Archive for March, 2015
Home surprises box office with 54 million; SpongeBob wins best cartoon, Big Hero 6 wins best animated movie at the 2015 Kids Choice Awards; Penguins of Madagascar movie earns top spot in DVD and Blu-Ray sales
An friendly alien gives the box office a big surprise! I’m realistic Fish Head. After a disappointing end to the PDI saga at DreamWorks, the studio needed a way to regain moviegoers trust after the Penguins of Madagascar movie and Peabody and Sherman were both written off because of harsh backlash from critics since last summer. Their answer, their newest animated hit Home which scored a surprising 54 million in the box office as it repairs the damage done 3 weeks ago. Did it manage to force critics to admit their mistakes Gene?
Home surprised in a big way this weekend with a significantly stronger than expected estimated first place start of $54.0 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation had been widely expected to find itself in a close race for first place with Get Hard heading into the weekend. Instead, Home led the weekend box office with ease, which was very welcome news for DreamWorks Animation after a string of softer than expected performers that started back in July of 2013 with Turbo. The opening weekend performance of Home represented the largest opening weekend performance for DreamWorks Animation since the $60.32 million debut of Madagascar 3 back in June of 2012. Home opened an impressive 68 percent stronger than the $32.21 million start of last year’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman and 24 percent stronger than the $43.64 million debut of 2013’s The Croods.
Despite mixed critical reviews, Home proved to be critic proof this weekend, thanks in part to the relatively small amount of animated releases in the marketplace since December and in part to the star power of the film’s vocal cast, which includes Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez.
Home opened with $15.70 million on Friday (which included an estimated $650,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased a healthy 39 percent on Saturday to take in $21.88 million and is estimated to decline 25 percent on Sunday to gross $16.43 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.44 to 1. The film received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that the film is going over much better with moviegoers than it has with critics and is a good early sign going forward. Home should also be helped out going forward by no new animated films entering the marketplace between now and the June 19th launch of Disney’s Inside Out.
While it settled for second place this weekend, Warner’s Get Hard was off to a good start with an estimated $34.61 million. The R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart opened toward the higher end of pre-release expectations. The combined drawing power of Ferrell and Hart was clearly able to make up for both largely negative critical reviews and a relative lack of online buzz for the film heading into the weekend. Get Hard may have also received a boost this weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch the film before Universal’s highly anticipated Furious 7 enters the marketplace next weekend. Get Hard opened just below the $35.54 million start of 2010’s The Other Guys.
Get Hard started out with $12.94 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.8 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a slim 1.5 percent on Saturday to take in $13.14 million and is estimated to fall 35 percent on Sunday to gross $8.54 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.67 to 1, which could be an early sign of front-loading going forward. The film received a so-so B rating on CinemaScore, which also isn’t the greatest early long-term sign (especially with the mentioned Furious 7 quickly approaching). The audience breakdown for Get Hard skewed towards male moviegoers (54 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (61 percent).
Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent was down two spots this weekend to place in third with an estimated $22.08 million. The second installment of the young adult series starring Shailene Woodley fell a sharp 58 percent from last weekend’s first place debut. Insurgent experienced a sharper second weekend decline than last year’s Divergent did; as that film fell 53 percent in its second weekend to gross $25.62 million. While Insurgent is having a solid box office run of its own so far with a ten-day start of $85.92 million, the film is running 9 percent behind the $94.38 million ten-day take of Divergent. It should be noted that the overseas start for Insurgent continues to be significantly stronger than that of Divergent.
Cinderella was also down two spots this weekend to place in fourth with an estimated $17.52 million. Disney’s blockbuster fairy tale adaptation was down a sharp 50 percent from last weekend. Despite strong critical reviews and good word of mouth, direct competition from both Home and Insurgent have clearly taken a toll on the film’s holding power so far. With that said, Cinderella has still grossed a very strong $150.02 million through 17 days of release. That places the film 8 percent behind the $163.02 million 17-day take of last year’s Maleficent. Cinderella may still stabilize going forward, especially given the limited amount of new options for family audiences in April.
It Follows continued its noteworthy performance this weekend with an estimated fifth place take of $4.02 million. The critically acclaimed horror thriller from RADiUS-TWC expanded into semi-wide release this weekend after two weeks of platform release. It Follows has grossed $4.76 million in 17 days and could hold up better than usual for its genre going forward thanks to its strong word of mouth and critical reviews.
On the platform front, A24’s While We’re Young was off to a very nice start this weekend with an estimated $242,152 from 4 locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the Noah Baumbach directed comedy starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts a per-location average of $60,538 for the frame. While We’re Young will expand into additional locations next weekend and is scheduled to receive a nationwide expansion on April 10th.
To recap, Home nets a shocker in 1st as critics welcome the friendly alien named Oh in order to ward off mixed reviews, Hard Off gets off to a good start in 2nd Insurgent moves 3rd as it continues rack up millions of smackers as the flick strengthens, Cinderella moves 4th as it takes a 50% cut from Home and Insurgent, and It continues hold well in 5th.
Sliming season began at the KCA’s last night as 5 million tallies were counted since the beginning of the month. Who was blimp-worthy at the show Jim?
Jim Fish (via The Wrap)- Sliming season is upon us again, as Nickelodeon presented the 2015 Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday live from The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
Host Nick Jonas serenaded the crowd at the top of the show, which saw additional performances from Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson and teen sensation 5 Seconds of Summer.
Top honors went to “Hunger Games” star Liam Hemsworth, Emma Stone for “The Amazing Spiderman” and Angelina Jolie, who brought daughters Zahara and Shiloh, to claim Favorite Villain for “Maleficent.”
Read the complete list of 2015 Kids’ Choice Awards Winners:
Favorite Talent Competition Show*
“America’s Got Talent”
“America’s Next Top Model”
“Dancing with the Stars”
“So You Think You Can Dance”
The Voice *WINNER
Favorite Family TV Show*
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“Modern Family” *WINNER
“Once Upon a Time”
“The Big Bang Theory”
Also Read: Inside Nick Jonas’ Career Crossover: How He Became the Beyonce of Disney’s Boy Band
Most Addicting Game*
Angry Birds Transformers
Candy Crush Saga
Disney Infinity 2.0
“Mario Kart 8
Skylanders: Trap Team
Favorite New Artist
5 Seconds of Summer
Fifth Harmony *WINNER
Favorite Kids TV Show
“Austin & Ally” *WINNER
“Dog with a Blog”
“Every Witch Way”
“Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn”
Favorite TV Actor
Benjamin Flores Jr., “The Haunted Hathaways”
Charlie McDermott, “The Middle”
Grant Gustin, “The Flash”
Jack Griffo, “The Thundermans”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Ross Lynch, “Austin & Ally” *WINNER
Favorite TV Actress
Chloe Bennet , “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Debby Ryan, “Jessie”
Jennifer Morrison, “Once Upon a Time”
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, “The Big Bang Theory”
Kira Kosarin, “The Thundermans”
Laura Marano, “Austin & Ally” *WINNER
“Phineas & Ferb”
“SpongeBob SquarePants” *WINNER
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
“Teen Titans Go!”
“The Fairly OddParents”
Favorite Reality Show
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Dance Moms” *WINNER
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” *WINNER
“Transformers: Age of Extinction”
Angelina Jolie , “Maleficent” *WINNER
Cameron Diaz (Annie)
Donald Sutherland “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”
Jamie Foxx, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Lee Pace, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Favorite Movie Actor
Ben Stiller, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” *WINNER
Hugh Jackman, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Jamie Foxx, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Mark Wahlberg, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
Steve Carell, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”
Will Arnett, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Lego Movie”
Favorite Movie Actress
Angelina Jolie, “Maleficent”
Cameron Diaz , “Annie)
Elle Fanning, “Maleficent”
Emma Stone, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” *WINNER
Jennifer Garner, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”
Megan Fox, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
Favorite Animated Movie
“Big Hero 6” *WINNER
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Penguins of Madagascar”
“The Lego Movie”
“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water”
Favorite Male Action Star
Andrew Garfield, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Channing Tatum, “Jupiter Ascending”
Chris Evans, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Hugh Jackman, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Liam Hemsworth, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” *WINNER
Favorite Female Action Star
Ellen Page, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Evangeline Lilly, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
Halle Berry, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and X-Men: Days of Future Past” *WINNER
Scarlett Johansson, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Zoe Saldana, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Favorite Music Group
Fall Out Boy
One Direction *WINNER
Favorite Male Singer
Nick Jonas *WINNER
Favorite Female Singer
Selena Gomez *WINNER
Favorite Song Of The Year
“All About That Bass” Meghan Trainor
“Bang Bang” Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj *WINNER
“Dark Horse” Katy Perry
“Fancy” Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
“Problem” Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
“Shake It Off” Taylor Swift
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series *WINNER
The Heroes of Olympus series
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
The Fault in Our Stars
The Maze Runner
The Penguins of Madagascar movie came out last Tuesday in the hopes of not suffering any negative comments unlike the last 3 weeks. Last week’s DVD/Blu-Ray came out in full force. Did Team Skipper manage to make it to the top Perch?
Perch Perkins (via Variety)- Three new releases debuted in the top three spots on the national home video sales charts for the week ending March 22, led by the 20th Century Fox-distributed “Penguins of Madagascar,” from DreamWorks Animation.
“Penguins” bowed at No. 1 on both the Nielsen Video Scan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales, Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined, and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart. The film, which earned $83.2 million in U.S. theaters, is the fourth film in the “Madagascar” franchise, which launched in 2005 and has since generated more than $2.25 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
In a tight race, another 20th Century Fox film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” debuted at No. 2, also on both charts. According to Nielsen data, the Biblical epic, which stars Christian Bale as Moses and took in more than $65 million at the U.S. box office, sold nearly 97% as many units its first week in stores as “Penguins” (and 85% as many Blu-ray Discs).
Sony Pictures’ “Annie” bowed at No. 3, again on both charts, with 72% as many discs sold as “Penguins.” The latest filmed version classic 1977 musical earned $85.9 million in theaters.
The three new releases pushed the prior week’s top seller, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” to No. 4 on both charts and 20th Century Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” to No. 5 on First Alert and No. 6 on the Blu-ray Disc chart. Walt Disney Studios’ “Big Hero 6” snagged the No. 5 spot on the Blu-ray Disc chart, while finishing at No. 6 on First Alert.
