‘Wonder Woman’ Tops Cruise’s ‘Mummy’ for Second Week at #1 – Box Office Mojo

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‘Wonder Woman’ Sets a Record Opening for a Female Directed Feature – Box Office Mojo

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‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’ Top Memorial Day Weekend Box Office as ‘Baywatch’ Struggles – Box Office Mojo

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‘Alien: Covenant’ Narrowly Edges Out ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ To Top Weekend Box Office – Box Office Mojo

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Guardians 2 stays on top with 63 million, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword falls short; The loud House season 1 heads to DVD May 23, Animation Block celebrates 10 years of DreamWorks Bee Movie

 

The Guardians prevail once again! Gene Scallop here on this week’s box office report. Star Lord started off strong last weekend at the box office with 145 million smackers as they continue thwarting everything in their way as they did so when they added 63 million smackers this weekend as Warner Bros. newest flick King Arthur: Legend of the Sword flopped badly. With the Galaxy Guardians still strong for another week ahead, let’s check what happened with King Arthur.

 

It ended up a lighter weekend than expected, mostly due to the struggles of the weekend’s two new wide releases as both King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Snatched fell below Mojo’s forecast. In the case of King Arthur it opened well below our estimation as the $175 million budgeted feature couldn’t even crack $15 million over the three-day. Meanwhile, at #1 it was Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is already flirting with $250 million domestically after ten days in release and has now topped $630 million worldwide.

For the second weekend in a row it’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at the top of the weekend box office as it delivered an estimated $63 million for a domestic cume over $246 million. While this falls below our $69.9 million forecast, the 57% drop is an improvement on the average for first sequels in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and better than the second weekend holds for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World. Added to that, don’t be surprised to see it climb a little once actuals come in tomorrow and possibly improve on the 56.6% second weekend drop for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Internationally, Guardians 2 opened in its final international market, pulling in an estimated $3 million in Japan as it delivered an estimated $52.2 million from 56 markets this weekend. The film’s international gross has now climbed over $380 million for a global cume that now stands at $633 million.

In second was Fox’s release of the Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn comedy Snatched bringing in an estimated $17.5 million. Headed into the weekend industry estimates were for an opening in the mid-teens and our basement projection was $18 million, which Snatched could still hit if it sees a little more support over Mother’s Day than currently projected. That said, the film was unable to pop the way Schumer’s Trainwreck did when it dramatically outperformed expectations, pulling in a $30 million opening in 2015.

In terms of demographics, Snatched played to an audience that was 77% female vs. 23% male with 72% of the overall audience coming in 25 years or older. Further breakdown shows the audience was 64% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 10% African American and 6% Asian. Opening day audiences gave the film a “B” CinemaScore, which isn’t exactly wonderful news as compared to the “A-” for Trainwreck, but with limited genre competition next weekend it could show some legs, though with a $42 million budget this isn’t exactly a stellar start.

Next we come to Warner Bros.’ King Arthur, a $175 million budgeted feature that was expected to kick off a franchise of films and it floundered upon release, generating an estimated $14.7 million from 3,702 theaters. Industry expectations heading into the weekend were around $23-25 million and even those numbers were somewhat alarming given the money spent on the production. The film received a “B+” CinemaScore from opening day audiences of which 59% were male vs. 41% female and of the overall audience, 56% were under the age of 35.

Now attention turns to the international performance where the film would need to do quite well to recoup production costs, but after an estimated $29.1 million from 51 markets this weekend and a worldwide opening just shy of $44 million things aren’t looking too bright. Looking ahead, the film opens in France, UK and South Korea on May 17, followed by Australia a day later on the 18th.

Also opening this weekend, BH Tilt’s Lowriders did quite well in limited release, pulling in an estimated $2.4 million from only 295 theaters for a $8,180 per theater average and an eighth place finish. Comparatively, Roadside’s release of Doug Liman‘s The Wall brought in a mere $891k from 541 theaters for a disappointing $1,648 per theater average. As a result, The Wall debuted in 14th position, well below our expectations if you read our weekend preview.

The weekend’s top limited performer was Paris Can Wait, from Eleanor Coppola, making her feature-length writing and directorial debut. That said, it would appear filmmaking is simply in the Coppola blood as the film brought in an estimated $101,825 from just four theaters for an impressive, $25,456 per theater average. Paris Can Wait will remain in limited release over the next couple weeks before going wide on June 16.

