Archive for April, 2016
The Jungle Book increases box office lead to 60 million, The Huntsman: Winter’s War misses mark; Henson company ends license deals with MIP TV; Frank Welker to recieve lifetime achiement award at the Creative Emmy’s
The jungle roars while the huntsman drops! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Jungle Book fever struck again in the box office as The Jungle Book scored another week with 60 million, while Huntsman: Winter’s War, the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman hit a soft landing as it proved it was no match for Disney’s reboot of the 1967 classic. Will Jungle Book fever continue all the way towards May Gene?
Disney’s The Jungle Book continued to lead the box office with ease this weekend with an estimated second weekend take of $60.80 million. The 3D live-action computer animated hybrid directed by Jon Favreau held up very nicely for a film of its size in its second weekend, as it was down 41 percent from last weekend’s debut. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, The Jungle Book registered the 15th largest second weekend gross of all-time. The Jungle Book is quickly approaching the $200 million domestic mark with a massive ten-day gross of $191.48 million. That places the film an impressive 33 percent ahead of the $144.06 million ten-day take of 2013’s Oz: The Great and Powerful and just 8.5 percent behind the $209.34 million ten-day gross of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. The Jungle Book should continue to hold up well going forward thanks in part to strong word of mouth.
The Jungle Book took an estimated $5.6 million from IMAX locations this weekend. That brings the film’s ten-day IMAX total to $18.4 million, which represents 9.6 percent of the film’s overall domestic gross.
The news was far different for The Huntsman: Winter’s War this weekend, as the Universal release finished in a distant second place with an estimated $20.08 million. The follow-up to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman opened below its already scaled back expectations and a disappointing 64 percent below the $56.22 million start of Snow White and the Huntsman. Poor critical reviews, the film coming across more as a spin-off than a prequel and the break-out performance of The Jungle Book all took a toll on The Huntsman: Winter’s War this weekend.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War opened with $7.29 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.0 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a slim 4 percent on Saturday to gross $7.57 million and is estimated to decline 31 percent on Sunday to take in $5.22 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.75 to 1. The Huntsman: Winter’s War received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore, but on the other hand only has a current Flixster audience score of 50 percent. The film is highly likely to fall off quickly going forward, especially with Disney’s highly anticipated Captain America: Civil War arriving in the marketplace on May 6.
Barbershop: The Next Cut placed in third with an estimated $10.83 million. The Ice Cube led comedy sequel from Warner Bros., New Line and MGM was down a very respectable 46.5 percent from last weekend. Barbershop: The Next Cut continues to perform in line with expectations with a ten-day start of $36.03 million. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, the film is running 16 percent behind the $42.94 million ten-day take of 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business.
Disney’s Zootopia claimed fourth place with an estimated $6.61 million. The 3D computer animated blockbuster continued to display tremendous holding power, as the film was down a very slim 19 percent from last weekend. Zootopia has grossed $316.44 million in 52 days and currently trails Batman v Superman by just $3.07 million for domestic bragging rights.
Universal’s The Boss rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $6.08 million. After experiencing a sharp second weekend decline, the Melissa McCarthy led R-rated comedy stabilized this weekend by falling 39 percent from last weekend. The Boss has grossed a solid $49.51 million in 17 days, as the film continues to perform in line with expectations.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice followed in sixth place with an estimated $5.52 million. Warner’s 3D blockbuster superhero film was also down 39 percent from last weekend. The 31-day total for Batman v Superman stands at $319.50 million, which places the film 3.5 percent behind the $331.07 million 31-day gross of last year’s Furious 7.
To recap, Jungle Book 2016 in 1st easily beats Hunstman 2 in 2nd, Barbershop 3 holds in 3rd, Zootopia earns bragging rights in 4th, and The Boss moves in 5th.
The Henson Company’s hard at work completing its deals with MIP TV in the past few weeks. With the last deals done this week Danny, how did it go well with their current preschool shows?
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- The Jim Henson Company has announced new licensing agreements following MIPTV across multiple platforms for its Dinosaur Train, Doozers and Sid the Science Kid series. The announcement was made today by Richard Goldsmith, EVP, Global Distribution, The Jim Henson Company.
“Programmers for free TV, SVOD and every platform in between recognize the impeccable value, sustained appeal and consistent performance of our properties, and this is why our company has dominated the worldwide marketplace for 60 years,” said Goldsmith. “Every new series created and produced by The Jim Henson Company continues to build on the legacy, expertise and innovation that is synonymous with the Henson name.”
Among the new licensing agreements recently completed are for Dinosaur Train; Netflix has secured global SVOD rights for season one of the series, as well as rights for the UK and Korea for season two. In North America, TVO has acquired the free TV rights for the all-new season four for English speaking Canada. In Europe, France Televisions has also acquired the rights to season four, and France Televisions Distribution has acquired TVOD rights to season three and four; Brazil-based Movile Internet Movel has acquired SVOD rights for season one for Germany; Hungary’s MTVA has licensed exclusive rights to season one for free TV, that includes basic cable and basic satellite; and Tring TV has picked up free TV and basic cable rights in Albania and Kosovo for seasons one, two and three. Additionally, Multichoice Africa Limited has licensed seasons one, two and three of the series for SVOD and AVOD throughout Africa.
Germany’s online subscription video on demand service Watchever GmbH has acquired the rights to Doozers; while France Televisions Distribution has acquired TVOD rights for France. POD Worldwide has also picked up Doozers for free TV airing in Thailand.
Global SVOD rights to season one of Sid the Science Kid and Sid the Science Kid: The Movie have been licensed to Netflix; and Discovery Education has licensed the global education rights for seasons one and two of the series. Movile Internet Movel has licensed on demand rights to season one and interstitial segments of the series for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the U.K.; and Tring TV has also picked up free TV and basic cable rights for Sid the Science Kid: The Movie and interstitials for Albania and Kosovo.
The five-time Emmy-nominated Dinosaur Train, created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), is set in a whimsically realistic, prehistoric world of jungles, swamps, active volcanoes and oceans. Each day, Dinosaur Train helps kids ages 3 to 6 to apply scientific thinking as they discover new types of dinosaur species, compare and contrast dinosaurs to today’s creatures and embrace the living sciences of paleontology and natural science. The half-hour shows feature two animated episodes; each followed by short live action segments with a real paleontologist interacting with kids who love to explore the world around them.
A modern series for modern families, Doozers features the adventures of The Pod Squad: Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex and Daisy Wheel. The four Doozer kids live at the edge of our world and right under our noses in the fantastical, modern and eco-friendly Doozer Creek. They’re green, they’re cute and they’re three inches tall, full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm. Doozers put their ideas into action and change their dreams into reality, from designing a Doozer Derby racing car to flying in a kaleidoscope of butterflies or building a giant gingerbread house. The series celebrates the spirit of being an innovator and inspires all kids to have an “I can do it” attitude.
Sid the Science Kid is an Emmy-nominated animated series produced using the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary technology that allows puppeteers to perform digital characters in real time creating a more spontaneous and fresh result. Sid the Science Kid features a sketch-comedy format to promote science-readiness by encouraging kids’ instinctive curiosity about the world around them. The show stars Sid, an inquisitive youngster who tackles the everyday ideas that preschoolers find fascinating — Why do bananas go “bad?” How does my juice box straw work? How does a bird fly without a plane? and more.
You’ve already heard Mel Blanc, the man with a thousand voices. But this year at the Creative Emmys, Frank Welker, the man with a thousand cartoon characters gets the honor thanks to his increadible voice acting most notably for the character of Nick’s Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, Goddard, Jimmy’s loyal robotic companion. What does Frankie get in return Perch?
Perch Perkins (via Toon Zone)- The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) today announced that Frank Welker, legendary performer of the voices of Scooby-Doo and many others will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards on Friday, April 29th, 2016 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in downtown Los Angeles.
“Every child in America has grown up listening to Frank Welker bring the adventures of Freddy Jones and Scooby-Doo to life,” said Bob Mauro, President, NATAS. “Frank is an audible magician. He has made an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of us all with his ability to bring these and so many other characters into our lives and make them real. It is with great pleasure that the National Academy bestows the prestigious Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement to him for his great body of work.”
“I have been a fan of Frank Welker’s work my entire life,” said David Michaels, SVP, Daytime (NATAS). “He is a unique person creating very unique characters such as Curious George, Wonder Dog, Shmoo, Megatron and his body of work over the last 40 years is remarkable. It is our great pleasure to acknowledge his long career in front of his many peers at the Daytime Creative Arts Emmy gala.”
