Archive for July, 2014

Disney Channel notches all-time highs for July; Nick creates live action comedy series; A Fairly Odd Summer to premiere this Saturday

 

 

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

 

Disney Channel’s monthly ratings report for the month is in and it’s way better than last July! Thanks to its live-action and animated shows as well as Disney XD’s acquisition of Doraemon in the 3rd weekend in July, the network scored better than expectations for July. Let’s see those high numbers:

 

 

Disney Channel

During July 2014, Disney Channel, the 24-hour kid-driven, family-inclusive television network, swept the competition, ranking as cable TV’s #1 Total Day network in Total Viewers (1.6 million) and TV’s #1 network across major youth Kid 2-11 (877,000/2.2 rating), Kid 6-11 (650,000/2.7 rating) and Tween 9-14 (557,000/2.3 rating) demographics. The channel  has been the #1 choice across all TV for 39-consecutive months in Kids 6-11 and 51 months in Tweens.

On a weekly basis, the channel has been the #1 cable TV network on a Total Day basis for 5-straight weeks in Total Viewers, and across all TV, has been #1 for 6-consecutive weeks in Kids 2-11, for the 162nd time in the previous 163 weeks in Kids 6-11 and for 163 weeks in a row in Tweens (over 3 years).

Disney Channel exceeded Nickelodeon by solid double digits for the 37th-consecutive month in Tweens 9-14 (+62% – 552,000 vs. 341,000) and for the 36th time in the previous 37 months in Kids 6-11 (+39% – 643,000 vs. 464,000). Disney Channel also led by double digits in Kids 2-11 (+11% – 867,000 vs. 778,000).

In Prime, Disney Channel extended its streak as TV’s #1 network to 113-consecutive months in Kids 6-11 (808,000/3.4 rating) and to 109-straight months in Tweens 9-14 (672,000/2.8 rating).
•An original “Sofia the First” (7/11/14) was the #1 TV telecast in Kids 2-5 (1.4 million/8.8 rating) and Kids 2-11 (2.2 million/5.6 rating), while the seventh encore of June’s Disney Channel Original Movie “Zapped” (7/2/14) was the #1 TV telecast in Kids 6-11 (1.6 million/6.9 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (1.5 million/6.1 rating).

24-Hour Disney Junior channel

Disney Junior During July 2014, 24-hour Disney Junior channel soared to its biggest month on record in Total Day in Total Viewers (535,000), Kids 2-5 (257,000/1.6 rating), Girls 2-5 (129,000/1.7 rating), Boys 2-5 (127,000/1.6 rating) and its #2 month of all time in Women 18-49 (97,000).

Notably, the channel has been TV’s #1 Total Day preschool-dedicated network for 16-consecutive months in Total Viewers, Kids 2-5 and Boys 2-5 –every month since reporting public ratings on April 1, 2013 – for 10-straight months in Girls 2-5 and for 11th months in a row in Women 18-49.
•Year-to-year, 24-hour Disney Junior channel was the only preschool-dedicated TV network to generate across the board year-to-year gains, including by 30% in Total Viewers (535,000 vs. 412,000), by 26% in Kids 2-5 (257,000 vs. 204,000) and by 14% in Women 18-49 (97,000 vs. 85,000).
•Nick Jr. (-13% to -26%) and Sprout (-19% to -24%) were down by double digits in the demographics.
•The channel delivered the month’s Top 5 series across preschooler networks in Kids 2-5 and Girls 2-5 and the Top 4 preschool cable TV series in Women 18-49:

•Disney Junior channel more than doubled Nick Jr. among Girls 2-5 (+117% – 128,000 vs.59,000) and led by double digits across remaining core demographics: +71% in Total Viewers (531,000 vs. 310,000), +89% in Kids 2-5 (255,000 vs. 135,000), +66% in Boys 2-5 (126,000 vs. 76,000) and +85% in Women 18-49 (96,000 vs. 52,000).
•Disney Junior channel towered over Sprout by triple digits for the 16th–consecutive month among Total Viewers (+315% – 531,000 vs. 128,000), Kids 2-5 (+332% – 255,000 vs. 59,000), Girls 2-5 (+341% – 128,000 vs. 29,000), Boys 2-5 (+320% – 126,000 vs. 30,000) and Women 18-49 (+231% – 96,000 vs. 29,000).

 

When last we left Nick Studios back in May, Nick’s live action SVP pres. Brian Wright was let go to move to Netflix. What has the network made since he left there Angie?

 

Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- Nickelodeon has ordered 26 episodes of 100 Things To Do Before High School, a new live-action comedy series from Big Time Rush creator/executive producer Scott Fellows. The half-hour, single-camera series follows three best friends as they navigate the highs and lows of middle school using a bucket list of adventures that help them overcome class cliques, bullies and clueless teachers. The series begins shooting in LA in the fall. It’s the kids network’s latest live-action play: It also has Henry Danger and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, both of which premiere in September, and Bella And The Bulldogs.

Fellows, most recently a staff writer on The Fairly OddParents, also created and executive produced Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and DHX Media’s Johnny Test. The pickup of 100 Things comes after the departure of Nickelodeon‘s SVP Live-Action Development Brian Wright in May; he ended up at Netfilx. Wright originally shepherded Big Time Rush at the network among other hit series.

 

Team Timmy has been on a roll this month with new episodes as the show continues to catch up since the last batch aired last year. Now with the team headed back to Hawaii since he saved his parents from a dangerous challenge in which they realized that their son was more important to them than surfing, what has the pink-hatted hero been tasked with this time Dan?

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Nickelodeon hits the sandy beaches of Hawaii in the all-new original TV movie, A Fairly Odd Summer airing Saturday, August 2 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) and Daniella Monet (Victorious) reprise their starring roles as Timmy Turner and Tootie in this third installment of The Fairly OddParents franchise. A Fairly Odd Summer follows Timmy on a daring mission to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to save his summer, his family, Tootie and all of fairy kind from the claws of evil anti-fairy Foop, played by Scott Baio (See Dad Run).

Summer’s here and the whole Fairly Odd gang is off to Hawaii… everyone except Timmy. Now a responsible adult, Timmy’s new job in Fairly World is to watch over the precious Abracadabrium, the source of all fairy magic. But when Timmy decides to bring the Abracadabrium with him to Hawaii, he catches the evil eyes of Anti-fairy Foop and Denzel Crocker (David Lewis, Man of Steel), who form an evil alliance and steal the Abracadabrium to rule the world.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,089 fans sign in as Benedict Cumberbatch’s actor Agent Classified was highlighted as one of the biggest surprises during Comic-Con. As for Team Skipper themselves, they obtained the footage from the convention as a preview from the Penguins movie as they are sent in as part of The North Wind.

 

And for this we say Aloha to July, as we look forward for more surprises in August. Look for the Super MegaForce Rangers to return 4 weeks from Saturday. But this Saturday, catch Team Timmy in the Nick original movie A Fairly Odd Summer. See you in August for more of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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Lucy outlasts Hercules with 44 million; Book 3 of Legend of Korra moves online; Regular Show, Clarence, Adventure Time, Uncle Grandpa, and Steven Universe renewed an extra season each

 

She’s the woman who sees all! I’m Realistic Fish Head! Universal’s Lucy, the film about the woman who sees sight beyond sight, saw her chance to overtake Hercules which premiered on Friday. She took an early lead on Friday to outmatch the god of strength with 44 million. Can she do it again next week Gene?

 

Gene:

 

Universal’s Lucy exceeded expectations this weekend with a strong estimated first place start of $44.0 million. The modestly budgeted sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson was no doubt helped out greatly by Johansson’s rising drawing power on the heels of Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year. In addition to Johansson’s presence, Lucy was also likely helped out by being a non-sequel in a summer full of sequels, by the relatively soft overall box office thus far in July and by moviegoers potentially rushing out to see the film before Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theatres this coming Friday. Lucy debuted 22 percent stronger than the $36.01 million debut of Salt back in July of 2010.

Lucy debuted with $17.1 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.75 million from evening shows on Thursday), decreased 12 percent on Saturday to take in $15.0 million and is estimated to fall 21 percent on Sunday to gross $11.9 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.57 to 1. The audience breakdown for Lucy was evenly split between genders and skewed towards moviegoers 25 years and older (65 percent). One potentially troubling sign for Lucy going forward is that the film received a disappointing C+ rating on CinemaScore. With that said, holding power won’t be as important for the film going forward after such a strong opening weekend performance.

Hercules also exceeded expectations this weekend with a respectable estimated second place take of $29.0 million. The Dwayne Johnson led 3D action-adventure film from Paramount and MGM had been expected to open in the range of $20 million to $25 million. In addition to Johnson’s presence, Hercules was likely also aided by serving as a PG-13 alternative to the R rated Lucy and by the mentioned relatively soft overall box office thus far in July. Hercules opened 13 percent below the $33.46 million start of 2012’s Wrath of the Titans.

Hercules grossed $11.08 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.1 million from evening shows on Thursday), fell 8 percent on Saturday to take in $10.24 million and is estimated to fall 25 percent on Sunday to gross $7.68 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.62 to 1. The film received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore. But much like Lucy, Hercules could potentially experience a sharp decline next weekend when the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in the marketplace.

Hercules grossed an estimated $4.0 million from IMAX locations, which represented 13.8 percent of the film’s overall gross this weekend.

With the stronger than expected debuts of Lucy and Hercules, Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took a sharper than expected fall this weekend with an estimated third place take of $16.40 million. The critically acclaimed 3D sci-fi action sequel was down 55 percent from last weekend. Despite this weekend’s hold, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues to exceed expectations with a 17-day gross of $172.09 million. That places the film an impressive 29 percent ahead of the $133.58 million 17-day take of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which fell 42 percent in its third weekend to gross $16.12 million).

Universal’s The Purge: Anarchy fell a sharp 67 percent in its second weekend to land in fourth with an estimated $9.9 million. On the positive side of things, the horror sequel held up better in its second weekend than last year’s The Purge did when it declined a harsh 76 percent in its second weekend to gross $8.32 million. With a healthy ten-day take of $51.28 million, The Purge: Anarchy is now running just 1 percent behind the $51.96 million ten-day take of The Purge.

Planes: Fire and Rescue rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $9.3 million. The modestly budgeted computer animated sequel from Disney was down a significant 47 percent from last weekend. Planes: Fire and Rescue has grossed $35.12 million in ten days. That places the film 22.5 percent behind the $45.34 million ten-day take of last year’s Planes (which fell 40 percent in its second weekend to gross $13.39 million).

And So It Goes debuted in eighth place with an estimated $4.55 million. The Clarius Entertainment release starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton opened in line with its modest pre-release expectations. The opening weekend figure for And So It Goes was in the same ballpark as the $3.75 million debut of Clarius’ Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return back in May. And So It Goes took in $1.36 million on Friday, increased 39 percent on Saturday to take in $1.89 million and is estimated to decline 31 percent on Sunday to gross $1.30 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.34 to 1. And So It Goes received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.

On the limited front, Roadside’s A Most Wanted Man debuted in tenth place with an estimated $2.72 million. The critically acclaimed thriller starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman earned a healthy per-location average of $7,527 from 361 locations for the frame.

Open Road’s The Fluffy Movie was off to a lackluster start with an estimated $1.31 million from 432 locations. That gave the comedy concert film starring Gabriel Iglesias a modest per-location average of $3,042 for the frame.

 

To recap, Lucy opens strong 1st, as well as Hercules in 2nd giving her the advantage, the Apes fall back to 3rd, Purge 2 falls back also in 4th, and Planes Fire and Rescue flies in 5th.