Other limited releases include Roadside’s The Wedding Plan, which brought in an estimated $33k ($4,130 PTA); FilmRise’s Manifesto with an estimated $10,500 from one theater; Abramorama’s The Last Shaman with $7,040 from one theater; and FilmRise’s release of Dead Awake, which brought in $6,000 from 12 locations.

Next weekend sees the release of Alien: Covenant, which could make for an interesting finish next weekend. The latest film in the Alien franchise will be looking at a #1 opening, but with early tracking two weeks ago anticipating a $30 million debut it’s not certain that would be enough to take down Guardians 2, which is likely to drop around 50% or so new weekend.

Next week also sees for Fox releasing Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and Warner Bros. will be hoping to bounce back from this weekend’s rough release of King Arthur with the drama Everything, Everything.

To recap, Guardians 2 still leads in 1st, Snatched swipes in 2nd, King Arthur fights in 3rd, Fast 8 revs in 4th, and Boss Baby moves 5th.

After 2 seasons so far on Nick, Lincoln Loud and the rest of the family head to DVD this week. For those of you guys not familiar with the new Nicktoon, it premiered back in 2016 alongside Pig Goat Banana Cricket as the new age of Nicktoons got underway. For new fans of The Loud House Danny, what will they see on this DVD?

Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Meet the Loud family — a family full of love, chaos, and craziness, all under one roof. One thing is for sure: there is never a dull moment in the Loud house! Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Media Distribution are teaming up to release the first season of The Loud House on DVD. The brand-new DVD set, Welcome to The Loud House: Season 1, Volume 1, introduces Lincoln Loud, an 11-year-old boy who is the middle child of 10 sisters.

 

The Loud House follows Lincoln and his sisters for an inside look at what it takes to survive in a huge family. Lincoln remains the man with the plan to stay one step ahead of the chaos, but whether his schemes work is the question that drives the series.

This two-disc release of Welcome to The Loud House: Season 1, Volume 1, with a running time of 305 minutes, contains the first 13 episodes of the first season and is full of family fun. Produced by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Welcome to The Loud House: Season 1, Volume 1 is available on DVD May 23 for the suggested retail price of $16.99.

Inspired by creator and executive producer Chris Savino’s (Rocko’s Modern Life, The Powerpuff Girls) life growing up in a family of 10 kids, The Loud House is the first series to be greenlit out of Nickelodeon’s annual Animated Shorts Program. Season two is currently airing on Nickelodeon, home to TV’s top two animated kids’ shows, with Kids 2–11 and 6–11, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Loud House.

 

Look for Volume 2 to be released later this year.

 

Last week, Animation Block Party celebrated a decade of DreamWorks’ Bee Movie, one of the biggest flicks from the post SKG era. With the party coming up soon Dan, what will participants be on the lookout there?

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Brooklyn’s Animation Block Party, the largest animation festival on the East Coast, will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the theatrical debut of Jerry Seinfeld’s 2007 animated Bee Movie as a special program feature this July.

Seinfeld co-wrote and starred in the film as Barry B. Benson, a honey bee whose disillusionment with the honey-making profession ultimately leads to his lawsuit against humanity for stealing honey.

 

In recent years, Bee Movie has enjoyed renewed life as an internet meme, which may explain Animation Block’s choice to feature the movie choice despite a 51 percent “rotten” rating on rottentomatoes.com. The viral popularity of the film was acknowledged in the Vanity Fair article “How Bee Movie Won 2016.”

Reactions to the announcement on the Animation Block Party Facebook page ranged from Katy Hargrove’s comment, “Can’t tell if real or if trolling,” to Ron Yavnieli’s desire to know whether Seinfeld would be making a guest appearance. Speaking about sequel potential following the renewed interest in the property, Seinfeld had this to say in a Reddit AMA: “If you have any idea what animation is, you’d never do it.”

Animation Block Party’s special presentation of Bee Movie will take place this July at BAMcinématek. The 14th annual Animation Block Party runs July 27-30, 2017 at Rooftop Films & BAMcinématek.

 

On TV this week on Nick, catch 4 new episodes of the Loud House. Then on CN, the ninja return in an all new season of Ninjago: The Hands of Time. The new season coincides with the Ninjago movie coming this fall.