Responsible for creating the voices and sound effects of hundreds of animated characters over a span of nearly fifty years, Welker has garnered the respect of audiences and peers alike for his unparalleled skills as a voice actor. While he has also appeared on television series, variety and talk shows, in pilots and commercials, it is because of his invaluable work behind the camera that Frank Welker has been chosen to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s 43rd Annual Daytime Emmys.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Welker developed a stand-up comedy act in college, which got him started on the concert circuit touring with The Righteous Brothers and Sergio Mendes. He continued with stand up, appearing in places including Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe as the opening act for such headliners as Sonny and Cher, Diana Ross, Loretta Lynn, Ann-Margret and Neil Sedaka.
Welker’s first on camera film role was as a bar fight participant in Stan Dragoti’s Dirty Little Billy. He played a college kid from Rutgers University in the Elvis Presley picture, and later co-starred with Don Knotts in Universal’s How to Frame a Figg. Welker also appeared in two Disney films, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and Now You See Him, Now You Don’t.
His on camera television appearances included Love American Style, The Partridge Family and The Don Knotts Show. He played a prosecutor in the highly acclaimed ABC special, The Trial of General Yamashita, and as ‘Captain Pace’ beside Richard Dreyfuss’ Yossarian in Paramount television’s pilot Catch-22. He also made appearances on Laugh In, The Dean Martin Roast, The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, The Smothers Brothers, The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour and returned to an on-camera role in the film The Informant, playing Matt Damon’s father.
His first cartoon job was for Hanna Barbara voicing Freddy Jones in the legendary Scooby Doo series. It is believed that Frank holds the record for voicing the longest running character in the history of animation Freddy Jones. Frank is still doing the teenaged Freddy 45 years after he began and is currently recording the latest iteration Be Cool Scooby Doo. In addition to Freddy Jones, he has been the voice of Scooby Doo for over a decade. Frank was also voices of Dinky on CBS’s Dinky Dog, Fangface on Ruby Spears’ Fangface and he also played Dynomutt in The Scooby Doo/Dynomutt Hour. He was the voice of Jabberjaw and the voice of Bufford on The Bufford Files, Schlepcar on Sid and Marty Kroftts’ Wonderbug, Herbie on Fantastic Four and seven regular voices on Hanna-Barbera’s Yogi Space Race.
Other indelible characters created by Welker include Wonder Dog, Shmoo, Doctor Claw on Inspector Gadget, including various G.I. Joe heroes and villains, Baby Kermit and Skitter on the Muppet Babies. Also, he brought many characters alive in Steven Spielberg’s Tiny Toons! and in Animaniacs, including the studio boss Mr. Plotz, and the studio’s questionable “guard” Ralph the Guard. He also played Runt, the sweet but dumb dog, against Bernadette Peters’ Rita the cat; both strays.
His other characters include the wide-eyed monkey Abu in Aladdin to the Green Ghost Slimer in The Real Ghostbusters. Welker voiced Gargamel‘s cat Azrael in live action/animated film versions of The Smurfs, a role that he will reprise in the upcoming Smurfs Feature Film. He can be heard as Nibbler in Futurama, as well as the very opinionated cat Garfield and the mischievous, curious monkey, Curious George.
Welker voiced many recurring characters in the multiple iterations of Transformers animated series, including eight of the original 14 Decepticons including Megatron, Galvatron, Soundwave, Skywarp, Laserbeak, Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, and Ratbat. Welker also reprised the roles of Megatron and Soundwave in the series Transformers: Prime (retitled Transformers: Prime – Beast Hunters for its third season) and the video game Transformers: Devastation. In the motion picture world he voiced Soundwave in the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and reprised his role as Galvatron in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), adding to his already large list of roles within the Transformers franchise.
Responsible for a broad spectrum of character voices, and other vocal effects that have appeared over the last 45 years in American television and motion pictures, Welker was listed as the number one “All Time Top 100 Stars at the Box Office for five consecutive years,” not as a box office draw, but in terms of the total revenue generated by the films in which he has participated.
1499 fans are currently on the board on the Penguins tally as Team Skipper completes their Earth Day mission.
Catch new episodes of Clearence, Teen Titans Go, Gumball, Powerpuff Girls, and We Bare Bears as the Thursday night lineup continues to play catch up. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, hope you play catch up until Mother’s Day!
The Nut Job 2 to be released on DVD May 19th, 2017; Secret Life of Pets to premiere at Annecy 2016; Storyline revealed for The Angry Birds Movie before debut May 20th
Welcome to the Nut Job edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
Back in 2014, we took an on location look at the city of Oakton, the setting for The Nut Job starred by Will Arnett as Surly Squirrel whose mission was to find enough nuts to store safe for winter for the entire animal population. With the all star cast back in the city once again for the sequel The Nut Job 2, something’s not right as it gets a possible revamp. What’s wrong in Oakton Angie?
Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- Open Road Films has set a May 19, 2017 U.S. release date for The Nut Job 2, a sequel to its 2014 sneaky animated hit that grossed $120.9M worldwide. That pic marked the biggest box office opening ever for an independent animated film. Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham are reprising their voice roles for the follow-up, with more cast coming soon. The family film was originally eyed as a Jan. 15, 2016 title.
The sequel returns to Oakton, where the evil mayor decides to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a dangerous amusement park in its place. Surly Squirrel (Arnett) and his ragtag group of animal friends band together to save their home, defeat the mayor, and take back the park. Cal Brunker (Escape From Planet Earth) is directing a script he co-wrote with Scott Bindley and Bob Barlen.
Harry Linden and Barlen are producing the pic from Redrover Co. Ltd., ToonBox Entertainment Ltd. and Gulfstream Pictures. Executive producers are Hoe-Jin Ha, Hongjoo Ahn, Gulfstream’s Bill Bindley and Mike Karz, Hong Kim, Youngki Lee and Daniel Woo.
After 2 teaser trailers in 2014 and the official trailer that came out last year, Universal’s Secret Life of Pets heads to its world premiere this year. Moviegoers will take a first hand look at this flick after the Pets receive the full treatment. When will Secret Life premiere at Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- The all-new animated comedy from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, The Secret Life of Pets, will hold its world premiere at Annecy 2016.
For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.
Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks.
Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch.
The world premiere of The Secret Life of Pets will be held in Annecy on Thursday, June 16 at 8:30pm (English version with French Subtitles), with director Chris Renaud, co-director Yarrow Cheney.
We’re one step closer to discovering why these birds are so angry. After Sony Pictures released the official trailer for The Angry Birds Movie, scheduled to land on May 20th, the studio unveiled the plot line for the feathered flying flick. After another first hand look Dan, How’s Red going to handle the devious piggy’s plot point?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Sony Pictures Entertainment has unveiled the third trailer for its forthcoming animated feature, The Angry Birds Movie.
Based on the addicting mobile video game franchise that has been taking over the minds of adults and kids alike since 2009, The Angry Birds Movie is written by The Simpsons alum Jon Vitti and directed by Fergal Reilly (Spider-Man 2, The Iron Giant) and Clay Kaytis (Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled).
The new trailer delivers a storyline straight from the game, with a tranquil tropical island populated by flightless birds who become wildly distressed when their eggs are stolen by a boatload of piggies from a neighboring island. The cynical and angry Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), appears to be having a very bad day in trailer, which also showcases key character traits from the game such as the green bird’s boomerang ability and the orange bird’s expansion capability.
In the movie, the main trio of Angry Birds will be led by Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers) as Red, a bird with a temper, with Josh Gad (Frozen) as the speedy Chuck, and Danny McBride (This is the End, Eastbound & Down) voicing the volatile Bomb. Supporting them are Bill Hader (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) as a pig, Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) as Matilda, and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as the Mighty Eagle.
Also lending their voices to the video game adaptation are Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Kate McKinnon (SNL), Tony Hale (Arrested Development), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors), Hannibal Buress (Broad City), Cristela Alonzo (Cristela), Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street), Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black), singer Romeo Santos and YouTube stars Smosh (Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla).
Produced by visual effects and animation studio Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Angry Birds Movie is set to debut in the U.S. on May 20, 2016.
1,499 fans are currently on the board at the Penguins tally as Team Skipper readies themselves to celebrate Earth Day on Friday.