According to Nielsen data, “Penguins” generated 57% of its total sales from Blu-ray Disc, compared to 50% for “Exodus” and just 40% for “Annie.”
On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, “Dumb and Dumber To,” from Universal Pictures, shot to the top now that it’s month-long holdback from Netflix and Redbox is over. The previous week’s top rental, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” slipped to No. 2.
“Annie” debuted at No. 3, while 20th Century Fox’s “Birdman,” in its first week of wide availability, soared up to No. 4.
Rounding out the top five was Walt Disney Studios’ “Big Hero 6,” down from No. 3 the prior week.
Thomas K. Arnold is editorial director of Home Media Magazine.
Top 20 Nielsen Video Scan First Alert chart for the week of 3/22/15:
1. The Penguins of Madagascar (new)
2. Exodus: Gods and Kings (new)
3. Annie (new)
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
5. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
6. Big Hero 6
7. Halo: Nightfall (new)
8. Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
9. The Sound of Music
10. Top Five (new)
11. Vice (new)
14. Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season
15. Despicable Me 2
16. Barbie in Princess Power
17. Dumb and Dumber To
19. PAW Patrol: Marshall and Chase – On the Case!
20. Space Jam
Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week of 3/22/15:
1. Dumb and Dumber To
2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
3. Annie (new)
5. Big Hero 6
7. Top Five (new)
8. Vice (new)
9. The Theory of Everything
10. Horrible Bosses 2
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,740 fans sign in as Team Skipper eliminates their past harsh judgments from the news media thanks to their DVD released last week.
Sources from scientists say that the Yeti Krab is heading towards Bottom. This creature has never been seen since until now! It also poses a serious threat to the city and everyone including SpongeBob and friends as it prepares for possible harsh damage, and it will never be the same again once the Yeti Krab leaves! Find out what’s bothering Mr. Krabs in a never before seen SpongeBob tonight! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, keep watching for progress on the Yeti Krab!
Paramount’s Insurge group downgraded; Changes unlikely as Academy Board meets for Oscar meeting; Maya the Bee head soon to theaters
Welcome to the upcoming final renovations edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
Last week, Mark Evans took over Paramount’s motion picture group replacing Adam Goodman from the role. This week, the mountain’s divisional motion picture company Insurge, is being trimmed down a bit. As Viacom enters its last stages next week Johnny, will Insurge be surged through alongside Paramount?
Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Paramount Pictures is dismantling its microbudget film branch Insurge Pictures, reducing it from a separate division although it intends to keep the name for use as a label on future genre pictures.
Amy Powell, who was hired as president of Insurge Pictures when it launched in 2010, will focus on her TV and digital responsibilities as president of Paramount TV and Digital Entertainment, sources confirm. She was originally put in charge of Insurge after her success on digital marketing with the Paranormal Activity films. On the TV front, Paramount is currently working on such projects as Grease Live and Minority with Fox; School of Rock with Nickelodeon; and Shooter with USA.
The other executives at Insurge Pictures will be integrated into the film team under Mark Evans, the new president of the studio’s motion picture group. Paramount, which has been trimming back on staff as part of parent company Viacom’s restructuring, will continue to use the Insurge label on some genre films.
The news comes on the heels of Adam Goodman’s exit as president of the studio’s motion picture group after a six-year stint in the role. Evans was promoted to Goodman’s old post last week.
Insurge was launched in 2010 to serve as the studio’s microbudget film distributor following the strong success of the Paranormal Activities series. Some of its releases included Katy Perry: Part of Me, The Devil Inside, Project Almanac and the upcoming Valencia.
This year’s Oscars were the lowest rated show as described back in February because there weren’t enough viewers tuned in to see the action, and the ratings proved it. Recent backlash from social media pinned down the Oscar voters for snubbing last year’s box office blockbusters such as The Lego Movie, which led to a big drop for ABC. As the Academy Board of Governors meet this week, they’re planning to make sure that the voters don’t make the same mistake. But will there be any changes Angie?
Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- The Board Of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will have its first meeting tonight since this year’s Oscar show, the lowest since 2009, and the agenda for these post-show meetings usually revolves around a review of the Oscar cast in order to get feedback on what worked and what didn’t. However, this may also be the most publicized (not by the Academy) Governors meeting in a long time, if you go by breathless media reports that the Academy may also be considering taking the Best Picture race back to a set number of five nominees rather than the five to ten nominee model used in the past few years. This year there were eight. In the previous three years the rule has been in effect there were nine. High profile media such as Variety, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire and others have picked up on this mysterious development which was apparently planted by an anonymous member(s) of a “faction” of the Academy who wants to return to a more rigid five-way Best Picture race, rather than the way it is now. It all started when the Academy moved to ten nominees in 2009 and then later tweaked it to its current state a couple of years after that.
The fact is there has always been a so-called “faction” in the Academy that didn’t want the change in the first place and has been chomping at the bit to take it back to five. Going to the media in advance and trying to drum up this kind of talk is, I suppose, a way of forcing the issue on to the Academy’s agenda one way or another. Having just finished six years as a member of the Board of Governors of the Television Academy, I assure you that if someone wants to bring up something at one of these meetings they will find a way. It was in fact at one of these post-show dissection Board meetings that the bold recommendation to switch to ten nominees was made by 81st Oscar show producers Bill Condon ( a current member of the Board repping Writers Branch) and Laurence Mark in 2009. That was the year The Dark Knight was bypassed for a Best Picture nod. Their feeling was with a field of ten it would be easier to see more popular, but deserving fare nominated in the marquee category, thus engaging a bigger mass television audience who presumably would have a rooting factor. It seemed to be off to a good start at the 82nd Academy Award nominations with box office hits like Avatar, District 9, The Blind Side, Inglourious Basterds and Up among the inaugural 10, but the Academy ultimately gave their top honor to The Hurt Locker, the lowest-grossing Best Birdman Oscars Picture winner in modern Oscar history, and that led to the show’s lowest numbers until this year when, in a field full of indie movies (save American Sniper) Birdman won Best Picture becoming the lowest grosser to do that since Locker. Although I loved Birdman and had it in my top ten for the year, it’s clear in talking to friends and others not in the industry that this was not an overwhelmingly popular win with those ‘out there in the dark’. It wouldn’t have hurt to have thrown in something like a Guardians Of The Galaxy into the mix, instead of being a much more expensive version of the Independent Spirit Awards. But popularity rarely translates into big awards action. If it did I would start betting on The Walking Dead to sweep the Emmys this year, instead of being relegated to the Special Effects categories.
I am not sure if this “faction” (why do I feel like I am in the middle of a Divergent movie using this term) wants to claim this year’s lower ratings (the show was down 16%) was caused because the Academy lost “prestige” in the Best Picture contest by allowing so many interlopers, but that seems to be part of the argument. The fact is most of the major awards shows were down this year including the Golden Globes and the Grammys. It’s cyclical and if an American-Sniper-Movie-Posterything, the fact that the Academy was able to agree on eight films this year, instead of being stuck with a maximum of five, likely kept the ratings slide from going even deeper. Based on conversations with Oscar voters, and just the way things came down in the end, it is fairly easy to assume that the Best Picture nominees in a field that only allowed five would have been Birdman, Boyhood, The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash. My guess is The Theory Of Everything, Selma and American Sniper would have been left on the sidelines. The latter, while very much loved by many in the Academy, also was somewhat polarizing , and the fact is Clint Eastwood was snubbed by the director’s branch , another indicator in many cases of Best Picture strength. So assuming that was the case, Sniper, the number-one grossing film of 2014, might have saved the day in part thanks to that Picture nomination, bringing in a larger and more involved TV audience. It’s a distinct possibility that wouldn’t have happened with the more exclusive five nominee rule, which by the way didn’t always come up with the best choices when it was in effect. And then there’s Selma. That film made the Academy the media’s whipping boy and brought renewed cries for more diversity in the Academy this year, even though they did nominate it for Best Picture (and Best Song which it won). The fact it was overlooked for Director and Actor led to idiotic headlines of “snub”. The Academy doesn’t “snub” you by nominating your movie for their most prestigious award. That Best Picture nomination almost assuredly would not have come in a field of five, but it certainly made it a lot easier to defend the Academy against unfair.
Maya, the proud honeybee that entertained preschoolers and kids back in the 80’s, is buzzing to the big screen! This bee with a big heart is ready for her biggest adventure yet. Who’s bring her back for more of her adventurous buzzing joy Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Shout! Factory Kids is bringing the CG-animated Maya the Bee Movie to theaters in Los Angeles and New York on May 1, 2015, according to a report by Screen Daily.
Based on the well-known children’s book by Waldemar Bonsels, the German-Australian co-production from director Alexs Stadermann (Bambi II) offers an immersive cinematic adventure into a spectacular macroscopic world. Featuring the voices of Coco Jack Gillies, Jacki Weaver, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Roxburgh, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Justine Clark, the screenplay was written by Marcus Sauermann and Fin Edquist.
Rated G, Maya the Bee Movie centers on Maya, a little bee with a big heart. She dreams of an exciting life of freedom, fun and adventure — the world is simply far too interesting to stay inside a hive! Her funny attempts to fit in bring her into trouble with the Queen’s narrow-minded royal advisor, Buzzlina. With her best friend Willy, Maya buzzes out into the meadow on an exhilarating adventure of self-discovery.
While most bees believe that other insects should be feared, Maya can’t help but make friends with Flip the charismatic and eccentric grasshopper, Kurt the dung beetle, and even Sting, a young hornet. But when the Queen’s royal jelly is stolen, it will take Maya and all of her bug buddies to figure out who did it and how to save the day.
Maya the Bee Movie is a co-production of Studio 100 Media and Buzz Studios in association with Flying Bark Productions.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,746 fans sign in as they receive Team Skipper’s backstory as they digest on how the flightless heroes became a team.
That concludes March folks. Don’t miss the 2015 KCA’s right before a never before seen SpongeBob and the premiere of Harvey Beaks. What will spring showers bring for April? Come back soon for the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.
