-day start of Thor and 7 percent behind the $160.94 million ten-day take of Skyfall. Those comparisons strongly suggest that Thor: The Dark World is still on course to eventually clear the $200 million domestic milestone.

The Best Man Holiday exceeded expectations this weekend with a strong second place take of $30.6 million. Expectations for the modestly budgeted ensemble comedy sequel had been rising in the days leading up to the film’s release due in part to strong pre-sales. Playing in 2,024 locations; The Best Man Holiday earned a terrific per-location average of $15,115 for the frame. The Best Man Holiday opened just below the $33.64 million start of last year’s Think Like a Man and blew past the $9.03 million debut of 1999’s The Best Man (which stands at $14.37 million when adjusting for ticket price inflation). The Best Man Holiday has already nearly out-grossed the $34.10 million total domestic gross of The Best Man (which stands at $54.25 million when adjusting for inflation), as the fanbase of The Best Man has clearly increased in the years since the film’s theatrical release.

The Best Man Holiday placed in first on Friday with $10.7 million, increased 16 percent on Saturday to take in $12.4 million and is estimated to fall 39.5 percent on Sunday to gross $7.5 million. That gave the film a very solid estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. That is a good early sign for the film going forward, as is the A+ rating the film received on CinemaScore. The Best Man Holiday will hope to hold up well throughout the holiday season, though the rush out of fans of the original film on opening weekend could still lead to some front-loading.

The audience breakdown for The Best Man Holiday skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (75 percent) and moviegoers 35 and older (63 percent). African American moviegoers made up 87 percent of the film’s audience.

CBS Films’ Last Vegas held up very well this weekend with $8.87 million. The modestly budgeted ensemble comedy fell only 20 percent from last weekend, as the film clearly continues to benefit from strong word of mouth. Last Vegas has grossed $46.96 million through 17 days of release and is very likely to continue holding up well going forward, especially with this Thanksgiving’s new options for adult moviegoers looking softer than usual.

Also holding up nicely this weekend was Relativity’s Free Birds. The 3D computer animated film was down just 25 percent from last weekend with a fourth place take of $8.3 million. Free Birds has grossed $42.22 million through 17 days and should continue to hold up well between now and Thanksgiving.

Paramount’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa rounded out the weekend’s top five with $7.67 million. The successful Jackass spin-off starring Johnny Knoxville was down 32 percent and has grossed a stronger than expected $90.20 million in 24 days. That leaves Bad Grandpa just $9.80 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.

On the limited front, Focus’ Dallas Buyers Club took in $1.78 million from 184 locations. That gave the awards season hopeful starring Matthew McConaughey a per-location average of $9,701 for the frame. Dallas Buyers Club has grossed $3.05 million in 17 days and will expand into additional locations this coming Friday.

In other platform news, Fox’s The Book Thief grossed $425,000 from 29 locations for a per-location average of $14,655. The film’s ten-day total stands at $568,518. Meanwhile, Paramount Vantage’s Nebraska debuted with $140,000 from four locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the Alexander Payne directed film a very solid per-location average of $35,000.

Also of note this weekend were the $75,584 start of EchoLight Studios’ The Christmas Candle from 5 locations (for a location average of $15,117) and the $23,000 start of Janus Films’ The Great Beauty (from just one location in New York). The Christmas Candle will expand into limited release next weekend.

To recap, Thor 2 increases his lead, Universal’s Best Man Holiday opens strong in 2nd as the top rated flick for movie goers, Las Vegas and Free Birds in 3rd and 4th continue to hold their positions, Bad Grandpa which was forced by Thor’s thunderous debut and was tightened up by Las Vegas and Free Birds, drops to 5th.

Josh Book, the CGI master behind Bubble Guppies, Tak, Fanboy and Chum Chum, and The Penguins of Madagascar, is moving to San Fran to unleash his computer generated glory. The good part of it is, he’s headed to Ghost Bot Studios. What projects await him there Jim?

Jim Fish (via The Sacramento Bee)- San Francisco Bay Area independent animation studio Ghostbot, Inc. announces today that Josh Book joins the studio as its CG Creative Director. Known for unique style and memorable characters, the team at Ghostbot has branched out to increase their capabilities to 3D/CG.

Under Book’s tenure, the CG pipeline at Nickelodeon became one of the most efficient global CG production pipelines for animation. Book oversaw all in-house CG series and development work including the Emmy award-winning TV series DreamWorks “The Penguins of Madagascar,” “Tak and the Power of Juju,” “Fanboy and Chum Chum,” and “Bubble Guppies.”

“The San Francisco/Bay Area is a hotbed of animation talent, including huge studios like PDI/DreamWorks, LucasFilm Animation, and Disney/Pixar,” states Alan Lau, co-founder of Ghostbot. “Now with the addition of Josh, we are one step closer to realizing our goal of producing our own intellectual property for all media whether in film, television, games, web or merchandise.”  Lau goes on to state, “by capitalizing on the strengths of our 2D abilities coupled with Josh’s knowledge of CG, we are positioning ourselves to be the next big animation studio out of the San Francisco Area.”

Ghostbot, Inc. will merge their unique design sense with Book’s vision and experience to create a new, experimental use of CG. “Ghostbot is a super-talented artist driven studio with a love of animation and cartoons equal to my own,” Book said. “They’ve got a great reputation for quality and are one of the premiere animation studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. We want to tell great animated stories, and develop new and unique looks that aren’t typically seen in CG.”

It’s been 3 years since Boomerang took part of their Thanksgiving tradition. This year, sources at entertainment central are saying the network will no longer show any Thanksgiving specials anymore. What gives Dan?

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- On the Thanksgiving of 2010, Boomerang viewers were treated to the cartoon movie “The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t”. By 2011, the cartoon adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s “Horton Hears a Who!” joined the special. And by 2012, Boomerang created a new tradition, or so it would seem. From 9:00 AM ET to 9:00 PM people could tune in on Thanksgiving to see Boomerang’s beloved classics, from Huckleberry Hound to Quick Draw McGraw, each broadcasting in separated hour-and-a-half marathons. But what will Boomerang’s programming highlights for Turkey Day be this year? According to multiple online schedule sources, this holiday’s schedule not feature anything to be rather thankful for. Instead, Boomerang will be airing their normal November lineup (covered in our Boomerang article here), with not a single special or movie in sight. This information is subject to change, depending on if the scheduling is incorrect.