 

Hot off the presses! SpongeBob season 12 is ready to set sail! This will follow the same format as season 11 as Steven Hillenburg returns to the fold during SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water. As for SpongeBob Movie 3, the flick will make room for the rest of season 10 and towards season 11. This is Gene Scallop saying, see you next edition of Gene Scallop’s box office report.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 earns 145 million achieving estimates; Nick launches animation lab; Sprout rebrands as Universal Kids joining Netflix animation library as network expands lineup

 

Star Lord and the Galaxy Guardians are here to save the galaxy once again! Gene Scallop here on this week’s box office report. It’s been 2 years since the guardians made their way in the MCU. Now they’re here again as they zoom towards box office estimates with 145 million smackers. This is the unofficial start of summer movie season as the sequel to the 2015 box hit gives last summer’s biggest flick Cap America: Civil War a well deserved boost. Let’s see if Star Lord can score another hit as summer movie season approaches.

 

Accounting for over 79% of the cumulative top ten gross, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 topped the domestic box office, showing a 54% increase compared to the 2014 original and giving Disney the top two openers of 2017 so far. Additionally, the film expanded its reach overseas, including openings in South Korea and China, the latter of which delivered the fourth largest opening in China to date for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the film’s global cume has now topped $425 million in 13 days.

With an estimated $145 million opening weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 topped the weekend box office and improved on the original 2014 release by 53.78%. Considering the $94.3 million opening for the original Guardians of the Galaxy was something of a surprise it’s a spectacularly impressive result considering it’s the largest jump for a second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, among all sequels in the MCU only the 88.5% increase for Captain America: Civil War over Winter Soldier is better.

The opening is just a bit below the $174 million opening for Furious 7, which went on to gross $353 million domestically. That said, the average multiplier for an MCU film is 2.73, which would put Guardians 2 right at $395 million domestically and given the 3.53 multiplier for the first film it feels safe to assume we should expect at least that much and more likely a result over $400 million.

Helping matters further is the “A” CinemaScore, which is right in line with pretty much all MCU features, and don’t be surprised to see that opening weekend total bump up a notch or two and perhaps finish right around $147 million. Audience demographics show the film playing to an audience that was 56% male vs. 44% female, and overall 22% of the audience as 25 years-old or younger and a whopping 72% of the audience were adults while only 9% were teenagers.

Internationally, Guardians 2 brought in an estimated $123.8 million this weekend as its international cume now stands at $282.6 million after 13 days. Added to the estimated opening domestically the film’s global cume totals $427.6 million, which helps push the worldwide cume for the Marvel Cinematic Universe over $11.3 billion.

Highlights internationally include an estimated $48 million opening for Guardians in China, which is 75% ahead of the first film and nearly half of the first film’s overall $96.4 million take in China. The film opened in Korea with an estimated $13.3 million and in Russia with an estimated $11.6 million. Next weekend the film will open in Japan (May 12), the film’s final international market.

Digging deeper into the numbers approximately 41% of Guardians 2‘s weekend gross came from 3D ticket sales, led by China where 99% of all moviegoers saw the film in 3D. Elsewhere, Germany saw 80% of its sales attributed to 3D, Brazil (76%), Russia (52%), Hong Kong (43%), The Netherlands (90%), Colombia (85%) and Austria (85%). Also, $25 million of the global ticket sales came from IMAX theaters as the film played on 1,088 IMAX screens in 69 markets making it the widest opening in IMAX’s history.

Universal’s The Fate of the Furious slides to second after three weeks at number one. This weekend it brought in an estimated $8.5 million, pushing its domestic cume over $205 million. Internationally the film crossed $950 million after bringing in an estimated $30.1 million this weekend from 66 territories. This pushes the global cume for the eight installment in the Fast and Furious franchise to $1.158 billion where it now stands as the 13th largest worldwide release of all-time and seventh largest international release.

Third belongs to Fox’s The Boss Baby, which has now grossed over $156 million domestically after bringing in an estimated $6.2 million in its sixth weekend in release. The film also brought in another $17 million internationally bringing its global cume to $435 million.

Lionsgate and Pantelion’s How to be a Latin Lover dropped 57% in its second weekend, delivering a fourth place finish with an estimated $5.25 million. The film’s cume now stands $20.6 million.

And rounding out the top five is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with an estimated $4.9 million as its domestic cume now stands at $487.5 million. Additionally, the film brought in another $11.9 million internationally this weekend as its global cume combs to $1.186 billion, making it the eleventh highest grossing worldwide release of all-time.