The Watterson’s make their return tomorrow night after a surprising win at the BAA’s back in March with the newest Gumball. Also returning to the block are Clarence, Teen Titans Go, Powerpuff Girls, and We Bare Bears. See you soon for the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.
The Jungle Book earns 103 million besting expectations; Deadpool 2 in the works; Final casting to be unveiled for DreamWorks’ Trolls
The 2nd reboot is a success! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Disney’s live-action hit The Jungle Book scored 103 million as it retells the story of Mowgli the man-cub. The film received high marks from critics and moviegoers alike. Jungle Book fever has spread worldwide since the sequel was recently announced this past week. How long will the fever last Gene?
Disney continued its exceptional start to 2016 this weekend as The Jungle Book exceeded its already lofty expectations with a massive debut of $103.57 million. The 3D live-action computer animated hybrid directed by Jon Favreau registered the second largest opening weekend ever for the month of April, behind only the $147.19 million start of last year’s Furious 7. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Jungle Book claimed the 32nd largest opening weekend of all-time. In comparison to previous live-action blockbusters from Disney, The Jungle Book opened 31 percent ahead of the $79.11 million start of 2013’s Oz: The Great and Powerful and 49 percent ahead of the $69.43 million debut of 2014’s Maleficent. A strong marketing campaign, terrific critical reviews and four-quadrant appeal all contributed to the break-out performance of The Jungle Book this weekend.
The Jungle Book opened with $32.41 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.2 million from Thursday night shows), increased a healthy 27 percent on Saturday to take in $41.12 million and is estimated to decline 27 percent to gross $30.04 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.20 to 1. The Jungle Book received an A rating on CinemaScore and currently has an impressive 92 percent Flixster audience score; and the film’s hold on Saturday is an early indication that strong word of mouth is already kicking in. As mentioned, The Jungle Book had clear four-quadrant appeal this weekend. The audience breakdown for the film skewed slightly towards female moviegoers (51 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (53 Percent). Family audiences represented 49 percent of the film’s overall audience. Given its strong early word of mouth and appeal with family audiences, it appears very likely that The Jungle Book will have stronger holding power than Disney’s live-action adaptations of its animated classics have tended to display in the past.
The Jungle Book took in an estimated $10.4 million from IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 10.0 percent of the film’s overall grosses this weekend. 3D grosses were responsible for 43 percent of this weekend’s overall grosses, while RealD 3D alone accounted for an estimated $31.0 million of this weekend’s take.
Barbershop: The Next Cut placed in second with a solid estimated start of $20.21 million. The Ice Cube led comedy sequel from Warner Bros., New Line and MGM opened in line with expectations. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, Barbershop: The Next Cut debuted 17 percent below the $24.24 million launch of 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business. The Next Cut opened 46 percent stronger than the recent $13.84 million three-day start of Zoolander 2; another comedy sequel that arrived years after its predecessor. Comedy sequels that arrive many years after their predecessors typically don’t perform as well as their predecessors, especially when it comes to admissions.
Barbershop: The Next Cut started out with $7.05 million on Friday (which included an estimated $735,000 from Thursday night shows), increased an encouraging 17 percent on Saturday to take in $8.22 million and is estimated to decline 40 percent on Sunday to gross $4.94 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.87 to 1. The audience breakdown for Barbershop: The Next Cut skewed towards female moviegoers (54 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (66 percent). In addition to receiving strong critical reviews, early word of mouth also appears to be strong for the film, as Barbershop: The Next Cut received an A- rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of 77 percent. However, the film will soon be facing direct competition from fellow Warner Bros. comedy Keanu, which arrives in theatres on April 29.
After opening in first place last weekend, Universal’s The Boss fell two spots to third this weekend with an estimated $10.17 million. The Melissa McCarthy led R-rated comedy was down a sharp 57 percent, as mixed word of mouth and the additions of The Jungle Book and Barbershop: The Next Cut in the marketplace clearly took a toll on The Boss this weekend. The Boss has grossed $40.35 million in ten days. That places the film 29 percent behind the $56.55 million ten-day gross of last year’s Spy (which fell 46 percent in its second weekend to gross $15.61 million). While The Boss doesn’t look like it will duplicate the holding power of McCarthy’s previous hits, the film is still having a solid performance with expectations and its modest price tag in mind.
Blockbusters Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zootopia claimed fourth and fifth place with respective weekend estimates of $9.01 million and $8.24 million. Warner’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice continued to freefall with a 61 percent slide this weekend, while Disney’s Zootopia continued to display healthy holding power by declining a solid 43 percent in the face of The Jungle Book. Respective total grosses stand at $311.31 million for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 24 days and at $307.48 million for Zootopia in 45 days. Given the far stronger holding power of Zootopia, it looks to emerge as the higher grossing of the two films domestically when everything is said and done.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s Criminal debuted in sixth place this weekend with an estimated $5.85 million. The action-thriller starring Kevin Costner debuted below its already modest expectations and represents another underwhelming performer for Lionsgate in 2016. Costner had seen a string of five straight opening weekend performances that all fell within the range of $6 million to $16 million, but Criminal came in just under that range and instead performed more in line with the $5.40 million start of last year’s Self/Less. Poor critical reviews didn’t help matters for Criminal this weekend. The film appears to be going over a bit better with moviegoers than it has with critics, as it received a B- rating on CinemaScore and currently has a Flixster audience score of 61 percent. However, mixed word of mouth won’t be enough to help the film going forward, especially after its slow start this weekend.
To recap, The Jungle Book 2016 passes easily in 1st, Barbershop: The Next Cut cuts in 2nd, The Boss drops in 3rd sending a mixed bag after taking the top spot last week, Batman-Superman both get hit from behind in 4th, and Zootopia moves in 5th as Disney’s live action reboot beats all the odds.
When we last reported Deadpool, he shot the lights out last month as the merc went past the 300 million smacker mark on his way to 400. As a result, he managed to make a whopping 757 million smackers! Off the news from Cinema-Con, Fox announced a sequel to the highest R-rated flick giving Deadpool another chance to make another impact in the box office. When’s the sequel coming out Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- It’s been a big day for movie sequels. On Thursday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, 20th Century Fox made it official: Deadpool 2 is coming.
The studio’s co-CEOs Stacey Snider and Jim Gianopulos announced the sequel during Fox’s presentation at CinemaCon 2016, according to a report by Variety. The movie will see the return of the entire creative team, including director Tim Miller, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and star Ryan Reynolds.
Fox also unveiled footage from Blue Sky’s Ice Age: Collision Course, the fifth installment of the Ice Age franchise due in theaters on July 22; X-Men: Apocalypse, the follow-up to 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and the ninth installment in the X-Men film series debuting on May 27; and Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day, which lands in theaters on June 24.
Fox previously announced that it had reserved the dates of October 6, 2017 and January 12, 2018 for untitled Marvel films, and it is likely that Deadpool 2 will take one of those slots.
Deadpool grossed $757.3 million globally, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film on a worldwide basis. The super hero blockbuster arrives on Blu-ray on May 10, 2016.
The final cut for DreamWorks newest flick Trolls is all filled up as the party is set to begin soon. With all the party guests on board Dan, who made the cut?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- The party continues to grow as DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls adds Zooey Deschanel (New Girl, 500 Days of Summer), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (How to Train Your Dragon, Neighbors), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent, Arrested Development), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife, Into the Woods), Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie, Beasts of the Southern Wild) and John Cleese (Shrek Forever After, A Fish Called Wanda) to an already star-studded cast, led by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. 20th Century Fox will begin the film’s global release rollout in select European markets beginning October 13, 2016 and in the US on November 4.
“Our cast is quite literally bursting with talent,” said Director Mike Mitchell. This mix of comedic and musical star-power is every filmmaker’s dream.”
From director Mike Mitchell (Director, Shrek Forever After, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water), co-director Walt Dohrn (Head of Story, Shrek Forever After) and produced by Gina Shay (Producer, Shrek Forever After), comes a smart, funny and irreverent animated comedy, DreamWorks’ Trolls. This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comedically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach.
Trolls features original music from Justin Timberlake and soon-to-be-classic mash-ups of songs from popular artists and, with the addition of this new talent, the cast now includes Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani and many more. DreamWorks’ Trolls is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures. In November of 2016, nothing can prepare you for our new Troll world.
