Archive for February, 2015

Birdman earns 4 Oscars including Best Picture to tie The Grand Budapest Hotel; Birdman ears 6 Spirit Awards including Best Feature; Penguins Of Madagascar movie written off for 57 million in response to DreamWorks’ 500 layoffs

 

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

 

 

Politics was the name of the game at the Oscars last Sunday night as Hollywood’s biggest stars make good on their speeches. For the past few weeks, competition was getting rough between Boyhood and the Oscar favorite Birdman. Which flick took the most statues Johnny? 

 

 

 

Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Birdman took home the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday night.

 

  

Sean Penn presented the award to director Alejandro G. Inarritu. Sharing the stage with Inarritu were the film’s cast and crew, including Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.

 

Before announcing the winner, Penn exclaimed, “Who gave this son of a b—- his green card?” referring to the Mexican-born director. Inarritu then gave a poignant acceptance speech, dedicating his award to “my fellow Mexicans.”

He continued: “I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve, and the ones that live in this country, who are a part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect as the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.” 

Birdman beat out American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash to take home the Oscar. 

After accepting his best picture trophy, Inarritu responded to Penn’s opening “green card” joke backstage saying, “I found it hilarious. Sean and I have that kind of brutal relationship. I think it was very funny.”

 

The Oscar favorite nabbed 6 Spirit Award nom’s before getting the nod for best flick at the Oscars. How many Spirits did the bird swoop Jim?

 

 

Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Birdman won the 2015 Independent Spirit Award for the best feature.

The Fox Searchlight and New Regency film beat out fellow nominees Boyhood, Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash to take home the Spirit Awards’ top honor.

 

The award was the third prize of the night for Birdman, which also took home best cinematography honors early in the show, with star Michael Keaton also winning the award handed out right before best feature, for best male lead. Keaton returned to the stage with co-star Emma Stone, the film’s producers and director Alejandro G. Inarritu, who accepted the best feature award.

 

Inarritu called the award, “truly an honor,” touching on the challenges of making independent films.

“I think all of us here in this room and all of these filmmakers, all of these films…as many animals in nature, we are threatened to become species of extinction,” Inarritu said. “And I think all of these films differ from many others in a way…all of them borne from a need to be expressed, something to say, individual expression. And the way I see it I think cinema has these two natures, [a physical and an independent nature, with the independent coming from] the spirit and…from the only condition to be free from any sort of subordinate or objective of mak[ing] money only. I think all of these films were an act of love and I feel so proud, so emotional to be here tonight with you, really.”

 

He added that directing involves “vibrat[ing] in consonance with souls and pick[ing] things and people that can really make with you something extraordinary and I think I was lucky enough to work with all of the people in Birdman.”

Inarritu paid tribute to Keaton, in particular, along with the rest of the cast and his fellow writers and producers. He also thanked the executives at New Regency and Fox Searchlight, which distributed the film.

 

 

Back on Super Bowl Weekend, DreamWorks CEO announced that their animators were laid off as much as 450 according to Deadline Hollywood Reporter Angie Angelfish as part of a 2 year scheduling plan which increased to 500. He also announced the Penguins of Madagascar movie could be written off the same way as Peabody and Sherman as the lackluster crisis reared its ugly head once again. How many smackers did the studio lost on Team Skipper’s backstory Danny?

 

 

 

Danny Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- DreamWorks Animation took a $57.1 million write-down primarily on the lackluster performance of Penguins of Madagascar as well as Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the beleaguered film studio announced Tuesday while posting less-than-expected quarterly financial results.

The company also said Tuesday that it intends on raising money by selling its Glendale campus for $185 million then leasing back the space.

The film studio run by CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg posted a loss of $3.08 per share in the fourth quarter while analysts predicted a loss of $3.01. Revenue was $234.2 million while analysts expected $246 million.

Shares of DreamWorks Animation rose 2 percent to $21.13 on Tuesday but dropped 9 percent in the after-hours session after Wall Street got a look at the fourth-quarter results.

DreamWorks Animation had signaled a month ago that Penguins would likely result in a write-down of approximately $55 million, and at that time the studio also announced a restructuring that included 500 layoffs and a charge of about $290 million. On Tuesday, the studio said restructuring charges were $210.1 million, with $54.6 million attributable to employee termination costs and $155.5 million due to production costs of unreleased projects like B.O.O. and Monkeys of Mumbai.

Despite massive layoffs, Katzenberg says spirits are high among the remaining staff.

“There’s a great morale around the company right now even in the face of what has been, without a question, the hardest, most difficult, most painful eight weeks in our 20 year history,” Katzenberg said Tuesday during a conference call.

 

DreamWorks Animation also said a month ago that it was scaling back to only two film releases a year, though in 2015 it has just one: Home, which opens March 27.

Penguins was made for $132 million and it has earned $358 million worldwide since its release Nov. 26, not enough to show a profit given marketing expenses and box-office splits with exhibitors. Peabody was made for $145 million and earned $273 million since its release nearly a year ago.

The financial results also come as the studio recovers from disappointment at Sunday’s Oscar show, where Disney’s Big Hero 6 took the award for best animated feature even though DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 was widely considered the favorite in that category.

On Tuesday, Katzenberg said the studio will at least break even this year as long as Home breaks even or earns a profit. He also boasted of having delivered 40 episodes of TV shows to Netflix so far and he expressed enthusiasm for a DreamWorks Animation TV channel that will launch in countries across Asia this year. The company expects up to $250 million in TV-only revenue this year.

In the fourth quarter, DreamWorks Animation said $131.3 million of its revenue came from feature films, the biggest contributor being How to Train Your Dragon 2. Revenue from TV was $50.7 million and revenue from consumer products was $22.1 million.

The company also introduced a new segment, “new media,” which is where its 75 percent interest in Awesomeness TV will now reside. Revenue in the new segment was $24.9 million in the fourth quarter.

“Although 2014 was a challenging year for our company, I am confident that our recent announcement to restructure our feature film business will enable us to deliver great films and better box-office results,” Katzenberg said.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,767 fans sign in as the news of their backstory gets pummeled by Wall Street as DreamWorks’ underperformance continues.

 

 

 

Check out Cartoon Network’s Thursday night lineup as everything gets serious, from Teen Titans Go, to Regular Show. See you soon for another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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Fifty Shades holds off Mc Farland and the DUFF with 23 million to extend lead after mixed reviews and poor fan base from Valentine’s week; Viacom restructures plans for all TV networks; Powerpuff Girls reboot and Uncle Grandpa/Steven Universe crossover expected during Cartoon Network’s upcoming Spring schedule

 

Mr. Grey holds his position! I’m Realistic Fish Head! After a disappointing reaction from fans and mixed reviews from critics last week, Fifty Shades suffered a 73 percent drop dating back to Valentine’s week. But the movie managed to recover from the onslaught with 23 million as it currently reaches 200 million. Mr. Grey has a long way to go before he can silence the critics and some very harsh fans doesn’t he Gene?

 

 

Gene:

 

Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey held onto first place at the box office this weekend with an estimated $23.25 million. However, the successful romantic drama was down a massive 73 percent from last weekend’s three-day debut. Initial front-loading driven by the film’s pre-existing fanbase and Valentine’s Day along with mixed word of mouth and poor critical reviews are all having an effect on the film.  Fifty Shades of Grey held up well during the midweek, so it is likely the film will perform relatively stronger on weekdays than during the weekend going forward. In the bigger picture, Fifty Shades of Grey is still performing very well and continues to run towards the higher end of expectations with $130.15 million through ten days. That places the film a very impressive 50 percent ahead of the $86.93 million ten-day take of 2010’s Valentine’s Day (which fell 70 percent in its second weekend to gross $16.67 million).

Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service took in an estimated $17.53 million to remain in second place. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth was down 52 percent from last weekend. That represented a respectable second weekend hold, especially with last weekend’s debut having been inflated a bit by the dual-holiday weekend.  Kingsman continues to exceed expectations with a healthy $67.11 million in its first ten days of release. The film is currently running 54 percent ahead of the $43.52 million ten-day gross of 2010’s Red.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water held steady in third with an estimated $15.5 million. That represented a 51 percent decline from the previous frame. While The SpongeBob Movie has been relatively front-loaded for a family film so far, the film continues to exceed expectations in a very big way with $125.17 million through 17 days. That places The SpongeBob Movie 36 percent ahead of the $92.34 million 17-day take of 2011’s Rango. With no new family films entering the marketplace each of the next two weeks, The SpongeBob Movie could still stabilize going forward.

Disney’s McFarland, USA led this weekend’s openers with an estimated fourth place debut of $11.32M. The well received sports drama starring Kevin Costner opened on the high end of expectations. McFarland, USA opened 16 percent ahead of the $9.78 million start of last year’s Draft Day.

McFarland, USA opened with $3.62 million on Friday, increased 25 percent on Saturday to gross $4.53 million and is estimated to decline 30 percent on Sunday to take in $3.16 million. That gives the film a promising estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.12 to 1.  McFarland, USA also received a promising A rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film was evenly split between genders and skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (70 percent).

The DUFF followed closely behind in fifth place with an estimated $11.03 million. The PG-13 comedy from CBS Films and Lionsgate exceeded pre-release expectations and was helped out this weekend by relatively high levels of online buzz.  The DUFF opened 26 percent stronger than the $8.93 million start of last year’s That Awkward Moment.

The DUFF opened with $4.28 million on Friday, essentially held even on Saturday with $4.26 million and is estimated to decline 42 percent on Sunday to gross $2.49 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.58 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (75 percent) and female moviegoers under the age of 25 (68 percent). With an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore and no real new direct competition until Cinderella and Insurgent open in March, The DUFF has a good chance of holding up nicely going forward.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 stumbled out of the gates this weekend with a seventh place estimated debut of $5.8 million. The R-rated comedy sequel from Paramount opened below pre-release expectations and 59 percent below the $14.02 million start of 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine. Clearly Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is a sequel that audiences weren’t excited about.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 opened with $2.3 million on Friday, decreased 5 percent on Saturday to take in $2.19 million and is estimated to decline 40 percent on Sunday to gross $1.31 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.52 to 1. Going forward Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is unlikely to hold up as well as its predecessor did, especially after receiving a lackluster C- rating on CinemaScore.

Warner’s American Sniper continued to have a presence at the box office with an estimated sixth place take of $9.65 million. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper was down a very solid 41 percent. American Sniper has grossed $319.61 million after 38 days of wide release and continues to march closer to becoming the highest grossing release of 2014 domestically (a mark which is currently held by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 with $336.41 million).

 

 

To recap, Fifty Shades stays on top after a bad outing in 1st, Kingsman holds steady in 2nd as does SpongeBob Movie 2 in 3rd, Mc Farland, USA and the DUFF get held over in 4th and 5th as Fifty Shades continues to head into box office record territory.

 

 

Viacom is readying a readjustment plan after Van Toffler left the company on Monday. Since CEO Philippe Dauman recently announced a subscription free Nick for the Web, many executives are scrambling to see who gets each network that they can use under their group. Which execs get what channels Johnny?

 

 

 

Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Viacom on Thursday announced a consolidation of its leadership team, giving more power to executives Doug Herzog and Cyma Zarghami, both of whom will now lead new or expanded programming groups.

Herzog will head a newly-formed Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, while Zarghami will lead an expanded Viacom Kids and Family Group. 

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman announced the restructuring Thursday, saying that the “new groups are an enormous opportunity for us to take advantage of our strong creative teams, to share our expertise, and to promote greater cross marketing and, in some cases, cross channel programming activity.”

BET Networks’ Debi Lee, Bob Bakish at Viacom International Media Networks and Brad Grey at Paramount Pictures will continue to report to Dauman.

The restructuring follows the departure of 28-year MTV veteran Van Toffler earlier this week. Toffler, among the last executives with a connection to MTV’s musical roots, announced that in April he would leave his post as head of MTV, MTV2, VH1 and LOGO. Those networks will now become part of Herzog’s portfolio, which already includes Comedy Central, Spike and all digital offshoots including MTV’s Always On. Herzog, however, also has a connection to MTV, joining the network in 1984 and rising to president of MTV productions and later head of Comedy Central, where he helped to launch the latter’s most iconic series; South Park and The Daily Show.

TV Land, CMT and CMT Pure Country will move into Zarghami’s kids and family group, which will continue to house the highly profitable Nickelodeon Group including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nick at Nite, NickMom and NickToons.

Zarghami actually predates Dauman at Viacom — she marks 30 years at the company this year — and the two have had a close working relationship. Dauman described Zarghami as “an insightful and extremely capable leader” citing the relaunch of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise as an “example of her ability to reimagine properties and take them to new heights.”

Viacom’s networks have faced pressure lately due to sagging ratings, which has resulted in advertising declines. In the year’s first quarter, the company reported a 6% drop in U.S. ad sales, a declined that was somewhat obscured by a higher affiliate fees from cable distributors and a 60% increase in international advertising sales owed in large part to the acquisition late last year of U.K. broadcaster Channel 5. The ratings declines, coupled with the higher affiliate fee demands, have prompted cable distributors to push back against Viacom, in some cases blacking out its networks entirely. But the new structure seems to provide an opportunity to reduce costs, which is in line with Dauman’s recent comment that the company would pursue “a rationalization of content that no longer meets our goals” in an effort to reach “substantial” cost savings.