Insurgent leads box office with solid 54 million, Cinderella pass 100 million mark; Paramount reveals next Mission Impossible sequel; senior executives leave Nick’s preschool group
The Divergent saga continues! I’m realistic Fish Head. Insurgent, the action packed hit based on the novel hit the box office with 54 million as it follows where Divergent left off back in 2014. Will the sequel match the prequel’s record this week Gene?
Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent led the box office this weekend with an estimated first place debut of $54.03 million. The second installment of the young adult series starring Shailene Woodley debuted in line with pre-release expectations. Insurgent opened just below the $54.61 million debut of last year’s Divergent. However, it should be noted that Insurgent had the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions, while Divergent did not. With that said, Insurgent was still off to a very solid start of its own this weekend. It should also be noted that the film’s overseas start was significantly stronger than that of Divergent.
Insurgent opened with $21.31 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.1 million from evening shows on Thursday), fell 7 percent on Saturday to gross $19.88 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $12.84 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.54 to 1. In comparison, Divergent had a ratio of 2.40 to 1. Insurgent having a slightly more back-loaded opening weekend performance than Divergent had could be a good sign for Insurgent going forward, though it could also be a sign of the film’s initial audience being less fan-driven this time around.
The audience breakdown for The Divergent Series: Insurgent skewed towards female moviegoers (60 percent) and towards moviegoers under the age of 25 (55 percent). The film received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.
Insurgent grossed $3.6 million from IMAX locations, which represented 6.7 percent of the film’s overall grosses this weekend.
Cinderella placed in second this weekend with a strong $34.49 million. Disney’s blockbuster fairy tale adaptation was down 49 percent from last weekend’s debut. That represented a respectable second weekend hold, especially when considering the direct competition the film faced from Insurgent and that Cinderella lost most of its IMAX screens to Insurgent as well. Cinderella zoomed past the $100 million domestic mark this weekend and has grossed $122.04 million in ten days. That places the film a slim 5 percent behind the $128.18 million ten-day start of last year’s Maleficent (which declined 51 percent in its second weekend to gross $34.33 million). Maleficent went on to stabilize very nicely later on in its run, and Cinderella will have a strong chance of doing the same, especially given the limited amount of new options for family audiences in April.
With Insurgent and Cinderella currently dominating the box office, the rest of the weekend’s line-up made very little noise.
Warner’s Run All Night is estimated to finish in a distant third place with $5.12 million. The Liam Neeson led action thriller was down 54 percent from last weekend, which represented a typical second weekend decline for a Neeson vehicle. Run All Night has grossed $19.72 million in ten days. That is a bit below expectations and places the film 5 percent behind the $20.83 million ten-day take of last year’s A Walk Among the Tombstones (which fell 67 percent in its second weekend to gross $4.19 million).
Open Road’s The Gunman debuted in fourth place with an estimated $5.01 million. The Sean Penn led action thriller opened a bit below its already modest pre-release expectations. Online activity for the film had been especially soft in the weeks leading up to its release and the film arriving so soon after Run All Night certainly didn’t help matters either. The Gunman opened a significant 54.5 percent softer than the already soft $11.01 million start of Run All Night last weekend.
The Gunman started out with $1.77 million on Friday, increased 13 percent on Saturday to gross $1.99 million and is estimated to decline 38 percent on Sunday to take in $1.24 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.83 to 1. The Gunman received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore and should fade away from theatres quickly.
Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $4.6 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth was down just 26 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to hold up very nicely. The 38-day total for Kingsman stands at a stronger than expected $114.57 million.
Do You Believe? arrived in sixth place with an estimated $4.0 million. The faith-based drama from Pure Flix opened a bit below expectations and failed to approach the $9.22 million start of last year’s God’s Not Dead, though it wasn’t widely expected to do so. Do You Believe? opened with $1.2 million on Friday, increased a slim 8 percent on Saturday to gross $1.3 million and is estimated to see a 15 percent jump on Sunday to gross $1.5 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.33 to 1. Do You Believe? will hope to hold up well going forward, thanks in part to the approaching Easter holiday.
On the platform front, It Follows continued its solid platform performance with an estimated $352,248 from 32 locations. That gave the critically acclaimed horror thriller from RADiUS-TWC a per-location average of $11,008 for the frame. It Follows has grossed $572,911 through ten days of platform release. Based on its performance thus far and on the strong critical buzz surrounding the film, It Follows is scheduled to expand into semi-wide release next weekend.
To recap, The Divergent Insurgent hits all marks in 1st, as it outguns the prequel’s last box office earnings, Cinderella hits record territory in 2nd as the reboot hits the 100 million smacker mark, Run All Night still runs in 3rd, The Gunman shoots all targets in 4th, and Kingsman unleashes a strong showing in 5th.
Mission Impossible fans were amazed as the M:I series rolls forward as Paramount unveiled the next mission with its newest sequel besting Disney’s Star Wars: Episode 8. What’s the title of the next mission profile Jim?
Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Ethan Hunt is on the move.
On Sunday, Paramount revealed that the next installment in its iconic covert spy franchise is officially titled Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, a moniker that shares a key word with Lucasfilm and Disney’s Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One.
Those tuning into the 2015 NCAA basketball games will see the first television spot for Rogue Nation, returning Tom Cruise in the lead role and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Until now, the film, scheduled to hit theaters July 31, has only been known as Mission: Impossible 5. Sunday’s ad will be followed by the release of the first trailer on Monday, while the initial poster is likewise being unveiled.
Paramount registered and cleared the title with the Motion Picture Association of America in January, well before Walt Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger announced the name of the Star Wars spinoff at a shareholder meeting March 12.
Sources say Disney didn’t clear its title, meaning Paramount could have fought to block Disney and Lucasfilm from using it at all, even though Rogue One won’t open until Dec. 16, 2016, long after Rogue Nation has come and gone.
Instead, the two studios quickly worked out a deal whereby Disney will refrain from referring to Rogue One this summer in any promotional materials aimed at the general consumer (an exception is a Star Wars fan event in April).
Rogue Nation will open more than three years after Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol grossed nearly $695 million worldwide, a franchise best. Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg reprise their roles in Rogue Nation alongside Cruise, while Rebecca Ferguson joins the series. The plot, kept under wraps until now, follows Hunt and his team as they take on a highly-skilled rogue syndicate intent on destroying them, setting off a global chase.
This isn’t the first time that Star Wars and Mission: Impossible have butted heads.
Paramount and Skydance Productions, who produced Rogue Nation alongside J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, originally intended to open the movie on December 25, 2015, but its release was moved up so as to avoid Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hits theaters Dec. 18. Abrams is directing the high-profile Star Wars reboot for Disney and Lucasfilm.
Nick had some renovating to do in their group last week following Paramount’s recent makeover. With final changes expected until next Tuesday, how many execs had to go in the preschool and animation group Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- As part of parent company Viacom’s restructuring efforts, a wave of executive layoffs has hit Nickelodeon’s preschool and animation divisions, Deadline reports, with three senior animation executives and two senior-level preschool execs leaving the company.
On the animation front, three senior-level animation executives have left Nickelodeon Animation Studio. Rich Magallanes, SVP of current series, Jenna Boyd, SVP of animation development, and Jill Sanford, VP of animation development, have each been let go.
An 18-year Nickelodeon veteran, Magallanes started at the company as a story consultant for TV shows like Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys and Angry Beavers, working his way up to executive director of animated and live-action series, and most recently VP of animated current series.
Also an 18-year Nickelodeon veteran, Boyd became SVP of animation development in 2012, overseeing animated series and Nickelodeon’s comedy shorts program. Former Disney exec Sanford joined Nickelodeon in 2012, and was responsible for all areas of series development, from concept to pilot.
On the preschool side, Nickelodeon’s EVP of preschool programming Teri Weiss, and Kay Wilson Stallings, SVP of production and development for Nickelodeon Preschool, Nick Jr. and NickMom, have left the company.
Sixteen-year Nickelodeon veteran Weiss helped Nickelodeon develop numerous preschool hits, including Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, Go Diego, Go!, The Wonder Pets! and Olivia.
Wilson Stallings oversaw the production of current Nickelodeon series Bubble Guppies, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Fresh Beat Band and Zack and Quack. She also helped develop preschool mainstays such as Backyardigans, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Lazytown and Peter Rabbit.
The layoffs are part of a corporate overhaul at Viacom, which is expected to help save the company $250 million a year, according to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. Layoffs have already hit other divisions of the company, including MTV, VH1 and TV Land.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,748 fans sign in as customers go and buy Team Skipper’s DVD to learn how the flightless heroes became the super secret spy team we know today.
Flash! There’s only a week left to vote until this Saturday’s Kids Choice Awards as all Nick networks cover the slime packed extravaganza! And be sure to see the newest SpongeBob and the debut of Harvey Beaks. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, get those final votes in until this weekend!
Marc Evans named head of Paramount’s motion picture group; Genndy Tartakovsky abandons Popeye in favor of Hotel Transylvania 2 after the trailers release; Brown Bag’s Henry Hugglemonster wins best preschool show at the Irish Animation awards
Welcome to the Irish edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
Last week, Paramount’s entire media group took the brunt of 40 to 50 workers left off as part of Viacom’s group plan to renovate the company. Back in February, Adam Goodman left the mountain’s movie group after 6 years. Who takes his place Johnny?
Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Paramount has named Marc Evans as president of the motion picture group, the studio announced on Monday. Evans will succeed Adam Goodman, who was ousted last month after a six-year stint in the role.
Evans’ promotion — he has served as the studio’s president of production since 2010 — was expected, as he’d been telling sources in the agency world for the past two weeks that he expected to be promoted. However, before Paramount chairman Brad Grey decided to promote from within he’s believed to have considered at least two other production presidents at rival studios.
In announcing Evans’ appointment, Grey said, “Having evaluated the potential candidates for this role, it quickly became clear that Marc was the most qualified and that he has truly earned this position. He has immense talents, a strong creative vision, deep integrity and an unrivaled work ethic. We take great pride in the fact that Marc has professionally grown up at Paramount, that he has overseen production of so many wonderful pictures here, and that he had such strong support from our creative collaborators. We couldn’t be more excited about the future.”