“We’re fortunate to work with such an incredible group of artists,” said Co-Director Walt Dohrn. “We can’t wait to share the colorful, magical Trolls universe with fans around the world.”
1,499 fans are currently on the board on the Penguins tally as Cinema-Con draws to a close.
The Amazing World of Gumball returns with a new episode along with Clarence, Teen Titans Go, Powerpuff Girls, and We Bare Bears! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, prepare to get wild this week!
Worldwide deals for Bob the Builder unveiled; Fireman Sam to star in TV special; Teletubbies return for season 2
Welcome to the big toon deals edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
The first one comes the world of Bob the Builder who after a big change last year, is ready for more building and fixing than ever before. He and the Fix-It team got their building orders from Mattel Creations last week. Look like they’ll be busy with their recent deal revealed Danny!
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Mattel content arm Mattel Creations announced at MIPTV brand new international deals for all-new Bob the Builder with Channel 11 (Australia), Dreamia-Panda (Portugal), NRK Super (Norway), Karusel (Russia) and ATV-Minika (Turkey). These deals come on the heels of European ratings success for Bob the Builder Series 1, which recently launched in several territories with broadcasters France 5 (France), Zapplin (Netherlands), Turner (UK), Super RTL (Germany) and MiniMini (Poland), with high ratings achieved across the board. Bob the Builder is now the number-one preschool show in France as well as a top five preschool show in other key European countries.
It’s an exciting time for the brand, as production continues on the upcoming movie special Bob the Builder: Mega Machines – The Movie, the title of which was announced at MIPTV. The special is set for television and DVD release next year and will introduce brand new characters and a new storyline for Bob and his trusty team, as they continue to bring construction to life for millions of children across the globe.
The new special, which is being produced by Mattel subsidiary HIT Entertainment, is being distributed worldwide by Canada-based DHX Media who struck an exclusive deal with Mattel in December 2015 to distribute Bob the Builder content worldwide. As with series 1 and 2, the special will be animated by Canadian studio Rainmaker. The voice cast will include regulars Lee Ingleby (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Inspector George Gently), who voices Bob in the UK version, Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) as the voice of Wendy, and Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners) who voices Scoop. Froggatt and Harrison both feature in the UK and US versions of the show.
“Bob the Builder continues to build momentum across many new markets and, as our stories get bigger, so too does our global reach,” commented Christopher Keenan, Senior Vice President Global Content & Executive Producer at Mattel Creations. “Bob the Builder: Mega Machines is a testament to this; the film tells the story of Bob’s biggest build yet and introduces three new mega characters who help reinforce the show’s themes of teamwork, perseverance and optimism – with plenty of comedy, construction and conflict resolution along the way. We’re confident that Bob the Builder: Mega Machines will delight young audiences around the world and pave the way for further adventures with Bob and the team.”
“Bob the Builder is a tremendous kids brand and DHX is delighted to be the worldwide distributor,” said Josh Scherba, SVP of Distribution for DHX Media. “The new Mega Machines movie will be a terrific addition to the franchise.”
Bob the Builder, which was originally created in 1996 and has been broadcast in over 175 countries and translated into 40 languages, is a multi-award winner production including Best Animation from BAFTA (2003), Best International License of the Year (2000), and Entertainment Property of the Year (2001). The franchise is gaining further traction with a brand new Fisher Price toy line later this summer as well as several further licensees signed up to start rolling out consumer products from autumn in the US and Europe. Additionally, the live events group has recently opened Mattel Play! in Liverpool featuring a dedicated Bob the Builder play zone which will be followed by Mattel Play Town! in Dubai. Bob the Builder series two will launch later this year and Bob the Builder: Mega Machines – The Movie is slated for next year.
The big M also alerted Pontypandy’s best fireman, Fireman Sam on a possible alien invasion of the entire town. Unbeknownst to Sam, he’s facing his biggest challenge yet! When will the invasion begin Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Mattel Creations has announced a new feature-length 2017 special for its CG-animated Fireman Sam that will feature multi-award-winning Scottish actor David Tennant as its guest voice. Mattel Creations is a centralized theatrical, television and digital content creation from Mattel Inc.
Tennant, who is most known for playing the Tenth Doctor in BBC series Doctor Who and for his work on Harry Potter, will voice the character of humorous villain Buck Douglas in Fireman Sam: Alien Alert, which is currently being produced by HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, and has been animated in China by Beijing-based Xing Xing Digital Corporation. The special is being distributed worldwide by Canada-based DHX Media who earlier in the year struck an exclusive deal with Mattel to distribute Fireman Sam content worldwide. First broadcast in 1987 in the UK, Fireman Sam celebrates his 30th Anniversary next year.
Fireman Sam: Alien Alert introduces a new location and characters in a storyline full of twists and turns, while delivering all the action and adventure kids know and love from Fireman Sam. This high drama special sees the town of Pontypandy getting a little over-excited at the arrival of Tennant’s character, alien-hunter-cum-TV-presenter, Buck Douglas, and the prospect of featuring on Buck’s ‘Alien Quest’ show. With UFO sightings and mild peril on the increase, Fireman Sam is determined to get to the bottom of the mysterious events.
Fireman Sam is currently riding high with 2015 NPD Data placing it as No.1 pre-school character property in Germany (four to five times higher than the second placed character property) and Top 5-character property in pre-school vehicles for key territories. It is also a Top 5 performing pre-school show across key markets and experienced double digit growth during 2015 with NPD data showing continued growth for Germany, France, Italy and Spain. In addition, Fireman Sam series 10 has recently struck deals with European broadcasters Cartoonito (UK), RTE Ireland, RTL Telekids (Netherlands) and VTM Kazoom Medialaan (Belgium).
Christopher Keenan, Senior Vice President Global Content & Executive Producer at Mattel Creations, commented, “Alien Alert is an action-packed Fireman Sam adventure for preschoolers, and we’re delighted to have the talented David Tennant on board as the voice of Buck. The special stays true to core Fireman Sam values – bravery, loyalty, heroism, community and teamwork – but takes us to new levels of excitement with a sci-fi slant that includes new characters, rescue vehicles, locations, and plot twists. Producing Alien Alert has been an incredible joy and we’re confident that our young audience will be captivated by our most dramatic Fireman Sam story yet.”
Josh Scherba, SVP of Distribution for DHX Media, added, “DHX is thrilled to be distributing Fireman Sam around the world, and this new feature will make a great addition to the franchise.”
Fireman Sam currently airs in over 18 countries including France (France 5), Italy (Rai/Cartoonito), Germany (Kika), Poland (MiniMini), Spain (TVE), Israel (Hop) and Belgium (VTM Kzoom). The Alien Alert special is expected to launch in May 2017.
The Teletubbies are back in Teletubbyland after a well-deserved rest. Thanks to DHX Media, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po are ready for more fun than before. What new surprises await the Tubby 4 Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World (continued)- Kids and family entertainment content producer DHX Media and CBeebies, the BBC’s dedicated pre-school channel, have announced plans to produce a second season of the new Teletubbies. The award-winning UK production company, Darrall Macqueen, will return to make 60 more episodes of the show for DHX and CBeebies.
“The new Teletubbies has clearly struck a chord with UK audiences, and we look forward to sharing more wonderful Tubbyland adventures with viewers tuning in on CBeebies,” Steven DeNure, President and COO of DHX Media, commented. “We expect this to be an exciting year for the Teletubbies as we continue to rollout this iconic brand worldwide.”
“Since it launched, the new series of Teletubbies has been a huge hit with our very youngest viewers,” added Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies. “I am delighted to commission more episodes of this much loved show, so that the CBeebies audience can continue to enjoy and discover a world of fun in Tubbyland.”
Season two adds exciting new elements to delight another generation of Teletubby viewers. Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po continue to laugh, learn and play as they discover a new area of Teletubbyland called the Hidey Hup, a beautiful hidden glade containing equipment for physical Teletubby fun including the Tubby Bouncy, Tubby Slidey, Tubby Uppy Downy and the Tubby Spinny. In typical Teletubby style, the Teletubbies drive Hidey Hup in their brand new honk honk Tubby Car, singing the infectious Tubby Car song as they go. The Teletubbies will extend their friendship to the adorable and intrepid little Tiddlytubbies, Mi-Mi, Daa Daa, Baa, Ping, RuRu, Nin, Duggle Dee and Umby Pumby, who will have their own sing-along signature song. Also look out for the story of pink tubby custard turning green and a very special Tubby Custard ride carriage for the Noo-noo!