Outside the top ten, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion may have dropped 69%, but with an estimated $3.2 million from 418 theaters it still had the best per theater average among all holdovers with $7,757 per theater. The film’s cume now stands at $16.1 million in North America.

Outside the top ten, The Orchard’s release of The Dinner, starring Richard Gere, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Coogan and Laura Linney brought in an estimated $755,348 from 505 theaters.

In limited release A24’s The Lovers delivered an estimated $75,370 from four theaters for a strong $17,603 per theater average. The film will roll out into additional top markets next weekend and continue to expand throughout May and into the Summer months.

Additionally, Neon’s Julian Assange documentary Risk brought in an estimated $75,179 from 34 theaters ($2,211 PTA); IFC’s Chuck brought in an estimated $40,416 from four theaters ($10,104 PTA); The Weinstein’s 3 Generations brought in $20,118 from six theaters ($3,353 PTA); Janus’s re-release of Andrei Tarkovsky‘s Stalker brought in an estimated $19,784 from one theater; Abramorama’s Mr. Chibbs opened with an estimated $3,640 from one location; and The Orchard’s Take Me delivered $3,258, also from one location.

Finally, this weekend also saw Universal and Blumhouse’s Get Out bring in an estimated $8.3 million internationally as it expanded its reach overseas into 47 markets. This brings the international cume to $30.5 million for a global total that now tops $204 million, all on a $4.5 million budget.

Next weekend’s wide releases include King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which WB is releasing in over 3,600 theaters, and Snatched starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, opening in ~3,300 locations. Additionally, BH Tilt will debut Lowriders while Roadside has a pair of releases in The Wall and The Wedding Plan.

To recap, Guardians 2 blasts through in 1st causing a domino effect as Fast 8 drops 2nd, Boss Baby in 3rd, Latin Lover in 4th, and Beauty and the Beast in 5th.

As new cartoons prepare to step in the spotlight next year, new animation technology is being developed as we speak. That’s why Nick’s creating an animated experiment for Nicktoons for the future. What’s the new enhancement for newbies in the toon world Danny?

Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Nickelodeon has announced the launch of its new Burbank-based Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab, which will spearhead long-range research and development efforts around new technologies for Nick and its audience.

“Our Entertainment Lab is a way to give our artists and creators access to innovative tools to inspire new ways to tell stories for the next generation of kids,” said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Group. “We are working with technology partners, gaming and visual effects companies and our own creators to bring our IP to new platforms, in new formats, and faster.”

The Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab will work to develop new entertainment experiences for kids by identifying and experimenting with new trends in technology and emerging platforms to create new creative capabilities and entertainment. Some of the areas Nickelodeon is currently working on include real-time rendering, virtual cinema, virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality and artificial intelligence. The Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab will focus on building prototypes to test new ideas, collaborating on innovation with creators, and shaping strategy around production capabilities to fuel future content opportunities.

The Lab will be headed by Chris Young, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab. Young previously served as Executive Creative Director, Nickelodeon Animation Lab, where he focused on exploring and engineering alternative animation pipelines. Prior to that role, he held the title of Producer at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank. Young reports to Matthew Evans, Executive Vice President, Digital & New Business and James Stephenson, Senior Vice President, Original Animation.

 

The folks at NBC Universal have something new coming for Sprout as a major refresh is in the works this summer. This change could affect its current lineup for all cable channels nationwide. Depending on every cable provider across the U.S., what changes await for Sprout Dan, will the network change its name or will it stay the same?

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)- NBCUniversal has announced that its preschool network Sprout is being rebranded as Universal Kids and expanding its lineup to include programs for kids ages six to eleven after 6:00 p.m.

Universal Kids will go live on September 9, 2017 as a destination for kids and family programming, including DreamWorks Animation television series, unscripted entertainment, live-action scripted originals and proven international hits. The DreamWorks Animation collaboration kicks off with the launch of two Emmy Award-winning series: All Hail King Julien and DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, based on the popular How to Train Your Dragon feature film franchise.

Sprout will live as a preschool destination on the Universal Kids channel and will continue to add original programming to its slate. July 2017 will mark the launch of Kody Kapow, which joins Floogals, Dot., Nina’s World, and Noddy Toyland Detective.

“We see enormous potential to grow our audience in this space and create the Universal Kids platform for families to experience together,” said NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Lifestyle Networks president Frances Berwick in making the announcement. “NBCUniversal is invested in the kids and family business, and the company believes in working together — we will benefit from promotion across our portfolio of networks and across the company through support that is unparalleled in the industry.”