As of this moment. the overall schedule for Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 28) is below in ET:

6:00 AM The Adventures of Captain Planet
6:30 AM Tom & Jerry
7:00 AM Tom & Jerry Kids
7:30 AM Hero: 108
8:00 AM Casper’s Scare School
8:30 AM Casper’s Scare School
9:00 AM The Garfield Show
9:30 AM The Garfield Show
10:00 AM The Smurfs
10:30 AM The Smurfs
11:00 AM Snorks
11:30 AM Snorks
12:00 PM Dexter’s Laboratory
12:30 PM Dexter’s Laboratory
1:00 PM The Powerpuff Girls
1:30 PM The Powerpuff Girls
2:00 PM Krypto the Superdog
2:30 PM Krypto the Superdog
3:00 PM Teen Titans
3:30 PM Teen Titans
4:00 PM Pokémon
4:30 PM Pokémon
5:00 PM Ben 10 (Original)
5:30 PM Ben 10: Omniverse
6:00 PM Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
6:30 PM Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
7:00 PM Looney Tunes
8:00 PM The New Scooby-Doo Movies
9:00 PM Tom & Jerry
10:00 PM Teen Titans
10:30 PM Teen Titans
11:00 PM The Powerpuff Girls
11:30 PM The Powerpuff Girls
12:00 AM Dexter’s Laboratory
12:30 AM Dexter’s Laboratory
1:00 AM Johnny Bravo
1:30 AM Johnny Bravo
2:00 AM The Secret Squirrel Show
2:30 AM The Secret Squirrel Show
3:00 AM MGM
4:00 AM The Flintstones
4:30 AM The Flintstones
5:00 AM Yogi Bear
5:30 AM Flintstone Kids

Unless this schedule changes, it’ll mark the first time that Boomerang will be unable to get a head start on the holiday season.

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,451 fans sign in as Team Skipper completes another Saturday morning sweep which according to TV Guide, the team has 1 more trip to make before Black Friday arrives.

Thanksgiving Toon Week is only a week away as Nicktoons delivers favorite episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, TUFF Puppy, SpongeBob, TNMT and more, just for the fans. Be sure to thank us next Monday. And as the holiday season approaches, don’t miss the Hub Network’s Christmas schedule filled with holiday movies and specials all December long! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, get ready for some holiday fun next week!

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Nick tops ratings as SpongeBob You’re Fired premiere scores 2nd highest with kids and adults; SpongeBob You’re Fired scores 5.2 million viewers behind 2013 KCA’s; The Weinstein Company’s Philomena changes movie rating from R to PG-13

 

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

 

This past Monday was the premiere of SpongeBob You’re Fired, the controversial special that put the Sponge out of the Krusty Krab. Fox News was on it when Media Matters investigated their findings of the episode. Our hero was criticized by the Fox a few years back hurting its popularity, but Russell Hicks put a stop to that. Let’s see if his confidence helped the Sponge to prove that 5 cents isn’t enough for a pay cut:

 

Nickelodeon this week was the top basic cable net with Kids 2-11 (2.9/934K) and total viewers (1.8M), marking six straight weeks at number one. This weekly win continues to build upon Nickelodeon’s more than 9 straight months of year-over-year ratings gains.

The network’s performance was driven by Nick’s hit animation lineup:SpongeBob SquarePants ranks as the top program with Kids 2-11 (6.0/1.9M) for the week, followed by Sanjay and Craig (5.4/1.8M). SpongeBob SquarePants and Sanjay and Craig also topped with Kids 6-11, ranking as the week’s top two animated series, respectively, with that demo.

Paw Patrol marked its fourth consecutive week as TV’s top preschool, averaging a 6.8/861K with K2-5. Paw Patrol was followed by Bubble Guppies, which averaged a 6.4/808K with K2-5 for the week.

Nick at Nite’s original Sunday night lineup also continues to post gains:See Dad Run (Nov. 10 at 8p.m.) drew 1.2M total viewers and posted double-digit increases with Adults 18-49 (0.3/328K, +11% in delivery), Kids 2-11 (1.70/547K, +21%) and Kids 6-11 (2.1/416K, +17%). Instant Mom(8:30 p.m. ET) posted +50% delivery gains with Adults 18-49 (0.3/292K) and grew its ratings double digits with Kids 6-11 (1.6/307K, +14%).

 

In addition to Nick’s successful 6-week win, kids and adults loved the episode hands down. How many viewers did it manage to achieve it Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Nickelodeon’s half-hour SpongeBob SquarePants special “SpongeBob You’re Fired” soaked up 5.186 million total viewers on Monday night – Nick’s second highest rated telecast of 2013.

Only this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards scored higher, with only 635,000 more viewers (5.821 million). The now third highest rated program on Nickelodeon this year was a new episode of SpongeBob on March 2 with 4.734 million viewers. In total, seven of this year’s ten most watched telecasts on Nick were SpongeBob showings (both new and repeats).

 

 

There’s a dispute going on Monday when 2 F bombs were thrown on the Weinstein’s British drama-comedy flick Philomena. Their mission was to change their rating requested by the directors of the film Judi Dench and Steven Frears. Did they succeed Johnny?

 

Johnny Trout (via Hollywood Reporter)- In a victory for director Stephen Frears and Judi Dench, The Weinstein Co. has won its appeal to lower the rating of British dramedy Philomena from an R to PG-13 after receiving an exemption for two non-sexual uses of the f-word.

Harvey Weinstein’s company is no stranger to taking issue with the ratings board, having waged high-profile appeals for The King’s Speech and Bully, both of which received an R for language.