Teletubbies first launched in March 1997 and became one of the most successful global children’s brands of all time. It has reached over 1 billion children to date and the original episodes have aired in over 120 territories in 45 different languages. It was the very first western pre-school property to air on China’s CCTV reaching an audience of 300 million children.
The new Teletubbies follows the same well-loved characters and styling as the original but has been visually enhanced by DHX Media and Darrall Macqueen, bringing a refreshed and contemporary look and feel to one of the world’s best-loved pre-school properties.
Checking the Penguins tally, 899 fans sign in as Cinema-Con progresses towards this week as Hollywood gets plenty of surprising sequels and surprising stars.
Week 2 of Powerpuff week continues with the last episodes of the Powerpuff Girls. See you soon for the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.
The Boss edges out Batman Superman with 23.48 million in tight box office; Nelvana to keep Super Wings in check in France; Octonauts reach a multi-territory deal with Silvergate
The Boss mean business! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The box office turned very tight as The Boss ekes out against Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice after a disappointing run last week with moviegoers and critics raising eyebrows with a 59% drop. With this week belonging to The Boss Gene, can Melissa McCarthy put the fight between The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel out of her hair as long as she can?
It was an extremely close race between Universal’s The Boss and Warner’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for first place this weekend. The Boss is currently estimated to come out ahead with $23.48 million, but with an estimated lead of only $45,000, either film could ultimately end up in first place this weekend.
Regardless of whether or not it ends up in first place this weekend, The Boss outpaced expectations and performed well with its modest price tag in mind. The Melissa McCarthy led R-rated comedy also proved to be critic-proof this weekend. The film’s opening weekend performance was 9 percent ahead of the $21.58 million opening weekend of 2014’s Tammy (though it should be noted that Tammy’s opening weekend take was softened by a Wednesday debut) and 19 percent below the $29.09 million debut of last year’s Spy (it should be noted that The Boss had been widely expected to open below Spy). With this weekend’s performance of The Boss, McCarthy continues to remain one of the more consistent box office draws in recent years. McCarthy will next appear in Sony’s Ghostbusters, which arrives on July 15.
The Boss started out with $8.11 million on Friday (which included an estimated $985,000 from Thursday night shows), increased a healthy 20 percent on Saturday to take in $9.73 million and is estimated to decline 42 percent on Sunday to gross $5.64 million. That gave the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.90 to 1. The Boss skewed heavily toward female moviegoers (67 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers under the age of 35 (51 percent). Audience reception to The Boss appears to be lackluster as the film received a C+ rating on CinemaScore and current has a Flixster audience score of just 50 percent. With that in mind, it’s quite possible that The Boss won’t hold up as well going forward as McCarthy’s previous hits have. On the other hand, the film’s mentioned strong Saturday hold is an early encouraging sign.
After leading the box office for the past two weeks Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fell to a close second place this weekend with an estimated $23.44 million. The blockbuster 3D superhero film starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill continued to fall off sharply, as the film was down 54 percent from last weekend. Batman v Superman is now on the verge of reaching the $300 million domestic mark with a 17-day take of $296.69 million. However, as a result of its soft holding power thus far, Batman v Superman is now running just 1 percent ahead of the $294.51 million 17-day take of last year’s Furious 7 (which fell 51 percent in its third weekend to gross $29.16 million). With that in mind, Batman v Superman will soon fall behind the pace of Furious 7, especially with Disney’s highly anticipated The Jungle Book entering the marketplace this coming Friday.
While Batman v Superman continued to decline sharply this weekend, Disney’s Zootopia continued to display strong holding power with an estimated third place take of $14.35 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated film was down just 26 percent from last weekend. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, Zootopia registered the eighth largest sixth weekend gross of all-time. Zootopia is also on the verge of reaching the $300 million domestic mark with a 38-day take of $296.01 million. The film is now running just 8 percent behind the $320.39 million 38-day take of last year’s Inside Out and will continue to make up ground in that comparison going forward. Zootopia already has a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.94 to 1.
Universal’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 placed in fourth with an estimated $6.42 million. The PG-13 rated comedy sequel starring and written by Nia Vardalos was down 43 percent, as the film took a hit from the debut The Boss this weekend. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 continues to perform towards the higher end of expectations with a 17-day take of $46.75 million. That places the film 6 percent behind the $49.59 million 17-day gross of last year’s The Intern (which fell just 26 percent in its third weekend to take in $8.68 million). My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 will hope to re-stabilize next weekend with the debut of The Boss behind it.
Hardcore Henry rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $5.10 million. The low-budget action film from STX Entertainment opened below pre-release expectations and delivered a lackluster per-location average of $1,690 from just 3,015 locations. The trailer for Hardcore Henry had gone over well, especially online, but that reception ultimately failed to get moviegoers to see the film this weekend. Hardcore Henry delivered the lowest debut for STX Entertainment to date in the distributor’s young history. The film opened with $2.01 million on Friday (which included an estimated $380,000 from Thursday night shows), declined a concerning 7 percent on Saturday to gross $1.87 million and is estimated to slide 35 percent on Sunday to take in $1.22 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a fairly front-loaded 2.54 to 1. Much like The Boss, Hardcore Henry doesn’t appear to be going over all that well with moviegoers. Hardcore Henry also received a C+ rating on CinemaScore and has a respectable current Flixster audience score of 66 percent.
Faith-based films Miracles from Heaven and God’s Not Dead 2 claimed sixth and seventh place with respective estimated takes of $4.80 million and $4.05 million. Sony’s Miracles from Heaven was down a very solid 34 percent this weekend, while God’s Not Dead 2 was down a sizable 47 percent. Miracles from Heaven passed the $50 million mark this weekend and continues to perform nicely with $53.81 million in 26 days. God’s Not Dead 2 has been far less impressive with $13.84 million in ten days and clearly isn’t duplicating the word of mouth or the performance of its predecessor, 2014’s God’s Not Dead, which grossed $21.75 million in its first ten days after falling just 4.5 percent in its second weekend to take in $8.80 million.
To recap, The Boss gains the advantage over Batman-Superman as they go 1-2, Zootopia stays on course in 3rd, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 moves 4th and Hardcore Henry goes solo in 5th.
Sprout’s high-flying preschool show Super Wings is scoring high and soaring high for the kiddies. This time, Jett and crew set course for France after Nelvana acquired the crew last week just as Corus unveiled their new creative team. Will the jets do well once they catch up with the Sprout version Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, an international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live-action content, has been appointed licensing agent for the action-packed preschool series, Super Wings, in France. Co-produced by FunnyFlux Entertainment, Little Airplane Productions, Qianqi Animation, EBS, and CJ E&M (Asia’s leading content and media company), Super Wings airs in France on Piwi+.
“We are very excited to expand our relationship with Super Wings to include France,” remarked Antoine Erligmann, Co-Head, Nelvana Enterprises. “We look forward to bringing new series-inspired licensed products to kids and families throughout the country, so they can create their own high-flying Super Wings adventures.”
“Nelvana has been a fantastic partner that has facilitated the growth of the Super Wings brand to new markets,” commented CJ E&M’s Hyunjung Lee, Head of Sales and Acquisitions. “We look forward to continue working together to expand the series’ fan base in France with products that support the show’s emphasis on cultures, customs and landmarks of the world.”
In addition to France, Nelvana holds the merchandise licensing rights for the popular series in North America, where it represents Super Wings in all categories except toys, which are distributed by Auldey Toys in the U.S. and Imports Dragon in Canada. Auldey also distributes Super Wings toys in France.
Super Wings follows the adventures of Jett, a confident jet plane who travels around the world delivering packages to children with his group of adorable airplane pals, the Super Wings. No ordinary airplanes, the Super Wings are able to transform into amazing heroes who can run, climb, dig, and even swim! The series centers on cultural diversity and creative problem-solving, as the friends take off on adventures to new countries, encountering problems that they must work together to solve.
Media deal alert! The Octonauts bagged a very important package deal last week after officially going SVOD last month. With plenty of territory to navigate Dan, who made the deal official?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Silvergate Media, a TV production and licensing company focused on preschool children’s entertainment, has announced the agreement of a new three-year, multi-territory deal with Netflix for seasons one, two and three of Octonauts, its undersea preschool adventure property.