 

Our Comic-Con coverage ends this week with some last minute news:

 

 

Last week, there were rumors that The Legend of Korra’s low numbers meant that her journey to succeed Aang is over. That was off the table. Now she’s headed online to continue her mission. During Comic-Con Dan, was going online the best chance Nick could come up with?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- It was only a matter of time…

Since its June 27 premiere, The Legend of Korra has been troubled with low ratings. From as high as 1.5 million on the first episode to as low as 1.2 million on the fourth and fifth episodes, it was only a matter of time before episodes were either rescheduled or pulled completely.

Now, Nickelodeon has started pulling the episodes completely from TV. After seven new episodes of Book Three’s 13 have aired, Nick has pulled one episode from this Friday (episode 8 “The Terror Within” is still airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT) as well as all four episodes from August 1 and 8.

Shortly after we first reported this story, Korra co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino took to Tumblr and Facebook to report that episodes were moving to digital. Then Nickelodeon announced that starting August 1, new episodes will roll-out weekly online at Nick.com and through digital platforms like Amazon, Google Play, Xbox and Hulu.

Still, no episodes are scheduled to air on television following this Friday’s 8th episode premiere. Nicktoons (the channel) has also not shown any of this Book’s episodes, despite showing previous books.

Editor’s Note: It’s important to know that Korra’s Book 4 is still in production. Never did our article allude to a cancelation, as others may have reported or feared. We simply noted the fact that Nickelodeon had pulled episodes from their television network’s schedule.

Early this month, we broke the story that Gumball would be renewed for seasons 4 and 5. During our pre Comic-Con coverage we’ve heard that Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Uncle Grandpa, Regular Show, and Clarence could earn another season. Did Cartoon Network give it to them Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More (continued))- Cartoon Network has renewed animated comedies Adventure Time, Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe and Clarence.

Adventure Time and Regular Show have been picked up for seventh seasons each. Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe for their second. Clarence was given 13 additional episodes.

The Amazing World of Gumball was recently renewed for a fourth and fifth season.

New episodes of Steven Universe will also return Thursday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,091 fans sign in as Benedict Cumberbach aka Agent Classified, made a surprise appearance last night at the DreamWorks Animation panel as the biggest surprise so far at Comic-Con.

 

Team Timmy’s new episodes end this week leading up to the premiere of Fairly Odd Summer. Of the first 3 Nick originals of the Nick show, critics were critical of the show’s timeline and its characters. But one critic has overshadowed these outbursts and TV viewers agree with him! The 3 original Nick movies scored high ratings as viewers carefully follow what happens after the Fairly Odd Parents ends. Will Odd Summer continue the trend? Find out as Timmy, Cosmo, Wanda, and Poof head back to Hawaii to catch some surf as Fairly Odd Premiere week concludes. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, surf’s up Timmy!

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Jim Lee and Bruce Timm talk about Batman’s comic history; Maleficent crosses 700 million; Rupert Murdoch’s plan to take Time Warner faces uncertainty

 

 

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

 

Happy birthday Batman! Today’s the 75 anniversary of the caped crusader. From his comic days in the 1930’s to movie and TV stardom of today, Batman has been defending Gotham City from robbers, thieves, and especially villains such as The Joker. Before Bats reached that important milestone, Johnny took a look at 2 of the famous writers that propelled the dark knight to what he’s today:

 

Johnny Trout (via Entertainment Weekly)- On July 23, comic book stores everywhere will celebrate Batman Day as part of DC Comics’ yearlong celebration of the Caped Crusader’s 75th anniversary. In anticipation of the big day, EW conducted separate interviews with DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee and Batman the Animated Series creator and producer Bruce Timm, asking each to pick the most memorable and significant Batman stories of the past 75 years.

Both Lee and Timm have be heavily involved with Batman throughout their careers. Apart from being co-publisher of DC (alongside Dan Didio), Lee has illustrated several Batman comics including Batman: Hush with writer Jeph Loeb and All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder with legendary writer Frank Miller. In addition to his work on Batman the Animated Series and the rest of the DC Animated Universe, Timm has produced  several animated feature film adaptations of Batman classic Batman stories including Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Here’s what they said on their favorite Batman story arcs:

Batman: Year One, written by Frank Miller, illustrated by  David Mazzucchelli (1987)

“[Batman: Year One], I think, was a lot more restrained in its storyline and its tone than The Dark Knight Returns, but it really showed the origin in a fresh new way. [It] gave a raw grittiness that [was] really rooted in reality, and I think it’s a testament to the strength of the storyline that Batman doesn’t appear in costume until later on in the storyline. Typically you want to open with it, [to] make sure people know that they’re reading a Batman comic book. But they just took their time and really let it develop. And yet at the same time, they didn’t contradict anything that came before. They really built on the existing mythology and just brought a whole new fresh and modern spin to it. ” —Jim Lee

“To me, that’s one of my absolute, all-time favorite Batman stories. Just in terms of the complete package of the story and the arc, and the approach to Batman: the way it’s really down to Earth, without science fiction elements. Batman himself was pretty much the weirdest thing in it, which I think is really cool. It had a big impact on how I treated the character moving forward, once I started doing the Batman the Animated Series…the fact that Batman wasn’t running around cracking jokes, or even really talking to people a whole lot. He was really silent. He was very much the mysterious figure in the shadows. He basically spoke with his fists more than anything else.” —Bruce Timm

The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller (1986)
“That hit me just as I was graduating from college, and The Dark Knight Returns was the book that really inspired me to want to become a comic book professional…It had not only a whole different look, from hand colored pages, to better quality paper, to different binding, and a new format, but [also] the whole storyline. The narrative took on a whole new level of sophistication and tone that really showed what the medium could be capable of, and that just blew me away.” —JL

“I think there were certain interesting things that Miller did in that book. The way he treated the villains especially, the Joker and Two Face…[When it came out] it was all just like, ‘Wow, you’d never seen Batman treated that way in the comics before.’ You know, they kind of toyed with it during the Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil era, but even that stuff wasn’t nearly as…I don’t want to say realistic because it’s not particularly realistic, but it’s grounded in a kind of serious drama. ” —BT

 

Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil’s run on the Batman comic (1970-1974)
“I think it really established and changed the whole direction of the mythos. It went from being more campy and science fiction-y, and Batman became more [like] the original incarnation of the character to this dark, kind of brooding crusader for justice. And they introduced a lot of new villains and love interests, and it took Batman in a fresh new direction.” —JL

“‘The Joker’s Five Way Revenge,’ which is a very classic Joker story [by Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil] and was a big influence on all of us here in terms of how we treated the Joker [on Batman the Animated Series]. At that point in the comics, that was like the first at least semi-serious treatment of the Joker—that he wasn’t just the silly guy with the silly crimes, [but] that he was actually kind of deadly. I think that was like the first time the Joker ever actually killed anybody in the comics in like 30 years.” —BT

Grant Morrison’s work on Batman

“I think he’s one of the few writers that reads everything that came before and figures out a creative way to incorporate everything and say, ‘You know what? This all actually existed. There’s no such thing as out-of-canon. Everything’s in canon, and I’m going to figure out a way to tell this mythology of this character so that it is beholden and true to everything that came before it.’ So if that’s your cup of tea, then he’s the writer for you. He’s the very best at doing that kind of thing, and I marvel at his skills and abilities as a creator.” —JL

 

Batman: Batman and Son, written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Andy Kubert (2006)

“I think Grant took that notion of what if Batman had a kid—what would that relationship be like?—and he breathed new life into that classic, decade-long dualism. The dynamic duo is something that everyone knows of and is familiar with from the comics and the TV show, and he did his own take on it and really made that notion of a sidekick an interesting and cool one. Because [sidekicks are] often done in fictional universes to make characters more attractive to younger readers and viewers, and it doesn’t always come off right. He did it in just the way that really struck the right note and made it really cool.” —JL

“I think Grant is always really interesting. I thought what he did with Damian was awesome. He was a really fun character.” —BT

 

Batman and Robin, written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Frank Quitely (2009)

“I think the whole storyline…where you saw Dick Grayson assume the role of Batman…was really interesting, because I think the tendency among fans is to think, ‘Well, these characters are all interchangeable. Once they put on the mask, he’s Batman.’ It really shows that no, these characters are very different—Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson—and it’s really fun because the stories that featured him were about Dick Grayson being Batman, but also went a long way to show how unique and different Bruce Wayne was as Batman.” —JL

“I thought one of the absolute best Robins was Damian. Specifically, there was that whole arc when Batman was supposedly dead, and Dick Grayson took over Batman, and Damian just wasn’t having it. He’s just like, ‘Who are you? You’re a fake Batman. I should be Batman.’ Even though he’s only like, 11 years old and four feet tall or whatever. I thought his relationship with Dick Grayson was genius. It was just hilarious.” —BT

Batman: Court of Owls, written by Scott Snyder, illustrated by Greg Capullo (2011)

“[Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo] came onto the book and added all these cool elements to the mythology. One of the hardest things to do as a comic-book creator is working on a character that’s been around for 75 years. How do you add something new that hasn’t been done before, yet make it feel like it’s been there since day one? And just the whole notion of owls being natural predators of the bat, and the sort of totems or images or talismans of owls that permeated the city—whether it was in gargoyles or in just little reliefs in the actual edifices of the skyscrapers—it really showed that there’s this secret history to Gotham City and the Wayne family that hadn’t been explored before, and it felt like something that had been around for decades. Although, it was brand new additions to the mythology. It was really cool, and that sparked some of the incredible sales gains that we’ve got post launch of the new 52.” —JT

 

Detective Comics: The Laughing Fish!, written by Steve Englehart, illustrated by Marshall Rogers (1978)

“The whole Steve Englehart and Marshal Rogers run was a really super-huge influence on us too. It was probably more about the villains than anything else, because it was interesting the way, in that comic, they brought the Joker back again…The Joker story in the arc ‘The Laughing Fish’ was a great story. It was really creepy. He was murdering these guys that were seemingly nobodies, [and] basically daring Batman to stop him. It was sort of a classic Joker setup, but it was done superbly. That whole arc was a pretty big influence on us.” —BT

 

Justice League of America:  Tower of Babel by Mark Waid (2001)

“[It’s] revealed that Batman was basically in the Justice League to help the league fight evil, but he’s also there to keep tabs on all of these very super powerful beings…He had to have a way to stop every single one of these heroes if they ever decided to go bad. He would be the lone defender of humanity at that point, and that just really elevated the character to a whole different level. You realize that you respected him that much more because he’s there, next to all these almost godlike beings, and he’s tasked with this almost impossible mission, yet here he is accomplishing [it]. I thought that really gave some great insight into Batman’s role within the DC Universe. I would include that storyline as one of the best.” —JL

 

 

Maleficent was hard at work at the box office when she took it to her own magical hands in the last and the first 2 weeks in May and June punching up to 228 million smackers. With that aside, she used her spells to knock off Disney’s Frozen after 13 weeks topping the worldwide box office. How much did the villainess cast this time Angie?

 

 

Angie Angelfish (via Deadline Hollywood)- The Not-Very-Nice Little Witch That Could keeps enchanting audiences around the globe, as Disney’s ‘Maleficent‘ crossed the $700 million mark in global box office, Disney distribution execs said. It’s the studio’s second 2014 release to cross that high mark (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, box office champ for the first half of 2014, is the other).

Since its U.S. release on May 30, the film has tallied $228.8M domestically. Overseas, it has been extremely strong, no doubt helped by star Angelina Jolie‘s global visibility and appeal. The overall international gross has hit $471.8M so far, with big numbers out of China, Mexico, Russia and Brazil. Japan, which has a habit of keeping late-arriving Disney films in theaters for many lucrative weeks (see what happened with Frozen earlier in the year before Maleficent dethroned it), just debuted the film on July 5. Since then, it’s been No. 1 for three straight weekends, pulling in $32.7M already.