In a high-profile video, Dench, who stars in Philomena, personally appealed to the Classification and Ratings Administration Board to lower the rating. Steve Coogan — who stars opposite Dench and co-wrote the film — joined TWC and lawyer Bert Fields at the appeals hearing Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Following the victory, Weinstein thanked the James Bond filmmaking team for their assistance in fighting the R rating. “We owe this victory to Barbara Broccoli, producer of the James Bond series, Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes who because of their relationship with Judi Dench gave permission to spoof the ratings system [in a video] using the M character. We know that went a long way into shedding light on the themes of the movie and the fact that the PG-13 rating was correct. We are glad the MPAA has a good sense of humor and with the cooperation of Barbara and her team it was proven once again no one does it better than James Bond. And my sincerest congratulations to Steve Coogan, who went to the MPAA and defended the case personally.”

TWC has big plans for Philomena, based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith about Philomena Lee, an Irish-Catholic woman who was forced decades earlier to put up her illegitimate baby for adoption in the U.S. The story follows Philomena (Dench) and the journalist (Coogan) as they travel to the U.S. to find the child. TWC believes the film will be an awards contender.

Philomena opens in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 22 before making a moderate nationwide push on Nov. 27, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Movie-going spikes over the long holiday weekend, and TWC believes Philomena will play to families and serve as potent counter-programming to more commercial fare.

Last year, the ratings board granted a language exemption to Bully, which also contained more than one use of the word “f—.”

Under the rules of the rating board, any film containing more than use of the word f–k automatically receives an R. Violence is far more subjective.

“Philomena is a film that evokes an overwhelmingly positive response from people. I’m delighted children have already seen it and have responded to it so positively. We felt the MPAA had made the wrong decision in handing the film, which has no violence or lewd material and the bare minimum of adult language, an ‘R’ rating. I am overjoyed they’ve changed their ruling in order to give families like mine an opportunity to see this film together. Now we can let the whole world see it,” Frears said in a statement.

“The MPAA’s stance on language often proves itself to be too black and white, not taking into account a film’s overall subject matter. Philomena is one such instance. To put this film in the same category as sexually explicit and violent films would have been a disservice not only to the film but audiences as well. This is a huge victory for the filmmakers and TWC.”

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,460 fans sign in as Team skipper continues Sunday morning sweeps as they continue to monitor the schedule.

 

Join me again soon for another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report, and we promise the next one won’t disturb you any longer TV and movie fans!

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Thor 2 strikes box office with 86 million; Lionsgate’s Divergent film ending controversy promised not to end in tragedy; Steven Universe tops all ratings for young boys and teens

 

 

Welcome to the Norse God edition of Gene Scallop’s box office report. Here’s what’s topping this week!

 

On our last report, we found out that Thor 2 made 45 million smackers before he made his triumphant return since The Marvel Heroes and his self titled film 2 years ago. We’ll, his return finally paid off when he made 86 million smackers, a true shocking debut!

 

Disney’s Thor: The Dark World had a successful start this weekend with an estimated first place take of $86.11 million. The Marvel superhero sequel starring Chris Hemsworth debuted in line with expectations, which ranged anywhere from $80 million to $100 million heading into the weekend. Thor: The Dark World opened 31 percent stronger than the $65.72 million start of 2011’s Thor; an increase which was no doubt due in part to the ongoing goodwill from last year’s Marvel’s The Avengers. Thor: The Dark World debuted just below the $88.36 million start of Skyfall last November (which grossed $90.56 million when counting early Thursday shows). Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Thor: The Dark World delivered the ninth largest opening weekend on record for the month of November. The film registered the fourth largest opening weekend of 2013 to date (behind only Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and Fast & Furious 6).

Thor: The Dark World did experience a bit of a roller coaster ride throughout the weekend. After a healthy $7.1 million late night Thursday start, the film didn’t have the greatest expansion on Friday as it grossed $31.63 million as a whole on its opening day (including Thursday night grosses). But the film then held up extremely well on Saturday to gross $31.66 million. Strong early word of mouth, appeal with family audiences and the Veterans Day holiday falling on Monday all contributed to the film’s Saturday hold. Thor: The Dark World is estimated to fall 28 percent on Sunday to gross $22.82 million. The film generated an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.72 to 1, which is very strong for a film with a sizable Thursday night start.

With only one new wide release scheduled for next weekend (Universal’s The Best Man Holiday), Thor: The Dark World could hold up relatively well next weekend. Though obviously, competition will become much fiercer the following weekend when Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire enters the marketplace.

Thor: The Dark World received an A- rating on CinemaScore (which was slightly better than the B+ rating Thor received on CinemaScore). The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards male moviegoers (62 percent) and moviegoers over 25 (61 percent). Couples accounted for 62 percent of the film’s audience, while families made up 21 percent. Thor: The Dark World grossed $5.3 million from IMAX locations, which accounted for 6.2 percent of the film’s overall gross this weekend.

It was a very tight three-way race for second place this weekend between Paramount’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Relativity’ s Free Birds and CBS Films’ Last Vegas . Bad Grandpa currently has the edge for second place with an estimated $11.3 million, while Free Birds and Last Vegas followed closely behind with $11.18 million and $11.10 million respectively. It is close enough between the three films that the order could still change between now and tomorrow when actual grosses are released.

All three films held up well this weekend, especially when factoring in the added presence of Thor: The Dark World in the marketplace. Bad Grandpa was down 44 percent, Free Birds fell just 29 percent and Last Vegas was down a healthy 32 percent. Respective total grosses stand at $78.75 million for Bad Grandpa in 17 days, at $33.53 million for Last Vegas in ten days and at $30.196 million for Free Birds in ten days. All three films will hope to continue to hold up well next weekend, especially with only one new wide release entering the marketplace.

The news wasn’t anywhere as good for Lionsgate’s Ender’s Game. Last weekend’s top film was down four spots and a sharp 62 percent to land in fifth with an estimated $10.25 million. Clearly, Ender’s Game took a big hit from the arrival of Thor: The Dark World, which had been widely expected. Ender’s Game has grossed $44.00 million in ten days, which places the film 5 percent behind the $46.10 million ten-day start of After Earth earlier this year.

In its first weekend of wide release, Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years a Slave grossed an estimated $6.6 million to place in seventh. After a very strong hold last weekend, the awards season hopeful increased a more modest 38 percent this weekend upon expanding into an additional 734 locations. 12 Years a Slave earned a per-location average of $5,769 from 1,144 locations for the frame. The 24-day start for 12 Years a Slave stands at a very solid $17.35 million.