The deal builds on an already successful partnership between Netflix and Silvergate, as Netflix is currently the exclusive SVOD partner for Octonauts in the US. Following the deal, Octonauts will also be available on Netflix in France, Latin America (Spanish) and Canada (English and French). The number of series under license varies in each territory.
Ron Allen, SVP Commercial, Silvergate commented, “Netflix have been fantastic SVOD partners for Octonauts in the US, and as they grow in these key territories, we’re excited that Octonauts will join their preschool slate.”
Now in its fourth season Octonauts is aired in over 100 countries across the world, including on Disney Channel (USA), ABC (Australia), TF1 (France) and Super RTL (Germany). Octonauts is also broadcast on China Central TV (CCTV).
1,499 fans are currently on the board in the Penguins tally as the media biz in the toon world continues to increase with major pickups this week.
Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup came back last week with the first 5 episodes. This time, the girls stay on board this week with 5 more episodes. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, keep on fighting girls!
Blue Sky Studios reaches 6 million settlement over recent antitrust laws; Corus reveals new corporate team; Pixar reveals hidden Easter egg in Finding Dory
Welcome to the Blue Sky settlement edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
All antitrust lawsuits dating back to 2010 has prompted Blue Sky Studios to reach a settlement date this week. The previous lawsuit which involved Ice Age 4 was thrown in the brig by judge Lucy Koh after some big tech and movie companies violated Blue Sky’s antitrust policy. There wasn’t enough proof if it had done so. So with all of this settled Danny, how much will the plaintiffs pay and when will they hear the whole story?
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)-Blue Sky Studios has reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit, Variety reports, alleging that the animation studio behind last year’s The Peanuts Movie and the Ice Age franchise and other companies violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the wages of animation and VFX artists via non-poaching agreements.
According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose last week, the settlement provides for a cash payment of almost $6 million, with $10,000 for each of the named plaintiffs. A hearing on the proposed settlement is scheduled for June 16.
Other defendants, including the Walt Disney Co., DreamWorks Animation, ImageMovers, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Sony ImageWorks, were not part of the proposed settlement agreement. Daniel Small of Cohen Milstein, lead attorneys for the plaintiffs, reportedly said that the litigation is continuing against the other defendants.
The complaint filed by lighting artist Georgia Cano, character effects artist Robert Nitsch and production engineer David Wentworth accuses the studios of suppressing wages since 2004 by refraining from cold-calling employees and sharing news of job offers.
The suit contends that the roots of the anti-poaching agreements go back to the mid-1980s, when George Lucas and Ed Catmull, the president of Steve Jobs’ then-newly formed company Pixar, agreed to not raid each other’s employees. Other companies later joined conspiracy, the suit alleges, including Sony ImageMovers, Lucasfilm and Blue Sky Studios.
The plaintiffs have been seeking class certification. Their proposed settlement class includes certain animation and visual effects employees who worked at Pixar from 2001 to 2010; Lucasfilm from 2001 to 2010; DreamWorks Animation from 2003 to 2010; the Walt Disney Co. from 2004 to 2010; Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks from 2004 to 2010; Blue Sky from 2005 to 2010; and ImageMovers from 2007 to 2010.
Under the settlement proposal, a claims administrator would determine the sum to be awarded based on a pro rata. It will be calculated based on an employee’s total compensation compared to the compensation of all class members during the time frame.
While initially dismissed in part because the claims were brought too late, in August U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh refused to dismiss the plaintiffs’ amended complaint, writing, “These allegations raise a plausible inference that defendants entered into an express agreement to suppress compensation.”
Arrangements to freeze wages and not poach employees were the subject of a separate investigation and lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department in 2010. Several companies agreed to a prohibition against enforcing anti-poaching pacts for a period of five years, which ended the DOJ review, but in 2011, a class-action lawsuit was brought against Pixar, Lucasfilm, Apple, Google, Adobe and Intuit. The first two companies settled claims for $9 million while the other companies have gone to an appeals court after Koh rejected a $325 million settlement as insufficient.
Corus Entertainment hit the jackpot previously with 2.65 million smackers now that Shaw Group is in their grasp, with a new company added in, it also meant a new team which was exactly what they did this week. With their newest partner Dan, what will Corus’ team consist of?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Corus Entertainment announced that it has completed its previously announced $2.65 billion acquisition of Shaw Media Inc. Shaw Media’s assets consist of 19 specialty channels, including Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Slice, Lifetime Canada, HISTORY, Showcase, National Geographic Canada and BBC Canada; as well as Global’s conventional stations in Vancouver, Okanagan, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Saint John.
This Acquisition more than doubles Corus’ size, creating a combined portfolio of brands that encompass 45 specialty television services, including leading women and lifestyle, kids, family and general entertainment brands; 15 conventional television channels; 39 radio stations; a global content business; and a growing portfolio of digital assets.
“This is a landmark day for us,” commented Doug Murphy, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As a combined company, we are creating an integrated media and content powerhouse that gives us the competitive scale to grow both domestically and globally. With our strong media brands, compelling content and talented team, this transformational acquisition marks a new beginning that builds on our strengths and positions us well for future growth.”
Corus also unveiled a redesigned corporate brand, reflective of the bigger, bolder combined company and its promising future.
“The redesigned Corus logo represents the start of a new chapter for us. It’s a powerful visual cue that the new Corus has arrived,” added Murphy.
Murphy also announced his senior leadership team, which includes both Corus and Shaw Media executives:
- Barbara Williams, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Barbara Williams will oversee all strategic and operational aspects of generating audience growth and engagement across Corus’ platforms, including Conventional, Specialty, Radio, Nelvana and Digital. She will also play a central role in the development of the company’s growth strategies and ongoing transformation of the organization into a media and content powerhouse. Reporting to Barbara will be: Scott Dyer, Senior Vice President and President, Nelvana; Susan Schaefer, Senior Vice President, Brands and Marketing; John MacDonald, Senior Vice President, Women and Lifestyle Content; Daniel Eves, Senior Vice President, Kids and General Entertainment Content; Maria Hale, Senior Vice President, Global Entertainment and Acquisitions; and Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President, News, Radio and Station Operations.
- Greg McLelland, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer
Greg McClelland will lead the domestic revenue components of the business, television, radio, national and local sales, branded content, digital and distribution sales. Greg will also be responsible for Corus’ client insights research team, as well as the company’s sales support and revenue management initiatives, with a concerted focus on next-generation advertising and analytics. Reporting to Greg will be: Gerry Mackrell, Senior Vice President, National Sales; Michael Searson, Vice President, Local Sales; Brett Pearson, Director, Digital Sales; Barb McKergow, Vice President, Client Marketing; Shawn Praskey, Vice President, Content Distribution; Tammy Baird, Vice President, Revenue Optimization; and Mark Leslie, Vice President, Research and Consumer Insights.
- Colin Bohm – Executive Vice President, International Development and Corporate Strategy
Colin Bohm and his team will manage the company’s business development and strategic planning activities as we advance our strategic priorities to own and control more content; engage our audiences; and expand into adjacent markets. In addition, his team will be tasked with developing global strategic partnerships and managing our mergers and acquisitions initiatives. Reporting to Colin will be Spencer Charters, Director, Strategy and Business Development, as well as a small team of analysts.
- Tom Peddie – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Tom Peddie will continue to oversee the company’s corporate finance, tax, treasury and accounting functions, including investor relations activities. Tom will also be responsible for Corus’ facilities and real estate. Tom’s finance leadership team includes: Judy Adam, Vice President, Finance; Michael French, Vice President, Finance, Doug Sharpe, Vice President, Treasury; Jeremy Wilson, Vice President, Taxation; Chris Nalborczyk, Vice President, Internal Audit; Heidi Kucher, Manager, Investor Relations; and Julie Edwards, Vice President, Facilities and Administration.
- Gary Maavara – Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Gary Maavara will oversee all aspects of Corus’ legal matters, regulatory affairs and government relations. Gary will also continue in his role as Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors. Reporting to Gary will be: Dale Hancocks, Vice President, Operations and Associate General Counsel, Production and Outbound Licensing; Jane Harrison, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Inbound Rights and Affiliate Agreements; Randy Witten, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Corporate; Sylvie Courtemanche, Associate General Counsel, Vice President, Government Relations and Compliance; and Christopher Pang, Associate General Counsel.