The studio said Maleficent is the year’s highest-grossing film based on an original story, (though some may quibble, given the film’s roots in Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty). It’s also Jolie’s highest-grossing live-action film ever, whether measured by domestic, international and global box office.

 

 

Famous millionaire tycoon Rupert Murdoch is back in the news last week when he attempted to merge Time Warner with Fox. That deal was bumped off. Since that attempt botched, Murdoch was kept an eye on investors to see if he’ll try again. That could spell doom for The Warner’s if Murdoch tries to up the merger deal a notch. This might become trouble for Time Warner doesn’t it Danny?

 

Danny Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Jerry Levin knows how wrenching it can be to merge two giant media companies. In 2000, the then-CEO of Time Warner appeared onstage at a press conference with Steve Case, then-chairman of AOL, to announce a $164 billion merger. The news stunned both Hollywood and Wall Street. AOL Time Warner stock soon plummeted, shareholders revolted and Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner’s current CEO, would later call the deal “the biggest mistake in corporate history.”

Now Time Warner is dealing with a new suitor in Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, which is offering $85 per share for TW, or $80 billion. And Levin, who now lives in Washington, D.C., and Maine and is involved in health care startups, acknowledges that such high-stakes Wall Street power plays can affect the fragile ecosystem of talent in the entertainment industry. “It’s unsettling,” says Levin. If Fox were to succeed in taking over Time Warner, “there will be this massive dislocation,” he predicts.

Many in Hollywood agree. If there’s anything that creative types fear, it’s uncertainty. And word that Murdoch, 83, is on the prowl for the home of Warner Bros., HBO and the Turner networks has sent a wave of anxiety through a town whose citizens perpetually dread unemployment. “You hear an announcement, you say, ‘How is it going to affect me?’ ” admits CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves. He says he flashed back to 1989 when Warner’s bought Lorimar Television, where he then worked. “They kept two different television labels going for about a year and a half, and then they decided it didn’t make sense to have two labels and they combined them.” Producer Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad) concurs: “You’re always worried, ‘Is this going to reduce the number of buyers?’ ” Fox maintains that if a deal goes through, it would keep the Fox and Warner’s film and TV units (and their Century City and Burbank studio lots) separate, instead saving $1 billion in costs by combining sales and “backend” staffs. But not everyone is buying it. An exec at one of the two studios acknowledges that the proposed deal probably would be bad for filmmakers, saying, “There would be one less buyer.”

In fact, argues writer-producer Marshall Herskovitz (thirtysomething), a Fox-Time Warner combination only would underscore an industry trend. “We’ve seen in the last 15 years that the consolidation of these companies and their increasingly tight hold over intellectual property have a deleterious effect on the creative community,” he says. Competition “has been diminished almost to the point of nonexistence. If Fox decides to pay screenwriters less money, Warner’s doesn’t say, ‘Great, look at the great screenwriters we can get.’ Instead they say, ‘Great, let’s pay less money also.’ Now imagine what happens if Fox and Warner Bros. are the same company.”

The two companies are viewed as having dramatically different cultures: The Fox film studio, which released 14 films in 2013 (plus eight via specialty label Fox Searchlight), is known for keeping a tight rein on budgets for everyone but favored filmmakers such as James Cameron. Warner’s, which released 18 films last year, has a reputation for investing heavily in filmmaker-driven tentpoles. On the TV side, WBTV, with 60 shows in production, is known for genre fare (Arrow) and broad comedy (The Big Bang Theory); 20th TV has about 40 shows, many edgier (Homeland, American Horror Story).

Levin acknowledges that the media companies feel compelled to get larger to combat growing competition from such distributors as the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DirecTV, both of which are awaiting government approval. But he points to a further complicating factor in the Fox culture — the mercurial Murdoch. “Rupert is extremely bright,” he says. “But if you cross somebody at Fox, you cross Murdoch. It’s off with your head. And so, there’s also that kind of financial gun held to people’s heads.” Fox, for instance, is home to the right-leaning Fox News, while Time Warner’s CNN and HBO tend to feature left-leaning programming (CNN would be sold in a Fox deal).

Others contend that the differences between the two studios have been exaggerated. Certainly, a current Fox hit like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, costing $170 million to produce, would not look out of place on the Warner’s slate.

And in some ways, a merger could benefit the two movie studios. Even if some future Fox-TW entity kept its existing film units separate, it might merge its marketing and distribution operations, both domestically and internationally. The two studios currently compete head-to-head for key playdates around the world, and that influences the movies that get made. “Much of creative development is about winning that opening weekend, which is why you have more X-Men, more Hobbits, more Batmen. That is bad for filmmakers,” one exec argues. But if the newly merged company had more control over where it placed its bets on the calendar, “you could program better,” he says. And that, in turn, could lead to more confident counterprogramming and, potentially, riskier filmmaker-driven movies like Fox’s The Fault in Our Stars or Warner’s Gravity. As for the two studios’ marquee properties, some execs are fantasizing about a future in which Fox’s X-Men crossed over into a movie with Warner’s DC Comics characters like Batman.

Within the TV ranks, though, where Warner’s is the industry’s biggest player, with its stable of blue-chip producers like Chuck Lorre and J.J. Abrams, few are greeting the prospect of a Fox takeover with any enthusiasm. Both Warner’s and 20th TV develop hundreds of scripts each year and sell shows to all broadcast and cable networks. But a merger could diminish the volume of development, which would translate into fewer jobs for writers, producers and actors and layoffs for executives. (A merger also could result in top projects being channeled to the Fox network from both WBTV and 20th TV, whose chiefs Dana Walden and Gary Newman recently expanded oversight to include Fox.)

Consolidation on the TV side also likely would further the current trend toward talent developing scripts outside the traditional studio systems via upstarts like MRC (House of Cards), Gaumont (Hannibal), Alcon (Syfy’s The Expanse) and more. These companies fund development, package projects and then take them to market, and more of them likely would spring up if Warner Bros. or 20th TV decreased output. One top agent predicts that the current merger uncertainty could even inhibit development at both studios. “Creative people don’t want to go in and pitch until they see what is happening,” the agent says. “At Fox right now there is a wait-and-see attitude; and to some extent with [Time Warner’s most watched cable net] TNT because we want to make sure we know what is going to happen there.”

Few can predict how the various networks would coexist. Speculation is that Fox would use Turner’s lucrative sports licensing deals for the NBA and Major League Baseball to better position its Fox Sports 1 network to compete with Disney’s ESPN.

Many creatives, acknowledging that the merger talk is far above their pay grade, are adopting a wait-and-see attitude. “Right now, I don’t think there’s any impact on anything that’s going on during what I’d call an intense period of speculation,” cautions UTA co-founder Peter Benedek. “Until such time as the people you’re selling to are different, there’s no difference.”

But writer Tom Fontana, of TV’s Oz, who has two limited series in development at Fox, expresses what might be the prevailing feeling in Hollywood: uncertainty mixed with skepticism. “I’m not business-savvy enough to fathom the full impact of a potential Time Warner-Fox merger,” he says. “But whenever Mr. Murdoch is involved in anything this substantial, I go to Mass.”

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,093 fans sign in as Team Skipper continue surveillance at Comic-Con.

 

 

News continues to flow as Comic-Con coverage rolls on. We’ll bring you breaking news on what happens today. See you again soon for another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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Apes 2 holds off Purge 2 with 36 million; SpongeBob turns 15; The 7D’s hits solid ratings after premiere

 

 

The Apes avoid being overrun! I’m Realistic Fish Head. After a 73 million head start, the Ape defenders were face to face against Universal’s Purge 2, the sequel to the original Purge. Those simians wasted no time on their battle plan as they added 36 million on their box office bounty! Can the Ape defenders survive next weekend Gene?

 

Gene:

 

As was widely expected, Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes held onto first place this weekend with an estimated $36.0 million. The critically acclaimed 3D sci-fi action sequel was down 50 percent from last weekend, which represented a very healthy second weekend hold for a blockbuster level film in the middle of summer. The film’s second weekend hold was quite similar to the 49 percent 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes fell when it grossed $27.83 million during its second weekend of release. With a ten-day start of $138.95 million, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is running an impressive 32 percent ahead of the $105.21 million ten-day take of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. This weekend’s hold is a strong sign for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes going forward, though the film will also soon be facing more direct competition from the likes of Universal’s Lucy, Paramount’s Hercules and Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Universal’s The Purge: Anarchy was easily the strongest of the weekend’s three new wide releases, with a second place estimated take of $28.37 million. The sequel to last year’s break-out horror film debuted in line with expectations. However, the film did open 17 percent below the $34.06 million debut of The Purge. The Purge: Anarchy took in $13.0 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.6 million from Thursday night shows), fell 27 percent on Saturday to gross $9.5 million and is estimated to fall 38 percent on Sunday to take in $5.87 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.18 to 1, which actually represents a bit less initial frontloading than the 2.03 to 1 ratio registered by The Purge.  The Purge: Anarchy will hope to hold up a bit better than The Purge did, in part from not having to face competition from the likes of Man of Steel and World War Z. The Purge: Anarchy received a solid B rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film skewed slightly towards female moviegoers (52 percent) and towards moviegoers under the age of 25 (61 percent).

Planes: Fire and Rescue debuted in third with an estimated $18.0 million. The modestly budgeted computer animated sequel from Disney opened slightly below pre-release expectations and 19 percent below the $22.23 million debut of Planes last summer. While this summer has had a relatively limited amount of choices for family audiences, Planes may have failed to have capitalized from the fairly empty family marketplace due in part to arriving in theatres so soon after its predecessor.  Planes: Fire and Rescue opened with $6.29 million on Friday, increased 4 percent on Saturday to take in $6.56 million and is estimated to fall 21.5 percent on Sunday to gross $5.15 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. Planes: Fire and Rescue received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film was split evenly between genders and skewed towards moviegoers 25 years and younger (59 percent). Family audiences represented 78 percent of the film’s overall audience.

Sony’s Sex Tape debuted in fourth with a poorer than expected $15.0 million. The R-rated comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel opened a disappointing 52.5 percent softer than the $31.60 million start of 2011’s Bad Teacher.  Sex Tape appears to have been hurt from both its poor critical reviews and from arriving in the marketplace on the heels of a number of successful comedies over the past few months (The Other Woman, Neighbors, 22 Jump Street and Tammy).  Sex Tape opened with $5.7 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.1 million from Thursday night shows), fell 7 percent on Saturday to gross $5.3 million and is estimated to decline 24.5 percent on Sunday to gross $4.0 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.63 to 1. While Sex Tape could be helped out going forward by the lack of new comedies entering the marketplace over the next few weeks, its troubling C+ rating on CinemaScore isn’t a good early sign. The audience breakdown for Sex Tape skewed slightly towards female moviegoers (53 percent) and moviegoers 30 years and over (52 percent).

Transformers: Age of Extinction rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $10.0 million. The fourth installment of Paramount’s blockbuster sci-fi action franchise finally stabilized this weekend, as it was down a solid 39 percent.  Transformers: Age of Extinction has grossed $227.16 million through 24 days of release. While that already makes the film one of the year’s highest grossing releases thus far domestically, it is also a significant 28 percent softer than the $317.37 million 24-day take of 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Warner’s Tammy placed in sixth with an estimated $7.61 million. The Melissa McCarthy comedy vehicle was down a solid 39 percent and was likely helped out a bit this weekend by the poorer than expected start of Sex Tape.  Tammy has grossed a very solid $71.25 million in 19 days, which already gives the film a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.30 to 1.

On the platform front, IFC Films’ Boyhood maintained momentum nicely this weekend with an estimated $1.198 million from 34 locations. That gave the film a strong per-location average of $35,230 for the frame and represented a 209 percent increase over last weekend’s five-location start. Boyhood has grossed a strong $1.85 million in ten days of platform release and will expand into additional locations next weekend.