Meanwhile, Universal’s About Time placed in ninth in its first weekend of wide release with an estimated $5.17 million. That represented a 381 percent increase over last weekend’s limited start (when the film was playing in just 175 locations). For the frame, About Time earned a per-location average of $4,310 from 1,200 locations. About Time has grossed a so-so $6.69 million in its first ten days of release, but will hope to hold up well going forward. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (71 percent) and towards moviegoers 40 and older (56 percent).

 

To recap, Thor 2 hammers down a strong debut 1st. Bad Grandpa in 2nd, Free Birds in 3rd, and Las Vegas in 4th in a tight spot hold their positions thanks to Thor, while Ender’s Game drops to 5th also in part to Thor’s return. We’ll see if the mighty god can keep it going next weekend.

 

Lionsgate’s Divergent was in a pickle this week as the last book based on the flick might end in a bad note. Some fans say the ending of the film will be the same as the last book. Can the film avoid the same fate as in the final series Danny?

 

Danny Angelfish (via The Wrap)- When it comes to “Divergent,” the young adult books Lionsgate is betting will inspire a hit series of films, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

“A little controversy in terms of publicity never hurts,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said during a conference call with analysts on Friday.

That’s good, because “Divergent” has certainly kicked up a ruckus. “Allegiant,” the third and final book in Veronica Roth’s young adult series of novels inspired outrage among some fans with its  downer of an ending when it hit stores last month.

So intense was the outcry in certain circles that Roth was forced to respond on her blog, writing, “I’ve said before that this ending was always a part of the plan, but one thing I want to make clear is that I didn’t choose it to shock anyone, or to upset anyone, or because I’m ruthless with my characters — no, no, no.”

Lionsgate has to hope that the reaction isn’t so intense that fans of the books will opt to ignore the movie version, which stars Shailene Woodley and hits theaters in March.

So far the studio said that they’ve been tracking a lot of positive buzz for the third book on social media sites and noted that while some people were unhappy that the book series ended on a tragic note, many of the reviews were strong.

 

Cartoon Network’s newest collection of original series has swept all the boards for young boys since 2010. Now, another new series has topped again since debuting Gumball. What new show did boys like this time Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)-Coming on the heels of its success with the series premiere of Uncle Grandpa in September, Steven Universe, Cartoon Network’s newest original animated comedy series premiered Monday, November 4, as the network’s most-watched series premiere to date in 2013 among kids 6-11 and boys 6-11, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research. The network’s latest addition to its top-rated Monday night line-up of original animated comedies also ranked #1 in its 8 p.m. time period among all kids 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14 and boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14, and as the #1 telecast of day on all television among targeted boys 6-11 & 9-14. From first-time series creator Rebecca Sugar (Adventure Time storyboard artist/writer), Steven Universe earned across-the-board ratings and delivery growth ranging between 7% and 23% vs. the same time period last year, as well as significant ratings/delivery gains over the previous four weeks’ average, ranging between 25% and 42%. Overall, Steven Universe attracted nearly 1.9 million viewers 2+, representing a 30% increase vs. the prior four weeks’ average.

Highlights of Steven Universe’s series premiere performance, compared to the same 2012 time period, include the following:
•Kids 2-11 delivery (1,030,000) increased by 10%, and ratings (2.6) by 8%
•Kids 6-11 delivery (869,000) increased by 23%, and ratings (3.7) also by 23%
•Kids 9-14 delivery (692,000) increased by 9%, and ratings (2.9) by 7%
•Boys 2-11 delivery (710,000) increased by 9%, and ratings (3.5) also by 9%
•Boys 6-11 delivery (621,000) increased by 23%, and ratings (5.1) by 21%
•Boy 9-14 delivery (502,000) increased by 13%, and ratings (4.1) by 14%

Steven Universe is about the misadventures of a boy named Steven, the ultimate “little brother” to a team of magical guardians of humanity – the Crystal Gems. Steven may not be as powerful as the Crystal Gems. Or as savvy. And he doesn’t have much control over his powers, which originate from the gem in his bellybutton. But that doesn’t stop him from joining Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl on their magical adventures and somehow finding a way to save the day! Steven Universe is created by Emmy(R) and Annie Award-nominated writer and storyboard artist Rebecca Sugar. Ian Jones-Quartey (The Venture Bros., Adventure Time) serves as supervising director.

Cartoon Network’s Monday Night line-up (7-9 p.m.) of Emmy award-winning original animated comedies regularly ranks #1 among all television networks for delivery of targeted boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14.

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,462 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s plan to play catch-up continues.

 

 

Be sure to tune in Monday to see whether or not the Sponge will be able to find a new job in the new episode “SpongeBob You’re Fired”. We’ll see if Krab’s loss is the Sponge’s gain. Fish Head will be back next week for another edition of Gene Scallop’s box office report.

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Disney Channel’s primetime schedule top young kids ratings; 19 animated films vie for best animated feature; Cartoon Network brings out Thanksgiving schedule

 

 

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

 

The mouse is back in the game after Nick scored 2 weeks of wins thanks in part to their weekend and late night schedules. This week, Disney Channel delivered their primetime schedule as they get back in their winning ways:

 

Disney Channel

For the week of October 28, 2013, driven by Friday’s and Sunday’s all new line ups, Disney Channel ranked as TV’s #1 Total Day network for the 125th consecutive week among Kids 6-11 (517,000/2.2 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (486,000/2.0 rating), representing nearly two-and-a-half years at #1 in the target kid demographics (dates back to week of 6/13/11).

Disney Channel exceeded Nickelodeon by at least double digits for the 104th consecutive week in Kids 6-11 (+32% – 517,000 vs. 391,000) and 106th straight week in Tweens 9-14 (+88% – 486,000 vs. 259,000) – dates back to week of 11/7/11 and 10/24/11, respectively.