“I think the broader issues is that [streaming services are] changing the ecosystem,” notes Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible. “Netlflix and YouTube have done irreparable harm that has to be addressed with investments in new program strategies and distribution platforms. There is also a greater need to streamline operations at all media companies as ad revenue and affiliate fees face growing pressure. Viacom is not the first and won’t be the last to do this.”

In recent years, MTV and Nickelodeon in particular have been challenged by the rise of digital streaming programming options for kids and teens. Netflix, YouTube, Vine and Instagram, Snapchat, for instance, have increasingly become a regular part of the media diet for MTV and Nickelodeon’s core audiences. Comedy Central has arguably become the Viacom network with the most cache, but it suddenly finds itself at a pivotal moment, having seen the departure of John Oliver to HBO last year and Stephen Colbert to CBS later this year. And now it faces the daunting task of trying to replace Jon Stewart, who announced recently that he plans to leave his perch as host of The Daily Show later this year.

 

 

 

Back on Friday, we broke the story on Cartoon Network’s upcoming specials and possible returning shows as part of this year’s up front news. So as we wondered, will these specials help the checkerboard recover from last  year’s yearly ratings slump after being the only top network over Nick and Disney Channel? What did CN bring to the table Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Momentum and growth across all screens are driving Cartoon Network into the 2015-16 Upfront. Powered by number one shows and breakout new series, Cartoon was the only top kids network to see ratings growth in 2014. The network’s momentum has continued into the new year with double digit growth and moving into 2nd place with kids 6-11.*

Original series hits Adventure Time, Clarence, Regular Show, Steven Universe, The Amazing World of Gumball, Teen Titans Go! and Uncle Grandpa are leading the charge, further establishing Cartoon Network’s position as the #1 network with boys 6-11, while also seeing double-digit increases among girls 6-11 through 2014. Additionally, when in premieres, seven out of the top 10 shows among boys 6-11 on all of television were on Cartoon Network.*

As the leading choice for the mobile-first generation of plurals, Cartoon Network’s success extends beyond television screens into the digital and mobile space with deeply immersive content that transforms its viewers into fans. Cartoon Network was the #1 most-watched network on FOD across all of cable in 2014, with more than 300 million orders.** Cartoon Network Digital also published four #1 apps in the App Store and Google Play last year, with highly-engaging and top-rated mobile and tablet apps like CN Anything helping to expand the definition of programming for Cartoon Network by blending television and digital to create a platform-inclusive experience for fans.

“We are seeing great results with our platform-inclusive strategy to expand the definition of programming across all screens” said Christina Miller, President and General Manager, Cartoon Network- Boomerang -Adult Swim. “Whether in short or long form there are no walls for how Cartoon Network can be consumed. Digital, mobile and TV have all come together for this new generation of kids, who are very comfortable with the sheer volume of choice; and when you deliver compelling original content and innovative ways of experiencing it, they will find it, engage with it, and share it on every platform.”

For the third consecutive year, Cartoon Network brings its conversations on the road as it embarks on a series of meetings with key clients and promotional partners planned through February/March. Network, ad sales, marketing and programming executives will travel to key cities across the country to present its upcoming programming and digital slate, and discuss strategic partnership opportunities.

This year’s presentation also includes the new look and tone of Boomerang, which began a global re-launch last fall and debuted in the US on January 19 as an ad-supported network.

 

“Cartoon Network and Boomerang are brands rich with premium content that matters to today’s plurals and create high-impact opportunities for our advertising partners,” said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales. “Our kids properties are an essential part of Turner’s larger suite of brands committed to driving results for our clients through meaningful experiences.”

 

 

New Original Programming:

•We Bare Bears: We Bare Bears is a comedy about three bear siblings, named Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear. Each episode follows their awkward attempts at assimilating into human society, whether they’re looking for food, trying to make human friends, or scheming to become internet famous. Created by Annie Award-winner Daniel Chong (Toy Story of Terror!), We Bare Bears is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

•The Powerpuff Girls: Slated for a 2016 launch, The Powerpuff Girls reboot will include an all-new television series produced by Cartoon Network Studios and a full licensing program slated to roll out across all regions. One of the network’s most enduring original series, The Powerpuff Girls, which debuted on Cartoon Network in 1998, earned two Emmy® Awards, five nominations and countless animation honors throughout its 78-episode run. The Powerpuff Girls centers on three sugar-coated superheroes — Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup — whose mission in life alternates between going to school, fighting crime, winning at hopscotch and saving the world before bedtime. Emmy® and BAFTA award winner Nick Jennings (Adventure Time) is on board as executive producer.

 

•Mighty Magiswords: From Kyle Carrozza comes Cartoon Network Studios first original digital series about a brother and sister team of “Warriors for Hire,” who go on hilarious adventures and crazy quests to collect magical swords.

 

New Original Crossovers, Movies and Specials:

 

•Long Live the Royals Mini-Series: Come join the royal family as they celebrate the yearly Yule Hare Festival. Parties and feasts will be a plenty as they struggle to balance ruling a kingdom and life as a typical family. A new mini-series from Emmy® winner Sean Szeles (Regular Show).

•Steven Universe/ Uncle Grandpa Crossover Special “Say Uncle:” Two of your favorite Cartoon Network series, Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa, are joining forces for a special crossover episode! Watch as a long lost relative of Steven’s comes to town to aid him in unlocking the power of his mother’s gem!

 

•Regular Show: The Movie: From the creators of the hit Cartoon Network series Regular Show, comes a time travelling long-form special.  After accidentally creating a “Timenado,” slacker groundskeepers Mordecai and Rigby go back in time and battle an evil volleyball coach in order to save the universe… and their friendship.

 

•Adventure Time Special Mini-Series: In this multi-part series, Finn and Jake face a new threat to Ooo when Princess Bubblegum’s experiment unleashes ghosts from Marceline’s past.

 

 

New Acquired Programming:

 

•Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race: In this action-filled, outrageous buddy comedy, 18 pairs of contestants are put to the mental, physical and emotional test in a frantic race around the world. They’ll push themselves and their partners to the limit, but only one team will arrive at the mat first and become the winners of one million dollars!

 

•Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Summoned by Optimus Prime to save Earth from a new Decepticon threat, Bumblebee puts his light-hearted mettle to the test after assembling a rouge team of young Autobot action heroes.

 

•Supernoobs: From creator Scott Fellows (Johnny Test) and DHX Media, Supernoobs chronicles the misadventures of four nerdy friends, who are mistakenly tasked with saving the world from an evil space virus.

 

 

Here’s some of Cartoon Network’s shows that could return this year:

•Adventure Time                                                                                           
•The Amazing World of Gumball                                                                   
•Clarence
•Regular Show
•Teen Titans GO!
•Uncle Grandpa
•Steven Universe
•Mixels
•LEGO® NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu
•Pokémon the Series:XY
•Sonic Boom

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,773 fans sign in as we countdown to Team Skipper’s backstory on DVD.

 

 

Hollywood’s greatest event has arrived as the 2015 Oscars are on tonight. Watch out for these stunning winners which could change everything including the box office! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, good luck and may the best movie win!

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“Kids’ Choice Awards” Nominees Announced, Voting Begins

 

 

 

Let the voting commence! Gene Scallop here with this breaking News story!

 

Off the presses this morning, the nom’s for the 2015 KCA’s are out as the countdown begins. Who made the cut Dan?

 

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Nickelodeon has announced the nominees for the Kids’ Choice Awards 2015. The live show will air Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m. and be hosted by Nick Jonas.

Voting has started at Nick.com. Below are the nominees with their official hashtags for voting on Twitter:

Favorite Kids TV Show

Austin & Ally – #VoteAustinAndAlly #KCA
Dog With A Blog – #VoteDogWithABlog #KCA
Every Witch Way – #VoteEveryWitchWay #KCA
Henry Danger – #VoteHenryDanger #KCA
Jessie – #VoteJessie #KCA
Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn – #VoteNRDD #KCA

Favorite Family TV Show

Gotham – #VoteGotham
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – #VoteSHIELD #KCA
Modern Family – #VoteModernFamily #KCA
Once Upon a Time – #VoteOnceUponATime #KCA
The Big Bang Theory – #VoteBigBangTheory #KCA
The Flash – #VoteTheFlash #KCA

Favorite TV Actor

Benjamin Flores Jr. (Louie, The Haunted Hathaways) – #VoteBenFloresJr #KCA
Charlie McDermott (Axl, The Middle) – #VoteCharlieMcDermott #KCA
Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/The Flash, The Flash) – #VoteGrantGustin #KCA
Jack Griffo (Max, The Thundermans) – #VoteJackGriffo #KCA
Jim Parsons (Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory) – #VoteJimParsons #KCA
Ross Lynch (Austin, Austin & Ally) – #VoteRossLynch #KCA

Favorite TV Actress

Chloe Bennet (Skye, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) – #VoteChloeBennet #KCA
Debby Ryan (Jessie, Jessie) – #VoteDebbyRyan #KCA
Jennifer Morrison (Emma, Once Upon a Time) – #VoteJenniferMorrison #KCA
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (Penny, The Big Bang Theory) – #VoteKaleyCuocoSweeting #KCA
Kira Kosarin (Phoebe, The Thundermans) – #VoteKiraKosarin #KCA
Laura Marano (Ally, Austin & Ally) – #VoteLauraMarano #KCA

Favorite Cartoon

Adventure Time – #VoteAdventureTime #KCA
Phineas and Ferb – #VotePhineasAndFerb #KCA
SpongeBob SquarePants – #VoteSpongeBob #KCA
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – #VoteTMNT #KCA
Teen Titans Go! – #VoteTeenTitansGo #KCA
The Fairly OddParents – #VoteFairlyOddParents #KCA

Favorite Book

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series – #VoteDiaryOfAWimpyKid #KCA
Divergent Book Series – #VoteDivergent #KCA
Heroes of Olympus Book Series – #VoteHeroesOfOlympus #KCA
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods – #VoteGreekGods #KCA
The Fault in Our Stars – #VoteTheFaultInOurStars #KCA
The Maze Runner – #VoteMazeRunner #KCA

Most Addicting Game

Angry Birds Transformers – #VoteAngryBirds #KCA
Candy Crush – #VoteCandyCrush #KCA
Disney Infinity 2.0 – #VoteDisneyInfinity #KCA
Mario Kart 8 – #VoteMarioKart #KCA
Minecraft – #VoteMinecraft #KCA
Skylanders Trap Team – #VoteSkylanders #KCA

Favorite Villain

Angelina Jolie – #VoteAngelinaJolieVillain #KCA
Cameron Diaz – #VoteCameronDiazVillain #KCA
Donald Sutherland – #VoteDonaldSutherlandVillain #KCA
Jamie Foxx – #VoteJamieFoxxVillain #KCA
Lee Pace – #VoteLeePaceVillain #KCA
Meryl Streep – #VoteMerylStreepVillain #KCA

Favorite Reality Show

American Ninja Warrior – #VoteAmericanNinjaWarrior #KCA
Cupcake Wars – #VoteCupcakeWars #KCA
Dance Moms – #VoteDanceMoms #KCA
MasterChef Junior – #VoteMasterChefJunior #KCA
Shark Tank – #VoteSharkTank #KCA
Wipeout – #VoteWipeout #KCA

Favorite Talent Competition Show

America’s Got Talent – #VoteAmericasGotTalent #KCA
American Idol – #VoteAmericanIdol #KCA
America’s Next Top Model – #VoteANTM #KCA
Dancing With the Stars – #VoteDWTS #KCA
So You Think You Can Dance – #VoteSYTYCD #KCA
The Voice – #VoteTheVoice #KCA

Favorite Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy – #VoteGuardiansOfTheGalaxy #KCA
Maleficent – #VoteMaleficent #KCA
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – #VoteTMNTMovie #KCA
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – #VoteSpiderMan #KCA
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – #VoteHungerGames #KCA
Transformers: Age of Extinction – #VoteTransformers #KCA

Favorite Movie Actor

Ben Stiller – #VoteBenStiller #KCA
Hugh Jackman – #VoteHughJackman #KCA
Jamie Foxx – #VoteJamieFoxx #KCA
Mark Wahlberg – #VoteMarkWahlberg #KCA
Steve Carell – #VoteSteveCarell #KCA
Will Arnett – #VoteWillArnett #KCA

Favorite Movie Actress

Angelina Jolie – #VoteAngelinaJolie #KCA
Cameron Diaz – #VoteCameronDiaz #KCA
Elle Fanning – #VoteElleFanning #KCA
Emma Stone – #VoteEmmaStone #KCA
Jennifer Garner – #VoteJenniferGarner #KCA
Megan Fox – #VoteMeganFox #KCA

Favorite Animated Movie

Big Hero 6 – #VoteBigHero6 #KCA
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – #VoteHowToTrainYourDragon2 #KCA
Penguins of Madagascar – #VotePenguinsofMadagascar #KCA
Rio 2 – #VoteRio2 #KCA
The Lego Movie – #VoteTheLegoMovie #KCA
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water – #VoteSpongeBobMovie #KCA