 

To recap, Apes 2 crushes again 1st, Purge 2 trails behind 2nd, Planes: Fire and Rescue puts out the fires in 3rd, Sex Tape tramples 4th, and Transformers Age of Extinction defends in 5th.

 

The Sponge turned 15 on Thursday and he’s going strong! From the controversial, to the disgusting, and to the creepy side of the show, fans of the absorbent hero have been a little rough on him since he took the stage in 1999. How long has been the hero of Bikini Bottom changed since then Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Nickelodeon’s mega global animated hit series SpongeBob SquarePants officially launched on-air 15 years ago today.

While the series previewed after the 1999 Kids’ Choice Awards on May 1, the network officially launched the to-be king on Saturday, July 17, 1999 at 10:00 a.m.

That fateful morning, the yellow sponge was lead-in by mega-hit of the time, Rugrats. The episode was repeated that night at 8:30 p.m. after another Rugrats episode. Shocking, it was the only other time the episode aired that weekend. Then again, things were done differently back then. Heck, on July 17 alone, a total of 25 different shows aired on Nickelodeon. That’s not even counting Nick at Nite. Twenty-five different programs.

Of course, we all know the rest. The guy with the square pants went on to air premieres on other days and nights besides Saturday mornings. In fact, the show has rarely aired in a consistent premiere slot. By April 2000 the first season of 20 episodes had aired. The second season didn’t premiere until October of that year and then the series’ premiere schedule started to get shorter and shorter. 13 new episodes aired in 2001. 14 in 2002. Only four in 2003 and just four in 2004.

SpongeBob began airing on weekdays in 2001. In September 2002, the show made the big move on weekends to the Rugrats occupied 9 a.m. hour.

SpongeBob’s show production was halted in 2002 as production on the theatrical movie went underway. Many expected this to be the “cancelation” of the show, but as we all know – it wasn’t. Creator Stephen Hillenburg stepped aside and Paul Tibbitt stepped in as show runner with the fourth season (which premiered in May 2005). He’s been in that position since.

SpongeBob entered the world of high definition on television in 2009 with the one-hour special “Truth or Square”. As part of the show’s sixth season, it was the only episode produced in HD at the time. The next HD episode came in the eighth season with the stop-motion Christmas special “It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!” that aired in November 2012 as the first premiere to not air on Nickelodeon, but in primetime on CBS.

Since the show’s ninth production season, which started in July 2012, all episodes are produced completely in high definition. 27 episodes are scheduled for this season and are so far all that the show has been ordered to. Production has been underway on the second theatrical movie (due in February 2015) and 16 episodes in the season are waiting to be aired – most of which likely haven’t been made yet.

SpongeBob SquarePants Without a doubt, SpongeBob is Nickelodeon’s biggest asset ever. Bringing in over a billion dollars in merchandise alone each year, the show continues to be the network’s top draw on-air as well. The network is well known for oversaturation of the sponge, with sometimes more than 10 episodes airing per day. The network has even admitted in the past that when something wasn’t working (ratings-wise), they’d just put SpongeBob on and boom – fixed. However, since the network’s ratings woes began in the fall of 2011, the network has even had to deal with lower-than-usual SpongeBob ratings.

Despite that, repeats of the series still outrank new programming often. It’s also the only animated series with episodes made before 2000 airing on the network today.

Will the icon still be as beloved in five more years for the show’s 20th anniversary?

 

Good question! Only history will decide the Sponge’s fate to see if this year’s ratings reports could downplay 2011’s ratings slide.

 

 

Disney XD’s the 7D’s premiered last Monday night to see if the take on the fairy tale can go to the extreme:

 

 

Last Monday’s premiere of Disney’s animated series “The 7D,” a contemporary, comedic take on the world of the Seven Dwarfs, delivered strong ratings on the ad-supported Disney XD with 546,000 Total Viewers, ranking as the network’s #2 animated original-series premiere on record among Kids 2-11 (369,000/0.9 rating)and Kids 6-11 (305,000/1.3 rating).

The related app, “The 7D Mine Train,” is the #1 app in the Kids Category for the iPad in over 40 countries with over 1.3 million downloads. It is from Disney Publishing Worldwide.
•On Tuesday, July 8, a second episode introducing recurring guest stars Whoopi Goldberg and Jay Leno grew by double digits among key measures, including by 17% in Total Viewers (638,000 vs. 546,000), by 19% in Kids 2-11 (438,000 vs. 369,000), by 11% in Kids 6-14 (411,000 vs. 369,000), by 17% in Kids 6-11 (357,000 vs. 305,000).
•On Friday, “The 7D” posted series-ratings highs in Total Viewers (721,000), Kids 6-14 (467,000/1.3 rating), Boys 6-14 (246,000/1.3 rating), Kids 6-11 (376,000/1.6 rating), Kids 2-11 (468,000/1.2 rating) and Boys 2-11 (243,000/1.2 rating).
•For its week-long premiere event, “The 7D” out-delivered year-ago time period averages by 12% in Total Viewers (591,000 vs. 526,000), by 24% in Kids 2-11 (388,000 vs. 312,000), by 13% in Kids 6-11 (313,000 vs. 277,000) and by 9% in Kids 6-14 (380,000 vs. 350,000).

“The 7D” stars the voices of Kelly Osbourne, Jess Harnell, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Disney Legend Bill Farmer, Maurice LaMarche, Kevin Michael Richardson, Dee Bradley Baker, Scott Menville, Stephen Stanton, Billy West and Paul Rugg.

The series is executive produced by Emmy Award-winning Tom Ruegger (“Animaniacs”). Tom Warburton (“Codename: Kids Next Door”) serves as co-executive producer. Sherri Stoner (“Pinky and the Brain”) is the story editor and Alfred Gimeno (“Tiny Toon Adventures”), Jeff Gordon (“Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks”) and Charles Visser (“Animaniacs”) are the directors. Meme master Parry Gripp (“Do You Like Waffles?”) is the songwriter and composer for the series and also performs the theme song. The series is a production of Disney Television Animation.

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,094 fans sign in as Team Skipper continues racking up box office numbers during summer break.

 

Comic-Con 2014 begins this week as your favorite stars from live action and from the toon world as the networks deliver important news which will help your favorite shows deliver with high notes from the greatest media panels! We’ll be here all week with Comic-Con news! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, look for upcoming surprises with pizazz!

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Christina Miller named president of Cartoon Network replacing Stuart Snyder; My Little Pony marathon to showcase 3 new specials; Sam and Cat cancelled due to long production duration

 

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

 

3 weeks ago, Cartoon Network hired Vishnu Athreya as VP of programming for Boomerang and the network. This morning, they finally found their new president and G.M. Who takes Stuart Snyder’s place Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Christina Miller has been named President and General Manager for the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. networks Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, as well as their digital brand extensions, including Cartoon Network.com and Adult Swim.com. The announcement was made by David Levy, President of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to whom Miller reports.

Miller will be responsible for leading the business in North America and working closely with Turner International to establish short and long-term priorities, as well as an overall worldwide strategic plan that will more closely align the Kids business. This role gives Miller global oversight of linear and non-linear content, the consumer products group and franchise management. She will lead a team of business and creative executives that includes, Rob Sorcher, chief content officer, Cartoon Network and Mike Lazzo, executive vice president/creative director, Adult Swim.

“As we continue to expand and look for growth opportunities in the kids and young adults business, it is imperative that we strategically leverage the brand equity that Cartoon Network has worldwide and continue to build on the tremendous success of Adult Swim,” said Levy. “Christina is a well-respected executive who has had great success growing the NBA Digital business for us and also brings a wealth of experience in leading global brands and franchises in the kids business. She is a strategic thinker with a reputation for being a collaborator and achieving great results; and I am thrilled to have her at the helm of the next evolution of this business.”

“I am very excited to return in this new role to the business that I initially joined Turner for, and look forward to working with Rob, Mike and the great teams at Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang,” said Miller. “These are beloved brands with a passionate following and there’s a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow them domestically and, with guidance from David and Turner International President Gerhard Zeiler, a new focus on alignment and partnership to leverage the global potential of Cartoon Network and Boomerang.”

Prior to today’s announcement, Miller was general manager of NBA Digital and senior vice president of Turner Sports Strategy/Marketing/Programming, where she oversaw the day-to-day operations for the NBA Digital portfolio, which includes NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour digital television network, NBA.com, WNBA.com, NBA League.com, NBA League Pass; and the league’s broadband and wireless businesses. Miller’s duties as senior vice president of Turner Sports Strategy/Marketing/Promotions included managing relationships with league partners, Turner networks and their digital extensions, as well as the strategic planning and scheduling of on-air sports programming and developing marketing programs for the division’s linear and digital properties. Previously, she was senior vice president of Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) and directed Turner’s youth and young adults consumer products and home video business in the United States, including global licensing partnerships and merchandising strategies and retail business development for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim properties.

Miller joined Cartoon Network Enterprises in 2005 and was responsible for building the division’s first global, multi-property, strategic partnership which brought the entire Cartoon Network portfolio of toys to market. She also launched CNE’s first consumer products franchise Ben 10, overseeing the development of the property in all key categories. Under her direction and in addition to managing the licensing of all Cartoon Network and Adult Swim original series, CNE expanded its role in to third-party licensing through strategic partnerships that built on the division’s core competencies.

 

The Mane 6 have their hooves full as The Hub Network unleashes 50 hours of My Little Pony including Equestria Girls, the sequel to the series. With a week’s full to go Dan, How many MLP specials will MLP fans see in Ponyville?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)(continued)- The fun, magical adventures of Ponyville are coming to the Hub Network like viewers have never seen before in the “Hub Network’s MY LITTLE PONY Mega Mare-athon.” In this epic, one-of-a-kind marathon starting Monday, August 4 to Friday, August 8 (9 a.m. ET – 7 p.m. ET/6 a.m. PT – 4 p.m. PT), the network is inviting fans to watch all ninety-one episodes back-to-back of all four seasons of “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.” The episodes will run in the same order in which they originally aired. This fifty-hour viewing event, which also includes “My Little Pony Equestria Girls,” is the biggest in the Hub Network’s history and will bring the beloved ponies closer than ever to viewers by airing fun “Ask a Pony” interstitials showing real people asking each of the mane six questions and each pony answering them.

The monumental marathon finishes on Friday, August 8 with three MY LITTLE PONY specials airing for the first time on the Hub Network: “My Little Pony Twinkle Wish Adventure” at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT, “My Little Pony The Princess Promenade” at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT and “My Little Pony The Runaway Rainbow” at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

Popular animated series “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic,” from Hasbro Studios, was recently renewed for a fifth season slated to air in 2015 on the Hub Network, champions of family fun and the only network dedicated to providing kids and their families entertainment they can watch together.

 

 

There were money problems during the production of Sam and Cat since the debacle began since last spring. But what caused the show to be axed abruptly Johnny?

 

Johnny Trout (via The Washington Post)- At first, it seemed like a great idea. Take two beloved actresses from two hit Nickelodeon shows; put them together in a spin-off produced by the network’s biggest hitmaker; and watch the ratings skyrocket. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turned out, many things. What started as an excellent plan in theory took just about a year to fall apart, as Nickelodeon confirmed Sunday that “Sam & Cat” is officially canceled; the episode that aired Saturday night will serve as the series finale. It’s an unsurprising — but still unusual — conclusion to the very strange journey of one of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows, which has been plagued with problems since earlier this year.

In case tween-focused programming isn’t on your radar, the sitcom starred Jennette McCurdy as Sam from “iCarly” and Ariana Grande as Cat from “Victorious” (playing the same characters they did on their respective shows) as unlikely besties who start an after-school babysitting business. Both “iCarly” and “Victorious” were created by Dan Schneider, the brains behind some of the network’s biggest hits over two decades, including “All That,” “Drake & Josh” and “Zoey 101.” With Schneider in charge of “Sam & Cat,” it seemed like a no-brainer that this show would take off like his others did; the network ordered 20 episodes to start.