In Prime, Disney Channel stood as cable TV’s #1 network for the 442nd consecutive week among Kids 6-11 (870,000/3.7 rating – 8+ years) and 179th week in a row in Tweens 9-14 (797,000/3.3 rating – 3+ years).
•“Liv and Maddie” (Sun., 8:00 – 8:30p.m.) hit a regular telecast series high in Tweens 9-14 (1.45 million/6.0 rating) and was the series’ #2 telecast on record in Total Viewers (3.32 million)  and Kids 6-11 (1.52 million/6.4 rating).
•“Austin & Ally” (Sun., 8:30 – 9:00p.m.) posted a near 4-month high in Tweens 9-14 (1.56 million/6.5 rating) and 6 week highs in Total Viewers (3.48 million) and Kids 6-11 (1.54 million/6.5 rating) – since 7/19/13 and 9/15/13, respectively – ranking as the week’s #1 TV telecast in Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14.
•“Wander Over Yonder” (Fri., 9:00 – 9:15p.m.) rose to 6-week highs, delivering its #3 regular telecast on record in Total Viewers (2.77 million),  Kids 2-11 (1.73 million/4.4 rating), Kids 6-11 (1.30 million/5.5 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (1.05 million/4.3 rating).
•On the Disney Junior block, all new “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” (8:30 – 8:55 a.m.) ranked as the week’s #2 preschool cable TV telecast in Kids 2-5 (846,000/5.4 rating) and the #1 cable TV telecast in Girls 2-5 (524,000/6.9 rating). In fact, it became the series’ #4 telecast on record in Girls 2-5 and its most watched telecast in 1 year in Total Viewers (2.624 million – since 11/4/12).
•Disney Channel delivered the week’s Top 4 live action TV telecasts in Kids 2-11, Top 6 TV telecasts in Kids 6-11 (Top 5 below) and Top 8 TV telecasts in Tweens (Top 5 below):

Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon marked its fifth straight week as the number-one basic cable net with Kids 2-11 (2.7/880K) and total viewers (1.6M), while also continuing its 9-month streak of year-over-year ratings gains.

The network’s solid weekly ratings performance was driven by Nick’s winning Saturday primetime live-action block, featuring the debut of The Thundermans (Saturday, Nov. 2 at 9 p.m., all times ET/PT). Thundermans won its time period with 2.6M total viewers, which represents strong double-digit gains with Kids 2-11 (4.9/1.6M, +75%) and Kids 6-11 (6.3/1.2M, +58%). A new episode of Sam & Cat (8 p.m.) drew 3.0M total viewers and also won its time period with Kids 2-11 (5.2/1.7M, +8%) and Kids 6-11 (6.4/1.3M). The Haunted Hathaways (8:30 p.m.) drew 2.4M total viewers and won its time period with K2-11 (4.4/1.4, +22%) and Kids 6-11 (5.4/1.1M, +8%).

Overall, SpongeBob SquarePants ranks as the top program with Kids 2-11 (5.9/1.9M) for the week, and Paw Patrol is the top preschool series for the third consecutive week on all TV, averaging a 6.9/877K with K2-5.

Nick at Nite

Nick at Nite’s original Sunday night lineup continues to post gains: See Dad Run (Nov. 3 at 8p.m.) drew 1.4M total viewers and posted double-digit increases with Adults 18-49 (0.4/466K, +33%), Kids 2-11 (2.0/657K, +54%) and Kids 6-11 (2.0/402K, +25%). Instant Mom (8:30 p.m. ET) averaged 1.3M total viewers and posted +14% delivery gains with Adults 18-49 (0.4/449K), a +50% gain in rating among Women 18-49 (0.6/338K) and grew its ratings triple digits with Kids 2-11 (1.8/579K, +125%) and Kids 6-11 (1.9/383K, +111%).

Disney Junior (24 hour channel)

The 24-hour Disney Junior channel ranked as TV’s #1 preschool-dedicated network in Total Day for the 31st consecutive week with Kids 2-5 (204,000/1.3 rating) and Boys 2-5 (104,000/1.3 rating) – each week since reporting ratings publicly on 4/1/13 – for the 14th week in a row in Girls 2-5 (100,000/1.3 rating), for the 19th straight week in Women 18-49 (89,000) and for the 29th time in the previous 31 weeks in Total Viewers (413,000).
•“Sofia the First” stood as the #1 series across preschool-dedicated TV networks in Total Viewers (755,000), Kids 2-5 (361,000/2.3 rating), Boys 2-5 (165,000/2.1 rating) and Women 18-49 (166,000/0.3 rating).
•Disney Junior channel held the week’s Top 3 telecasts in Kids 2-5 and Top 9 in Total Viewers (Top 5 below) across preschool-targeted TV networks:

•Disney Junior channel exceeded Nick Jr. for the 31st week in a row in Kids 2-5 (+27% – 204,000 vs. 161,000) and Boys 2-5 (+42% – 104,000 vs. 73,000), for the 14th consecutive week in Girls 2-5 (+14% – 100,000 vs. 88,000), for the 19th week running in Women 18-49 (+51% – 89,000 vs. 59,000) and for the 30th time in the previous 31 weeks in Total Viewers (+28% – 413,000 vs. 323,000), despite being in 14.0 million fewer homes.
•Disney Junior channel surpassed Sprout by triple digits for the 31st straight week across all target demos: Total Viewers (+172% – 413,000 vs. 152,000), Kids 2-5 (+224% – 204,000 vs. 63,000) and Boys 2-5 (+215% – 104,000 vs. 33,000), and by at least double digits for the 31st week in a row in Girls 2-5 (+233% – 100,000 vs. 30,000).

 

 

Last year’s animated nominee The Smurfs 2 was kicked off the animated list due to lack of animation. Now the Oscars have added an additional animated category, 19 animated flicks are on the short list, but there’s something amiss. Does this violate Oscar rules Johnny?

 

Johnny Trout (via The Wrap)- Nineteen films have been submitted to the Academy in the Best Animated Feature category, paving the way for a full slate of five nominees for the fifth time in the category’s 13-year existence but the fourth time in the last five years.

The films include Disney’s “Frozen,” Pixar’s “Monsters University,” DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods,” Sony’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” Fox’s “Epic,” Universal’s “Despicable Me 2,” and the Disney-distributed “The Wind Rises” (above), the final film from Japanese animation Hayao Miyazaki.

Dark-horse contenders include “Ernest and Celestine” from GKIDS, a small company that has landed three nominations in the last few years.