Within the studio, Evans was not viewed as a Goodman protégé; he joined the studio in 2003, well before Goodman’s arrival. Originally a vp production, he was appointed to senior vp in 2006 and exec vp in 2008 before being named president of production in 2010. During that time, he has worked on such Paramount franchises as Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Transformers and G.I. Joe, and he had earned the support of such key Paramount producers as Lorenzo di Bonaventura, J.J. Abrams and David Ellison — along with the respect of many in the agency world.
Evans steps into the high-stakes job — which has seen a lot of turnover over the past decade — as Paramount undergoes a round of layoffs as a result of parent company Viacom’s current restructuring, and as the studio, which released just 12 films in 2014, is under pressure to increase its output.
There were rumors that Hotel T director Genndy Tartakovsky had put Popeye on hold. Cartoon Brew took that away after the trailer for its sequel, Hotel Transylvania 2 debuted. Why did the big T decided to do Hotel T2 instead of the spinach-eating sailor Perch?
Perch Perkins (via Toon Zone)- Director Genndy Tartakovsky has spoken with Moviefone about the new trailer for Hotel Transylvania 2, discussing where the characters are since the last movie, the casting of Mel Brooks to play Dracula’s father, and a few other elements about the movie.
In the same interview, Genndy Tartakovsky stated that he is not working on the CGI remake of Popeye any more, stating:
“Right now, I’m off [Popeye] and moving on to the other one that we soft-announced, which is Can You Imagine? which is an original idea of my own and a very personal story.”
Sony Pictures Animation has confirmed to Toonzone that Popeye is still in active development, despite some rumors to the contrary.
The Irish animation awards were handed out last week as animated companies compete for the lucky award. Which company had the best luck Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Winners at the inaugural Irish Animation Awards have been announced, with Brown Bag Films taking the lead with three wins. Awards were presented on Friday, March 13 at the Dingle Skelligs Hotel in the Dingle Peninsula located in southwest Ireland.
Dingle has been home to the Dingle Film Festival and specifically Animation Dingle for the past three years. Created to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding creative talent within the Irish Animation, VFX and gaming industries, Animation Ireland’s inaugural awards ceremony also recognizes and supports animation students with the Best Student Film category.
The full list of winners is shown below:
•Best Animated Preschool Series (up to 6 years): Henry Hugglemonster (Brown Bag Films)
•Best Animated Short Film: Deadly (Kavaleer Productions)
•Best International Short Film: Outlines (Daisy Gould)
•Best Writer for a Preschool Animated Series: Andrew Brenner for Punky (Geronimo Productions)
•Best Writer for an Animated Series: Trevor J. Colgan for Roy (Jam Media)
•Best Animation for Apps and Gaming: ShipAntics: The Legend of Kiki Beast (Studio POWWOW)
•Best Design/Art Direction: Bing (Brown Bag Films)
•Best Director of an Animated TV Series: Bing (Brown Bag Films)
•Best Animation: Bord Gais Networks Tommy McAnairey (Piranha Bar)
•Best Music/Sound Design: Lily’s Driftwood Bay (Sixteen South)
•Best Student Film: Wounded (Julie Rush/BCFE)
•Kid’s Choice Award for Best Animated Series: Brain Freeze (Kite Entertainment)
•The Jimmy Murakami Award: Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon
Animation Dingle has grown substantially over the past year with partner JAM Media. This year’s event included presentations from many broadcasters, publishers, buyers and producers, including Nickelodeon, Disney, CBBC & RTE, Penguin, Walker Books & Scholastic, Kavaleer, Treehouse, Salty Dog, Geronimo and Cartoon Saloon.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,752 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s DVD is made available to all retailers nationwide.
There’s more luck ahead on the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.
Cinderella shines at the box office with 70 million; Star Wars Episode 8 date release reveled, Frozen 2 confirmed by Disney; Paramount lays off entire media group due to Viacom’s restructuring plans
Cinderella dances again! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Disney’s plan to remake their animated classics came to fruition this week as the reboot poured in 70 million after a lackluster start from Focus and CHAPPIE. The news came after the motion picture company confirmed that Frozen 2 will be a sequel to the 2013 blockbuster hit and Star Wars: Episode 8, the next chapter of the Star Wars universe, will continue the story. Will the reboot help the box office recover from winter’s wrath Gene?
Cinderella was off to a strong start this weekend with an estimated $70.05 million. Disney’s well-received fairy tale adaptation opened just above its already lofty pre-release expectations. Cinderella also added some much needed life to what had been a slow start to the overall March box office. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Cinderella delivered the sixth largest debut ever for the month of March. The film opened just ahead of the $69.43 million start of last year’s Maleficent, which was especially impressive given that unlike Maleficent, Cinderella didn’t receive a bump from higher priced 3D admissions (though it did receive a bit of a bump from playing in IMAX locations, as IMAX grosses represented 7 percent of the film’s overall gross).
Cinderella opened with $23.03 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.3 million from evening shows on Thursday), increased 17.5 percent on Saturday to take in $27.06 million and is estimated to decline 26 percent on Sunday to gross $19.97 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.04 to 1. Opening weekend business for Cinderella likely skewed higher than usual towards Friday for a family film due in part to some areas being on spring break and from the film skewing heavily towards female moviegoers (66 percent of the film’s audience was female). The film’s audience also skewed towards younger moviegoers (55 percent of the film’s audience was 25 years and younger), with family audiences representing 66 percent of the film’s overall audience.
Cinderella received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. That is a very good early sign for the film going forward, especially in combination with the film’s strong critical reviews. However, in the short-term Cinderella will be facing major new competition next weekend from Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
Warner’s Run All Night opened in a distant second place with an estimated $11.02 million. The Liam Neeson led action thriller opened a bit below expectations. As the fourth Neeson-led action thriller in just over a year, Run All Night clearly had its potential limited by over-saturation. Run All Night likely also took a hit from male moviegoers waiting for both Warner’s Get Hard and Universal’s Furious 7 instead at this point. Run All Night opened 14 percent below the $12.76 million start of last year’s A Walk Among the Tombstones, though going forward Run All Night may hold up better than A Walk Among the Tombstones did.
Run All Night started with $3.86 million on Friday (which included an estimated $455,000 from evening shows on Thursday), was up 16 percent on Saturday to take in $4.47 million and is estimated to fall 40 percent on Sunday to gross $2.69 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.85 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (86 percent) and slightly towards female moviegoers (52 percent). Run All Night received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore, though positive word of mouth may not help the film all that much with Insurgent, Get Hard and Furious 7 all on the horizon.
It was an extremely tight race for places third through sixth this weekend, with third place and sixth place currently separated by just an estimated $500,000.
Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service continued to hold up very nicely this weekend with an estimated third place take of $6.20 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth was up one spot and down just 25 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to be aided by both strong word of mouth and by lackluster direct competition. Kingsman: The Secret Service has grossed a stronger than expected $107.37 million through 31 days of release.
Warner’s Focus placed in fourth with an estimated $5.81 million. The romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie was down two spots and a solid 42 percent from last weekend. Focus has grossed $44.03 million in 17 days. That places the film 19 percent behind the $54.52 million 17-day take of 2013’s After Earth, but that percentage gap will continue to close going forward.
Sony’s CHAPPiE finished very closely behind Focus in fifth with an estimated $5.80 million. After leading the box office last weekend, the Neill Blomkamp directed sci-fi film was down four spots and a sharp 57 percent this weekend. In addition to poor critical reviews and mixed word of mouth, CHAPPiE also took a hit this weekend from losing IMAX screens to Cinderella. With a ten-day start of just $23.41 million, CHAPPiE is running a disappointing 58 percent behind the $56.00 million ten-day take of 2013’s Elysium.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel placed in sixth with an estimated $5.70 million. The ensemble comedy sequel from Fox Searchlight was down three spots and just 33 percent from last weekend, though it should be noted that the film did expand into an additional 449 locations this weekend. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has grossed a very solid $18.06 million in ten days, which places it 24 percent behind the $23.69 million ten-day gross of last year’s The Hundred-Foot Journey.
On the platform front, It Follows was off to a healthy start with an estimated $163,453 from four locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed horror thriller from RADiUS-TWC a promising per-location average of $40,863 for the frame. It Follows will expand into additional locations next weekend.
To recap as spring approaches, Cinderella 2015 gets strong reaction in 1st, Run All Night runs 2nd, Kingsman holds in 3rd after 2 weeks of holding on from CHAPPIE and Focus, CHAPPIE and Focus both move 4th and 5th after getting sidetracked in the first 2 weeks which led this month to a slow start.
Chalk up another win for the mouse as they hit the jackpot after strong earnings from the Street last week. During their conference call, Disney CEO Bob Iger acknowledged that there would be another sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as a sequel to Frozen. What’s the story that broke the headlines Johnny?
Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Walt Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said Star Wars: Episode VIII, written and directed by Rian Johnson, will be released May 26, 2017, and that a stand-alone movie based on the Star Wars world that is due Dec. 16, 2016, and directed by Gareth Edwards, will be called Rogue One.
Iger made the announcement Thursday at Disney’s annual meeting of shareholders in San Francisco, where he showed off a Mickey Mouse Apple Watch, which the CEO told attendees will be hitting the market soon. Iger boasted of also owning an original Mickey Mouse watch from the 1930s.
Iger showed the attendees several trailers of upcoming Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar films, said that Disney will introduce on TV next year the first Latina in its Disney Princess line, and said he has high hopes for the live-action Cinderella opening on Friday. “We absolutely love this movie,” he said.
He said Big Hero 6 — this years best animated feature Oscar winner — has become Disney’s third-highest-grossing animated film of all time, behind Frozen and The Lion King. And John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, showed the shareholders Frozen Fever, informing them they were the second audience in the world to see the short film.
And Lasseter confirmed Disney is working on Frozen 2 — a feature film, of course.
At the meeting, a couple of proposals by shareholders went down in defeat. One would have stipulated that the next CEO be restricted from also being chairman of the board. Today, Iger is both chairman and CEO, though even if the measure passed the rule would not have applied to him.
The other shareholder proposal that did not pass would have disallowed the acceleration of vesting of any equity award in the event of a change in control at Disney.
Iger also took questions from shareholders, and politics, as has been the case for a few years now, was discussed.
One shareholder noted that the CEO of Mozilla was forced from his job for donating to California’s Proposition 8, which “defined marriage a certain way.” He then noted that some companies have pledged not to fire employees for their political positions, though Disney is not one of them.