Favorite Male Action Star

Andrew Garfield – #VoteAndrewGarfieldActionStar #KCA
Channing Tatum – #VoteChanningTatumActionStar
Chris Evans – #VoteChrisEvansActionStar #KCA
Chris Pratt – #VoteChrisPrattActionStar #KCA
Hugh Jackman – #VoteHughJackmanActionStar #KCA
Liam Hemsworth – #VoteLiamHemsworthActionStar #KCA

Favorite Female Action Star

Ellen Page – #VoteEllenPage #KCA
Evangeline Lilly – #VoteEvangelineLilly #KCA
Halle Berry – #VoteHalleBerry #KCA
Jennifer Lawrence – #VoteJenniferLawrence #KCA
Scarlett Johansson – #VoteScarlettJohansson #KCA
Zoe Saldana – #VoteZoeSaldana #KCA

Favorite Music Group

Coldplay – #VoteColdplay #KCA
Fall Out Boy – #VoteFallOutBoy #KCA
Imagine Dragons – #VoteImagineDragons #KCA
Maroon 5 – #VoteMaroon5 #KCA
One Direction – #VoteOneDirection #KCA
OneRepublic – #VoteOneRepublic #KCA

Favorite Female Singer

Ariana Grande – #VoteArianaGrande #KCA
Beyonce – #VoteBeyonce #KCA
Katy Perry – #VoteKatyPerry #KCA
Nicki Minaj – #VoteNickiMinaj #KCA
Selena Gomez – #VoteSelenaGomez #KCA
Taylor Swift – #VoteTaylorSwift #KCA

Favorite Song Of The Year

All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor) – #VoteAllAboutThatBass #KCA
Bang Bang (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj) – #VoteBangBang #KCA
Dark Horse (Katy Perry) – #VoteDarkHorse #KCA
Fancy (Iggy Azalea feat Charli XCX) – #VoteFancy #KCA
Problem (Ariana Grande feat Iggy Azalea) – #VoteProblem #KCA
Shake It Off (Taylor Swift) – #VoteShakeItOff #KCA

Favorite New Artist

5 Seconds of Summer – #Vote5SoS #KCA
Echosmith – #VoteEchosmith #KCA
Fifth Harmony – #VoteFifthHarmony #KCA
Iggy Azalea – #VoteIggyAzalea #KCA
Jessie J – #VoteJessieJ #KCA
Meghan Trainor – #VoteMeghanTrainor #KCA

 

 

Good luck to all of our KCA nominees. Be sure to vote until March 28 to see who wins. The Up fronts begin early as Cartoon Network delivered a spring load of specials and new episodes this morning. Will it help boost  their viewership ratings quicker? We’ll digest them in our Oscar edition of Gene Scallop’s Sunday entertainment report.

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Birdman and Boyhood predicted to win most Oscars, Big Hero 6 predicted to win best animated picture; Talking Tom and Friends headed to TV debut to find new friends; Jim Henson’s Doozers set to debut as new animated companies join in

 

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

 

The 2015 Oscars are 4 days away. And as of yesterday, this year’s nom’s are out. With help from Nicole Sperling, Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar predictions, who’ll take the most number of statues Danny?

 

 

 

Danny Angelfish (via Entertainment Weekly)-Final Oscar ballots are due Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. PT.—but given the way pre-Academy Awards prizes have shaken out, as well as a variety of other factors, EW’s Nicole Sperling has her predictions nailed down:

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

 

 

Boyhood…Birdman. Birdman…Boyhood. Which one comes out on top? For weeks Boyhood was the front-runner, sweeping critics’ groups and bagging a Golden Globe. No one was shocked when the showbusiness saga Birdman won at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. But then it cleaned up with both the Producers and the Directors Guilds, and suddenly Boyhood was no longer the shoo-in. If we judged purely by statistics, we’d have to pick Birdman. A Boyhood win would be the biggest upset since 1995, when Braveheart unseated Apollo 13 after winning only one guild prize (for writing). And the thing is…we think it could happen. Between the British Academy of Film naming Boyhood Best Picture and our own polling of Academy members, we believe Richard Linklater’s indie epic will be the quiet rebel that steals the show.

 

 

Best Director
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

 

 

The 2015 Oscar race has been as confounding as Birdman’s final scene—especially when it comes to the directing category. Our bet is that Oscar voters are going to honor both their favorite films by splitting Best Picture and Best Director. This has happened 24 times in the Academy Awards’ 86-year history, though it’s occurred more often in the past decade, most recently in 2014, when Alfonso Cuarón won for Gravity and 12 Years a Slave claimed Best Picture. This year, Boyhood’s Richard Linklater took home the Golden Globe and a series of critics’ awards, but the Directors Guild prize, which is the most reliable indicator of Oscar glory, went to Alejandro G. Iñárritu. It will be a photo finish, but we believe that the Academy will reward technical bravura over unobtrusive innovation, and Iñárritu will edge out Linklater.

 

 

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

 

 

From the very first screenings of Still Alice in September, this race has been Julianne Moore’s to lose. Her performance as a linguistics professor battling early-onset Alzheimer’s is subtle, devastating, beautiful—everything we’ve come to expect from her. She won the Golden Globe and SAG awards, making her a statistical near lock for Oscar victory. And having lost the Academy’s top prize four times before, she is also benefiting from a feeling among voters that she is long overdue. Nothing stands in her way. Not previous Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard, who was a late-breaking entrant for her turn as a laid-off factory employee fighting to save her job in the Belgian film Two Days, One Night. Not Rosamund Pike, so deliciously wicked and complex as a rich girl–turned–spurned wife–turned–conniving revenge-seeker in Gone Girl. Not Felicity Jones, forceful yet tender as Stephen Hawking’s first wife in The Theory of Everything. And not Reese Witherspoon—another previous champ in this category—who so convincingly captured the pain of a woman lost in her own grief in Wild. Get ready to watch Moore claim what’s hers.

 

 

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

 

 

This is the one acting race with some real drama, as the seasoned veteran goes up against the bright-eyed upstart. For months Michael Keaton was the clear front-runner, thanks to his career-rejuvenating performance as a washed-up actor in Birdman. But then Eddie Redmayne came along as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and turned this into a two-man contest. Ironically, right as Birdman’s standing has risen in the Best Picture race in recent weeks, Keaton’s status appears to have slipped, especially after Redmayne beat him at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last month. Because SAG has predicted every single Best Actor winner in the past 10 years and the actors’ branch makes up the Academy’s largest voting bloc, it seems logical to conclude that the young Brit has clinched the lead. But that’s not the conclusion we’re drawing. Our money’s on Keaton. His go-for-broke performance, coupled with his long history in Hollywood, should give him the edge. Plus, after watching him choke up while thanking his son during his Golden Globe acceptance
speech, voters are going to find it hard to deny him another chance to move them.

 

 

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

 

 

This year, not even Meryl Streep can cut into the industry’s love for Patricia Arquette and her 12-year role as the mom in Boyhood. Since the movie premiered at Sundance last year, admiration for Arquette has only become more fervent, as she racks up accolade after accolade for her vanity-free deep dive into the life of a woman who puts herself through school and tries to build a better life for her family. She’s won critics’ awards, the Golden Globe, and, most crucially, the SAG prize. Over the past decade, the Screen Actors Guild has had a 80 percent success rate in predicting the Oscar winner in this category. So, Patricia, get cracking on that acceptance speech. And please, no reading it off a crumpled piece of notebook paper this time.

 

 

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

 

 

J.K. Simmons is this year’s best supporting actor. No one comes close to posing a threat to him and his formidable work as Whiplash’s maniacal, sadistic conductor. He has won prizes from almost every critics’ group in the country, as well as trophies from SAG and the Golden Globes. No doubt the 60-year-old’s performance resonates on its own merits, but it also represents everything that the Academy loves to reward: the journeyman character actor who has paid his dues in projects ranging from NBC’s Law & Order to Spider-Man to those ubiquitous Farmers Insurance commercials. With Whiplash, Simmons took the role by the horns and never let go, leaving an indelible mark on audiences—and Oscar voters.

 

 

Best Original Screenplay
Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy

 

 

Boyhood and Birdman will be battling it out in this category too, but with Grand Budapest’s BAFTA win and some strong momentum, we’ll give it to Wes Anderson for his quirky, highly original screenplay.

 

 

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper, Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

 

 

Imitation Game landed eight Oscar nominations, but may only go home with one win—and it will likely be in this category. Graham Moore has been celebrated for his screenplay since it first landed on the top of the Black List in 2007. The script also won USC’s Scripter Award, also a good bellwether for the Oscars.

 

 

Best Film Editing
Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, American Sniper
Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel
William Goldenberg, The Imitation Game
Tom Cross, Whiplash

 

 

Boyhood’s Sandra Adair, Richard Linklater’s long-term editor, should walk away with this prize. She landed the ACE Eddie Award against some stiff competition, and while she will face off against Whiplash and American Sniper in the category, she doesn’t have to contend with Birdman since that film was left out of this race.

 

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Ida
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

 

 

Emmanuel Lubezki is likely to claim his second consecutive victory (he won last year for Gravity) for his audacious style.

 

 

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game, Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar, Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
Into the Woods, Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Mr. Turner, Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) have already had their work on Grand Budapest rewarded by the Art Directors Guild. It’s likely the Academy will follow suit, rewarding the two for their efforts in transforming a huge European dept. store into Anderson’s singular hotel.

 

 

Best Costume Design
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice
Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive, Maleficent
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner

 

 

This is Academy fave Milena Canonero’s ninth nom (and possible fourth win). Plus, Budapest is the only nominee in this category that’s also a Best Picture contender. That gives it an edge.

 

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, Foxcatcher
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White, Guardians of the Galaxy

 

This is a tight three-way race in this category with some amazing achievements in each nominee, but in the end we think the work done on the serious drama will beat out the more fanciful stylings in the other two films.

 

 

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy, Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar, Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past, Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

 

 

The blending of real-world settings with CG animation, and the high level of detail on the primates, puts Apes in the lead.

 

 

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper, Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman, Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar, Richard King
Unbroken, Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

 

 

It’s a close race between American Sniper and Interstellar, but we think the winner goes to the best picture contender.

 

 

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar, Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash, Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

 

 

Again, American Sniper is in the poll position to win here—but we think the edge will go to spoiler Whiplash.

 

 

Best Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat
The Imitation Game, Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar, Hans Zimmer
Mr. Turner, Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything, Johann Johannsson

 

 

Alexandre Desplat is the dominant name here, with two nominations for Grand Budapest and Imitation Game—but we think Theory of Everything composer Johann Johannson could edge him out for the win.

 

 

Best Original Song
“Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie; Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
“Glory” from Selma; Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me; Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
“Lost Stars” from Begin Again; Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

 

 

Competition will be stiff in this category, considering that a vote for either “Glory” or “Everything is Awesome” is something of a protest vote. But we’re giving it to the soulful “Glory.”

 

 

Best Foreign Language film
Ida, Poland
Leviathan, Russia
Tangerines, Estonia
Timbuktu, Mauritania
Wild Tales, Argentina

 

 

Ida lost at the Golden Globes but won at BAFTA—and should take the win here, especially since it landed a cinematography nomination too.

 

 

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Without The LEGO Movie in the race, there’s no obvious choice. How to Train Your Dragon 2 has the sequel factor working against it. Disney’s sweet meditation on loss and grief will win.

 

 

Best Documentary Feature
Citizenfour
Finding Vivien Maier
Last Days of Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

 

 

Laura Poitras has already taken home the DGA Award for her acclaimed Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, which was also named the year’s Best Documentary Feature by the International Documentary Association and BAFTA; expect the Academy to follow suit.

 

Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

 

 

Disney’s short Feast is the populist choice, but Academy members also like The Bigger Picture. We’re sticking with Feast now—but may wind up disappointed: Disney’s Get a Horse! lost last year.

 

 

Best Live Action Short
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
Parvaneh
The Phone Call

 

 

The only lighthearted film in this category, the tender 14-minute tale of domesticity—set in the middle of Northern Ireland’s religious war—will most likely take home the prize.

 

 

Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 for the win. HBO’s doc is important, topical and highlights some unlikely heroes.

 

 

Known to all as the Web’s funniest group, Talking Tom and Friends have entertained kids since first appeared under the Disney brand. Now, Tom and his gang are headed to the airwaves after a longer wait from the Web. What’s it all about Dan?

 

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)-  Outfit7 Limited will meet with industry leaders and distributors at the Kidscreen Summit in Miami this month armed with its all-new 3D CGI animated series Talking Tom and Friends.  

Dominating the global top spot in the digital sphere as a family-friendly entertainment juggernaut, Talking Tom and Friends has achieved over 2 billion mobile downloads and 1.4 billion YouTube views in just over four years.

The brand new 52 x 11’ CGI animated series Talking Tom and Friends, chronicles the adventures, hijinks, and inventions of Talking Tom and gang as they shoot their own reality television show. 

“There is no doubt that the Talking Tom and Friends characters have made an indelible mark in the global mobile arena,” said Samo Login, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Outfit7. “We’ve assembled an incredible creative team of writers, animators and producers to help these much-loved characters transition from the digital world to the small screen for audiences to enjoy in an exciting new way.”

Talking Tom and Friends is being produced by arx anima animation studios and has been developed by Samo Login, Boris Dolenc and Tom Martin.  Executive producers for Outfit7 are Samo Login and Boris Dolenc while Kris Staber will executive produce for arx anima.