Under AMPAS rules, any year with 16 or more contenders can yield a slate of five nominees, provided the films receive high enough scores from voters in the nomination round. Fewer than 15 contenders will cause fewer nominations, while a year of seven or fewer eligible films would cause the category to be eliminated for that year.

The submitted films must still satisfy the Academy’s release requirements, and must be approved by the executive committee of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch.

One of the submitted films is “Smurfs 2,” the sequel to a live-action/animation blend that was disqualified by the branch in 2011 for not having enough animation.

Still, it would take four disqualifications to knock the field below 16, making it extremely likely that voters will be able to assemble a full slate of nominees.

The submitted films:

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”
“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Epic”
“Ernest and Celestine”
“The Fake”
“Free Birds“
“Frozen”
“Khumba”
“The Legend of Sarila”
“A Letter to Momo”
“Monsters University”
“O Apóstolo”
“Planes”
“Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion”
“Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury”
“The Smurfs 2”
“Turbo”
“The Wind Rises”

The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

 

Cartoon Network is serving up the goodies as the latest addition to the Turkey Day Schedule. What should viewers look for on CN’s Turkey Day surprise Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Take a big bite out of Cartoon Network’s Thanksgiving programming as we dish out all-new specials of Regular Show and Annoying Orange. Have your fill of adventure by watching LEGO® Star Wars™ The Yoda Chronicles specials 1 and 2 all leading up to the premiere of the third special, “Attack of the Jedi.” Then share some laughs while watching the Adventure Time marathon on Thanksgiving Day. Bright spots below of the Thanksgiving specials and programming sure to make those pilgrims wish they had a TV:

NEW THANKSGIVING THEMED SPECIALS

Wednesday, November 20 at 8:00 p.m. (ET, PT)
•Annoying Orange: “Thanksfornothing Day” – The fruits feel they have nothing to be thankful for after the calamity that happened years ago at Plymouth Wok!

Monday, November 25 at 7:30 p.m. (ET, PT) *Half Hour*
•Regular Show: “The Thanksgiving Special” – The park guys need to get Thanksgiving dinner for their families to save Thanksgiving.* Guest Starring: Terry Crews as Stettman and Chord Overstreet as Dust B*

BINGE WORTHY BLOCKS

Ben 10 Omniverse: “Duel of the Duplicates”

Special Three-Episode Event, Duel of the Duplicates, Begins Saturday, November 16 at 9:30 a.m. (ET, PT)

This holiday season, Ben Tennyson faces his evil twin, Albedo, in “Duel of the Duplicates” a three-episode event beginning Saturday, November 16 at 9:30 a.m. (ET, PT). Albedo is scheming to take over the galaxy, and it’s up to Ben, Rook and Grandpa Max to stop him! Tune-in to see what diabolical plans Albedo has in store for the Plumbers, and see Ben’s aliens take their Ultimate forms for the first time inOmniverse history!
•Saturday, Nov. 16 at 9:30 a.m. (ET, PT) – “The Ultimate Heist:” Albedo seeks a device that will finally change him back into his Galvan form, meanwhile Ben is locked in Plumber HQ prison.
•Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9:30 a.m. (ET, PT) – “A Fistful of Brains:” Grandpa Max and Rook are looking all over the galaxy for Ben, who is trapped on Khyber’s hidden personal hunting preserve.
•Saturday, Nov. 30 at 9:30 a.m. (ET, PT) – “For a Few Brains More:” Ben, Rook and Max must stop Ultimate Albedo from absorbing Azmuth’s intelligence and taking over the galaxy.

LEGO® Star Wars™ THE YODA CHRONICLES: “ATTACK OF THE JEDI”

Wednesday, November 27 beginning at 7:00 p.m. (ET, PT) and Premiere of “Attack of the Jedi” at 8:00 p.m. (ET, PT)

Tune in to LEGO® Star Wars™ The Yoda Chronicles specials 1 and 2 all leading up to the premiere of the third special, “Attack of the Jedi.” Set in the prequel Star Wars era, The Yoda Chronicles features the one and only Yoda, the Jedi Master who has seen it all, done it all and taught generations of Jedi Knights.  With help from a fresh class of Padawans, Yoda leads the Jedi in a desperate fight to stop Darth Sidious and his minions from creating a new super-weapon that could crush the Republic and win the war for the forces of evil.
•LEGO® Star Wars™ The Yoda Chronicles: “Attack of the Jedi” – Obi-Wan discovers that several major Sith lords and their apprentices are gathered at the planet of Mustafar.   The Jedi must hurry to Mustafar to destroy the Sith but it’s a trap and the Republic fleet is destroyed.  Yoda, Anakin and the Padawans travel to Endor to find JEK. All hope now rests on JEK to come to the rescue. 

Adventure Time

Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28 at 2:00 p.m. (ET, PT) to 8:30 p.m. (ET, PT)
•Be sure to watch the Adventure Time Thanksgiving day marathon with enough laughs to share with the whole family.

 

We’ve got a short list of DVD’s that’ll be easy to find this month. Here’s what to expect:

11/5/2013
 
Hava Nagila (The Movie)
Parkland

11/12/2013
 
Dealin’ With Idiots
Grabbers
How to Make Money Selling Drugs

11/19/2013
 
Crystal Fairy
Violet & Daisy
Breaking the Girls
C.O.G.
And While We Were Here

11/26/2013
 
The Canyons

12/17/2013
 
Alien Uprising

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,467 fans sign in as Team Skipper continues their 3rd month of new episodes since they went on vacation last December.

 

We’ll be on the lookout for Thanksgiving surprise schedules as well as breaking news this month as we approach the countdown to Black Friday currently in 3 weeks. See you soon for another edition TV and movie fans!

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SpongeBob You’re Fired causes political controversy

 

 

 

The Sponge’s dismissal makes political news! Gene Scallop here with this breaking news story.

 

With a week to go before next Monday’s new SpongeBob, a political showdown’s brewing as the Sponge is forced into the unemployment line. Luckily, Fox News is making sure that it doesn’t spread throughout tinsel town and possibly at Nick studios. Can Nick prove that the Sponge’s optimism can save himself from unemployment Jim?