“Why does Disney’s management oppose granting its employees the same kind of freedom of conscious protection that GE, Pepsi and Time Warner have seen fit to do, and why did you spend shareholder resources asking the FCC to block shareholders from voting on the nonbinding recommendation on this issue?”
Iger said he looked into the matter and decided such a promise would be redundant.
“We believe that the policies that we have in place, on top of encouraging those activities, also define activities that would be perfectly acceptable to us. Obviously there are some that might not be, and that is obviously subject to judgment on our part,” Iger said.
Another shareholder complained that his wife, a custodian with the company, makes less than $10 an hour. “Maybe you get a little isolated,” he told Iger, before challenging him and other top execs to live on $10 an hour. “These are real people with real issues,” he said, pleading for a higher wage for his wife.
Iger noted that beginning in 2016 union employees of Disney will earn a minimum of $10 an hour and nonunion wages should rise to that minimum shortly thereafter.
In last week’s entertainment report, Viacom’s renovating continued as all MTV Networks, including MTV and Nick themselves, were being put in separate groups and splitting up their workforce. Last week, Paramount was delivered a powerful blow to their media structure. In an estimate Danny, how many of the mountain’s workforce are currently sent packing?
Danny Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Paramount Pictures laid off between 30 and 40 employees across all its departments on Wednesday as part of parent company Viacom’s ongoing restructuring.
While declining to specify an exact number, a Paramount Pictures spokesperson said, “The personnel changes made today are part of Viacom’s previously announced restructuring effort. These changes are designed to realign resources and create efficiencies in line with the evolving business environment.”
During the past month, Viacom has made layoffs at many of its units, with deep cuts at some divisions like MTV.
Speaking at an investor conference on Monday, Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman said that a company restructuring should be completed by the end of the month and result in $250 million in savings.
Viacom’s chief also said there was no truth to the rumor that the company would be selling Paramount or a stake in the studio to a Chinese company.
“It’s completely untrue,” he said, calling the source of information unreliable. “People see meetings being done and they like to think that it is transformational.”
Another shareholder wanted to know Disney’s position on net neutrality, but Iger demurred, saying the company hasn’t expressed an opinion publicly on the “hot-button issue” and that he didn’t want to “bog down this meeting” by trying to explain the nuances of net neutrality.
Iger was called on to reiterate his pledge of not showing characters smoking on TV or in movies except where necessary for historical accuracy, though one shareholder asked him to go further by asking the MPAA to give an R-rating to movies that include smoking and to rally other studios to support such a measure.
Iger said it would be “a little presumptuous” to tell other studios what to do or to tell the MPAA how it should rate movies. The shareholder noted that he had spoken to the MPAA about his idea, and the MPAA told him to speak to the studios, so he was now getting the runaround.
“I think the MPAA is kind of talking out of both sides of its mouth, and the result is a million kids are going to die unnecessarily,” said the shareholder.
And one attendee complained that the company’s live-action films proclaim themselves presented by “Disney” as opposed to “Walt Disney,” as had been the case in the past. Iger, though, noted that animated movies are still presented by “Walt Disney.”
“We just thought that it was a shorter way to describe and to apply our brand,” Iger said.
A 6-year-old child seemed to surprise Iger by asking about an impending name change at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. The CEO had to check with other executives before confirming that a name change is, indeed, imminent, though he wouldn’t disclose further details.
Another child asked Iger for his autograph to be used in a school project. Iger told him he’d meet him backstage for a photo together, as well as an autograph.
Shareholder Dwight Morgan, a Disney enthusiast and regular attendee of the annual meetings, reiterated his concern that some policies at the theme parks make it difficult for pin-traders, though he thanked Iger for having an employee contact him about the issue after he raised it a year ago. “Some progress has been made regarding pin-trading,” Iger said. “You should go back to the people you’ve been talking to and maybe get an update.”
Shareholders also voted in favor of all 10 of the company’s director nominees: Iger; Susan Arnold, an executive at the Carlyle Group; John Chen, former CEO of BlackBerry; Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter; Fred Langhammer, former CEO of Estee Lauder; Aylwin Lewis, CEO of Potbelly Sandwich Works; Monica Lozano, chairman of U.S. Hispanic Media; Robert Matschullat, former CFO of Seagram; Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; and Orin Smith, former CEO of Starbucks.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,752 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s DVD gets dropped into retailers in just 2 days to go.
Spring will be sprung this week as the toon world awaits new episodes ahead of upfront reports in the last 2 weeks. Watch the newest episodes this week all the way towards next week to see your favorite characters in action! This is Realistic Fish Head saying this week, Happy Spring!
Tim Burton to direct live action Dumbo movie; Layoffs begin at MTV Networks as changes continue; Odd Bods to debut soon on Disney XD
Welcome to the Disney reboot edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment Report. Here’s what’s topping today!
The reboot extravaganza continues as Disney’s Dumbo finally flies into the real world. That happened yesterday as the mouse prepares to release Cinderella in time for the box office as another live action flick. As for the flying pachyderm himself, who’s gets in the director’s chair Jim?
Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Tim Burton will direct Disney’s live-action Dumbo.
In the latest move by the studio as it continues to make live-action versions of its animated classics, Disney has tapped the Big Eyes helmer to take on the tale of a baby circus elephant who is made fun for his large ears, based on the 1941 iconic film.
As THR exclusively reported, Transformers franchise writer Ehren Kruger penned the script. The film will be a mix of CG and live-action to bring the classic elephant story to life, and will add a unique family story that parallels Dumbo’s journey. Justin Springer, who worked on Tron: Legacy as well as Oblivion, is producing with Kruger.
Disney’s latest live-action makeover Cinderella, starring Lily James, opens this weekend. The studio has had strong success with its live-action versions, including Burton’s reimagined Alice in Wonderland, which grossed a staggering $1.02 billion. And after Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic villainess, opened in May 2014, it went on to earn a stunning $758.4 million worldwide.
Burton, who is currently working on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is repped by WME.
Layoffs were underway at Viacom as the company cuts their workforce in half. Plans were drawn up back on February 22nd, as each executive splits up each group to coincide with each MTV network in their disposal. Which network was the first to make the cut on layoffs Angie?
Angie Angelfish (via Deadline Hollywood)- The wave of Viacom layoffs has reached MTV. We’ve learned that layoffs are underway at the music network. There is no ballpark headcount yet as I hear the process started yesterday and continues today, with some estimate that as much as 12% of MTV’s staff may be gone by the time this is over at the end of day today. I hear no department is being spared but for now, I hear the New York group has been seriously hit, especially those working on the unscripted side, including longtime staffers. Sister network VH1 also is being hit we hear, with veteran employees in marketing and promotion, design and PR among those impacted by layoffs.
“As announced, we are in the process of restructuring and there will be employees leaving the company as a result. We are so grateful for the contributions they have made to Viacom,” the company said in a statement to Deadline, declining further comment.
Viacom is in the process of combining the bulk of two network groups – Music and Entertainment – into one under Doug Herzog, and there is an ongoing consolidation in a number of departments as part of that, including Production, Research and Digital.
New shows keep coming in this week as Spring approaches less than a week away. Last time, Disney XD unveiled a Duck Tales reboot, including new seasons of the 7D’s, Wild Over Yonder, Star Wars Rebels, Kirby Buckets, and Star vs. The Forces of Evil with season 2 coming in 3 weeks to Monday. The Galaxy Guardians join the rest of the animated Marvel universe such as Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH as Guardians of the Galaxy becomes part of the Marvel Universe lineup. Now a playful team is entering the CG world as the extreme channel plans a welcome party. Who’s coming to visit this time Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Singapore-based One Animation is launching Oddbods, a new sketch-based CG-animated comedy series for kids that follows the adventures of seven adorable characters as they laugh, fool, and trip their way through the most seemingly ordinary situations, often with unexpected consequences.
Each Oddbod has a distinct personality that was created to appeal to adults and children alike. The series has already attracted broadcasters in France and the U.S., landing on Disney XD in the States, and the popular PTDR cartoon slot on the Canal+ Kids channel Télétoon+ in France. The French channel ran a successful trial of the series in December and will be presenting the shorts twice weekly throughout February and March of this year.
“We are delighted to partner with Canal+ to bring Oddbods to France,” comments One Animation CEO Sashim Parmanand. “The show’s unique design and humor make Télétoon+ the perfect partner for the brand.”
One Animation has also expanded its senior executive team with the appointment of Carlene Tan as Business Development Director. In her new role, Tan is charged with building and expanding the studio’s business across both traditional and emerging content platforms. Tan brings 15 years of industry experience to One Animation, and previously worked for the Singapore Media Development Authority specializing in animation and visual effects.
“In the course of the last 15 years, I’ve had unique opportunities to grow my animation career across development, production and distribution. More recently in the last three years, I’ve been focusing on technology and digital platforms,” explains Tan. “I am very excited to get back into content creation and looking forward to working with the management team at One Animation.”
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,757 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s DVD prepares to hit store shelves next week as fans of the TV show will discover how the team came to be before they met Alex and the group in Central Park Zoo.
Spring’s almost here folks! With all TV networks getting ready to unveil their inner most secrets, we’ll be here with all the upfront news from the animated world as some of the current shows come to a close. Who’ll stay another season longer and which of them will be gone? Season renewals are at stake on the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.
Chappie leads box office with 13 million, American Sniper surpasses The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 with 337 million as highest grossing film of 2014; Bella and the Bulldogs and the Thunder mans both renewed for 2 separate seasons; Spring upfront news-Disney XD and Disney shows expected to debut new shows and renew seasons soon
CHAPPIE fights for justice! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The defender of justice led the box office with 13 million after stumbling out if the gate on Friday. There was box office history made also. Which of last year’s films bagged the most amount Gene?
Sony’s CHAPPiE led the box office this weekend with an estimated $13.3 million. However, the Neill Blomkamp directed sci-fi film debuted below its already modest pre-release expectations. The film’s performance also represented the smallest first place take since Ouija led last year’s Halloween weekend box office with $10.74 million in its second weekend of release. While it wasn’t expected to open anywhere near the $29.81 million start of 2013’s Elysium, CHAPPiE ultimately opened a very underwhelming 55 percent softer than Blomkamp’s previous effort. Instead, CHAPPiE performed much more in line with the $13.04 million start of Paul back in March of 2011. Potential for CHAPPiE was no doubt hampered by largely negative critical reviews. It should be noted that the reported production budget for CHAPPiE was a reasonable $49 million.