Fans and social media followers of the franchise got a ‘sneak peek’ of the Talking Tom and Friends series in late December 2014, when the prelude episode was launched. In less than a month, the number of YouTube views of the episode had catapulted to over 10 million, further illustrating the characters’ global reach and popularity.

Armed with cameras, tech gear, loads of ideas, and an unfailing sense of optimism, the animated series follows Tom and the gang as they make their own show from the (relative) comfort of Tom’s garage/app studio! Although their adventures and inventions never quite turn out the way they planned, together Tom, Angela, Ben, Hank and Ginger are unstoppable!

 

 

 

Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock, a classic from the 1980’s and 1990’s, had spread towards worldwide fandom in numbers. Now their worker friends The Doozers are getting their own TV show inspired by The Fraggles. What’s the new show about Dan?

 

 

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World (continued)- The Jim Henson Company, world-renowned family entertainment producer and distributor, has licensed Parents Choice Gold Award-winner Doozers—the CG-animated preschool series inspired by the wildly popular characters from the company’s classic series Fraggle Rock—to leading media partners around the world.  Additionally, licensing agents have been appointed in key global markets.  The announcements were made by Richard Goldsmith, EVP, Global Distribution and International Consumer Products, The Jim Henson Company.

“Media platforms, home entertainment partners and licensees the world over recognize that the inventive, engaging characters and the modern innovative world that is Doozers resonates with children and their parents regardless of language or location,” said Goldsmith. “The industry’s enthusiastic response to our program that encourages design thinking, inventing, and creativity, validates our passion for this charming series.”

Kicking off its roster of new agreements, the company has partnered in Europe with leading media platforms, including France Télévisions (France), RTVE for Clan (Spain), Dreamia (Portugal), and AMC Networks International for Canal Panda (Spain); and has also signed with German home video distribution company Polyband, who will distribute Doozers DVDs in German-language markets.

In New Zealand, Doozers will air on TV New Zealand, and has been licensed to MediaCorp (Malaysia and Singapore) for its Okto Channel.

In Israel, children’s channel HOP! will be the new home of Doozers, while in the Middle East, the series will be available on Radio Television Brunei and on Emirates Cable TV & Multimedia LLC’s E-Junior (UAE).

Rounding out Doozers news, the Company has appointed consumer products licensing agencies for the brand, including Biplano (France, Spain and Portugal), Active Merchandising International (Germany), Distefano Licensing (Italy), and The Fusion Agency (Australia).   

Doozers, which debuted in April 2014 in the U.S. as the first Hulu Original series for kids, first launched in the UK on Cartoonito, in Germany on Boomerang, in Italy on Boing, on Discovery Kids Latin America, Nick Jr. Australia and Cartoon Network Asia. 

A modern series for modern families, Doozers features the adventures of The Pod Squad: Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex and Daisy Wheel.  The four Doozer kids live at the edge of our world and right under our noses in the fantastical, modern and eco-friendly Doozer Creek. They’re green, they’re cute and they’re three inches tall, full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm. Doozers put their ideas into action and change their dreams into reality, from designing a Doozer Derby racing car to flying in a kaleidoscope of butterflies or building a giant gingerbread house.

The series celebrates the spirit of being an innovator and inspires all kids to have an “I can do it” attitude. Doozers features a ground-breaking design thinking curriculum, which is part of an overall STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) initiative.

The Doozers series is a co-production of The Jim Henson Company and DHX Media Ltd. Serving as Executive Producers for The Jim Henson Company are Lisa Henson, CEO, and Halle Stanford, Executive Vice President of Children’s Entertainment. Steven DeNure and Anne Loi serve as Executive Producers for DHX Media Ltd.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,786 fans sign in as Team Skipper completes another Valentine’s Day mission.

 

 

Remember folks, the 2015 Oscars are on this Sunday on ABC. We’ll see if either Birdman or Boyhood will earn best flick. Competition has proven to be tough for these 2 flicks, but only one will win. In the meantime, stay put for the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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Fifty Shades of Grey scores 81 million going into President’s Day weekend, Kingsman meets its goals to take 2nd; The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel win big at the Writer’s Guild Awards; Jonas Brother Nick Jonas to host 2015 Kids Choice Awards

 

Mr. Grey will see you now! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The film based on the novel of the same name, surprised the box office with 81 million going right towards President’s Day weekend. Kingsman, Fox’s new dramatic espionage hit bested box office expectations as both movies gain the upper hand since last week. As for Fifty Shades Gene, did the movie live up to expectations just like in the book?

 

 

Gene:

 

Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey lived up to the hype at the box office this weekend with an estimated three-day start of $81.7 million. The highly anticipated erotic romantic drama opened in line with its massive (and wide-ranging) pre-release expectations, which had surged in the weeks leading up to the film’s release due in part to extremely strong pre-sales.  Fifty Shades of Grey seized control of the record for the largest three-day Presidents Day weekend debut of all time; as it outpaced the $56.26 million three-day start of 2010’s Valentine’s Day by a very impressive 45 percent. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Fifty Shades of Grey claimed the second largest opening weekend ever for the month of February, as it placed just behind the $83.85 million opening weekend performance of 2004’s The Passion of the Christ. Fifty Shades of Grey also claimed the fifth largest R-rated opening weekend of all-time (behind only 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded, last month’s debut of American Sniper, 2011’s The Hangover Part II and The Passion of the Christ). Universal’s current four-day estimate for Fifty Shades of Grey is $90.7 million.

Fifty Shades of Grey opened with $30.3 million on Friday (which included an estimated $8.6 million from Thursday night shows), experienced a healthy 21 percent Valentine’s Day boost on Saturday to take in $36.7 million and is estimated to decline 60 percent on Sunday to gross $14.7 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.70 to 1. It is possible that Fifty Shades of Grey may be quite front-loaded going forward, due in part to the opening weekend rush out of the film’s pre-existing fanbase. The film’s lackluster C+ CinemaScore rating and poor critical reviews aren’t promising early signs either when it comes to long term holding power.

The audience breakdown for Fifty Shades of Grey skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (68 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (58 percent). The film grossed $2.1 million over the four-day frame from its limited IMAX run in 85 locations, which was announced fairly last minute.

Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service was off to a nice start of its own this weekend with an estimated second place take of $35.6 million over the three-day frame. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth exceeded expectations and likely received an added boost from serving as counter-programming for audiences not interested in Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Kingsman claimed the seventh largest three-day Presidents Day weekend debut ever. Kingsman opened a very impressive 79.5 percent stronger than the $19.83 million debut of 2010’s Kick-Ass. BOXOFFICE is currently projecting a four-day start of $40.5 million for Kingsman.

Kingsman: The Secret Service opened with $10.5 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.4 million from Thursday night shows), increased 47 percent on Saturday to gross $15.45 million and is estimated to decline 37.5 percent on Sunday to take in $9.65 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.39 to 1. Kingsman received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.

After last weekend’s stronger than expected debut, Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water fell two spots and 45 percent to claim third place over the three-day frame with an estimated $30.54 million. While The SpongeBob Movie experienced a significant second weekend decline for a family film over Presidents Day weekend, the film still continues to exceed expectations in a big way thanks to getting off to such a strong start last weekend. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water has grossed $93.67 million through ten days of release and is set to surpass the $100 million mark on Monday. Paramount is currently estimating a four-day take of $37.6 million for The SpongeBob Movie.

Warner’s American Sniper placed in fourth with an estimated $16.44 million. In the process the Clint Eastwood directed blockbuster starring Bradley Cooper surpassed the $300 million mark this weekend; making it just the third release of 2014 to do so.  American Sniper was down a healthy 29 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to hold up well. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, American Sniper claimed the eighth largest fifth weekend performance of all time. American Sniper has grossed a massive $304.13 million after 31 days of wide release and remains on course to become the highest grossing release of 2014. BOXOFFICE is currently estimated a four-day take of $19.0 million for American Sniper.

Fellow Warner Bros. release Jupiter Ascending rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $9.43 million. The expensive 3D sci-fi film from The Wachowskis starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis was down a sizable 49 percent from last weekend. Jupiter Ascending has grossed $32.55 million in ten days, which is very disappointing with the film’s price tag in mind. The film is currently running 7.5 percent ahead of the $30.28 million ten-day take of 2008’s Speed Racer (which fell 56 percent in its second weekend to gross $8.12 million). BOXOFFICE is currently estimating a $10.8 million take for Jupiter Ascending over the four-day frame.

 

To recap as we head towards President’s Day weekend, Fifty Shades tops 1st, as Grey continues to contain the most smackers, Kingsman uses its super spy skills in 2nd as it puts their box office numbers in their favor, SpongeBob Movie 2 hits off the port bow in 3rd after being sidetracked by The Lego Movie’s 65 smacker open last February as The Sponge continues to fire on target, American Sniper drops 4th after being struck down by the Sponge’s sequel last week, and Jupiter Ascending zooms in 5th.

 

 

There’s only 3 awards shows left this awards season as the Oscars are approaching fast. Last night, Oscar contenders The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel scored big time at the WGA’s. Who else impressed the guild Danny?

 

 

Danny Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel were winners on Saturday night at the Writers Guild of America Awards, claiming honors for adapted screenplay and original screenplay respectively.

The Writers Guild of America, West and The Writers Guild of America, East held simultaneous awards ceremonies Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and the Edison Ballroom in New York.

Lisa Kudrow hosted the Los Angeles ceremony, while Larry Wilmore emceed the New York event.

 

In Los Angeles, Laurel Awards for Screen and for Television were presented to Harold Ramis and Shonda Rhimes respectively. Special achievement awards were presented to Len Uhley (Animation Writing Award), Margaret Nagle (Paul Selvin Award) and Pedro Almodovar (Jean Renoir Award). The guild’s Morgan Cox Award was given to Jeff Melvoin and its Valentine Davies Award to Ben Affleck.

In New York, honorary awards were presented to Norman Lear, Paul Haggis and Jeremy Pikser.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

(WINNER) The Grand Budapest Hotel, Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness; Fox Searchlight

Boyhood, Written by Richard Linklater; IFC Films

Foxcatcher, Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman; Sony Pictures Classics

Nightcrawler, Written by Dan Gilroy; Open Road Films

Whiplash, Written by Damien Chazelle; Sony Pictures Classics

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

(WINNER) The Imitation Game, Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges; The Weinstein Company

American Sniper, Written by Jason Hall; Based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice; Warner Bros.

Gone Girl, Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel; 20th Century Fox

Guardians of the Galaxy, Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Wild, Screenplay by Nick Hornby; Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed; Fox Searchlight

See more Oscars: ‘Boyhood’-ing the Acting Nominees

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

(WINNER) The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Written by Brian Knappenberger; FilmBuff

Finding Vivian Maier, Written by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel; Sundance Selects

Last Days in Vietnam, Written by Mark Bailey & Kevin McAlester; American Experience Films

Red Army, Written by Gabe Polsky; Sony Pictures Classics

Read More ‘Birdman,’ ‘Gone Girl’ Win Final Draft Awards 

TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA NOMINEES

DRAMA SERIES

(WINNER) True Detective, Written by Nic Pizzolatto; HBO

Game of Thrones, Written by David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, George R.R. Martin, D.B. Weiss; HBO

The Good Wife, Written by Leonard Dick, Keith Eisner, Matthew Hodgson, Ted Humphrey, Michelle King, Robert King, Erica Shelton Kodish, Matthew Montoya, Luke Schelhaas, Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Craig Turk, Julia Wolfe; CBS

House of Cards, Written by Bill Cain, Laura Eason, Sam R. Forman, William Kennedy, Kenneth Lin, John Mankiewicz, David Manson, Beau Willimon; Netflix

Mad Men, Written by Heather Jeng Bladt, Semi Chellas, Jonathan Igla, David Iserson, Erin Levy, Matthew Weiner, Carly Wray; AMC

Read More ‘Birdman’ Wins Top CAS Sound Mixing Award  

COMEDY SERIES

(WINNER) Louie, Written by Louis CK; FX

Orange Is the New Black, Written by Stephen Falk, Sian Heder, Tara Herrmann, Sara Hess, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Lauren Morelli, Alex Regnery, Hartley Voss; Netflix

Silicon Valley, Written by John Altschuler, Alec Berg, Matteo Borghese, Jessica Gao, Mike Judge, Dave Krinsky, Carson Mell, Dan O’Keefe, Clay Tarver, Rob Turbovsky, Ron Weiner; HBO

Transparent, Written by Bridget Bedard, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, Ethan Kuperberg, Ali Liebegott, Faith Soloway, Jill Soloway; Amazon Prime

Veep, Written by Simon Blackwell, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO

NEW SERIES

(WINNER) True Detective, Written by Nic Pizzolatto; HBO

The Affair, Written by Dan LeFranc, Hagai Levi, Melanie Marnich, Eric Overmyer, Kate Robin, Sarah Treem; Showtime

The Knick, Written by Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, Steven Katz; Cinemax

Silicon Valley, Written by John Altschuler, Alec Berg, Matteo Borghese, Jessica Gao, Mike Judge, Dave Krinsky, Carson Mell, Dan O’Keefe, Clay Tarver, Rob Turbovsky, Ron Weiner; HBO