 

Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- As if there’s not enough for liberals and conservatives to argue about, now they’re duking it out over the Nickelodeon children’s show SpongeBob SquarePants.

In an episode to air Nov. 11, the hardworking sea sponge is fired from his job at the Krusty Krab in the undersea city of Bikini Bottom after his boss figures out he can save “a whole nickel” from his payroll.

One day later, SpongeBob is already a disheveled, wrinkled, unshaven beggar, and his friend Patrick is determined to show him the ways of “glorious unemployment,” which includes free stuff and lots of spare time.

“Being unemployed is the best gig I know,” Patrick tells SpongeBob.

But at a no-charge, all-you-can eat meal, SpongeBob has an epiphany: “Unemployment may be fun for you, but I need to get a job,” he tells Patrick. At that moment, he’s instantly transformed into a sparkly clean, enthusiastic and energetic sponge again.

The episode subtly introduces a couple of hot-button issues, including the worth of social services, labor laws that caused SpongeBob’s boss, Mr. Krabs, to fire his best employee, and more. When the New York Post and Fox News Channel remarked on the episode, the progressive group Media Matters for America pounced.

What seemed to particularly irritate Media Matters was a line from the Post story: “Lest he sit around idly, mooching off the social services of Bikini Bottom, a depressed SpongeBob sets out to return to gainful employment wherever he can find it,” Andrea Morabito wrote. “No spoilers — but it’s safe to say that our hero doesn’t end up on food stamps, as his patty-making skills turn out to be in high demand.”

Fox & Friends weighed in on Friday with Heather Nauert parroting the Post: “The harsh economic climate has hit the underwater community … but instead of mooching off social services at Bikini Bottom, that’s the town, SpongeBob sets out to return to the work force.”

This was too much for Media Matters, which posted an analysis at its site headlined, “Right-wing media use SpongeBob SquarePants’ firing to attack social safety net.”

According to the Media Matters article, “Right-wing media have a long history of attacking the social safety net. Recently, Fox attacked low-wage workers in the fast food industry who have to rely on necessary federal benefit programs because they earn below subsistence wages.”

It’s not the first time SpongeBob has waded into social commentary, though usually when it does, it bugs the right and supports the left. In episodes dubbed “SpongeBob’s Last Stand” and “Selling Out,” for example, environmentalism is glorified and large businesses are demonized.

And two years ago, Glenn Beck on Fox News asked if the education department was “indoctrinating children” by offering free copies of the book SpongeBob Global Warming Tale. Fox News hosts Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson also bashed SpongeBob for pushing the dangers of man-made global warming back then.

“Like all really great cartoons, part of SpongeBob’s long-running success has been its ability to tap into the zeitgeist while still being really funny for our audience,” said Russell Hicks, president of content, development and production for Nickelodeon. “As always, despite this momentary setback, SpongeBob’s eternal optimism prevails, which is always a great message for everyone.”

 

I hate to agree with Hicks on this one Krabs, because saving 5 cents just isn’t going to cut it. To find out if he’s right, tune in to the new episode of SpongeBob next Monday!

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Ender’s Game tops box office, Free Birds debuts 4th; Thor 2 earns 45 million overseas; Hub Network unveils Thanksgiving lineup

 

 

Welcome to the intergalactic sci-fi edition of Gene Scallop’s box office report! Here’s what’s topping this week!

 

After Bad Grandpa jumped over Gravity last week, another sci-fi flick managed to continue where it left off. Ender’s Game topped lower than Gravity did when it debuted with 55 million smackers. You’ll see why:

 

Lionsgate’s Ender’s Game debuted in first place this weekend with an estimated $28.0 million. The sci-fi film starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford debuted in line with pre-release expectations. Ender’s Game opened in the same neighborhood as the respective $29.81 million and $27.52 million debuts of Elysium and After Earth earlier this year. Going forward, Ender’s Game will hope to display holding power more along the lines of Elysium than After Earth, though that may be easier said than done with Disney’s Thor: The Dark World and fellow Lionsgate release The Hunger Games: Catching Fire both entering the marketplace in the coming weeks.

Ender’s Game opened with $9.84 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.4 million from early shows on Thursday night), increased 10 percent on Saturday to gross $10.80 million and is estimated to fall 32 percent to take in $7.36 million on Sunday. That gave Ender’s Game an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.85 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (58 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (54 percent). Ender’s Game received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Holding up surprisingly well this weekend was Paramount’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. The Jackass spin-off starring Johnny Knoxville fell 36 percent from last weekend to place in second with an estimated $20.5 million. Bad Grandpa held up significantly better than previous Jackass films, as good word of mouth and last weekend’s debut possibly being deflated a bit by Halloween weekend festivities both helped out the film this weekend. In comparison, 2006’s Jackass: Number Two fell 50 percent its second weekend to gross $14.61 million, while 2010’s Jackass 3D declined 58 percent to gross $21.31 million. With a healthy ten-day start of $62.06 million, Bad Grandpa is currently running 19 percent ahead of the $52.07 million ten-day take of Jackass: Number Two and 29 percent behind the $86.86 million ten-day gross of Jackass 3D.

It was a close race for third place this weekend between fellow newcomers Last Vegas and Free Birds. Based on studio estimates, CBS Films’ ensemble comedy Last Vegas has the edge with a third place take of $16.52 million. That outpaced the $16.20 million estimated fourth place take of Relativity’s 3D computer animated Free Birds by an estimated $320,000 for the frame. Last Vegas opened on the high end of expectations, while Free Birds debuted towards the lower end of expectations. Going forward, both films will hope to hold up well in the weeks ahead; Free Birds in part from aid from the approaching Thanksgiving holiday and Last Vegas in part from skewing towards older moviegoers.

Free Birds opened with $4.00 million on Friday, increased 84 percent on Saturday to gross $7.34 million and registered an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 4.05 to 1; a sure sign that it is skewing very heavily towards family audiences. Meanwhile, Last Vegas debuted with $5.1 million on Friday, increased a strong 39 percent on Saturday to gross $7.09 million and generated an encouraging estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.24 to 1. Both films received promising A- ratings on CinemaScore.