Except there were a few things working against everyone. When the show debuted in June 2013, McCurdy was known mostly for her work on “iCarly” and trying (without much success) to launch a country music career. Grande had some small roles before “Victorious” and was starting to make  inroads in the pop-music world. Either way, it seemed obvious that both actresses had bigger plans than another kid-friendly sitcom. It didn’t  help that McCurdy and Grande were also in their early 20s, a little older than usual for Nickelodeon stars.

But when about 4.2 million people tuned in for the “Sam & Cat” series premiere — the network’s best live-action debut in three years — executives saw dollar signs. Within a month, Nickelodeon doubled the order to 40 episodes for the first season. That’s a massive number of episodes, and Schneider said at the time it felt “daunting.” Plus, it left less time for both of his stars to pursue their side projects.

Regardless, they charged through; though by this past winter, things started to unravel. McCurdy went on a podcast and joked about her relationship with NBA player Andre Drummond, making fun of his kissing skills. A few days later, racy photos of McCurdy were posted across the Internet. (Drummond denied leaking the pictures.) At the end of March, McCurdy was conspicuously absent from the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, the network’s flagship event. Schneider received the network’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement award and was honored on stage by many young stars he had launched to stardom.

McCurdy later tweeted that there was a long story behind why she didn’t attend. “I was put in an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation (many of you have guessed what it is) and I had to look out for me,” McCurdy wrote. She clarified that it didn’t have anything to do with the risque photos, but instead “has to do with how [N]ickelodeon treated me.”

 

Nickelodeon had no comment on the tweets. In early April, word got out that “Sam & Cat” was going on “hiatus” even though there were still several episodes of Season 1 left to film. Rumors flew about a McCurdy-Grande feud and tension on set. TMZ reported that McCurdy was angry that Grande — who at this point had released a No. 1 album — netted a larger salary. Grande emphatically denied this, while reps for Nickelodeon blamed the break on an “unusually long production cycle” and insisted the show was not canceled. There was also no news about a Season 2 renewal; generally, Schneider’s shows are renewed like clockwork.

Then, there was simply radio silence — about the show, at least. Grande’s singing career exploded over the next several months, thanks to her smash single “Problem” (featuring rapper Iggy Azalea), making her more of a household name than ever.

Meanwhile, a few more episodes of “Sam & Cat” trickled out over the summer until Nickelodeon finally said this weekend that Saturday’s episode (the 35th of the order) would be the last. “Nickelodeon will not be producing more episodes of ‘Sam & Cat,’” a network rep told the Hollywood Reporter. “We are very proud of the show and its very talented cast and we wish them all the best.”

And that’s the abrupt end of the saga of “Sam & Cat,” which had all the ingredients for another long-running success. Instead, it’s a rare miss for Schneider, by far the shortest run for any of his shows over the last 20 years. But he’s moved on to the next project, as “Henry Danger” premieres later this month.

Grande posted a lengthy goodbye message and tribute to her character, Cat, on Facebook. No word from McCurdy, who has stayed under the radar the past several months.

“So the news is out about Sam & Cat. I felt it wasn’t my place to make any sort of announcement so I kept quiet until now,” Grande wrote in part, noting that the network launched her career. “I want to thank Nickelodeon for making a childhood dream of mine come true, for being a family to me, for being so accommodating and supportive of my multitasking with my music career, and for of course introducing me to many of my fans however many years ago.”

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,094 fans sign in as Team Skipper prepares to follow along with the box office as summer movie season continues.

 

 

Fairly Odd Week continues all this week as Team Timmy continues to wish up brand new episodes.

 

We’ll be at Comic-Con next week as we deliver another batch of news from each panel. Until then see you for another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes dominate box office with 73 million; Cartoon Network heads to Comic-Con; Regular Show, Degrassi, and Good Luck Charlie nominated at 2014 Emmy Awards

 

The Apes begin the battle for survival! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The game was on this weekend as the Apes prepare for total domination of the box office after a dismal July 4th weekend. The Apes managed to top 73 million as a possible rebound after Transformers: Age of Extinction topped 225 million passing Fox’s Avatar by 2 million for the top grossing prize. Fox didn’t take that milestone seriously, didn’t they Gene?

 

Gene:

 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was off to a strong start this weekend with an estimated $73.0 million. The 3D sci-fi action sequel opened ahead of its lofty pre-release expectations and an impressive 33 percent stronger than the $54.81 million debut of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was helped out by a number of factors this weekend, including very strong critical reviews, the already strong reception to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a relatively empty marketplace for the middle of July and the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions (which Rise of the Planet of the Apes didn’t have).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened with $27.73 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.1 million from late night shows on Thursday), fell 8 percent on Saturday to take in $25.500 million and is estimated to decline 22.5 percent on Sunday to gross $19.78 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at an encouraging 2.63 to 1.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes received a solid A- rating on CinemaScore, which is also an encouraging sign. Going forward, the film will hope to follow in the footsteps of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which held up very nicely back in 2011 (that film registered a total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.23 to 1).

After topping the box office for the past two weeks; Transformers: Age of Extinction fell to second this weekend with an estimated $16.5 million. The fourth installment of Paramount’s blockbuster sci-fi action franchise fell a sharp 55 percent, as it took a clear hit from the arrival of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in the marketplace this weekend. Transformers: Age of Extinction surpassed the $200 million mark this weekend and has grossed $209.03 million through 17 days of release. While that is in line with the lower end of expectations, it also places the film a significant 27 percent behind the $287.87 million 17-day take of 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Warner’s Tammy was down one spot from last weekend to claim third with an estimated $12.91 million. The Melissa McCarthy comedy vehicle was down a solid 40 percent, though it should also be noted that last weekend’s performance was deflated a bit by the film’s Wednesday opening. Tammy continues to perform well (especially with its modest price tag in mind) with a twelve-day take of $57.35 million. That places the film 38 percent behind the $92.64 million twelve-day take of last year’s The Heat. Tammy will face new direct competition next weekend when Sony releases fellow comedy Sex Tape on Friday.

High-profile holdovers 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 claimed fourth and fifth place this weekend with respective estimated takes of $6.7 million and $5.87 million. Sony’s 22 Jump Street was down just 32 percent from last weekend, while Fox’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 fell 35 percent. Both films were aided this weekend by the overall marketplace being slow by usual mid-July standards. Respective 31-day totals stand at an impressive $171.96 million for 22 Jump Street and an underwhelming $152.07 million for How to Train Your Dragon 2.

In their second weekend of release, Relativity’s Earth to Echo and Sony’s Deliver Us from Evil placed in sixth and seventh respectively with $5.5 million and $4.7 million. Earth to Echo was down a healthy 34 percent from last weekend, while Deliver Us from Evil was down an underwhelming 52 percent. Respective twelve-day totals stand at a respectable $24.59 million for Earth to Echo and at a softer than expected $25.00 million for Deliver Us from Evil.

Upon expanding into moderate release, The Weinstein Company’s Begin Again placed in ninth with an estimated $2.94 million. The John Carney directed film starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo averaged a respectable $3,126 for the frame from 939 locations. The 17-day total for Begin Again stands at $5.29 million.

On the platform front, IFC Films’ Boyhood was off to a strong start with an estimated $359,000 from five locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed Richard Linklater directed film an impressive per-location average of $71,800. That represented the second highest per-screen average of 2014 thus far for a platform launch (behind only The Grand Budapest Hotel). Boyhood will expand into additional locations next weekend.

 

To recap, Apes 2 gains the upper hand 1st, Transformers 4 gets outnumbered in 2nd, Tammy slides to 3rd, and both 22 Jump Street and Dragons 2 hold on in 4th and 5th as the both receive help from the Apes.

 

With TCA coverage underway, looks like Cartoon Network will be first in line at this year’s Comic-Con. Last year, the CN Panel pulled out all the stops. This year, their biggest hits of Regular Show, Gumball, Uncle Grandpa, Clarence, Lego Chima, Lego Ninjago, Steven Universe, and Adventure Time are doing it again with more sneak peek surprises. And with Teen Titans Go! making their first appearance, what’s on the docket for these poplar shows Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Cartoon Network invades Comic-Con® International: San Diego 2014 showcasing all of its’ hit original animated comedy series with star studded panels, signings, screenings, costume contests, exclusive giveaways and more!  The Network will offer the ultimate fan experience! Get an inside look at the hottest animated shows on TV with exclusive clips, panels and Q&A sessions sure to answer all of those burning questions — straight from the series creators, producers and voice talent.  Fanboys and fangirls rejoice! The epic Adventure Time ConQuest will return for the third consecutive year with an all new treasure-filled journey throughout the San Diego Convention Center.

Always a favorite on the Convention floor, the Cartoon Network booth will pay homage to popular series Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa, and Clarence.  Fans can immerse themselves in their favorite shows, with three different one-of-a-kind “selfie” photo experiences and collect exclusive Comic-Con giveaways including five different Cartoon Network themed buttons each day.

The party doesn’t stop when the convention floor closes! For the first time ever, Cartoon Network will present special night time screenings exclusively for the Comic-Con audience, offering fans an insider look at some of their favorite shows.  Other Cartoon Network series featured at San Diego Comic-Con include Teen Titans Go!, LEGO® Ninjago, and LEGO® Legends of CHIMA™.

Below is a list of Cartoon Network series panels, fan events, screenings and signings at 2014 Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif., Thursday, July 24 – Sunday, July 27, 2014.  Events as well as series producers and talent scheduled to appear are subject to change. Details on the Adventure Time ConQuest will be announced shortly.

For continuing information about Cartoon Network at San Diego Comic-Con and for real-time updates during the convention, please follow us on Twitter at @CartoonNetPR. Official hashtag #CNSDCC.

CARTOON NETWORK PANELS

FRIDAY, JULY 25

Cartoon Network presents a back-to-back panel extravaganza featuring Uncle Grandpa & Clarence followed by Adventure Time, moderated by the super-talented man-of-many-voices Tom Kenny.

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: UNCLE GRANDPA & CLARENCE

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Hilton Bayfront – Indigo Ballroom

Good Mornin’! What’s better than a panel of one Cartoon Network Comedy? TWO CARTOON NETWORK COMEDIES! That’s right fans, prepare yourself for double the comedy, double the fun and double the friends with Uncle Grandpa and Clarence! Join the always entertaining cast and crew for a behind-the-scenes look at two of the newest hit shows on Cartoon Network.  It’s woooooorth it.  Joining us from Uncle Grandpa will be creator Pete Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa), Kevin Michael Richardson (Mr. Gus) and Eric Bauza (Belly Bag). Joining us from Clarence will be Spencer Rothbell (Head of Story), Tom Kenny (Tiny Miracle, Uncle Grandpa and Sumo, Clarence) and Eric Edelstein (Chad).

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: ADVENTURE TIME

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Hilton Bayfront – Indigo Ballroom

Oh my glob, what would Comic-Con be without Adventure Time?  Never fear, fans, Cartoon Network is bringing back the most mathematical show on TV to San Diego Comic-Con 2014.  You know what time it is!  So get off your lumps and hang out with the fantastical cast and crew as they dish on all things Adventure Time and share never-before-seen footage. The following friends will be joining us from the Land of Ooo for a super sick panel: Jeremy Shada (Finn), John DiMaggio (Jake), Tom Kenny (Ice King), Olivia Olson (Marceline), Kent Osborne (Head of Story), Adam Muto (Co-Executive Producer) and MORE!

SATURDAY, JULY 26

Cartoon Network presents a back-to-back Panel Extravaganza featuring Steven Universe and Regular Show.