- Cheryl Fullerton – Executive Vice President, People and Communications
Cheryl Fullerton is responsible for the delivery of the people elements of Corus’ business strategy through the attraction, alignment, development, engagement and rewarding of great talent. Cheryl will also oversee the Communications function for the company, which will be headed by Dervla Kelly, Vice President, Communications. Also reporting to Cheryl will be: Larry Burnett, Vice President, People; Bianca Williamson, Director, People; Penny Vlachos, Vice President, Compensation and Benefits; Annette Ainsbury, Director, Learning and Development; and Mike Couto, Head of Labor Relations.
- Shawn Kelly, Executive Vice President, Technology
Shawn Kelly will lead Corus’ technology strategy and direct infrastructure investments as well as manage the technology teams, delivery, systems and resources across the business. Reporting to Shawn will be: Eric Flaherty, Vice President, IT and Technology Delivery; Tara Eizerman, Director, Digital Technologies; Glen Pollock, Director, Production and Post Services; Jaime Caeiro, Director, Content Management and Delivery; Robert Ouellette, Vice President, Technology Systems; and Jeff Naphin, Vice President, Technology Planning and Strategy.
- Kathleen McNair, Executive Vice President, Special Advisor to the CEO and Chief Integration Officer will continue to support Corus’ integration activities, while Christine Shipton will exit her current role as Chief Content Officer, but has agreed to stay with Corus over the coming months to support the transition, ensuring effective integration of people, processes and teams.
“Corus and Shaw Media each have extraordinary talent across all levels, and we are confident that we have put in place a team and structure that will enable us to immediately advance our strategic priorities,” said Murphy. “There remains much work to be done, but we have a plan in place and are moving quickly to integrate these two companies and realize the benefits of the combined organization.”
“We would also like to thank the independent Special Committee of Corus, comprised of Fernand Bélisle, Mark Hollinger, Wendy Leaney and Terrance Royer, for their diligence and invaluable guidance throughout this entire process,” said Mr. Murphy.
In connection with the closing of the Acquisition, Corus has completed the financing of $2.6 billion syndicated senior secured credit facilities, consisting of a $2.3 billion term loan and an undrawn $300 million revolving credit facility (the “New Credit Facilities”). The Acquisition and the refinancing of existing Corus debt was funded by a combination of: (i) net proceeds of approximately $2.3 billion drawn under the New Credit Facilities; (ii) the net proceeds of an offering of 29,210,000 subscription receipts, inclusive of 3,810,000 subscription receipts issued pursuant to the exercise in full of the underwriters’ over-allotment option, that raised gross proceeds of $262.9 million; and (iii) the net proceeds of a concurrent private placement of 3,560,000 subscription receipts to certain members of the Shaw family that raised total gross proceeds of $32.0 million.
The shareholders of Corus, excluding the votes of certain interested parties, approved the Acquisition at a special meeting of shareholders held on March 9, 2016. The Acquisition was also approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on March 23, 2016.
As a result of the closing of the Acquisition, Corus’ 32,770,000 subscription receipts were, in accordance with their terms, automatically settled on a one-for-one basis for Class B Shares. In addition, pursuant to the terms of the subscription receipts, a cash dividend equivalent payment of $0.19 per subscription receipt (being equal to the aggregate amount of dividends paid by Corus per Class B Share for which record dates have occurred since the date of issuance of the subscription receipts to and including March 31, 2016), less any applicable withholding taxes, will be paid to holders of subscription receipts. Corus expects that holders of subscription receipts will receive the dividend equivalent payment on or about April 4, 2016. Corus further expects that trading in the subscription receipts on the Toronto Stock Exchange will be halted shortly following the issuance of this press release and that the subscription receipts will be delisted as of the close of business on April 1, 2016.
The search for Dory’s parents is on as full cast of Finding Dory was unveiled last week. There have been plenty of Easter eggs in each of Pixar’s recent flicks. But now, the studio has stumbled to a Easter egg not seen in the studio’s history since Toy Story. What’s the Easter egg this time Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World) (continued)- Disney•Pixar announced that Finding Dory, featuring the voice of Ed O’Neill as Hank, opens in theaters nationwide on June 17, 2016. Hank, the film’s cantankerous octopus with camouflaging capabilities, has appeared in every one of their feature films since 1995’s Toy Story.
“Every Pixar fan knows that we love Easter Eggs,” said director Andrew Stanton, who also directed the 2003 Oscar-winning film Finding Nemo. “And until now, Hank has been our most closely guarded secret. There are even people internally at Pixar who don’t know about this.”
Pixar is known for the hidden gems that appear in its feature films, including the Luxo Ball, the Pizza Planet Truck and A113, which is a nod to the animation classroom at CalArts that was attended by several filmmakers. But the octopus, who’s actually a “septopus,” as he’s missing a tentacle, has remained a secret for two decades.
“Hank started off as a bit of an inside joke between those of us who were here at Pixar in the very beginning,” added Stanton. “But since then, finding a place for him in our films has become part of our culture, and I’m glad we finally get to introduce him properly to fans.”
The studio released a short video featuring Stanton and O’Neill, showcasing several of Hank’s cameos throughout the years and even providing a new glimpse of the character in action in Finding Dory.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,499 fans sign in as Team Skipper gets a leaping head start of baseball season.
April’s DVD’s are out this month since Star Wars: The Force Awakens got a quick head start. Let’s see if this month’s titles interest you:
Powerpuff week continues with tomorrow night’s episode of the Powerpuff Girls along with a new Uncle Grandpa as his Saturday morning block Mornings with Uncle Grandpa debuts this weekend. Let’s see what April has in store for us next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.
Batman Superman: Dawn of Justice leads box office with 52 million, but drops 58 percent due to poor reviews from critics and mixed reaction from moviegoers; Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe both renewed for season 5; Full cast of Finding Dory unveiled, Crush and Squirt return for the sequel
A super disappointment! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Batman Superman: Dawn of Justice continued leading the box office with 52 million, but that wasn’t the fight that audiences had in mind and the critics agreed. The fight between both Bats and Sups has stolen the moviegoers praise and reputation from our 2 heroes! What caused that drop that hit both the caped crusader and the man of steel Gene?
Warner’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice easily remained in first place this weekend with an estimated $52.39 million. However, the blockbuster superhero film starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill was down an even sharper than expected 68 percent this weekend. Poor critical reviews, mixed word of mouth among moviegoers and built-in front-loading for the film to begin with have all had a clear effect on Batman v Superman. With that said, Batman v Superman has already passed the $250 million mark with a ten-day gross of $261.46 million. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, that represents the eleventh largest ten-day start of all-time. Batman v Superman is currently running 4 percent ahead of the $251.52 million ten-day take of last year’s Furious 7 (which fell 59.5 percent in its second weekend to gross $59.59 million) and 17 percent behind the $313.40 million ten-day gross of last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (which declined 59 percent in its second weekend to gross $77.75 million). After this weekend’s decline, it will be especially important for Batman v Superman to attempt to stabilize next weekend.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took in an estimated $4.2 million from IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 8 percent of the film’s overall grosses this weekend. The film has grossed $25.3 million to date from IMAX locations.
Zootopia held steady in second place with an estimated $20.0 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios continued to hold up exceptionally well, as it was down a slim 17 percent from last weekend. Zootopia continues to be aided greatly by terrific word of mouth and animated films in general also tend to hold up very well the weekend after Easter weekend. Zootopia registered the seventh largest fifth weekend gross of all time. With a 31-day total of $275.94 million, Zootopia is running 23 percent ahead of the $224.88 million 31-day take of 2014’s The LEGO Movie and 10 percent behind the $306.25 million 31-day gross of last year’s Inside Out.
Universal’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 took in an estimated $11.13 million to remain in third. The long-awaited comedy sequel starring and written by Nia Vardalos held up well, as it was down 38 percent from last weekend’s debut. With fellow Universal comedy The Boss entering the marketplace this coming Friday, it was important for My Big fat Greek Wedding 2 to hold up well this weekend. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 continues to perform on the very high end of expectations with a ten-day take of $36.49 million. That places the film just behind the $36.59 million ten-day take of last year’s The Intern (which fell 34 percent in its second weekend to gross $11.69 million).
God’s Not Dead 2 debuted in fourth place with an estimated $8.10 million. The faith-based sequel from Pure Flix performed below expectations and opened 12 percent below the $9.22 million debut of 2014’s God’s Not Dead. God’s Not Dead 2 opening below its predecessor was especially underwhelming given that God’s Not Dead 2 opened in 2,419 locations this weekend, while God’s Not Dead opened in just 780 locations. At the same time, God’s Not Dead 2 was still off to a respectable start with its low production cost in mind. God’s Not Dead 2 also received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which could point towards strong holding power for the film going forward.