Deirdre Brennan, General Manager, Universal Kids, made it clear that the expansion and rebranding are an evolution, not a replacement: “The launch of a channel that represents the world of NBCUniversal family brands with great TV content at its center makes tremendous sense for our business,” she said. “Just as children grow, Sprout is growing into Universal Kids — and we will reflect all that is universal about being a kid through connection, storytelling and entertainment.”

Universal Kids will be available in over 59 million homes. Sprout’s preschool content will live on as a daily programming block for preschoolers from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. available for kids and families across air, online, On Demand and the Sprout Now and Sprout Playground mobile apps.

 

Everything’s growing in May after some torrential weather conditions in April. Unfortunately, we were drenched hard after suffering technical network problems in our studio. Thankfully, we’re back in business after taking a well-deserved vacation. So without further delay, here’s some DVD’s this month:

 

5/2/2017

 

On TV this week, Nick’s Saturday Night has new episodes of School of Rock and Game Shakers. On Cartoon Network, catch new episodes of Ben 10 and the newest Steven Universe as it concludes the Lion saga along with 4 new episodes. Don’t forget folks, Mom’s Day is next Sunday so give your Mom the best one she loves! Another reminder, don’t miss Gumball’s Mother’s Day marathon as Gumball, Darwin, and Anais give her mom the best Mother’s Day ever. This is Gene Scallop saying see you next edition on Gene Scallop’s box office report.

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Fast 8 reaches 1 million mark worldwide with 19 million as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuts this week; Nick Jr. picks up Rainbow Rangers; Sarah and Duck reach 100-episode milestone

 

Dom and the family join the million smacker club! Gene Scallop here on this week’s box office report. Last time, Fast 8 was on fire when it made 900 million smackers worldwide. Now with the flick currently holding on for the 3rd weekend in a row with 19 million as audience attendance drops, looks like the family will get a sequel to Fast 8 as promised as well as Fast 10 ASA next year. With Star Lord and the rest of the Galaxy Guardians await their return this week, let’s see how it managed to reach 1 million smackers.

 

While it’s no small feat that The Fate of the Furious finished atop the box office for a third weekend in a row while crossing $1 billion worldwide, Pantelion’s How to be a Latin Lover and Great India Films’ Baahubali 2: The Conclusion are stealing some of the spotlight as the two films finished in second and third place at the domestic box office, despite the fact the two films played in just over 1,500 theaters combined. Additionally, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 got off to a healthy start overseas, one week ahead of its domestic debut.

With an estimated $19.3 million, Fate of the Furious sees its domestic cume grow to $192.7 million, earning a third weekend atop the domestic box office. Of course, the bigger story is the film became Universal’s fifth title to top $1 billion worldwide, joining the ranks of Jurassic World ($1.67 billion), Furious 7 ($1.52 billion), Minions ($1.16 billion) and Jurassic Park ($1.04 billion). This weekend Furious 8 is estimated to have brought in $68.4 million from 69 markets bringing its international total to $867.6 million. The only new opener this week was Japan where the film delivered an estimated $7.5 million, the largest opening for a Fast film in Japan.

Second place belongs to Lionsgate’s release of Pantelion’s How to be a Latin Lover starring Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek. The film played in just 1,118 theaters and delivered an estimated $12 million for a $10,750 per theater average. This is the largest opening for a Pantelion film to date and the “A” CinemaScore grade from opening day audiences is sure to aid its legs moving forward. Additionally, the film played to an audience that was 55% female, 75% of the overall audience was 25 years or older and 89% were Hispanic.

In third is the mammoth release of the Tollywood sensation, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion distributed by Great India Films in North America. Playing in a mere 425 theaters the film brought in an estimated $10.1 million, a whopping $23,855 per theater average and nearly three times as much as the opening for the 2015 original. This is the largest opening for an Indian film domestically and we are still hoping to get a full report regarding its performance outside North America.

Finishing in fourth is STX’s The Circle, the first film in the studio’s three-year deal with Europacorp and it came up light compared to expectations, delivering an estimated $9.3 million from 3,163 theaters. Reviews didn’t help the film which scored a 43 on Metacritic, a sentiment that was echoed by opening day audiences, which gave the film a dismal “D+” CinemaScore. Exit polls show 62% of the opening weekend audience for the film was female and 44% was between the ages of 18 and 34. While the budget was a reported $18 million for the feature, Europacorp acquired the title for $8 million.