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: STEVEN UNIVERSE

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Hilton Bayfront – Indigo Ballroom

Believe in Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl… and STEVEN at this star-studded, musically inspired gem of a panel brought to you by Cartoon Network. Sure to delight your eyeballs and earlobes, you won’t want to miss a moment of the magic. Get the inside scoop and exclusive content from the following guardians of the universe: Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar, Ian Jones-Quartey (Supervising Director), Zach Callison (Steven), Estelle (Garnet), Deedee Magno Hall (Pearl), Michaela Dietz (Amethyst) and Tom Scharpling (Greg).

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: REGULAR SHOW

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Hilton Bayfront – Indigo Ballroom

Dude, the extraordinary hit comedy from Cartoon Network is returning to the spotlight in San Diegoooooooooooooooh!  It’s been the Year of the Rigby, a season filled with hilarious adventure and shockers!  Brace yourselves for a special Regular Show panel with even more fun and surprises – including never-before-seen footage. So bring your bros and let’s get this party started!  The following slackers will be joining us all the way from the park: Regular Show creator, JG Quintel (Mordecai), William Salyers (Rigby), Roger Craig Smith (Thomas), Minty Lewis (voice of Eileen & Storyboard Artist), Matt Price (Story Editor) and Sean Szeles (Supervising Director).

SUNDAY, JULY 27

LEGO®: LEGENDS OF CHIMA™

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Room 25ABC

Brian Bowler (Brand Marketing Director, The LEGO Group) will take you on an exclusive, inside look at the development of LEGO® Legends of CHIMA™ with Tommy Andreasen (Senior Creative Manager, The LEGO Group), John Derevlany (Writer, The LEGO Group), and Samuel Johnson (Senior Product Designer, The LEGO Group). Hear how the TV series and toys came to life, with the team behind the theme!

WB PANEL: Teen Titans Go!

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Room 6BCF

Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven continue the fun in Teen Titans Go! with all-new comedic adventures, giving viewers a look at what life is really like as a teen super hero … once the cape comes off.

LEGO®: NINJAGO PANEL

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Room 5AB

Join the LEGO® Ninjago team to hear about the development of the LEGO®: Ninjago TV show and toys. Tommy Andreasen (Senior Creative Manager, The LEGO Group), Dan Hageman (Writer, Ninjago TV Series), Kevin Hageman (Writer, Ninjago TV Series), and Simon Lucas (Product Designer Manager, The LEGO Group) will discuss the behind-the-scenes development of the LEGO Ninjago product line and TV series, with Brian Bowler (Brand Marketing Director, The LEGO Group) moderating the panel.

CARTOON NETWORK SCREENINGS

THURSDAY, JULY 24

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: ADVENTURE TIME ROYAL BALL

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Room 7AB

Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!  Princess Bubblegum cordially invites you to the first ever Royal Ball of Ooo at San Diego Comic-Con! Join us for an hour filled with mathematical magic as we screen a royal handful of your favorite Adventure Time episodes, including a world premiere! But wait, there’s more!  Wear your favorite Adventure Time inspired outfit for this special celebration and you have the chance to walk away with a righteous prize!  Now come one, come all (until we reach capacity!) for a ball of laughs, a ball of costumes, and a ball of royal awesomesauce!

FRIDAY, JULY 25

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: A LOTT’A FUNNY, featuring CLARENCE, UNCLE GRANDPA, STEVEN UNIVERSE & THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL!

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Room 7AB

After a long and exhausting day at the ‘Con, come chillax with Clarence, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe, and Gumball as they SQUEEEEZE into an hour of laughs for all to enjoy!  Back-to-back-to-back-to-back episodes of NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN fun-stuffs is what awaits you at this exclusive San Diego Comic-Con screening event!  And don’t forget to massage your mind muscles because if you can answer some ‘toon trivia, you might just win a prize! Aaaaw….new friends!

SATURDAY, JULY 26

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: THE REGULAR SHOW ROCK-A-THON

8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Room 7AB

You and your best bros are totally invited to take the stage at The Regular Show Rock-A-Thon. Awwwwww yeauuuuh! Join Cartoon Network for the most rockin’ hour ever as we cut a rug to some classic episodes and jam out to a brand new one before anyone else gets to see it.  But that’s not all — we challenge YOU to come correct with your best Regular Show number.  The more awesome your performance, the more likely you are to WIN a prize! So what are you waiting for? Practice your funky fresh flow and let’s get this party started! Participation is limited.

CARTOON NETWORK SIGNINGS

All signings are at the Cartoon Network Booth #3735. Tickets are required and can be obtained at the booth.

FRIDAY, JULY 25

12:00 p.m.            Uncle Grandpa & Clarence

2:00 p.m.               Adventure Time

SATURDAY, JULY 26

12:00 p.m.            Steven Universe

2:00 p.m.               Regular Show

 

 

We’ll bring you more Comic-Con coverage during next week’s event.

 

 

On Thursday morning, the nominees for the 2014 Emmys were announced and HBO once again led the field as they did last year. Who made the cut this time in live action and animation Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)(continued)- The 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning. Categories related to our coverage follow:

Remember, these only programs are related to the coverage scope of this year’s Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Children’s Program

Degrassi
Nickelodeon • Nickelodeon Linda Schuyler, Executive Producer Stephen Stohn, Executive Producer
Sarah Glinski, Executive Producer Matt Huether, Co-Executive Producer
Stephanie Williams, Supervising Producer Stefan Brogren, Producer
David Lowe, Producer

Dog With A Blog
Disney Channel • Dipthong Productions / It’s a Laugh Productions / Disney Channel
Michael B. Kaplan, Executive Producer Jim Hope, Co-Executive Producer
Leo Clarke, Produced by

Good Luck Charlie
Disney Channel • It’s a Laugh Productions / Disney Channel
Dan Staley, Executive Producer Drew Vaupen, Executive Producer Phil Baker, Executive Producer
Christopher Vane, Co-Executive Producer Erika Kaestle, Co-Executive Producer Patrick McCarthy, Co-Executive Producer Jim Gerkin, Co-Executive Producer
Pixie Wespiser, Produced by

Nick News With Linda Ellerbee – Family Secrets: When Violence Hits Home
Nickelodeon • Nickelodeon in association with Lucky Duck Productions
Linda Ellerbee, Executive Producer Rolfe Tessem, Executive Producer Wally Berger, Supervising Producer
Mark Lyons, Producer Martin Toub, Produced by

Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming

Regular Show • The Last Laserdisc Player
Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios

Outstanding Animated Program

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project
Nickelodeon • Nickelodeon

Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program

Adventure Time • Be More
Cartoon Network• Cartoon Network Studios

Disney Mickey Mouse • ‘O Sole Minnie
Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation

Disney Phineas and Ferb • Thanks But No Thanks
Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation

Regular Show • The Last Laserdisc Player
Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance

Disney Mickey Mouse • The Adorable Couple
Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation
Chris Diamantapolous as Mickey Mouse

Dog With A Blog • My Parents Posted What?!
Disney Channel • Dipthong Productions / It’s a Laugh Productions / Disney Channel
Stephen Full as Stan

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics

Sofia The First: The Floating Palace • Song Title: Merroway Cove • Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation
John William Kavanaugh, Music by Craig Gerber, Lyrics by

Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Comedy Series Or A Variety Program

Sam & Cat • Nickelodeon • Nickelodeon in association with Schneider’s Bakery, Inc. Vince Deadrick, Jr., Stunt Coordinator

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,095 fans sign in as Team Skipper focuses on Comic-Con as schedule appearances continue.

 

 

Summer sweeps week continues as Team Timmy continues to dominate the summer. And look out for Doraemon, the popular feline from Japan who made his first appearance on Disney XD last week! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, welcome to the toon world you wonderful tabby!

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Rise of the Planet of The Apes sent to recover box office from 44% box office drop; Transformers: Age of Extinction passes Avatar as highest grossing film; Aereo plans to license TV programs after suspension

 

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

 

Here’s some good news and bad news. The good news, Transformers 4 gets high marks after being crowned Independence Day champ. The bad news, the box office got a big slap in the face as it gets slammed hard as the rest of the July 4th flicks couldn’t catch up with the Optimus Prime. It was also hit hard by bad weather, missed release delays, and the World Cup which is in its final stage as viewership continues to grow.  The reason behind this… movie going was down. You can thank Gru and his minions who sapped 83 million smackers. It proved to be the Achilles’ heel when it was crowned last year as champ.

 

We’ll, the Autobots have their hands full as the warrior apes arrive at the box office this weekend. How will they do once they attack Johnny?

 

 

Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- All eyes are on Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to shore up the North American box office after a dismal Fourth of July holiday.

Prerelease tracking suggests the critically acclaimed sequel could approach or cross $60 million in its debut, although tracking has been notoriously unreliable this summer (Fox is estimating between $55 million and $60 million). In August 2011, origin pic Rise of the Planet of the Apes bowed to roughly $54 million.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the best-reviewed tentpole of summer, sporting a 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of early Wednesday.

Directed by Matt Reeves, the sequel returns Andy Serkis in the role of Caesar the ape, who has decamped to the forest of Marin County with hundreds of other genetically evolved apes and primates. When they are threatened by a band of humans who have survived a worldwide plague, a fierce divide erupts regarding whether peace can be restored, or whether war is the only way to determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

The sequel, costing an estimated $170 million to make, opens three years after origin movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes reinvigorated the iconic franchise. That film, directed by Rupert Wyatt, took in a strong $481.8 million at the worldwide box office, including $176.8 million in North America.

This time out, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano and Kirk Acevedo are featured in the human cast. Reeves directed from a script by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, based on the characters created by Jaffa and Silver.

As with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel is drawing widespread praise for its use of motion capture. It’s also being released in 3D.

Hollywood is hopeful the weekend will restore some balance to the domestic box office, where Fourth of July weekend revenue was down a steep 44 percent from last year, leading to a summer revenue decline of nearly 20 percent.

Overseas, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes begins its initial assault, rolling out in 28 territories, including major markets Australia and South Korea. The tentpole is waiting to roll out in many larger markets because of the bottleneck created by the World Cup.

Peter Chernin’s Chernin Entertainment developed and produced both Ape movies.

The specialty box office sees the launch Friday of Richard Linklater’s high-profile indie drama Boyhood, for which he won the best directing award at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival following the film’s world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Boyhood, starring Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane, was shot intermittently over a 12-year period in order to chronicle the story of boy as he grows up in a divorced household. IFC Films opens the drama in New York and Los Angeles. The film had a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of early Wednesday.

Sundance entry Land Ho! also makes its debut in Los Angeles and New York. Sony Pictures Classics is distributing the adventure comedy, a U.S.-Iceland co-production.

 

The Autobots also reach a record milestone today previously held by Fox’s Avatar with 223 million smackers. How long did it take to do the math Angie?

 

Angie Angelfish (via Deadline Hollywood)- After 12 days of release (and a bit of confusion over official numbers), Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction now has the distinction of passing Avatar as the highest-grossing film ever in China. With $225.1M (1,396M RMB), the movie has bested James Cameron’s record of $221.9M that was set in 2010. On Tuesday, Chinese research firm Ent Group reported that the Autobots had overtaken the Na’vi as of July 6 with $222.74M, but Paramount has just weighed in with its official numbers. Because of currency fluctuations, the yuan renminbi figure was key. Avatar was worth about 1.39B during its life in the Middle Kingdom. TAOE has been dogged somewhat by local sponsors who have griped about their placement in the movie. But audiences have embraced it willingly, encouraged by all the Chinese elements — including actors, locations and storyline.