CHAPPiE opened with $4.55 million on Friday (which included a relativity large $750,000 from evening shows on Thursday), increased 16 percent on Saturday to take in $5.27 million and is estimated to decline 34 percent on Sunday to gross $3.48 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.92 to 1. CHAPPiE received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore, which suggests the film is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics.
CHAPPiE grossed an estimated $2.0 million from IMAX locations. That represented a significant 15.0 percent of the film’s overall gross this weekend.
Warner’s Focus was down one spot this weekend to place in second with an estimated $10.02 million. The romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie fell 46 percent from last weekend; though it should be noted that the film took an additional hit from losing IMAX screens to CHAPPiE this weekend. Focus held up significantly better than 2013’s After Earth, which fell 61 percent in its second weekend to gross $10.71 million. With a ten-day take of $34.57 million Focus is still running 25 percent behind the $46.10 million ten-day take of After Earth, but that percentage gap will continue to close going forward.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was off to a very solid third place start with an estimated $8.6 million. The ensemble comedy sequel from Fox Searchlight opened towards the higher end of expectations and registered the highest per-location average of any film in the top ten this weekend (with an average of $5,467). The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel benefited from the overall goodwill for its predecessor and from ultimately opening in wide release this weekend as opposed to limited to moderate release. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened 22 percent below the $10.98 million start of last year’s The Hundred-Foot Journey and will hope to display similarly strong holding power going forward.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel started with $2.7 million on Friday, increased 33 percent on Saturday to take in $3.6 million and is estimated to decline 36 percent on Sunday to gross $2.3 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a promising 3.19 to 1. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.
The weekend’s other new wide release, Fox’s Unfinished Business, was off to a much poorer start with an estimated tenth place take of just $4.8 million. The Vince Vaughn led R-rated comedy opened below its already low expectations and marks yet another disappointment for Vaughn. Unfinished Business opened 39.5 percent below the $7.94 million start of 2013’s Delivery Man and 72 percent below the $17.33 million debut of 2013’s The Internship. There is no question that Vaughn is currently nowhere near the box office draw he was in the previous decade.
Unfinished Business opened with $1.8 million on Friday, increased a slim 3 percent on Saturday to gross $1.86 million and is estimated to decline 39 percent on Sunday to take in $1.14 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.67 to 1. Unfinished Business received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore, which further suggests that the film will fade away from theatres very quickly.
Thanks in part to the limited amount of business generated from the weekend’s new wide releases, Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service was down just 30 percent and two spots from last weekend to take fourth with an estimated $8.3 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth continues to display very solid holding power, especially for its genre. With a stronger than expected 24-day take of $98.03 million Kingsman: The Secret Service is now on the verge of reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.
In other box office news, Warner’s American Sniper surpassed the $336.96 million total gross of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 to become the highest grossing release of 2014 domestically. American Sniper has blown past all expectations with $337.21 million to date. The Clint Eastwood directed blockbuster starring Bradley Cooper took in an estimated $4.51 million this weekend. That placed the film in eleventh for the frame and represented a 39 percent decline from last weekend’s performance.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and Fifty Shades of Grey both continued to have a presence at the box office with respective estimated fifth place and sixth place takes of $7.0 million and $5.6 million. Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie was down 35 percent from last weekend, while Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey fell 47 percent. Fifty Shades of Grey and The SpongeBob Movie continue to remain as the two highest grossing releases of 2015 thus far domestically with respective total grosses of $156.44 million and $148.99 million.
To recap, CHAPPIE strikes 1st, Focus drops to 2nd as box office estimates from last week dismissed suspicions of flopping, The 2nd Best Exotic Hotel checks in at 3rd, Kingsman moves to 4th thanks to unlimited releases, and SpongeBob Movie 2 stays in shape in 5th as The Sponge and Mr. Grey are both poised to make high grossing numbers.
Nick got a special surprise this week following their Spring schedule as The Thunder mans and Bella and the Bulldogs both get renewed for each season. What will these Saturday night shows bring in this time Dan?
Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Nickelodeon today announced it has renewed live-action hit comedies Bella and the Bulldogs for season two, and The Thundermans for a third season. The announcement was made by Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s President of Content Development and Production.
Year-to-date, Bella and the Bulldogs is the number-one show on Nickelodeon with premieres averaging two million total viewers. Since its January launch, the show has reached more than 20M total viewers. Since its season two launch, The Thundermans has consistently ranked #1 in its time period with kids, averaging a 3.5/1.1M (K2-11) and 4.7/884K (K6-11).
Faced with much bigger challenges in season two, Bella and the Bulldogs team must push to overcome obstacles and work together to be the winning combination they once were. Bella (played by Brec Bassinger) will unite her original team, Troy (Coy Stewart), Sawyer (Jackie Radinsky) and Newt (Buddy Handleson), in an attempt to take them farther than than they’ve ever gone, all while keeping close ties with her two best friends from the cheer squad, Pepper (Haley Tju) and Sophie (Lilimar). Executive produced by Jeff Bushell, the show was created by Nickelodeon Writing Program alumni Gabriel Garza and Jonathan Butler, who also serve as co-executive producers.
In season three of The Thundermans, superhero twins Phoebe (Kira Kosarin) and Max (Jack Griffo) confront a new family dynamic that changes their lives forever and face being exposed after someone close to them learns their secret identities. The series continues to follow the opposite siblings as they navigate their way through school, friends and a family of extraordinary superheroes. The Thundermans is created and executive produced by Jed Spingarn and executive produced by David Hoge and Dan Cross.
“Both of these live action comedies have connected with our audiences and we are thrilled to add new seasons of both of them,” Hicks said. “We’re hearing from kids all the time about how much they admire Bella and her can-do spirit, and The Thundermans just continues to make kids laugh, which is great.”
Last week, Cartoon Network and Nick released their Spring schedule, but both Disney Channel and Disney XD have yet to release theirs. What should we expect these 2 channels to unveil them Dan?
Dan Barry (via Nick and More(continued))- With Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon having already released their upfront news for this year, and while Disney hasn’t release a formal upfront press release yet, they have informed various media outlets of their plans for the 2015-16 season, it’s time to take a look at the big picture. What’s new, what’s returning for another season, what is still left to be aired and what’s not coming back?
Newly Announced Series (“wt” = working title)
•Game Makers (wt, 26 episodes)
•Make It Pop (20 episodes) – previews March 26, premieres as a weekday strip in April
•Talia’s Kitchen (wt, 40 episodes) – weekday strip series
•Mutt & Stuff (20 episodes) – preschool; pilot airs March 6
•Roll Call (wt) – in development
•The W.I.T.s Academy (wt, 20 episodes) – spin-off of Every Witch Way, will air as a weekday strip
New Series Already Announced
•School of Rock (13 episodes)
•100 Things to Do Before High School (26 episodes)
•Harvey Beaks (26 episodes) – premieres March 28/29
•Pig Goat Banana Cricket (26 episodes)
•Shimmer and Shine (20 episodes) – preschool
•The Loud House (13 episodes)
Recently Renewed Series
•Max & Shred (season 2)
•The Thundermans (season 3)
•Bella and the Bulldogs (season 2)
•Henry Danger (season 2)
•Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn (season 2)
•Every Witch Way (season 4)
•Dora and Friends: Into the City! (season 2)
Already Renewed Series
•Breadwinners (season 2)
•Sanjay and Craig (season 3)
•Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (season 4)
Active Shows with New Episodes Remaining
•Power Rangers Dino Charge
•Blaze and the Monster Machines
Current Shows Ending After This Season
•The Fairly OddParents – final 2 episodes airing March 28; haven’t heard anything about a renewal, but with this show anything is possible
•T.U.F.F. Puppy – remaining episodes airing Saturdays through April 4 on Nicktoons
•Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness – 10 episodes remain
•The Haunted Hathaways – while a formal announcement hasn’t been made, the last episode produced airs tonight on Nick
Newly Announced Series
•Untitled Jessie spin-off
•Best Friends Whenever
•Stuck in the Middle (pilot)
Recently Renewed Series
•Girl Meets World (season 2)
Active Shows with New Episodes Remaining
•I Didn’t Do It
•Liv and Maddie
•Dog With A Blog
Current Shows Ending After This Season
•Austin & Ally [X]
Newly Announced Series
•Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything
•Pickle & Peanut
New Series Already Announced
•Guardians of the Galaxy
Recently Renewed Series
•Star Wars Rebels (season 2)
•Kirby Buckets (season 2)
Already Renewed Series
•Wander Over Yonder (season 2)
•The 7D (season 2)
•Star vs. The Forces of Evil (season 2) – renewed ahead of March 30 premiere
Active Shows with New Episodes Remaining
•Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja
•Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero
•Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
Current Shows Ending After This Season
•Phineas and Ferb
•Kickin’ It – final episodes airing this month
Newly Announced Series
•Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race
Newly Announced Mini-Series & Specials
•Long Live The Royals (mini-series)
•Regular Show: The Movie
•Adventure Time mini-series
•Steven Universe / Uncle Grandpa crossover
New Series Already Announced
•We Bare Bears
•The Powerpuff Girls (2016)
•Transformers: Robots in Disguise – premieres March 14
Already Renewed Series
•Adventure Time (season 7)
•Regular Show (season 7)
•Clarence (season 2)
•The Amazing World of Gumball (seasons 4 & 5)
•Steven Universe (season 2)
•Uncle Grandpa (season 3) [X]
Active Shows with New Episodes Remaining
•NinjaGo: Masters of Spinjitzu
•Teen Titans Go!
We’ll check with both Disney Channel and XD for upcoming news as they come in soon.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,757 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s DVD arrives in less than T-minus this Tuesday.
Check out new episodes of Ninjago every Monday starting this week as Sensei Wu teaches new ninja skills and techniques that could unlock new moves for the spinning 5. This is Realistic Fish Head. saying, it’s time to reach the next level of Ninja training!