Transparent, Written by Bridget Bedard, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, Ethan Kuperberg, Ali Liebegott, Faith Soloway, Jill Soloway; Amazon Prime

LONG FORM ORIGINAL

(WINNER) Deliverance Creek, Written by Melissa Carter; Lifetime

Return to Zero, Written by Sean Hanish; Lifetime

 

LONG FORM ADAPTED

(WINNER) Olive Kitteridge, Teleplay by Jane Anderson, Based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout; HBO

Houdini, Written by Nicholas Meyer; Based on the book Houdini: A Mind in Chains: A Psychoanalytic Portrait by Bernard C. Meyer, M.D.; History Channel

Klondike, Parts One, Three and Six, Teleplay by Paul T. Scheuring, Parts Two, Four and Five, Teleplay by Josh Goldin & Rachel Abramowitz, Based on the book Gold Diggers by Charlotte Gray; Discovery Channel

The Normal Heart, Teleplay by Larry Kramer, Based on his play The Normal Heart; HBO

“Pilot” (The Leftovers), Teleplay by Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta, Based on the book by Tom Perrotta; HBO

SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ORIGINAL

(WINNER) “Episode 113: Rachel” (High Maintenance), Written by Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair; helpingyoumaintain.com

“Apocalypse No” (Bad Shorts), Written by Ben Zelevansky; luckybirdsmedia.com

“City of Angels” (Caper), Written by Amy Berg & Mike Sizemore; hulu.com

“Episode 1 – Nature” (F To 7th), Written by Ingrid Jungermann; youtube.com

“Episode 204” (Vicky and Lysander), Written by Damon Cardasis and Shannon Walker; youtube.com

“Episode 207” (Vicky and Lysander), Written by Damon Cardasis and Shannon Walker; youtube.com

ANIMATION

(WINNER) “Brick Like Me” (The Simpsons), Written by Brian Kelley; Fox

“Bob and Deliver” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Greg Thompson; Fox

“Covercraft” (The Simpsons), Written by Matt Selman; Fox

“Pay Pal” (The Simpsons), Written by David Steinberg; Fox

“Steal This Episode” (The Simpsons), Written by J. Stewart Burns; Fox

“Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Nora Smith; Fox

 

EPISODIC DRAMA

(WINNER) “The Last Call” (The Good Wife), Written by Robert King & Michelle King CBS

“A Day’s Work” (Mad Men), Written by Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner; AMC

“Devil You Know” (Boardwalk Empire), Written by Howard Korder; HBO

“Donald the Normal” (Rectify), Written by Kate Powers & Ray McKinnon; Sundance Channel

“Friendless Child” (Boardwalk Empire), Written by Riccardo DiLoreto & Cristine Chambers and Howard Korder; HBO

“The Lion and the Rose” (Game of Thrones), Written for Television by George R.R. Martin; HBO

EPISODIC COMEDY

(WINNER) “So Did the Fat Lady” (Louie), Written by Louis C.K.; FX

“The Cold” (Modern Family), Written by Rick Wiener & Kenny Schwartz; ABC

“Landline” (New Girl), Written by Rob Rosell; Fox

“Low Self Esteem City” (Orange Is the New Black), Written by Nick Jones; Netflix

“Three Dinners” (Modern Family), Written by Abraham Higginbotham & Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman; ABC

“The Wilderness” (Transparent), Written by Ethan Kuperberg; Amazon Prime

COMEDY / VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK) – SERIES

(WINNER) Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner; HBO

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Writers: Rory Albanese, Dan Amira, Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Travon Free, Hallie   Haglund, JR Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Matt Koff, Adam Lowitt, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Owen Parsons, Daniel Radosh, Lauren Sarver, Jon Stewart, Delaney Yeager; Comedy Central

Inside Amy Schumer, Head Writer: Jessi Klein Writers: Emily Altman, Jeremy Beiler, Neil Casey, Kyle Dunnigan, Kurt Metzger, Christine Nangle, Dan Powell, Amy Schumer; Comedy Central

The Colbert Report, Writers: Michael Brumm, Nate Charny, Aaron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Ariel Dumas, Glenn Eichler, Gabe Gronli, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Sam Kim, Matt Lappin, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner; Comedy Central

Jimmy Kimmel Live, Head Writers: Molly McNearney, Danny Ricker, Gary Greenberg Writers: Jack Allison, Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Bess Kalb, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Loveness, Bryan Paulk, Rick Rosner, Bridger Winegar; ABC

Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Seth Meyers, Colin Jost, Rob Klein, Bryan Tucker Writers:  James Anderson, Alex Baze, Michael Che, Mikey Day, Steve Higgins, Leslie Jones, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Erik Kenward, Lorne Michaels, Claire Mulaney, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Katie Rich, Tim Robinson, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Lakendra Tookes; NBC

Real Time with Bill Maher, Head Writer: Billy Martin Writers: Scott Carter, Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Bill Maher, Danny Vermont; HBO

See more The Making of ‘Boyhood’ With Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS

(WINNER) 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, Written by Barry Adelman; Special Material by Alex Baze, Dave Boone, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jon Macks, Sam Means, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, Mike Shoemaker; NBC

The 68th Annual Tony Awards, Written by Dave Boone; Special Material by Jon Macks; CBS

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, Written by Gerry Duggan, Wayne Federman, Patton Oswalt, Erik Weiner; IFC

Bill Maher: Live from D.C., Written by Bill Maher; HBO

Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles, Written by Sarah Silverman; HBO

QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

(WINNER) Hollywood Game Night, Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Alex Chauvin, Ann Slichter; NBC

Jeopardy!, Written by John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC

 

DAYTIME DRAMA

(WINNER) General Hospital, Written by Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Elizabeth Page, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten; ABC

Days of Our Lives, Written by Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Janet Iacobuzio, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Christopher Whitesell; NBC

CHILDREN’S SCRIPT – EPISODIC AND SPECIALS

(WINNER) “Haunted Heartthrob” (Haunted Hathaways), Written by Bob Smiley; Nickelodeon

“Girl Meets 1961” (Girl Meets World), Written by Matthew Nelson; Disney Channel

“Haunted Sisters” (Haunted Hathaways), Written by Boyce Bugliari & Jamie McLaughlin; Nickelodeon

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS

(WINNER) “United States of Secrets: The Program (Part One)” (Frontline); PBS; Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

“Losing Iraq” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

“United States of Secrets: Privacy Lost (Part Two)” (Frontline), Written by Martin Smith; PBS

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

(WINNER) “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

“Episode Five: The Rising Road (1933-1939)” (The Roosevelts: An Intimate History), Written by Geoffrey C. Ward; PBS

“Standing Up in the Milky Way (Episode 1)” (COSMOS: A Space Time Odyssey), Written by Ann Druyan and Steven Soter; Fox

Read More Oscars: What ‘Hobbit’s’ Sound Editors Used to Make Clashing Armies Sound Realistic 

TV NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

(WINNER) “Nelson Mandela: A Man Who Changed the World” (World News with Diane Sawyer), Written by Diane Sawyer, Lisa Ferri, Dave Bloch; ABC News

“50th Anniversary of JFK’s Assassination” (CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley), Written by Jerry Cipriano, Joe Clines; CBS News

CBS This Morning, Written by Duane Tollison, Chip Sorrentino, Bruce Meyer, Bill Crowley; CBS News

TV NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“Nowhere to Go” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Oriana Zill de Granados & Michael Rey; CBS

RADIO NOMINEES

RADIO DOCUMENTARY

(WINNER) “Three Shots Rang Out: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” Written by Darren Reynolds; ABC News Radio

RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

(WINNER) “World News This Week,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio

“6AM News,” Written by Philip Pilato; 1010 WINS Radio

“8PM Hour,” Written by Robert Hawley; WCBS-AM

“New York City Loses a Radio News Legend,” Written by Bill Spadaro; CBS Radio/1010 WINS

Read More Santa Barbara Fest: Danny DeVito and Other Friends Pay Tribute to Michael Keaton 

RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

(WINNER) “Civil Rights at 50,” Written by Jane Tillman Irving; WCBS Radio

“Remembering Nelson Mandela,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News

PROMOTIONAL WRITING NOMINEES

ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA OR RADIO)

(WINNER) “How I Met Your Mother,” Written by Dan Greenberger; CBS

“WABC-TV On-Air Promos,” Written by Brandon Nelson; WABC-TV

VIDEOGAME AWARD

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEOGAME WRITING

(WINNER) The Last of Us: Left Behind, Written by Neil Druckmann; Sony Computer Entertainment

Alien: Isolation, Writers Dan Abnett, Dion Lay, Will Porter; SEGA

Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry, Lead Scriptwriter Jill Murray; Scriptwriter Melissa MacCoubrey; Story by Jill Murray, Hugo Giard, Wesley Pincombe; Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Story by Alexandre Amancio, Sylvain Bernard, Travis Stout; Scriptwriting Alexandre Amancio, Travis Stout, Russell Lees, Darby McDevitt, Ceri Young; Additional Scriptwriting Jeffrey Yohalem; Ubisoft

 

The 2014 KCA’s were the most watched awards show in basic cable history. This year the excitement returns again as the show chose the next host for this year’s KCA’s since Nick unveiled the teaser trailer last month. Who was chosen to bring the slime Dan?

 

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Multi-talented singer/songwriter and actor Nick Jonas is set to host Nickelodeon’s 28th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards, live from L.A.’s legendary ‘Fabulous’ Forum for the first-time ever on Saturday, March 28 (8-9:30 p.m. ET/PT, tape delayed for West Coast). Jonas, one of the most popular artists with kids, revealed his hosting duties via a video released over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Nick Jonas released his debut self-titled solo album on November 11, 2014 via Island Records. The album’s double-platinum smash single “Jealous” soared to the No. 1 position on the U.S. Radio charts, and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 which set the tone for his sultry second U.S. radio single “Chains.” While recording, he was also shooting the gritty television show Kingdom, which was picked up for two additional seasons on DirecTV’s Audience Network. Showing no signs of slowing down in 2015, Jonas will be joining Iggy Azalea on her Great Escape tour this April, and will also appear in FOX’s upcoming horror comedy series Scream Queens.

Nickelodeon’s 28th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards is a celebration of kids’ favorite stars across the worlds of film, television, sports and music. As only Nickelodeon can, Kids’ Choice Awards offers a front-row seat to stunts, slime and celebrities. This year’s telecast will premiere across Nickelodeon’s three television networks (Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nicktoons) and stream live on Nick.com and the Nick App. Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 2015 Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards will roll out in international markets within hours of airing live in the United States, Canada and Australia, giving kids around the globe the opportunity to tune into their local Nickelodeon channel to enjoy the show. Voting for the 2015 KCAs will span six continents across 19 localized voting sites in addition to Twitter hashtag voting (#KCA) giving kids practically everywhere the chance to decide who takes home a coveted blimp.

Presenting sponsors of Nickelodeon’s 28th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards are Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition, General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch™, Gogurt® & Fruit Snacks, Hasbro DohVinci, and Walmart. Associate sponsors are Bounty®, Capri Sun, McDonald’s®, Nintendo and Toyota.

 

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,795 fans sign in as Team Skipper continues their President’s Day festivities.

 

 

Don’t miss your favorite Nick shows including the Nick original movie Splitting Adam. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, Happy President’s Day!

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Boyhood wins best picture at the BAFTA’s; Grand Budapest Hotel earns 5, The Lego Movie wins best animated picture: Jon Stewart leaves The Daily Show after 15 years; Ninjago returns February 20th

 

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

 

With the Oscar race complete thanks to Birdman’s win at the DGA’s last Sunday, Boyhood, having won some Golden Globes and SAG Awards, the decision depended on the Oscar voters whether to keep everything as such or split them up thanks to hard competition between them and Birdman. The flick did well at the BAFTA’s last night. How many of them did they get Johnny?

 

 

Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- While the nominations last month provoked a large degree of shock at Mr. Turner’s omission for the top honors and Selma’s complete absence, the BAFTA film awards on Sunday night mostly went to movies that have earned praise throughout awards season.

Boyhood took home the best film, best director and best supporting actress awards, while Eddie Redmayne landed the best actor honor — one of three wins for The Theory of Everything — and Julianne Moore scored best actress for Still Alice, which is still not out in U.K. cinemas.

 

Having earned the most nominations with 11, The Grand Budapest Hotel went home with the evening’s highest tally of five statuettes, including for original screenplay. Neither Grand Budapest Hotel director Wes Anderson nor Boyhood’s Richard Linklater were present, with Ethan Hawke and Stephen Fry slamming the DGAs for keeping the latter stateside.

The night’s biggest surprise may have been the complete lack of awards for The Imitation Game despite a momentous push for the film and the continued debate over its subject, late computer genius and WWII code-breaker Alan Turing. Many might be thinking the film’s chances for success at the Oscars are also numbered.

One Sunday win, however, that can’t be replicated in L.A. later this month was for the The Lego Movie in the animation category, something that director Phil Lord poked some fun at onstage, declaring BAFTA his “favorite academy by far.”

Here is the full list of the 2015 BAFTA film awards winners.