Paramount Chairman and CEO, Brad Grey, said this morning, “We’re honored by the deeply passionate response from Chinese audiences – and audiences throughout the world – to Transformers: Age Of Extinction and the unique storytelling of Michael Bay. The many new relationships we have built with members of the creative community in China is a source of great pride and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future.” Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore acknowledged the “great work of China Film Group in the distribution of Transformers” and thanked partners Jiaflix, China Movie Channel, M1905, China Movie Media and Hua Hua.

TAOE earned $92M in its opening weekend in China, more than doubling Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and recording the largest debut frame ever. Since the movie’s bow on June 27, it has taken $600M worldwide. Through Tuesday, international repped $421.2M of the total.

 

 

Aereo hit the pause button last week as their CEO promised its customers there would be an alternate way to see shows over the air. What did they come up with Danny, and will they please the viewers?

 

Danny Angelfish (via Deadline Hollywood)- The Supreme Court‘s recent ruling against Aereo may have left an opening for it to stay in business — but now as a kind of cable service – its lawyers said today in a joint letter with broadcasters outlining their views to the U.S. District Court in New York.  The high court concluded that the streaming service was so similar to cable companies, which are required to negotiate a deal if they want to carry broadcasters’ programming, that it could not simply pluck signals from the airwaves without paying. That’s significant, Aereo says, because the classification also means that it’s “now entitled” to work out a deal — which broadcasters, in turn, must negotiate in good faith. Indeed, Aereo says, its eligibility for what’s known as a compulsory license “must be decided on an immediate basis or [its] survival as a company will be in jeopardy.” It suspended service shortly after the Supreme Court decision.

 

Broadcasters say that Aereo, having lost once, is now raising “a brand-new defense” that it “never before pled (much less litigated).”

 

At issue is whether the District Court will lift a stay that allowed Aereo to remain in business while the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Broadcasters want it lifted so they can collect damages from Aereo’s infringement of their copyrights — a two-year period during which they say they “suffered irreparable harm.” Aereo wants the stay to remain in place since the Supreme Court decision could “eliminate the need to litigate.” It also says that the ruling “did nothing to prohibit” its DVR-like program recording and playback service.

Aereo faces additional hurdles even if the District Court agrees with its view. The FCC also might have to agree to define Aereo as a cable operator for it to qualify for the compulsory license — and it would  have to be granted by the U.S. Copyright Office, which “has been very reluctant to consider Internet-based companies as eligible for that license,” Guggenheim Partners’ Paul Gallant says. And here’s the kicker: Even if broadcasters agreed to negotiate a deal “they need not actually sell signals to Aereo,” he adds.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,098 fans sign in as Team Skipper double checks Team Autobots’ numbers during July 4th weekend.

 

The magic continues this week as the Fairly Odd Summer marathon continues with new episodes. Be sure to check out some classic episodes before the new ones are here. And don’t miss Fairly Odd Summer as Summer sweeps rolls on. See you again for another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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Transformers Age Of Extinction scores 36 million totaling July 4th weekend with 178 million; Nick and Nicktons unveil new episodes with some of them possibly lost; Skyler Page leaves Cartoon Network amid sexual assault charges

 

The Autobots sweep the competition! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Transformers 4 continued its million dollar pace since Friday, but a 13 percent decrease has put the box office in a slow pace. Nevertheless, Optimus Prime and crew manage to cap off Independence Day weekend with 178 million with 36 million topped today. How did they manage to stave off those box office flops Gene?

 

Gene:

 

Transformers: Age of Extinction comfortably led the way over the slow Independence Day weekend frame with an estimated $36.4 million. The fourth installment of Paramount’s blockbuster sci-fi action franchise was down a sharp, but understandable 64 percent from last weekend’s opening weekend performance. Transformers: Age of Extinction has grossed $174.75 million through ten days of release. While that is in line with expectations and places the film on course to be among the higher grossing releases of 2014 thus far domestically, it also places the film a lackluster 24 percent behind the $228.82 million ten-day take of 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Transformers: Age of Extinction was aided this weekend by the lack of combined strength among the weekend’s new wide releases, but will face much tougher competition next weekend when Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is released on Friday.

Warner’s Tammy debuted in second place with an estimated $21.17 million. The Melissa McCarthy comedy vehicle performed well with its modest cost in mind, but at the same time did open a bit below pre-release expectations. After grossing $11.74 million on Wednesday and Thursday, Tammy has grossed $32.91 million through five days of release. That places the film 34 percent behind the $49.82 million five-day start of last year’s The Heat (which opened on a Friday). McCarthy’s films typically display strong holding power at the box office, but whether or not that will be the case with Tammy remains to be seen, especially after the film received a troubling C+ rating on CinemaScore. On a positive note, the film hasn’t really displayed signs of front-loading so far with a five-day to three-day ratio of 1.55 to 1.

It was a tight race for places third through sixth this weekend, with only $1.25 million separating third place from sixth place. With estimates that close to one another, it is still possible that the order of finish could change a bit with actuals. Sony’s Deliver Us from Evil currently claims third place with an estimated $9.5 million. The crime thriller starring Eric Bana opened below expectations with a five-day start of $15.00 million. That places the film’s five-day to three-day ratio at 1.58 to 1.  Deliver Us from Evil had been positioned to potentially be a summer horror break-out, but given the film’s modest start, it appears as though horror fans are waiting for Universal’s The Purge: Anarchy later in the month instead. Deliver Us From Evil received a B- rating on CinemaScore.

Fellow Sony release 22 Jump Street followed closely behind in fourth place for the frame with an estimated $9.4 million. The successful action comedy sequel starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum was down a solid 41 percent from last weekend. In general, holdovers were helped out this weekend by the relative lack of interest for the new wide releases.  22 Jump Street surpassed the $150 million mark this weekend and has grossed an impressive $158.85 million in 24 days of release.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $8.75 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down a healthy 34 percent. The 24-day total for How to Train Your Dragon 2 stands at $140.00 million, which places the film an underwhelming 11.5 percent behind the $158.25 million 24-day take of 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon.

Fellow family film Earth to Echo opened in sixth place with an estimated $8.25 million. After a respectable two-day start of $5.25 million, the adventure film from Relativity somewhat surprisingly didn’t hold up all that well over the weekend. The film has grossed $13.50 million in five days, which gives it a fairly front-loaded five-day to three-day ratio of 1.64 to 1.  Earth to Echo opened a bit below its already modest expectations and failed to capitalize on the relative lack of options for family audiences this summer.

Lionsgate’s America landed in eleventh for the weekend with an estimated $2.73 million. The documentary from Dinesh D’Souza has grossed $4.04 million through five days of wide release and an additional five days of platform release. The film received an A+ rating on CinemaScore, which strongly suggests that it is being well received by its targeted audience. However, America could still prove to be front-loaded due to the boost it received this weekend from the Independence Day holiday.

 

 

To recap, Transformers 4 shoots the lights out 1st, Tammy moves in 2nd, Deliver us from Evil delivers in 3rd, 22 Jump Street holds in 4th due to moviegoers lack of interest from the 3 flicks, and DreamWorks Dragons flies in 5th.

 

Summer sweeps continue this week as Nick and Nicktoons release new episodes, but there’s a hitch. Due to the Sam and Cat actors situation, some of these episodes could be hidden from view for the rest of the summer. What’s happening this week Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- This July, Nickelodeon and Nicktoons are serving up a load of premieres. From new Fairly OddParents and Every Witch Way most weekdays to burn-off episodes of Fanboy & Chum Chum and T.U.F.F. Puppy.

First up, Nick’s giving viewers 16 half-hour premieres of The Fairly OddParents every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in July at 3pm starting July 7 (all times ET/PT for Nickelodeon). No premieres on Thursdays due to Nick’s Throwback Thursday marathons starting at 2pm. This is leading up to the premiere of the new live-action TV movie A Fairly Odd Summer on Saturday, August 2 at 8pm (via Nick.com).

Also returning for another month of premieres is Every Witch Way. New episodes will air most weeknights at 7:30pm starting July 7. 20 episodes aired in a similar way this past January.

Recent returnee The Legend of Korra is doubling up on premieres each Friday from 8-9pm starting July 11.

Sam & Cat will air its final two episodes this month, first on Saturday, July 12 at 8pm and the second on Thursday, July 17 at 7:30pm right before Kids’ Choice Sports. The series wrapped production on its intended 40-episode season early in April due to problems on set with the actors. Four episodes went unproduced.

Animated comedy Sanjay and Craig returns with new episodes Saturday mornings at 10:30am starting July 12. The final season one episode will air that day followed by season two’s premiere the next week.

Following Kids’ Choice Sports on Thursday, July 17 is a half-hour special taking viewers behind the scenes of the upcoming live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Lastly, a special hour-long preview of Dan Schneider’s Henry Danger series is scheduled for Saturday, July 26 at 8pm.

On the Nicktoons front are three burn-off premieres for former Nicktoons. Each will air Saturdays at 3pm (ET), following a two-hour marathon of other episodes of each series. On July 12 is the final unaired episode of Fanboy & Chum Chum (“Brain Freeze”). July 19 has one of the three remaining Robot and Monster episodes (“Monster Hit”). Lastly on July 26 is the intended finale of T.U.F.F Puppy (“TUFF Break Up”) but seven episodes will remain to be seen.

As always: Schedules are subject to change!

 

We’ll be on the lookout for possible changes later in the coming months. Meanwhile, Cartoon Network’s Clarence is facing sexual problems as the show’s creator Skyler Page leaves due to possible sexual assault charges. This repeats what happened to Kevin Clash when he left Sesame Street to face sexual assault charges himself. A few months later, he was off the hook. I hope Page can get off the hook Dan, because if he doesn’t, there’ll be severe consequences!

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More) (continued)- Variety is reporting that the creator of Clarence, Skyler Page, is no longer working at Cartoon Network Studios after allegations of sexual assault.

Page has worked on the series since it was picked-up by the network in 2012. At age 24, he was the youngest creator of a Cartoon Network series. He also voices the lead character.

 

Here’s how it happened:

 

It’s difficult to speak about harassment or abuse of any kind but when also coupled with the fear of losing employment, it’s even more daunting. That’s why we were surprised to see one individual make a clear accusation online of sexual harassment. While backlash was expected and did happen, reaction from Cartoon Network was also swift.

The first reaction of many when talk of abuse comes up is to ask for proof instead of showing concern for the person coming forward, and that’s problematic to say the least. Women shared personal experiences with harassment of all kinds recently with #YesAllWomen, and while some do feel comfortable talking about it, others don’t. Some talk about it but not using their real name, some of which we saw when the #thatwoman hashtag emerged. Some do speak under their own name but do not reveal the name the person they’re accusing like when cartoonist Mari Naomi talked about being harassed on a convention panel (Scott Lobdell went on to out himself as the harasser in question). Around that same time, Tess Fowler came out, after long consideration, to say comic writer Brian Wood had sexually harassed her. It’s not easy.

So when we saw creators in the animation industry tweeting about Cartoon Network’s Skyler Page, writer for Adventure Time and creator/writer of Clarence, we were surprised. But apparently the issue had been brewing for a while. Maré Odomo tweeted this on June 30th.

 


Skyler Page, creator of Cartoon Network’s “Clarence”, is known to grope women without their consent. Don’t be left alone in a room with him.

— maré odomo (@mareodomo) June 30, 2014

As you can imagine, it got the usual “those are serious accusations,” “do you have proof to back that up” responses but it also got others talking until Emily Partridge came forward with this.