Fellow faith-based film Miracles from Heaven followed closely behind in fifth place with an estimated $7.55 million. The Sony release starring Jennifer Garner was down only 22 percent this weekend. That represented an especially strong hold given the new competition the film faced from God’s Not Dead 2. Miracles from Heaven has grossed a healthy $46.82 million through 19 days of release. With continued strong word of mouth and the launch of God’s Not Dead 2 behind it, Miracles from Heaven is likely to continue to hold up very well going forward.
Freestyle’s Meet the Blacks opened in eighth place with an estimated $4.09 million. The R-rated comedy starring Mike Epps was playing in a relatively modest 1,015 locations this weekend, which gave the film a solid per-location average of $4,026. Meet the Blacks opened towards the higher end of expectations. The film did open 31 percent below the recent $5.90 million start of fellow parody Fifty Shades of Black, but had been widely expected to open below that film.
Meanwhile, Bleecker Street’s Eye in the Sky had a successful expansion this weekend with an estimated ninth place take of $4.06 million. The critically acclaimed film starring Helen Mirren and the late Alan Rickman played in 1,029 locations, which gave the film a per-location average of $3,941 for the frame. Eye in the Sky has grossed $6.15 million in 24 days and will soon pass by the $7.86 million final gross of last year’s Trumbo to become the highest grossing Bleecker Street release to date in the young history of the distributor.
The series is a multi-platform powerhouse, with mobile RPG Attack the Light ranking as a #1 Top App in the App Store and the franchise being Tumblr’s most re-blogged animated series of 2015. The third season continues with the “Summer of Steven” with new episodes premiering June through August.
Created by Pete Browngardt, the Emmy Award-winning Uncle Grandpa continues to delight audiences as it follows the adventures of Uncle Grandpa who is out to help every child and adult in the world through the power of imagination. With his mystical R.V. and eternal optimism, Uncle Grandpa is always ready to greet the day — and everyone he meets — with his signature “Good mornin’!” Starting this April, everyone’s favorite uncle and grandpa will begin hosting Cartoon Network’s “Good Mornings with Uncle Grandpa” programming block every Saturday.
At long last, the cast is finally assembled for Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory. 3 new characters joined in the last time we reported, now 4 more have dived in to meet them. But what of the 2 sea turtles Crush and Squirt from Finding Nemo? Did they make the cut Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory has revealed its full roster of characters, as well as the voice talent tapped to help bring each character to life. Directed by Andrew Stanton, who helmed the Oscar-winning films Finding Nemo and WALL•E, Finding Dory revisits everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang fish as she embarks on a life-changing adventure to find her family.
“It really is a whole new chapter this time,” said Stanton. “We’re introducing new characters — each with his or her own unique voice. Everyone has something special to offer, which makes it fun and elevates the whole story. Finding Nemo was a great calling card when it came to casting this movie. I don’t take that for granted.”
Finding Dory, which opens in theaters nationwide on June 17, 2016, features the following lineup.
Ellen DeGeneres returns to the sea as Dory, the bright blue tang with a sunny personality. She suffers from short-term memory loss, which normally doesn’t upset her upbeat attitude — until she realizes she’s forgotten something big: her family. Dory’s found a new family in Marlin and Nemo, but she’s haunted by the belief that someone out there is looking for her. She may have trouble recalling exactly what — or who — she’s searching for, but she won’t give up until she uncovers her past and discovers something else along the way: self-acceptance.
Albert Brooks dives in again to help bring Marlin to life. He may have traveled across the ocean once, but that doesn’t mean Marlin wants to do it again. So he doesn’t exactly jump at the opportunity to accompany Dory on a mission to the California coast to track down her family. Marlin, of course, knows how it feels to lose family, and it was Dory who helped him find Nemo not so long ago. The clownfish may not be funny, but he’s loyal — he realizes he has no choice but to pack up his nervous energy and skepticism and embark on yet another adventure, this time to help his friend.
Hayden Rolence was called on to voice Nemo. One year after his big overseas adventure, Nemo is back to being a normal kid: going to school and living on the coral reef with his dad and their blue tang neighbor, Dory. His harrowing adventure abroad doesn’t seem to have sapped his spirit. In fact, when Dory remembers pieces of her past and longs to take off on an ambitious ocean trek to find her family, Nemo is the first to offer his help. He may be a young clownfish with a lucky fin, but Nemo wholeheartedly believes in Dory. After all, he understands what it’s like to be different.
Ed O’Neill lends his iconic voice to Hank, who is an octopus. Actually, he’s a “septopus” — he lost a tentacle — along with his sense of humor — somewhere along the way. But Hank is just as competent as his eight-armed peers. An accomplished escape artist with camouflaging capabilities to boot, Hank is the first to greet Dory when she finds herself in the Marine Life Institute. But make no mistake: he’s not looking for a friend. Hank is after one thing — a ticket on a transport truck to a cozy Cleveland facility where he’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful life of solitude.
Kaitlin Olson provides the voice of a whale shark named Destiny, who is a clumsy swimmer with a big heart. Destiny has a big everything, actually — whale sharks are the biggest fish in the sea. Destiny resides in the Marine Life Institute, where one day an oddly familiar blue tang named Dory falls into her pool. Destiny is admittedly embarrassed by her obvious lack of grace, a product of poor eyesight, but Dory thinks she swims beautifully. And Dory is delighted to learn that her supersized friend speaks whale, too.
Ty Burrell was tapped to give voice to Bailey, the Marine Life Institute’s resident beluga whale, who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz. The good news — or bad news, depending on who you ask — is that doctors at the MLI can’t seem to find anything wrong with him. Bailey’s flair for the dramatic never ceases to push his neighbor’s buttons: whale shark Destiny can’t seem to get through to him, no matter how hard she tries. Maybe he’ll listen to new friend Dory, who seems to be full of crazy ideas.
Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy were recruited to voice Dory’s parents. Jenny and Charlie would do anything for their only child. They celebrate and protect Dory, striving to arm her with the skills she’ll need to navigate the world with a faulty memory. Jenny may appear cheerful and a little flighty — but she’s a protective mother and a smart role model. Charlie likes to joke around, but nothing is more important to him than teaching his memory-challenged daughter how to survive.
Idris Elba and Dominic West team up as the voices of Fluke and Rudder, a pair of lazy sea lions who were rehabilitated at the Marine Life Institute. Marlin and Nemo find them snoozing on a warm — and highly coveted — rock just outside the center. These sea lions really enjoy their down time and would rather not be bothered mid nap — but their bark is far worse than their bite.
Bob Peterson is back as the memorable voice of Mr. Ray, the tune-loving teacher from the reef, who takes Nemo’s education — and that of his fellow undersea students — very seriously. Nobody enjoys Mr. Ray’s class more than Dory, who serves as his cheerful, albeit unnecessary, teacher’s assistant during their illuminating field trips.
Torbin Bullock voices Becky, an offbeat, kooky loon who takes a liking to Marlin. Although she inspires little confidence — especially from a certain, skeptical clownfish — Becky might be smarter than she looks.
Andrew Stanton and Bennett Dammann lend their voices to the ocean’s coolest turtles Crush and his son Squirt. They’re always happy to lend a flipper to a fish in need. Cruising the ocean for more than a hundred years definitely has its advantages.
Bill Hader and Kate McKinnon make a cameo appearance as a fish couple that Dory briefly encounters along the way. There’s aren’t any images available for this fish couple yet, but, as an added bonus, here’s an adorable group of baby sea otters:
According to USA Today, Stanton knew he wanted to include sea otters because they’re so darn cute. “The truth is, otters are quite vicious. But no one wants that to be true,” Stanton reportedly said. “So we didn’t follow that. The otters ended up being more successful as cute creatures that just stare at you. We knew the effect they have on people.”
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,500 fans sign in as Team Skipper gets closer to their 6th target of getting more fans to join in.
Powerpuff week begins as Bubbles, Buttercup, and Blossom return to defend Townsville from the forces of evil and continue to fight crime! Join the girls for 5 new episodes of The PowerPuff Girls. This is Realistic Fish Head saying, welcome back girls!