Read More BAFTA Awards: ‘Lego Movie’ Directors Mock Oscars

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
The Theory of Everything James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten – WINNER
’71 Yann Demange, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch, Gregory Burke
The Imitation Game Morten Tyldum, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman, Graham Moore
Paddington Paul King, David Heyman
Pride Matthew Warchus, David Livingstone, Stephen Beresford
Under the Skin Jonathan Glazer, James Wilson, Nick Wechsler, Walter Campbell

ORIGINAL MUSIC
The Grand Budapest Hotel Alexandre Desplat – WINNER
Birdman Antonio Sanchez
Interstellar Hans Zimmer
The Theory of Everything Johann Johannsson
Under the Skin Mica Levi

DOCUMENTARY
Citizenfour Laura Poitras – WINNER
20 Feet From Stardom Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Gil Friesen
20,000 Days on Earth Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
Finding Vivian Maier John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Virunga Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara

See more What Keira Knightley, Marion Cotillard Wore to the BAFTA Tea Party

MAKE-UP AND HAIR
The Grand Budapest Hotel Frances Hannon – WINNER
Guardians of the Galaxy Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Into the Woods Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
Mr. Turner Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
The Theory of Everything Jan Sewell

PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock – WINNER
Big Eyes Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
The Imitation Game Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
Interstellar Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Mr. Turner Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

BRITISH SHORT FILM
Boogaloo and Graham Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney – WINNER
Emotional Fusebox Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
The Karman Line Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
Slap Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
Three Brothers Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
The Bigger Picture Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka – WINNER
Monkey Love Experiments Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
My Dad Marcus Armitage

Read More BAFTA Nominees Party: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo Celebrate at Kensington Palace

EDITING
Whiplash Tom Cross – WINNER
Birdman Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
The Grand Budapest Hotel Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game William Goldenberg
Nightcrawler John Gilroy
The Theory of Everything Jinx Godfrey

SOUND
Whiplash Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann – WINNER
American Sniper Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Birdman Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
The Imitation Game John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen

ANIMATED FILM
The Lego Movie Phil Lord, Christopher Miller – WINNER
Big Hero 6 Don Hall, Chris Williams
The Boxtrolls Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley – WINNER
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
Guardians of the Galaxy Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
X-Men: Days of Future Past Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR
J.K. Simmons Whiplash – WINNER
Edward Norton Birdman
Ethan Hawke Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo Foxcatcher
Steve Carell Foxcatcher

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette Boyhood – WINNER
Emma Stone Birdman
Imelda Staunton Pride
Keira Knightley The Imitation Game
Rene Russo Nightcrawler

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman Emmanuel Lubezki – WINNER
The Grand Budapest Hotel Robert Yeoman
Ida Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski
Interstellar Hoyte van Hoytema
Mr. Turner Dick Pope

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH ACTOR, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
Stephen Beresford (Writer), David Livingstone (Producer) Pride – WINNER
Elaine Constantine (Writer/Director) Northern Soul
Gregory Burke (Writer), Yann Demange (Director) ’71
Hong Khaou (Writer/Director) Lilting
Paul Katis (Director/Producer), Andrew de Lotbiniere (Producer) Kajaki: The True Story

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson – WINNER
Birdman Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
Boyhood Richard Linklater
Nightcrawler Dan Gilroy
Whiplash Damien Chazelle

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Ida Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska – WINNER
Leviathan Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
The Lunchbox Ritesh Batra, Arun Rangachari, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga
Trash Stephen Daldry, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
Two Days, One Night Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Theory of Everything Anthony McCarten – WINNER
American Sniper Jason Hall
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game Graham Moore
Paddington Paul King

COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel Milena Canonero – WINNER
The Imitation Game Sammy Sheldon Differ
Into the Woods Colleen Atwood
Mr. Turner Jacqueline Durran
The Theory of Everything Steven Noble

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
Jack O’Connell – WINNER
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Margot Robbie
Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley

DIRECTOR
Boyhood Richard Linklater – WINNER
Birdman Alejandro G. Inarritu
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson
The Theory of Everything James Marsh
Whiplash Damien Chazelle

LEADING ACTOR
Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything – WINNER
Benedict Cumberbatch The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton Birdman
Ralph Fiennes The Grand Budapest Hotel

LEADING ACTRESS
Julianne Moore Still Alice – WINNER
Amy Adams Big Eyes
Felicity Jones The Theory of Everything
Reese Witherspoon Wild
Rosamund Pike Gone Girl

BEST FILM
Boyhood Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland – WINNER
Birdman Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson
The Imitation Game Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
The Theory of Everything Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

 

 

Some breaking news crossed the wire last night as satirical newsman Jon Stewart announced he’s leaving The Daily Show in December, following Steven Colbert’s departure last December. The folks at Comedy Central got word on the story during last night’s episode. What did the network say after it was announced Angie?

 

Angie Angelfish (via TV Guide)- The good times are over: Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show after more than 15 years behind the anchor desk. He announced his departure during Tuesday’s taping.

Comedy Central President Michele Ganeless released the following statement: “For the better part of the last two decades, I have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart. His comedic brilliance is second to none. Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera. Through his unique voice and vision, The Daily Show has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and an unparalleled platform for political comedy that will endure for years to come. Jon will remain at the helm of The Daily Show until later this year. He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family.”

 

 

Stewart will step down from The Daily Show sometime before the end of the year, when his contract expires. His announcement comes less than two months after former Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert famously left his own Comedy Central spin-off, The Colbert Report, to replace David Letterman on CBS’ The Late Show. Another spin-off, The Nightly Show, featuring former Daily Show contributor Larry Wilmore, replaced The Colbert Report in January.

Stewart first joined The Daily Show in 1999 when he took over hosting duties from original anchor Craig Kilborn. During his tenure behind the desk, The Daily Show rose to incredible heights and became a staple for political news, especially among younger viewers, despite its satirical nature. After coming under fire for not conducting hard-hitting interviews with his political guests, Stewart kindly (and not so kindly) reminded critics that The Daily Show is considered a fake news program and that he’s not a journalist, but a comedian whose duty it is to provide entertainment.

The news that Stewart is stepping down should not come as too much of a surprise. He took an extended leave of absence from the show during the summer of 2013 to direct the film Rosewater. John Oliver filled in as host for those 12 weeks before departing the program for his own show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, currently in its second season on HBO. While promoting Rosewater this past fall, Stewart alluded to a possible exit. “I think there are moments when you realize that that’s not enough anymore, or maybe it’s time for some discomfort,” he told NPR’s Terry Gross. However, it was a decision that clearly weighed heavily on him. “The minute I say I’m not going to do it anymore, I will miss it like crazy and I will consider that to be a terrible mistake I just made and I will want to grab it back,” he said.

The Daily Show is currently the second longest-running program on Comedy Central after South Park and has won a total of 18 Emmy awards under Stewart’s leadership. The program also won two Peabody Awards for its coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

Right now there’s no telling who will take over for Stewart when he steps down later this year, but one thing is for certain: They’re going to have extremely large shoes to fill.

 

The spinning ninjas are back for another season as Ninjago hi-yah’s back on the schedule after a long hiatus. With the spinning 6 back in ninja form, Perch, what will they find out this season?

 

Perch Perkins (via Toonzone)- Cartoon Network’s hit series NINJAGO:Masters of Spinjitzu returns this month chock-full of cross-platform viewing opportunities, providing even more ways to catch your favorite show! NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu will premiere on Cartoon Network Monday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Cable subscribers can enjoy the new season in advance, with ten full episodes available on VOD and the Watch Cartoon Network app through February 10. No other network in the kids space has made available, on digital platforms and VOD, this quantity of episodes in their entirely, before the premiere on the linear Network.

Season four, The Tournament of Elements, brings new challenges to the Ninja. The loss of Zane in the battle against the Overlord has fractured and disassembled our favorite Ninja team. But when they receive a mysterious invitation to an unrecorded island for Master Chen’s “Tournament of Elements,” they get wind that their friend could still be alive, and in order to get him back, they’ll not only have to face others gifted with unique elemental powers, but eventually battle each other.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,808 fans sign in as Team Skipper readies themselves on Valentine’s Day.

 

 

And be sure to see the Valentine’s Day marathon on Nicktoons this Saturday. See you soon for another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water beats box office numbers with 56 million, American Sniper holds position, Seventh Son flops; Birdman wins at the DGA’s ending Oscar race; Elena of Avalor coming to Disney Junior in 2016

 

The hero of Bikini Bottom triumphs again! I’m Realistic Fish Head. SpongeBob was victorious at the box office as he beat out expectations with 56 million since The SpongeBob Movie in 2004. With him and his friends now at the real world Gene, can they continue the story this week to see how it ends?

 

 

Gene:

 

Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water surprised in a big way this weekend with a very strong debut of $56.0 million. The 3D animated live-action hybrid film based on the long running animated series blew past pre-release expectations. The film opened 75 percent stronger than the $32.02 million debut of 2004’s The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water opened just 19 percent below the $69.05 million start of last year’s The LEGO Movie, which was certainly unexpected. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water delivered the fifth largest opening weekend ever for the month of February (behind only 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, The LEGO Movie, 2001’s Hannibal and 2010’s Valentine’s Day).

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water opened with $15.02 million on Friday, increased a healthy 62 percent on Saturday to gross $24.31 million and is estimated to decline 31 percent on Sunday to take in $16.68 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.73 to 1. That was noticeably stronger than the 3.35 to 1 ratio of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. The film did receive a so-so B rating on CinemaScore, though younger moviegoers under the age of 18 (who made of 50 percent of the film’s audience) did give the film an A- score. With no real competition for family audiences throughout the month of February, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water should be able to hold up much better going forward than The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie did back in 2004.

After leading the box office for the past three weeks, Warner’s American Sniper fell to second place this weekend with an estimated $24.17 million. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed film starring Bradley Cooper was down just 21 percent from last weekend’s performance, which was obviously deflated by the Super Bowl. This weekend’s hold for American Sniper was especially impressive given that the film lost its IMAX screens to Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son.  American Sniper has grossed a massive $282.27 million after 24 days of wide release. That ranks the film as the third highest grossing release of 2014 thus far domestically and leaves the film just $17.73 million away from reaching the $300 million domestic milestone.

Fellow Warner Bros. release Jupiter Ascending debuted in third place with an estimated $19.0 million. The expensive 3D sci-fi film from The Wachowskis starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis debuted towards the lower end of already relatively modest expectations. Jupiter Ascending was originally scheduled to open last July, but pushing the film back to February ultimately made little difference at the box office and likely even hurt the film’s potential a bit. The opening weekend performance of Jupiter Ascending was quite similar to the $18.56 million start of 2008’s Speed Racer.

Jupiter Ascending opened with $6.39 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.0 million from evening shows on Tuesday), increased 19 percent on Saturday to take in $7.63 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $4.98 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.97 to 1.  Jupiter Ascending received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore and is likely to be significantly front-loaded due in part to fans of The Wachowskis rushing out on opening weekend. The audience breakdown for Jupiter Ascending skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (82 percent) and towards male moviegoers (57 percent). The film grossed $2.18 million from IMAX locations, which represented 11.5 percent of the film’s overall gross. 3D grosses made up 52 percent of the film’s overall gross.

While Jupiter Ascending at least had a presence at the box office this weekend, Universal’s Seventh Son didn’t. The pricey and long delayed fantasy film (which was originally to be released by Warner Bros.) stumbled out of the gate with an estimated fourth place debut of $7.1 million.  Seventh Son debuted on the low end of expectations and represents yet another early 2015 release that audiences simply had no interest in (joining the likes of Blackhat, Mortdecai and Strange Magic). It should be noted that Seventh Son has had much more of a box office presence overseas.

Seventh Son opened with $2.3 million on Friday, increased 30 percent on Saturday to gross $3.0 million and is estimated to fall 40 percent on Sunday to gross $1.8 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.09 to 1. Like Jupiter Ascending, Seventh Son also received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (68 percent) and towards male moviegoers (61 percent). Seventh Son grossed $0.67 million from IMAX locations, which represented 9.4 percent of the film’s overall gross.

Paddington rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $5.37 million. The well received family film from The Weinstein Company was down 35 percent from last weekend, which represented a very solid hold, especially given the stronger than expected launch of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Paddington has grossed $57.27 million through 24 days of release.

Project Almanac followed closely behind in sixth place with an estimated $5.33 million. The low budget sci-fi thriller from Paramount was down just 36 percent from last weekend. Despite the nice second weekend hold, Project Almanac is still performing below pre-release expectations with a ten-day start of $15.76 million.

 

 

To recap as we go into Valentines Week, SpongeBob Movie 2 eclipses its numbers 1st, American Sniper holds their position in 2nd, Jupiter Ascending zooms up in 3rd, Seventh Son stumbles in 4th, and Paddington moves down 3 positions in 5th as The Sponge prepares to exceed his chances since he first went to the big screen.

 

 

The Oscar race was officially over early this morning as the DGA’s settled the question of who earns best picture in Hollywood. Birdman, still the favorite since winning the SAG Award for Best Picture, made sure that the Oscar was theirs. Is the Oscar race over Angie and is Birdman for real?