Big Hero 6 wins Best Animated Feature; Alessandro Carolni to Co-direct Kung Fu Panda 3; Harvey Beaks to debut after 2015 Kids Choice Awards
Welcome to the Disney double win edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
Birdman reigned supreme at the Oscars last month as the favorite bested Boyhood for the top prize. There was another favorite in the best animated feature category as Disney’s Big Hero 6 was up against DreamWorks Dragons 2. Did Baymax manage to beat out Toothless’ swift moves Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Disney’s Marvel-inspired Big Hero 6 won over the hearts of the Academy at the ceremony for tonight’s 87th annual Oscars, talking home the prize for best animated feature.
Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams and producer Roy Conli took the stage, with Hall thanking fellow nominees for “a great year in animation,” along with the Walt Disney Animation Studios and studio head John Lasseter. “This is the best business in the world,” he said.
Big Hero 6 is a super hero origin story centered on robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter), who’s growing up in San Fransokyo, a stunning mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo set in the near future and brought to life with WDAS’s new Hyperion technology.
Hiro hangs out with his tech-savvy friends — adrenaline junkie GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (Damon Wayans, Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (T.J. Miller) — and Baymax, an inflatable healthcare robot companion voiced by Scott Adsit. When the group discovers a plot to destroy the city using a swarm of microbots Hiro designed, they band together to save the city and set things right.
This year, Big Hero 6 was up against LAIKA’s The Boxtrolls, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea and Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. This is the second consecutive win for Disney in the Best Animated Feature category, following in the footsteps of last year’s Frozen.
The mouse chalked up a win for Feast as best animated short.
DreamWorks was shorthanded without a director for Kung Fu Panda 3 since their staff was laid off on Super Bowl Sunday. Now with a new director at the helm Angie, did it signal another change?
Angie Angelfish (via Animation World)- DreamWorks Animation has brought in Alessandro Carloni to co-direct Kung Fu Panda 3, according to a report by Deadline.
Yuh was the first woman to direct an animated feature solo at a Hollywood studio when she helmed 2011’s Kung Fu Panda 2, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Besides directing KFP2, she also served as head of story and director of a sequence in the first film in the franchise. Yuh reportedly asked that Carloni join her as a director on the highly-anticipated CG-animated threequel.
A DWA veteran in his own right, Carloni previously worked on both Kung Fu Panda films. He served as an animation supervisor on 2008’s Kung Fu Panda, a story artist on the first sequel, and was also head of story on last year’s How To Train Your Dragon 2. Carloni is also set as the director for Me & My Shadow, which was supposed to come out on March 14 last year but was moved back into development in February 2013.
This is the second big change for Kung Fu Panda 3 in just over two months. The Jeffrey Katzenberg-run studio announced in December it was pushing the release of Kung Fu Panda 3 from December 23, 2015 to March 18, 2016, in a move to stay clear of Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will be released just five days earlier.
Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, and Seth Rogen return to lend their voices to Kung Fu Panda 3. As of 2013, Bryan Cranston, Mads Mikkelsen, and Rebel Wilson were also on board.
Nick unveiled this year’s KCA nominees last week in preparation for the show. This week, the network unveiled a brand new animated series since a new SpongeBob episode premiered right after the show last summer. Who’s flying in after the last douse of slime’s thrown Dan?
Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- A mild-mannered bird and his two wild best friends embark on a series of hilarious adventures in Nickelodeon’s brand-new animated series Harvey Beaks, debuting Sunday, March 29, at 7:00p.m. (ET/PT). This 26-episode series, created and executive produced by C.H. Greenblatt (Chowder),tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Harvey, a kid who’s never broken the rules, and Fee and Foo, his two friends who’ve never lived by any. Viewers can catch a special first-look of the series, produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., Saturday, March 28, at 9:30p.m. (ET/PT) immediately following the 2015 Kids’ Choice Awards. Harvey Beaks will roll out on Nickelodeon’s international channels beginning this summer.
Set in a magical forest, this new series follows one sweet bird on his mission to experience wild adventures with the help of his two best friends. Harvey, Fee and Foo’s connection only grows stronger throughout the series as they push each other into endless fun. In the special first-look “Pe-Choo!”, in order to have an awesome time at the lake, Harvey has to do the one thing that’s the hardest for him–get in really big trouble.
On Sunday, March 29, at 7:00p.m. (ET/PT), the series will launch in its regular timeslot with “The Spitting Tree.” Spitting from the highest tree in Littlebark is fun until the kids realize they can’t get back down. An encore of “Pe-Choo!” will immediately follow.
“Carl Greenblatt’s very funny and heart-warming stories fit directly in with Nickelodeon’s DNA and sensibilities,” said Russell Hicks, President of Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon. “In Harvey Beaks, viewers have the opportunity to discover the joys, triumphs and fears of growing up through thoughtful characters who push their limits and step out of their personal comfort zones.”
Viewers can visit the Harvey Beaks page on Nick.com and the Nick App to learn more about the show and its characters, get a behind-the-scenes look at the series and play new games beginning March 26, including “Harvey Beaks Pe-Choo!” and take the quiz “Which Character Are You?”. Episodes of Harvey Beaks will be available on Nick.com and the Nick App, along with platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Google Play, Vudu, Playstation, Hulu and VOD.
Greenblatt began his career in animation as a storyboard artist and writer on Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. He created and executive produced Chowder and was a storyboard artist and writer for The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy at Cartoon Network. He also directed his own version of the character Deadman for DC Nation shorts.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1761 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s DVD comes sooner than expected.
That brings us to what’s in store on DVD this March. Have a look at this short list:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
Penguins of Madagascar
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Into the Woods
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Imitation Game
What lucky breaks will we see this March? Come back soon for the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report!
Focus opens 19 million as expectations point to another possible flop; Duck Tales returns 2017 to Disney XD; New episodes, Noggin Mobile, Nick Sports, and new shows highlight Nick’s Spring up front schedule
Is this another backlash for Will Smith? I’m Realistic Fish Head. March is off to a slow start as Warner Bros. Focus focuses in the box office with 19 million, but there’s suspicion from critics that the film might not measure up as well as After Earth. Are they wrong about this discovery Gene?
As was widely expected, Warner’s Focus debuted in first place this weekend with an estimated $19.1 million. However, the romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie did perform slightly below pre-release expectations. Focus opened a lackluster 31 percent below the $27.52 million start of 2013’s After Earth, though it should be noted that Focus was far less expensive than After Earth and will likely hold up significantly better than After Earth did after opening weekend. With that said, the debut of Focus further suggests that Smith’s drawing power at the box office is nowhere near the level it once was.
Focus debuted with $6.47 million on Friday (which included an estimated $900,000 from Thursday night shows), increased 18 percent on Saturday to take in $7.66 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to claim $4.98 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a very solid 2.95 to 1 (though it should be noted that Friday’s grosses were deflated a bit in general by winter weather in parts of the country). The film received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for Focus skewed towards female moviegoers (53 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (88 percent).
Focus took in $2.08 million from IMAX locations, which represented 10.9 percent of the film’s overall gross this weekend.
It was a tight race for places two through five this weekend, as second place and fifth place were separated by just an estimated $1.15 million.
Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service took in an estimated $11.75 million to claim second place for a third consecutive weekend. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth was down a very solid 36 percent from last weekend. Kingsman: The Secret Service continues to inch closer to the $100 million domestic mark with a stronger than expected 17-day take of $85.69 million. That places the film an impressive 52.5 percent ahead of the $58.82 million 17-day gross of 2010’s Red.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water held steady in third place this weekend with an estimated $11.2 million. Thanks in part to facing no new direct competition from family audiences, Paramount’s 3D animated film stabilized nicely this weekend, as it was down 32 percent from last weekend. The SpongeBob Movie continues to exceed expectations with a strong 24-day take of $140.32 million and is running 32 percent ahead of the $106.34 million 24-day take of 2011’s Rango.
After leading the box office each of the past two weekends, Fifty Shades of Grey fell three spots to land in fourth place with an estimated $10.93 million. Universal’s successful erotic romantic drama was down a sharp 51 percent from last weekend, but showed relative signs of stabilization after last weekend’s massive percentage decline. While it’s proving to be very front-loaded, Fifty Shades of Grey has grossed a very strong $147.76 million in 17 days, which places it a sizable 48 percent ahead of the $99.92 million 17-day take of 2010’s Valentine’s Day.
The Lazarus Effect debuted in fifth place with an estimated $10.6 million. The low-budget PG-13 rated horror film from Relativity had been widely expected to open slightly higher, but was still off to a solid start this weekend given its cost. It should also be noted that online activity levels before the film’s release were soft by horror film standards. The Lazarus Effect opened 12 percent below the $12.01 million start of Relativity’s Oculus last April.
The Lazarus Effect opened with $3.8 million on Friday (which included an estimated $350,000 from Thursday night shows), increased a healthy 15.5 percent on Saturday to take in $4.39 million and is estimated to decline 45 percent on Sunday to gross an estimated $2.41 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.79 to 1, which is very promising for a horror film. On the other hand, The Lazarus Effect received a C- rating on CinemaScore, which isn’t the greatest early sign (even by horror film standards).
Disney’s McFarland, USA held up very nicely in its second weekend, as it was down just 29 percent to place in sixth with an estimated $7.79 million. The sports drama starring Kevin Costner continues to perform on the high end of expectations with $21.98 million in ten days. That places the film 13.5 percent ahead of the $19.36 million ten-day take of last year’s Draft Day (which fell 42 percent in its second weekend to gross $5.71 million). This weekend’s hold is a strong sign for McFarland, USA going forward.
Warner’s American Sniper continued to hold up very well this weekend with an estimated seventh place take of $7.7 million. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper was down a slim 23 percent from last weekend. American Sniper has grossed a massive $331.11 million to date and is now on the verge of surpassing the $336.71 million current total gross of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 to become the highest grossing release of 2014 domestically.
The DUFF also held up well this weekend with an estimated eighth place gross of $7.15 million. The low-budget PG-13 comedy from CBS Films and Lionsgate was down 34 percent from last weekend’s stronger than expected start. The DUFF continues to exceed expectations with $20.05 million in ten days. That places the film 21 percent ahead of the $16.55 million ten-day take of last year’s That Awkward Moment (which fell 40 percent in its second weekend to gross $5.24 million).