Warner’s Gravity rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $13.13 million. The 3D sci-fi blockbuster was down 35 percent from last weekend, which represented a very solid hold given that the film lost its IMAX screens to Ender’s Game this weekend. Gravity has grossed $219.196 million through 31 days of release, which currently ranks the film as the eighth highest grossing release of 2013. Before much longer Gravity will surpass the $228.78 million gross of Star Trek Into Darkness to move into seventh place.

Captain Phillips also continued to hold up well this weekend with an estimated sixth place take of $8.5 million. The awards season hopeful from Sony was down 27 percent from last weekend and has grossed $82.55 million in 24 days. That leaves Captain Phillips $17.45 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.

On the limited front, Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years a Slave expanded well this weekend with an estimated $4.6 million from 410 locations. That gave the Steve McQueen directed awards season hopeful a per-location average of $11,220 for the frame. The film’s location average was down 35 percent from last weekend (when it was playing in only 123 locations), which is a good sign for the film going forward. 12 Years a Slave has grossed $8.76 million through 17 days of limited release.

Elsewhere in limited release, Universal’s About Time debuted with an estimated $1.06 million from 175 locations. That gave the sci-fi romance starring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams a relatively modest per-location average of $6,045 for the frame. About Time is currently scheduled to play in 1,200+ locations next weekend.

Focus’ Dallas Buyers Club was off to a more noteworthy start in platform release. The awards season hopeful starring Matthew McConaughey grossed an estimated $264,128 from 9 locations, giving it a very solid per-location average of $29,348. Dallas Buyers Club will expand into additional markets next weekend.

 

To recap, Ender’s Game moves on top in 1st as it gains support from IMAX, Bad Grandpa moves in 2nd, Las Vegas overcomes the odds in 3rd as does Free Birds in 4th, Gravity goes moved down 5th as IMAX puts it on life support as Ender’s Game is proven worthy for 3D.

 

The Mighty Thor has returned! Fresh off the first film, the god of thunder has struck again as Thor 2: The Dark World hammers down on international theaters. How long until he arrives nationwide to make a name for himself next weekend Jim?

 

Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is back with a vengeance. Disney and Marvel Studios’ sequel Thor: The Dark World has earned a stellar $45.2 million in its first three days of play internationally, where it began rolling out on Wednesday. By Sunday, the movie should have raced past the $100 million mark.

All told, the superhero tentpole is opening in 36 countries this weekend representing 70 percent of the international marketplace. Thor 2 opens in North America on Nov. 8.

Thor 2 delivered Disney a notable victory on Friday as the studio raced past the $2.3 billion mark in foreign grosses for the year, setting a new record for the studio.

So far, the U.K. leads with $7.8 million, followed by France with $5.8 million, Germany with $4.1 million and Australia with $29 million.

Major territories where Thor 2 isn’t opening this weekend include China, Japan, Italy and Argentina.

 

On the last box office report, Disney Channel released their holiday schedule just after ABC Family unveiled theirs a week ago. This week, The Hub has unveiled their holiday schedule along with 2 Alvin and the Chipmunks movies that premiered last month and a holiday movie to kick off the holiday cartoon season. What should viewers expect on Turkey Day Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- The Hub Network will feature popular programming that the whole family can enjoy together this Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, and Black Friday, November 29. The holiday lineup includes a marathon of the original series “Family Game Night” on Thursday, November 28, 3-6 p.m. ET/12-3 p.m. PT featuring some of the biggest and best wins from season four, as well as the Hub Network premiere of the movie “The Dog Who Saved the Holidays,” on Friday, Nov. 29, 8-10 p.m. ET/5-7 p.m. PT. Returning fan favorite specials and movies include: “Holly and Hal MooseTM: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure,” “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey,” “Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman.”

Following are programming descriptions in order of broadcast dates and times:

“Holly and Hal MooseTM: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure” (Thursday, Nov. 28, 11 a.m.-12 noon ET/8-9 a.m. PT)

Hal, a free-spirited moose, is determined to fly with Santa’s reindeer. His level-headed sister Holly is always there to help her brother in his latest adventure. This sibling duo must work together to save Christmas in time for Santa to make his latest flight.

“Family Game Night” Marathon (Thursday, Nov. 28, 3-6 p.m. ET/12-3 p.m. PT)

Families of all sizes are selected from the audience to compete in larger-than-life versions of classic games for a chance to win cash, prizes and a brand new car. All-new games include JENGA, MONOPOLY Remix, BARREL OF MONKEYS and YAHTZEE. The marathon will include some of the biggest and best wins of season four.

“Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” (Thursday, Nov. 28,  6-8 p.m. ET/3-5 p.m. PT)

A remarkable adventure begins when three domesticated pets – two dogs and a cat – are separated from their human family and embark on an extraordinary journey through untamed wilderness to find their way home.

“Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco” (Thursday, Nov. 28, 8-10 p.m. ET/5-7 p.m. PT)

When the trio of talking animals accidentally gets separated from their vacationing owners, they must navigate the mean streets of San Francisco and find their way home across the Golden State Bridge.

“Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein” (Friday, Nov. 29, 4-6 p.m. ET/1-3 p.m. PT)

Alvin, Simon and Theodore star in a hilarious send-up of the classic monster movie. The brothers are surprised to discover Dr. Frankenstein and his beloved monster inhabiting a world-famous movie studio.

“Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman” (Friday, Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m. ET/3-5 p.m. PT)

Strange things are happening in the Chipmunks’ neighborhood after their spooky neighbor moves in. When sweet little Theodore starts exhibiting puppy-like behavior, they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a real-life “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!”

“The Dog Who Saved the Holidays” (Friday, Nov. 29, 8-10 p.m. ET /5-7 p.m. PT)

Zeus the dog is not too happy to get a canine sister, but after two thrifty thieves are spotted trying to break into the family home, the duo must work together to save the holidays for their family.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,479 fans sign in as Team Skipper continues Sunday morning sweeps after a 3-day break.

 

 

What’s gotten into the Sponge? Is he having a breakdown or has he done something wrong that he hasn’t done before? To find out, Nick’s brand new SpongeBob will answer that question 1 week from Monday! I’ll see you next time on Gene Scallop’s entertainment report for what’s going on in November!

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