 

 

Angie Angelfish (via Deadline Hollywood)- Yes, Birdman is for real. If there was any lingering doubt that industry awards voters are dead serious about honoring a movie that is about a lot of things but especially about themselves, the DGA’s top honor erased those questions. Now after triumphing at the PGA, winning the SAG Ensemble Cast prize and DGA Directorial Achievement Award for Alejandro G. Inarritu this movie has flown past the competition and left what was thought to be a front runner, Boyhood, in its dust. It’s an important moment for the film as its victory occurred on the very weekend Oscar balloting begins.

 

The Boyhood momentum was created by critics and pundits based on its sweep through the critics portion of the season where it pulled a inarritu by winning everything right thru the Golden Globes for 2010, only to be trounced by The King’s Speech once the Guild prizes started rolling in. I was pretty much alone in believing, great as it is, that the Boyhood  critical tide might not translate to the industry, thinking that this year would produce a divide between critics and the people who make movies, but I had the wrong pony. I thought a consensus picture for the industry would likely be The Imitation Game, but that highly regarded film has, somewhat inexplicably, had a harder time gaining needed momentum and precursor wins in the race, and Birdman is clearly resonating.

Is it ‘game over’? Can it be stopped?  Sure. This is still very much a fluid year, but the key indicators of Oscar success are lining up nicely and common wisdom says Birdman is going to have a very strong Oscar night. The winner of the DGA award has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Director all but seven times in 67 years. And usually the winner of the Best Director Oscar also matches Best Picture. The last two years were not the case with the Oscar-snubbed Ben Affleck getting DGA sympathy in 2012 for an Argo win while Ang Lee took the Oscar for Life Of Pi. And last year it really seemed Oscar voters specifically separated the DGA-winning directorial achievement of Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity apart from the picture itself, choosing instead 12 Years A Slave  for top honors.

Since Inarritu’s high wire act is a model of directorial art that’s hard to ignore, but the movie itself may not be for every taste, that could happen again and voters could look elsewhere to bestow Best Picture, most likely on the wild card, American Sniper which seems to be popular in the Academy (not to mention a box office phenomenon). But there are any number of scenarios and outside possibilities. However if you are a reader of tea leaves, at this point at least the smart money has to be on Birdman. Boyhood appears to have a tougher climb now as its Guild losses give those in the Academy resistant to the charms of this wonderful indie marvel 67th DGA Awards license to go to something else and not follow critical opinion. Sunday a Birdman win at BAFTA could close the lid. A loss might retain hope for its competitors as BAFTA has been very predictive in the past, and has a strong cross membership with the Academy. Next week’s last major Guild test at the WGA won’t mean as much since Birdman was ineligible there for a nomination. By the way, Inarritu makes great acceptance speeches. At the DGA he was amusingly humble. “If you go to bed to make love with your wife you don’t say ‘let’s make the best children in the world’. They just come,” he said to laughs. “If this is considered a great film it has nothing to do with me. It’s a miracle”.

It’s interesting that with the all-important DGA awards and BAFTA both taking place thousands of miles apart on the same weekend, all three directors (Inarritu, Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson) nominated for both showed instead in L.A. for the DGA p67th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards – Inside arty  along with fellow nominees Clint Eastwood and Imitation Game’s Morten Tyldum, while almost all the actors in their films headed to London. “Who came up with having the idea of putting the DGA and BAFTA on the same weekend? All the actors are there and all the directors are here,”  said Tyldum. Normally the DGA affair would have been more star-studded as those actors would likely have presented the nomination medallions to their directors (Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley did it via a pre-taped speech for Tyldum).

One top star who was  in the room was Sniper’s Bradley Cooper who didn’t want to miss the chance to present to Eastwood, the only DGA nominee who got a standing ovation. Cooper bent over backwards to be there to do it as he is appearing on Broadway in The Elephant Man and the show is a sell-out thru its closing on the day before Oscars. Cooper performed in the show Saturday afternoon, hopped a plane and made it to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in the nick of time. The show went dark Saturday night and Sunday matinee so he could be in L.A. to honor his director. It was worth it. His  presentation was hilarious and right on the money, and he does a great Eastwood impression. When he was introduced Cooper got by far the biggest applause of any of the night’s presenters, although Bill Murray’s intro to his Grand Budapest Hotel director Wes Anderson was also pretty terrific. Eastwood, after jokingly complaining the guild paid off his pension too early said, “I’ve had a wonderful life in this business and it’s not over yet”.  That’s for sure, especially after Sniper has become the biggest hit of his career – or just about anyone else’s.

 

Boyhood’s Linklater (introduced by Before Midnight star and writer Julie Delpy) had a great speech (all the nominated directors get to make acceptance speeches upon receiving their medallion) when he noted that his application to join the guild was endorsed by Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich and Francis Coppola. Not bad people to get a recommendation from. When he asked Bogdanovich who sponsored him for entry into the DGA, the director replied  John Ford, Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock. Try and beat that!   Tyldum (at whose front row table I was lucky enough to be seated) got laughs quoting the late, great Mike Nichols who once said, “directing is like sex. You rarely get the chance to see others do it”. Although I know he would love to have won, Tyldum told me the real honor as a first-time nominee making his first English language film is just to be in this company. He touted the camraderie of this year’s nominees who all appeared earlier in the day at a DGA symposium. Multiple DGA and Emmy winner Don Mischer was raving about it and told me Wes Anderson nearly stole the show talking about how he couldn’t believe he was actually sitting with Eastwood on the same panel.

Jane Lynch hosted again, as she did last year, and the directors pulled off a breezy evening, albeit one that lasted about four hours. Near the end of those four hours Steven Spielberg appeared to make some news. Beginning next year the Guild is adding a brand new category for Achievement By A First Time Feature Film Director. The announcement was preceded by a reel showing one great film after another that repped the movie debut of their helmers. It was a nice touch to an evening that also produced great tributes to not one, but an unprecedented two Lifetime Achievement winners for Television Direction: James Burrows and  Robert Butler. Burrows was very funny, pointedly taking a shot at Les Moonves whose CBS network recently abruptly cancelled his second year sitcom, The Millers. Burrows told me later he would have hit the milestone of directing 1000 episodes of TV if the show had continued. “Guess I will have to wait until next year now,”  he laughed. As for Butler he had one of the best lines of the night. “I believe what we do IS Rocket Science,”  he said. The ballroom full of directors roared.

 

 

Princess Sophia has gotten a lot of help from each Disney Princess in her royal run to help her friends. This week, the royal princess’s successor was found. Who’s next in line to succeed Sophia Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Princess Elena of Avalor, a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairytale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore, will be introduced in a special episode of Disney Junior’s hit series “Sofia the First” beginning production now for a 2016 premiere. That exciting story arc will usher in the 2016 launch of the animated series “Elena of Avalor,” a production of Disney Television Animation. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide.

The role of 16-year-old Princess Elena, the bold, caring, funny and clever ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor, will be voiced by Aimee Carrero (ABC Family’s “Young & Hungry”).

Kanter said, “Our creative team has delivered a universal story with themes that authentically reflect the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience.” She continued, “What excites us most is the chance to use distinctive animation and visual design to tell wonderful stories influenced by culture and traditions that are familiar to the worldwide population of Hispanic and Latino families and reflect the interests and aspirations of all children as told through a classic fairy tale.”

As with all Disney Junior programming, “Elena of Avalor” stories will be guided by an established curriculum that nurtures multiple areas of child development: physical, emotional, social and cognitive; thinking and creative skills, as well as moral and ethical development. Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories are designed to communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to young children about leadership, resilience, diversity, compassion and the importance of family and family traditions.

The series will be presented in 25 languages on Disney Junior channels and daily programming blocks for kids age 2-7 on Disney Channels, among other platforms, in 154 countries around the world. On television alone, its estimated daily reach will be over 207-million households.

Princess Elena’s journey began long ago when her parents and kingdom were taken from her by the evil sorceress, Shuriki. Elena bravely faced the sorceress to protect her little sister, Princess Isabel, and grandparents but in the process, her magical amulet pulled her inside its enchanted jewel, saving her life but imprisoning her at the same time. Decades later, Princess Sofia of Enchancia discovers the truth about the amulet she has worn since joining her royal family and sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor.

While Elena is the rightful heir to the throne, she is only age 16 so she will rule Avalor with the help of a Grand Council comprised of her Grandfather Tito, Grandmother Cici and Royal Advisor, Duke Esteban.

With some magical friends by her side – Mateo, a wizard-in-training, and Skylar, a magical flying creature – Princess Elena’s further adventures will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.

“Elena of Avalor” is executive-produced by Craig Gerber (of the Emmy Award-nominated “Sofia the First”). Silvia Cardenas Olivas (“Moesha,” “The Brothers Garcia”), an alumna of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Television Writers Program, is the story editor, and Elliot M. Bour (“The Little Engine That Could”) is the supervising director. The series’ cultural advisors are Doris Sommer, Harvard University professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish; and Marcela Davison Aviles, Managing Director and Executive Producer, El Camino Project, an international Latino arts initiative.

The series is a spin-off of “Sofia the First,” which has delivered the two highest-rated telecasts in cable TV history among Kids 2-5 and Girls 2-5, and the #2 preschooler cable TV telecast ever in Total Viewers, Adults 18-40 and Women 18-49.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,819 fans sign in as Team Skipper congratulates Team Hiccup for earning the most Annie’s with 6 of them at the Annie’s last weekend.

 

 

Sparky, the funniest fairy dog in Fairy World, was founded at a magic pet store by Timmy by proving to the world that he could be the best pet owner. But this week, Sparky’s anti-fairy counterpart is ready to do some damage! See if Timmy can outsmart this evil dog if he avoids to be “Man’s Worst Friend” in a new Fairly Odd Parents special! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, Watch out for Anti-Sparky’s bag of tricks Timmy!

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DreamWorks Dragons 2 earns 6 Annie’s, Disney Channel earns multiple Annie’s for TV; Kristine Belson named president of Sony Pictures Animation; Valentine’s day episodes air on Nicktoons on Valentine’s Day

 

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

 

 

There’s a big winner at the 2015 Annie’s last week as animation dominated on the big and small screen. Who won big time Johnny?

 

 

Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 won big at the 42nd annual Annie Awards, collecting six awards including best animated feature and best director for its writer-director Dean DeBlois.

Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie — which earned the PGA Award last weekend but was snubbed when the Oscar nominations were announced — won one Annie, which was awarded to its writers-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for writing.

In addition to best animated feature and director, How To Train Your Dragon 2 was honored for character animation, editing, music and storyboarding.

Accepting the directing award, DeBlois said “a director is only as good as the team,” as he thanked the 400 artists who worked on the film.

Referring to DWA’s recent announcement of a planned restructuring that would include 500 layoffs, he added, “We had a tough week but moments like this we get to celebrate the work.”

Added DeBlois: “Animation is speaking to a broader and broader audience and I’m happy to be a part of that progress.”

Also in the feature categories, Focus and Laika’s The Boxtrolls won a pair of awards, for production design and voice acting. The later went to Ben Kingsley for his role as Archibald Snatcher.

 

 

Disney’s Big Hero 6 won a trophy for animated effects, and Fox’s The Book of Life received an award for character design.

How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls and Big Hero 6 are nominated for the Oscar for best animated feature, along with Annie nominees Song of the Sea from Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, from Japan’s Studio Ghibli, both of which were distributed by GKIDS.

Also at the Annie’s, held Saturday evening at UCLA’s Royce Hall, best animated short subject was awarded to Disney’s Oscar nominee Feast. Another Oscar nominee, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, won an Annie for character animation in a live action feature.

In television categories, Disney Mickey Mouse earned five trophies including for best direction. The Simpsons was named best animated TV production.

During the ceremony, Winsor McCay lifetime achievement awards were presented to producers Didier Brunner and Lee Mendelson, and animator Don Lusk; the June Foray benevolent service award was given to author and critic Charles Solomon; the Ub Iwerks technical achievement award recognized DWA’s Apollo software and a Special Achievement Award honored the Walt Disney Family Museum.

A complete list of winners follows.