 


okay dudes, this Skyler Page Fiasco everybody is talking about happened to me, you can stop hounding my friends for “proof” — Emily Partridge (@empartridge) July 3, 2014

   She continued in a series of tweets:


I’ve been encouraged by multiple people I trust that I am safe and supported in coming forward about this, so here I am it’s no secret that I deal with mental health issues. I’m incredibly sympathetic towards mental illness. being “sick”, however, doesn’t – – excuse you from toxic, manipulative, cruel behavior, especially when these events are repetitive and specific. I had heard rumors about Skyler being “quirky” but nothing about his fucked up behavior towards women until AFTER what happened to me if I knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have let him catch me alone or be near me. I don’t want the same thing to happen to anybody else. my friends have been speaking out for me while I was too scared to come forward and I appreciate that a lot. the fact that twitter needs ME to speak is distressing, but I feel responsible to other women in the industry. don’t trust this guy. what’s also distressing is the overwhelming silence from certain parties. you’ve made a lot of people feel less safe this week…it makes me feel fucked up that people are saying how brave it is for me to say something. this is how unsafe we all feel. I immediately regret dealing with this. to people who are saying this should have been discreetly dealt with by HR or something: a) HR is already dealing with it. b) discretion does not keep other people safe.

It’s a tough situation to deal with, one that person can feel pressured to handle in isolation and/or that a whole industry may sweep under the carpet for too long (we’ve seen it happen). Thankfully, in this case, fairly swift action has been taken. A Cartoon Network spokesperson told BuzzFeed “Skyler Page is no longer an employee at Cartoon Network Studios,” and that the show would continue. Others made sure to note this shouldn’t be held against the series:

 


Let’s continue to support Clarence, which will continue without his involvement. A lot of talented folks work to make this show great! — Megan Nicole Dong (@sketchshark) July 3, 2014

 

Creator Patrick Harpin also had this to say to those concerned about the show on his tumblr:


Skyler’s behavior (though not yet sexual assault) was the main reason I quit the show more than a year ago. I can’t imagine how fans of the show are feeling right now. But the reason you like Clarence, in spite of it’s creator, is because the “creator” had very little to do with the show. Despite what it says in the credits, Skyler never wrote a single episode of Clarence. It was created by the writers (me and Spencer Rothbell) and the talented board artists (people like Charlie Gavin, Derek & Diana). We took Skyler’s idea of “a fat dumb kid” and made a character out of it. Skyler mostly “kept the couch from floating away”, and read whatever lines we gave him. There’s been enough victims of Skyler Page, don’t punish the talented crew that actually raised Clarence.

Events have rolled swiftly on this story today, and should more be revealed we will bring you an update.

[UPDATE] Partridge has provided the following information on her tumblr:


I want to go curl up in a hole, but I feel like it’s my responsibility to address some things first (some are more important that others):
◾I work on Adventure Time, not Clarence.
◾I’m a storyboard revisionist, not a storyboard artist.
◾I did not personally act to get Skyler fired. Cartoon Network made that decision on their own without involving me, and the situation between Skyler and I was not the only reason for his termination.
◾Clarence will continue without him. it hasn’t been canned. nobody should boycott the show, it has a great staff.
◾Skyler didn’t rape me. this is a really messed up rumor that needs to stop being propagated. sexual assault does not equate rape.
◾I’ve heard a lot about how people just assumed that girls knew to stay away from him. I didn’t. I hadn’t even met him before; a lot of us didn’t go to CalArts, guys, and we need to work harder to keep each other safe. a lot of other women have come to me in private with really similar stories. we need to stop letting this happen.

 

Folks can continue to follow the timeline of events, including tweets and other quotes for updates.

 

Clarence premiered in April and is currently airing new episodes on Thursday nights.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,102 fans sign in as Team Skipper caps off July 4th weekend.

 

This week, Timmy and his godparents wish up brand new episodes of Fairly OddParents leading up the live action movie Fairly Odd Summer. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, be careful wishing up your summer Timmy!

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Nick sweeps 2nd quarter as preschool shows get top spots; Box office suffers 13% drop due to schedule release changes; Dora and Friends premieres August 18th

 

 

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

 

Nick, after a successful of sweeping ratings in the 1st quarter, goes in the 2nd quarter as their preschool shows get high marks coming off wins with their Nicktoon shows in the past few months. Let’s see how many preschool viewers each show had:

 

Nickelodeon closed 2Q14 as basic cable’s number-one network in total day with Kids 2-11 (2.6/834K) and total viewers (1.6M), marking the net’s third consecutive quarter at the top. Nick’s quarterly performance also led its closest competitor by double-digits among Kids 2-11(+13%) and total viewers (+15%).

SpongeBob SquarePants was the top animated series across all of TV with Kids 2-11 (4.0/1.3M) for the quarter. The series also ranked as basic cable’s top animated kids’ show with total viewers, averaging 2.6M P2+.

Nickelodeon is also first with Kids 2-5, sweeping the top six spots among preschool programming. PAW Patrol led the net’s hit lineup, averaging a 6.0/740K; Team Umizoomi ranked second, scoring a 5.7/708K; Wallykazam! placed third with a 5.6/692K rating; Peter Rabbit was fourth with a 5.5/680K average; Bubble Guppies comes in fifth with a 5.4/668K average; and Dora the Explorer rounded out the group in the sixth spot, averaging a 5.3/649K.

Additionally, Nick at Nite closed the quarter as the number-one basic cable net in total day with Women 18-49 (0.6/300K). Nickelodeon’s niche nets, TeenNick and Nicktoons both notched record quarterly performances and double-digit gains with their core demos: TeenNick scored double-digit quarterly gains with Teens 12-17 (0.5/80K, +67%) and averaged 260K total viewers (+58%); Nicktoons averaged a 0.5/73K with Kids 6-11 (+25%), a 0.8/53K with Boys 6-11 (+33%) and drew 202K total viewers (+16%).

 

 

Transformers: Age of Extinction scored 100 million smackers on Sunday as the top movie to achieve it. On Monday however, it sidetracked Paramount saying that T4 would drop 15 million smackers, which got us thinking, with the Autobots joining The Lego Movie and Captain America, some of the movies excluding these 3 have never made it to the 100 smacker mark because of major delays in the past few months. How much has the box office lost so far Jim?

 

Jim Fish (via The Wrap)- Even with “Transformers: Age of Extinction” delivering the year’s first $100 million opener, the summer box office is still struggling, at least in comparison to last year.

Paramount’s “Transformers,” with Mark Wahlberg replacing Shia LeBeouf as leading man, was projected to be summer’s biggest movie — and it will be. It brought in more than $200 million from overseas this weekend, including a record-breaking $90 million from China. That means that overseas it’s pacing ahead of the previous film in the franchise, 2011’s “Dark of the Moon,” and that one took in $771 million from abroad. A $250 million domestic total appears in range for “Age of Extinction,” so hitting $1 billion globally is a real possibility.

But the summer box office is now at roughly $2 billion, nearly 13 percent behind the $2.3 billion of last year at this point. It’s a safe bet that it isn’t going to match last year, and that’s going to make it difficult for 2014 to match last year’s record-breaking $10.9 billion domestic haul. The overall box office, which was up 9 percent at the end of April, has now fallen just behind 2013.

It’s not that there haven’t been hits this summer. “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Maleficent” have all topped $200 million, and “Godzilla” will get there. But there’s been nothing to compare with “Iron Man 3,” which had taken in more than double that by this time last year. It hurt when Universal pushed “Fast & Furious 7” to next year in the wake of Paul Walker‘s death, and there hasn’t been a breakout animated movie this year, either.

The season is likely to fall further behind over the Fourth of July weekend, which kicks off on Wednesday with three new openers. The Melissa McCarthy comedy “Tammy,” kids film “Earth to Echo” and the horror film “Deliver Us From Evil” will try to bring the fireworks while “Transformers” keeps stomping. But nothing is going to do the $82 million that “Despicable Me 2” turned in last July 4 weekend.

As for the rest of the summer, Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (July 11) looks strong, as does “Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug. 1), and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is a wild card. But when it comes to potential blockbusters, that looks like it.

What that means is that if 2014 has any chance of matching last year’s record-breaking domestic box-office total, it will be because of fall and the holiday season. That’s when Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” (Nov. 7), “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” (Nov. 21), Fox’s biblical epic “Exodus” (Dec. 12) and “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” (Dec. 19) roll out.

 

On the last edition, we gave you a sneak peek of Dora and Friends. We got the scoop of its premiere. When will the kiddies see it Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Global phenomenon Dora sets off on her next big adventure in Dora and Friends: Into the City!, a brand-new animated preschool series starring the Latina heroine in new adventures, with new friends and a new interactive curriculum, premiering in primetime Monday, Aug. 18, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.  The half-hour series (20 episodes) features the iconic character Dora living in a city, attending school and at the center of a peer group that works together to give back to the community–having both real-life and magical adventures along the way.  Created by Chris Gifford and Valerie Walsh Valdes (Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!), the series will regularly air weekdays during the preschool block on Nickelodeon.  The Dora the Explorer series, which after 14 years remains the most-watched preschool show on TV, will continue to air.

“Dora and Friends: Into the City! expands on Dora’s legacy of being a compassionate leader, friend and role model, in a setting where she can have dynamic peer relationships and experience the world around her in new and exciting ways,” said Teri Weiss, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Preschool.  “Preschoolers will explore with their favorite pal Dora and her friends while developing interpersonal skills and a sense of community that will help them navigate new social situations like starting school and making friends.  And, of course, learn Spanish along the way.”

Developed with the support of educational experts and tested by preschoolers themselves, Dora and Friends is set to a contemporary soundtrack of Latin-influenced pop music and features an interactive curriculum focusing on community service, problem solving, emotional skills, Spanish language and Latino culture.

Set in the fictional city of Playa Verde, Dora and her friends go on adventures, whether it’s rescuing a lost stuffed monkey for a little boy in the hospital or returning a ring to an ancient Mayan Princess.  Throughout her journeys, Dora uses Map App on her smartphone and a magical charm bracelet to navigate the city and overcome any obstacle.  In the new series, Dora continues to be a good friend, leader, and problem-solver with a group of new friends–Kate, Naiya, Emma, Alana and Pablo-who share her passion for learning and exploring.

Meet Dora’s new friends:
•Kate-an avid reader who is dramatic and artistic.
•Naiya-a smart girl who excels at math and science.
•Emma-an accomplished musician with a drive to be the best.
•Alana-an athletic, confident soccer player and animal lover.
•Pablo-a smart, playful, energetic athlete and explorer.

At Dora and Friends on Nickelodeon’s award-winning website, NickJr.com, kids and parents can learn about the show, download and print eBooks and print Dora and Friends coloring pages. Plus, kids can play Dora and Friends games, including the new “Dora and Friends It’s Concert Day” game, where they meet Dora’s new friends, discover her city and help everyone get ready for a big concert.  The series premiere episode will be on NickJr.com, as well as available for streaming and download on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Sony, Vudu, Nook and Fios Flex View the day after air.

Dora and Friends will begin rolling out on Nickelodeon’s international channels this fall.

Nickelodeon has teamed up with Fisher-Price to expand the Dora franchise with interactive dolls, playsets and accessories that will hit the market beginning in August.  Additionally, Nickelodeon has signed more than 130 new licensees across apparel, publishing, home goods, electronics and specialty categories, with products set to launch this fall into early 2015.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,104 fans sign in as Team Skipper continues to crack down more of the box office numbers.

 

 

We got the best DVD on the grill and we’re serving it to you. Here’s the rundown:

 

7/1/2014
 
The Lunchbox
The Unknown Known

7/8/2014
 
Le Week-End
Nymphomaniac: Volume I
Nymphomaniac: Volume II
Bad Words
Jodorowsky’s Dune

7/15/2014
 
Under the Skin

7/22/2014
 
Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club
Sabotage
Heaven Is for Real
Cesar Chavez
Red Wing

7/29/2014
 
Five Dances
Shirin in Love
Transcendence
Noah
It Felt Like Love

 We continue summer sweeps with a bang as the 4th of July nears. We’ll bring  you highlights of this year’s Comic-Con. But other than that, see you soon for more of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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