To recap, Focus seeks redemption in 1st, due to their Friday numbers deducted from winter storm season, Kingsman and SpongeBob Movie 2 remain unfazed in 2nd and 3rd as both flicks overcome a disappointing start from the Warner’s Focus, Fifty Shades moves to 4th after 2 weeks in the box office, and The Lazarus Effect unleashes its scare in 5th.
Disney’s DuckTales took viewers on an adventurous season of action, adventure, and suspense as Scrooge McDuck and crew ventured out from Duckburg to all parts of the world. This week, Disney XD has the crew as the show gets a reboot only this time, Scrooge’s grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie get a stunning surprise from McDuck. What’s the news around Duckburg Dan?
Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- An all-new “DuckTales,” an animated comedy series based on the Emmy Award-winning series treasured by a generation of viewers, has been ordered for launch in 2017 on Disney XD channels around the world. Set to be produced by Disney Television Animation, the new series will again star Disney’s enduringly popular characters: Scrooge McDuck, his grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, and Donald Duck. The announcement was made today by Marc Buhaj, Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD.
Buhaj said, “DuckTales’ has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history; it drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books, and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.”
The new series’ adventures will once again take viewers along as Scrooge McDuck, his curious and mischief-making grandnephews – Huey, Dewey and Louie – and the optimistic yet temperamental Donald Duck embark on high-flying adventures worldwide. Other beloved characters slated to be in the new stories are: Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Launchpad McQuack, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell & Poe, Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys (Burger Beagle, Bouncer Beagle), Mrs. Beakley and Webbigail Vanderquack.
A generation’s seminal cartoon, the Emmy Award-winning “DuckTales” led the daily syndicated cartoon block “The Disney Afternoon” with 100 episodes produced by Disney Television Animation from 1987-90. An animated theatrical film, “DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp” premiered in 1990.
The original “DuckTales” is currently available on WATCH Disney Channel, an app that allows consumers to watch on tablets, phones, computers and set-top boxes.
Disney Interactive features several “DuckTales”-themed items in the Disney Infinity toy box. A music video of the familiar “DuckTales” theme song (with real ducks) has amassed over six-million views since September 2014 on the popular YouTube channel “Oh My Disney.”
Last Friday on Cartoon Network’s spring schedule, the network previewed a Power Puff Girls reboot, an Uncle Grandpa Steven Universe team up in which they unlock the power of Steven’s gem, and a Regular Show movie in which Mordecai and Rigby must take on a evildoer in order to save their friendship. It was Nick’s turn this week as their up front schedule was unveiled. Did they keep their shows and Nick Coms from within the network’s schedule in check in time for Spring Dan?
Dan Barry (via Nick and More (continued))- Nickelodeon, at its annual upfront presentation held today at the Skylight at Moynihan Station, outlined the power of its unmatched, 10-screen ecosystem to deliver the biggest and most engaged audience of kids and families, and announced numerous key initiatives from its content pipeline. The new series and development projects underscore Nick’s commitment to fresh and innovative formats, from a wide range of creative sources and voices.
Announcements at the presentation included: Noggin, a mobile subscription service for preschoolers; numerous new content innovations; a sneak peek at a potential SpongeBob SquarePants Broadway musical; future spinoff possibilities for the wildly successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise; and Nickelodeon Sports, which brings content from the major sports leagues to Nick’s platforms. Nickelodeon also detailed the suite of its partner services that provides consumer insights, advertising solutions and branded-entertainment opportunities, now formalized under the banner of Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions.
The presentation was augmented by an appearance from Will Arnett–star of Paramount Pictures’ global theatrical hit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the forthcoming sequel set for 2016; a performance of a song from the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, currently being developed for a potential Broadway debut; and a closing set of songs by pop hit-makers, Echosmith.
“The proliferation of platforms and massive amounts of new content are having an unprecedented impact on entertainment, and we are using these opportunities to super-serve our audience with fresh content, new formats and innovative storytelling,” said Cyma Zarghami, President, Viacom Kids and Family Group. “We remain laser-focused on using all of the screens and tools in our ecosystem to deliver the biggest audience of kids and families, and creating hits and building franchises that thrill our audience and deliver unrivaled reach.”
Nickelodeon highlighted a selection of content drawn from its pipeline, with each project showcasing the network’s commitment to reinvent genres and introduce new formats and ideas to its audience.
These projects include:
•Game Makers (working title), just picked up for 26 episodes, is the newest creation from hit-maker Dan Schneider. It’s a live-action sitcom about two 12-year-old girls who start a multi-million-dollar gaming company and take on rap superstar Double G as a business partner. As part of a multi-platform experience, the games seen in the episodes will be released through apps and online. Schneider will also serve as Executive Producer.
•Make It Pop, picked up for 20 episodes, is a comedic, music-infused daily strip about three unique girls who come together to start their own K-Pop-inspired band. Randomly selected to room together at boarding school, bookish Corki, fashion-forward Jodi and social media maven Sun Hi meet and bond over music. With the help of fellow boarding school classmate and DJ hopeful, Caleb, the girls grow from roommates to bandmates as they become a school-wide sensation and compete for a place in the upcoming school musical. The series, which will feature original songs and performances in every episode, is co-created by Thomas W. Lynch and Nick Cannon and produced by DHX Media. Make It Pop is executive produced by Lynch and Cannon, together with Steven DeNure and Anne Loi for DHX Media.
•Talia’s Kitchen (working title), just picked up for 40 episodes, is a live-action series inspired by the daily telenovela format that follows 14-year-old Talia who moves in with her grandmother and starts spending time in the kitchen of their family-owned restaurant. There, she discovers her true calling: cooking. With the help of her special “salt and pepper sense”–and her late father’s magical spices–Talia is able to infuse emotion into her food and cook just what each customer needs. Talia’s Kitchen is created by Catharina Ledeboer and produced by Viacom International. Tatiana Rodriguez will serve as Executive Producer.
•Mutt & Stuff, which has just been picked up for 20 episodes, is a live-action preschool series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft. Set in a unique school for dogs, the series stars Calvin Millan, The Puppy Whisperer and son of The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, interacting with a cast of real dogs and puppets. Mutt & Stuff is filled with unbelievable dog tricks, adorable puppies, and alternating moments of heart and comedy. The series is created and executive produced by Sid and Marty Krofft and Bradley Zweig. Cesar Millan also serves as Executive Producer.
•Roll Call (working title), which is currently in development, is a single-camera comedy series shot in a mockumentary style that follows an eclectic group of kids navigating their way through middle school. Roll Call is executive produced by Sharla Sumpter Bridgett and directed by Ian Pfaff.
Nickelodeon also announced a spin-off of its hit Every Witch Way—The W.I.T.s Academy (working title; 20 episodes). The W.I.T.s Academy will be a daily strip about the comedic adventures of witches- and wizards-in-training. The series is created by Catharina Ledeboer and is produced by Viacom International. The W.I.T.s Academy is executive produced by Tatiana Rodriguez.
“We remain focused on developing breakthrough content that is more fresh and innovative than anything else available anywhere,” said Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon. “Our new slate builds on a strong foundation of recent launches that is connecting with this new generation of kids.”
Nickelodeon also announced that it will air more than 600 episodes of new series and returning hits for the 2015-16 season:
•Among the new series this season are: School of Rock, a live-action show based on the hit movie, and Nick’s first collaboration with Paramount Television; Harvey Beaks, an animated show about a good kid who has never broken the rules, and his two best friends, who have never lived by any; and Shimmer and Shine, an animated, curriculum-based preschool series about twin genies-in-training who unintentionally cause chaos in their attempts to grant wishes for their best friend, Leah.
•Nick’s returning series feature second seasons of new live-action hits Henry Danger, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and Max & Shred; season four of the live-action, daily series, Every Witch Way; plus more new episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Thundermans, Bella and the Bulldogs, Sanjay and Craig, Breadwinners, The Fairly OddParents, PAW Patrol, Wallykazam!, Dora and Friends and Blaze and the Monster Machines, among others.
In addition to outlining its upcoming development slate, Nickelodeon also highlighted a range of other initiatives, including: the launch of Noggin; and opportunities with sport content, through Nickelodeon Sports:
•Noggin–Nickelodeon is launching Noggin, a new mobile subscription service for preschoolers. Available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch starting March 5, the paid service will be ad-free and offered for $5.99 a month. Nickelodeon is also in discussions with distributors about offering this service as a premium complement to authenticated subscribers. Noggin will feature an abundant volume of long- and short-form content for preschoolers, with additional content added regularly. Noggin’s content at launch will include: award-winning, education-based series, including the ground-breaking Blue’s Clues, Little Bear and Ni Hao, Kai-lan, among others; music videos featuring kids’ favorite Nick preschool characters; and the return of the beloved Moose and Zee characters hosting educational videos that can help kids learn letters, shapes, matching and other important skills to get ready for kindergarten. New content, games and activities will be added regularly. Noggin’s content will remain library-based, separate and distinct from Nickelodeon’s preschool content currently available on its existing distribution platforms.
•Nickelodeon Sports–Nick’s sports initiative encompasses the brand’s established relationships with major sports leagues, including NFL, NBA, MLS, NHL and NASCAR, across a myriad of off-channel activations, including pro-social initiatives and marketing partnerships. In 2014, Nickelodeon expanded its sports presence to include programming with its inaugural Kids’ Choice Sports Awards, hosted and executive produced by Michael Strahan, and the launch of NickSports. Launched on Nicktoons last fall, NickSports is a primetime (Wednesdays from 9-11 p.m. ET) programming block that features a rotating lineup of sports-themed content including series, specials and documentaries from sports leagues and celebrity athletes, as well as acquired theatrical movies.
Also outlined was Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions, Nickelodeon’s newly named integrated marketing and creative content offering for partners. Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions is a collaborative service that connects partners to the strengths of Nickelodeon’s platforms and unrivaled characters, and makes available Nick’s audience expertise, creativity, advertising solutions and branded-entertainment opportunities.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,765 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s DVD arrives in T-minus 2 weeks.
Flash! Be sure to spring forward your clocks next week as we jump ahead to see your favorite shows as the up fronts start to roll through. Remember, they’re only 3 weeks left to vote in the 2015 Kids Choice Awards! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, keep voting!