Best Student Film

Jason Rayner — My Big Brother — Savannah College of Art and Design

Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Joaquim Dos Santos — Legend of Korra, Venom of the Red Lotus
— Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Truong “Tron” Son Mai — How to Train Your Dragon 2
— DreamWorks Animation

Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Illya Owens —  Disney Mickey Mouse —
Disney Television Animation

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

John K. Carr — How to Train Your Dragon 2 — DreamWorks Animation

Best Video Game

‘Valiant Hearts: The Great War’ — Ubisoft

Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Benjamin Balistreri — Wander Over Yonder — Disney Television Animation

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

Paul Sullivan, Sandra Equihua, Jorge R. Gutierrez — The Book of Life —
Reel FX

Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Christopher Willis — Disney Mickey Mouse
— Disney Television Animation

Music in an Animated Feature Production

John Powell, Jónsi — How to Train Your Dragon 2 — DreamWorks Animation

Animated Effects in an Animated Production

Michael Kaschalk, Peter DeMund, David Hutchins, Henrik Falt, John Kosnik — Big Hero 6
— Walt Disney Animation Studios

Animated Effects in a Live Action Production

Steve Avoujageli, Atsushi Ikarashi, Pawel Grochola, Paul Waggoner, Viktor Lundqvist — Edge of Tomorrow — Sony Pictures Imageworks

Best Animated Short Subject

Feast —
Walt Disney Animation Studios

Character Animation in a Live Action Production

Daniel Barrett, Paul Story, Eteuati Tema, Alessandro Bonora, Dejan Momcilovic — Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — Weta Digital

Character Animation in a Video Game

Mike Mennillo — ‘Assassin’s Creed Unity’ — Ubisoft

Character Animation in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Justin Nichols — Wander Over Yonder — Disney Television Animation

Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production

Fabio Lignini — How to Train Your Dragon 2 — DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Narina Sokolova — Mickey Shorts
— Disney

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

Paul Lasaine, Tom McClure, August Hall — The Boxtrolls’
— Focus Features/Laika

Best Animated Special Production

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey — Voyager Pictures LLC

Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial

Flight of the Stories – Aardman Animations

Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Bill Farmer as the voice of Goofy and Grandma — Disney Mickey Mouse —
Disney Television Animation

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

Ben Kingsley as the voice of Archibald Snatcher — The Boxtrolls — Focus Features/Laika

Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Darrick Bachman — Disney Mickey Mouse — Disney Television Animation

Writing in an Animated Feature Production

Phil Lord, Christopher Miller — The Lego Movie — Warner Bros. Pictures

Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children

Tumble Leaf — Amazon Studios

Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for a Children’s Audience

Gravity Falls
— Disney Television Animation

Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production

The Simpsons —
Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Aaron Springer — Disney Mickey Mouse
— Disney Television Animation

Directing in an Animated Feature Production

Dean DeBlois — How to Train Your Dragon 2 — DreamWorks Animation

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon 2
— DreamWorks Animation

 

There were big changes at Sony Pictures’ animation department last week as Michelle Kouvate resigned as president of the animation board. 3 weeks later, a successor was found. Who’s the new pres. Jim?

 

Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)-  Kristine Belson has been named the new president of Sony Pictures Animation.

The move comes just days after Michelle Raimo Kouyate announced she was stepped down from her position as production president and transitioning to a first-look producing deal with the studio.

Belson, who produced the DreamWorks Animation hit The Croods, will lead the development and production of original material as well as current and future franchises, focusing on creating an environment that nurtures animators and artists.

She will report directly to Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.

The move is a shake-up in SPA’s structure as Kouyate, who ran the division, reported to Bob Osher, the president of Sony Pictures Digital Productions. Osher is still the head of SPDP but SPA is now under Pascal’s purview.

Belson spent the last decade at DWA, joining the company as head of development in 2005. She executive produced How to Train Your Dragon and was nominated for a best animated feature Oscar for The Croods.

SPA has lagged behind other studios in attracting name creative talent for some of their projects, and Belson’s hire is seen as a way to rectify that.

Said Pascal: “Kristine is a visionary who will make our animation studio a home where the animation industry’s best talent can come and make the films they want to make.”

 

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, every toon is finding their secret admirers to love and cherish for a long time. With many of our classic Nicktoons participating Dan, who gets the first crack of making their secret crush?

 

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- This Valentine’s Day, Nicktoons will air five hours of love-themed episodes in their “Crushing It Valentine’s Day” marathon. Kicking off the event will be three premiere episodes, one each for T.U.F.F. Puppy, The Penguins of Madagascar and Robot and Monster.

Following the marathon, six T.U.F.F. Puppy episodes will remain to be seen. Four episodes of Penguins will also be left to air, as will one episode of Robot and Monster.

 

 

The schedule for Saturday, Feb. 14 follows:

2:00PM T.U.F.F. Puppy – “TUFF Love / Soar Loser” (NEW)
2:30PM The Penguins of Madagascar – “Love Takes Flightless / Tunnel of Love” (HALF-NEW)
3:00PM Robot and Monster – “J.D. Loves Gart / Misery Date” (NEW)
3:30PM T.U.F.F. Puppy – “Love Bird / Girlfriend or Foe”
4:00PM Danny Phantom – “Prisoners of Love”
4:30PM Danny Phantom – “Lucky in Love”
5:00PM Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness – “Hometown Hero”
5:30PM Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness – “Secret Admirer”
6:00PM El Tigre – “Love and War / Moustache Love”
6:30PM Jimmy Neutron – “Love Potion #976/J”

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,932 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s counterpart Team Hiccup crushed the competition by winning 6 Annie’s last week.

 

 

And speaking of crushes, here’s the list of this month’s DVD’s you’re sure you’re going to love:

 

2/3/2015
 
The Best of Me
Ouija
John Wick
Dear White People
Dracula Untold
Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage
Hector and the Search for Happiness
Coffee Town

2/10/2015
 
Rosewater
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Nightcrawler
Kill the Messenger
Laggies
Addicted

2/17/2015
 
The Homesman
Birdman
The Theory of Everything
St. Vincent
Dumb and Dumber To
Life Itself
Terms and Conditions May Apply

2/24/2015
 
Whiplash
Big Hero 6
Horrible Bosses 2
Beyond the Lights

 

 

February’s just getting started folks. We’ll be sure to bring you this months V-Day marathons for you or your favorite friend. Be sure to be here next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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American Sniper adds 32 million as it extends lead going to Super Bowl weekend; Nick to go subscription free during upcoming winter/spring up fronts; DreamWorks’ PDI shut down after layoffs

 

 

The sniper soldiers race to the end zone! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Warner Bros. American Sniper continued to gun down the competition as it stays on the top spot for the 3rd weekend in a row with 32 million. With the Super Bowl minutes away, how can they handle the defense in the box office Gene?

 

 

Gene:

 

 

Warner’s American Sniper dominated the box office for a third consecutive weekend with an estimated $31.85 million. That represented the largest unadjusted Super Bowl weekend gross ever (the previous record being the $31.12 million debut of 2008’s Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour). The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed film starring Bradley Cooper was down a sizable 51 percent from last weekend, as the film clearly took a hit this weekend from its target audience being focused on Super Bowl XLIX. American Sniper will likely re-stabilize next weekend with the Super Bowl out of the way. The film has grossed a massive $248.94 million after 17 days of wide release. That places American Sniper a very impressive 47 percent ahead of the $169.56 million 17-day take of 2013’s Gravity.

With moviegoers not interested by the weekend’s three new wide releases, Paddington moved into second place with an estimated $8.505 million. The well received family film from The Weinstein Company was up one spot from last weekend and down a slim 31 percent. In addition to being aided by good word of mouth, Paddington also likely received an added boost this weekend from family audiences who wanted to catch the film before Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water arrives in the marketplace next weekend. Paddington surpassed the $50 million mark this weekend and has grossed a very solid $50.54 million in 17 days.

Paramount’s Project Almanac was the weekend’s top opener with an estimated third place start of $8.50 million (with Paddington and Project Almanac currently only separated by $5,000, the race for second place is obviously too close to call). However, the low-budget sci-fi thriller opened significantly below pre-release expectations, as it failed to spark much interest among moviegoers. Project Almanac opened a very disappointing 57 percent below the $19.88 million start of fellow Platinum Dunes film Ouija this past October. Project Almanac was likely hurt at least somewhat by having been delayed by nearly a year. On a positive note, Project Almanac did receive a B rating on Cinema Score, which is very solid given the film’s genre.

Relativity’s Black or White debuted in fourth with an estimated $6.46 million. The drama starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer opened on the high end of its modest expectations, as the film was able to find a bit of audience this weekend despite poor critical reviews.  Black or White performed very similarly to the $6.20 million start of Relativity’s Beyond the Lights this past November.  Black or White received an encouraging A- rating on Cinema Score, which suggests that the film is going over significantly better with moviegoers than it has with critics.

The Boy Next Door rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $6.1 million. Universal’s low-budget thriller starring Jennifer Lopez was down 3 spots and a very sharp 59 percent from last weekend. The Boy Next Door has grossed a solid $24.69 million in ten days, but is likely to continue to fall off quickly going forward, especially with the upcoming release of Universal’s highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey now in the near horizon.

Sony’s The Wedding Ringer followed in sixth place with an estimated $5.7 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad fell 50 percent from last weekend.  The Wedding Ringer is on the verge of reaching the $50 million mark with a 17-day gross of $48.14 million.

Further down on this weekend’s chart nether Open Road’s The Loft nor A24’s A Most Violent Year were able to pack much punch. The Loft debuted in tenth place with an estimated $2.88 million. Meanwhile, A Most Violent Year landed in thirteenth place with an estimated $1.70 million from 818 locations. The Loft suffered from being given a last minute wide release (after being long delayed), while A Most Violent Year has seen its early momentum come to a halt after not receiving a Best Picture nomination. A Most Violent Year has grossed $3.17 million to date.

Warner’s Game of Thrones The IMAX Experience had a far more respectable performance this weekend with an estimated $1.50 million from 205 IMAX locations. That gave the theatrical release consisting of the final two episodes of Season 4 of the popular HBO series a healthy per-location average of $7,322 for the frame. Game of Thrones The IMAX Experience is scheduled to play in IMAX locations through February 5th.

 

 

To recap as Super Bowl weekend continues, American Sniper continues to match its targets in 1st, Paddington moves up in 2nd after given a boost, Project Almanac opens soft in 3rd, Black and White does better in 4th, and Golden Globe and SAG winner The Boy Next Door rallies 5th. Will Paddington manage to stay ahead? The box office Monday numbers will prove it!

 

 

Back in January 18th, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s contract was extended for an extra 3 years to continue to come up with new ideas for the company. During the last months of 2014, HBO and CBS planned to cut the cord giving users free access to their collection of shows and movies. Now, Dauman plans to join them. Is Nick next to deliver their hit shows for free Johnny?

 

 

Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- On a conference call with analysts, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman announced that Nickelodeon will soon be launching a direct-to-consumer service.

“We believe it will be very attractive to consumers,” said Dauman. “We will announce the name next month.”

The decision to offer a way to see the popular kids network without cable or satellite TV subscriptions follows a trend in the entertainment industry. In recent months, HBO, CBS and other networks have announced similar plans.

 

In talking with analysts after the release of Viacom’s first-quarter financial results, Dauman touted how the company has been leading on the TV Everywhere front and how the company’s children-friendly fare in particular has been doing well on digital channels. He said the Nick Jr. app has topped iTunes charts since launching last year.

More details about Viacom’s new over-the-top service are expected to be revealed at up fronts presentations in February.

 

And we’ll have upfront coverage on this latest story.

 

On last week’s edition, DreamWorks cleaned up 500 jobs to make room for their 2-year movie schedule in the coming months. Jeffery Katzenberg acknowledged that their corporate staff in the studio was way too overloaded which was the result of last week’s layoffs. With their staff gone along with some of their animation staff Dan, does the Penguins of Madagascar movie end the franchise craze?

 

 

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- On the heels of Thursday’s announcement that DreamWorks Animation is is implementing a new strategic plan to restructure its core feature animation business, shedding approximately 500 jobs in the process, a conference call with industry analysts revealed that the studio would be shuttering its PDI/DreamWorks facility in Redwood City, CA.

About half of the Northern Californian facility’s 450 workers will lose their jobs, Deadline reports, with the remainder to be offered positions at the DWA campus in Glendale, CA. The studio said that it expects to incur a loss of around $290 million in connection with the restructuring.

DreamWorks Animation acquired a 40 percent interest in Pacific Data Images in 1996, with founder Carl Rosendahl serving as Chairman. In 2000, Rosendahl stepped down and DWA bought the remaining interest for an undisclosed sum, re-naming the facility PDI/DreamWorks. The studio re-launched PDI/DreamWorks in 2012, unveiling a new 200,000-square-foot campus built in same location.

PDI/DreamWorks credits include How to Train Your Dragon and its sequel, which won a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Feature this year, as well as three Shrek films, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Penguins of Madagascar.

As part of the company’s re-organization, DreamWorks Animation marketing head Dawn Taubin and chief operating officer Mark Zoradi are departing, while Lew Coleman is retiring as vice chairman.

Zoradi joined DreamWorks Animation seven months ago, while Taubin was hired in late 2013. “Given that we’re narrowing the focus of the company over the next two to three years, we’ve tried to bring our executive suite in line with a more focused agenda for the company,” Katzenberg said, adding that Zoradi had volunteered to leave the company given its new strategy.

In addition, B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations has been put back into development, Variety reports, while projects such as Boss Baby are still on the studio’s upcoming slate.

DWA head Jeffrey Katzenberg reportedly said he will take a more hands-on role in how the studio’s films are developed and produced. “Feature animation is the core of our company. Getting our feature film business back on track is our number one priority,” he said during the call.

Budgets on its films will be reduced to $120 million, starting with Trolls, which is due in theaters in 2017. This is still significantly higher than many budgets for animated features: Warner Bros. produced 2014’s The Lego Movie for $60 million, and Illumination Entertainment produced Despicable Me 2 for $76 million. By comparison, Disney’s Big Hero 6 was produced for $165 million, and DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 was made for $145 million.

DreamWorks Animation announced the reorganization after the stock market closed on Thursday, but Wall Street reacted favorably and the company’s stock rose more than three percent in after-hours trading.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,935 fans sign in as hard competition caused Team Skipper’s backstory to be written down as layoffs officially end.

 

 

Love is in the air this month as the toon world finds true love. Be sure to see The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water in theaters this week. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, use your imagination with your own favorite stories!

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