Rounding out the top five was Fox’s The Boss Baby, which held on nicely once again, dropping 29% in its fifth weekend in release, delivering an estimated $9.05 million as its domestic cume is now just shy of $150 million.

Outside the top ten Universal and Blumhouse’s Get Out is doing everything it can to stay in theaters as the film found itself adding 598 locations in its tenth week in release where it grossed an estimated $1.7 million as its domestic cume now stands at $172.5 million. Worldwide it’s still only getting started but it’s international cume is now up to $21.4 million as the $4.5 million production is nearing $200 million globally.

In other Blumhouse news, the latest BH Tilt release, Sleight, debuted this weekend in just 565 theaters where it brought in a somewhat satisfying $1.7 million. The film was made on a tiny, $250,000 budget, and was picked up by Blumhouse and WWE Films out of Sundance last year.

In limited release China Lion’s Battle for Memories brought in an estimated $210k from 42 theaters ($5,000 PTA); Oscilloscope’s One Week and a Day opened with an estimated $9,500 from 3 theaters ($3,167 PTA); Well Go’s Buster’s Mal Heart brought in $7,800 from one location; and Abramorama’s Bang! The Bert Berns Story also debuted in just one theater where it brought in an estimated $4,227.

Next weekend belongs to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which got off to a strong start internationally this weekend, bringing in an estimated $101.2 million from ~58% of the overall international market. The film was #1 in all markets in which it opened outside of Portugal, Turkey and Vietnam and all markets topped the opening performance for the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Estimated results include the UK ($15.5M), Australia ($11.6M), Germany ($8.3M), France ($7.9M), Mexico ($7.6M), Brazil ($6.9M), Italy ($4.1M), Indonesia ($3.4M), Spain ($3.3M), Philippines ($3.2M), Thailand ($2.7M), Taiwan ($2.4M), Malaysia ($2.0M) and New Zealand ($2.0M).

As for how this performance compares to previous Marvel releases, Disney estimates the opening is +57% ahead of the original Guardians which ended with $440.2 million internationally, +50% ahead of Captain America: Winter Soldier ($454.5M internationally) and +19% ahead of Thor: The Dark World ($438.2M internationally) when comparing the same suite of territories and all at today’s exchange rates. The film has still yet to open in Russia, Korea, China and Japan.

As for Guardians 2‘s domestic debut, the film will open in ~4,200 theaters and while it was originally expected Fate of the Furious would become 2017’s second $100+ million opener until it fell short, Guardians most certainly will cross that mark as an opening around $150 million is within reach.

 

To recap, Fast 8 is still rolling in 1st, Baahubali 2 debuts 2nd as well as How to be a Latin Lover in 3rd, The Circle makes its case in 4th, while The Boss Baby drops in 5th.

 

In our last encounter, we took a colorful look at Genius Brands’ Rainbow Rangers as longtime brand Fisher-Price was picked for pitching in for their latest toy line. As for the show itself Danny, who pitched in for their newest preschool series based on it?

 

Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)-  Genius Brands International has licensed exclusive U.S. and Caribbean Basin broadcast rights for season one of its new CGI-animated production, Rainbow Rangers, to the No. 1 rated kids’ network, Nickelodeon. Currently in development (52 x 11’ episodes), the mission-based action adventure series is expected to air on Nickelodeon’s preschool channel, Nick Jr. The deal follows Genius Brands’ recent announcement of the appointment of Mattel Inc.’s Fisher-Price Toys as Global Master Toy Partner for the brand, further demonstrating the high level of confidence that the property is well positioned for breakout success in the global market.

Rainbow Rangers, which is expected to air on Nickelodeon’s preschool channel Nick Jr., boasts a unique and highly-accomplished team of creators from the animated motion picture world, including Rob Minkoff (the director of Disney’s The Lion King), Shane Morris (the co-writer of Disney’s Frozen), Tim Mansfield and New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated writer Elise Allen (Dinosaur Train, Lion Guard, Barbie specials) who is serving as head writer and co-creator. Genius Brands’ Chairman and CEO and multiple Emmy-winning producer of more than 5,000 episodes of children’s programming, Andy Heyward, serves as executive producer, with legendary Disney alum Ruben Aquino creating key designs. Aquino is responsible for the design and animation of many of Disney’s most iconic characters from award-winning films including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Mulan and Frozen.

“We’ve assembled an unprecedented team of creative talent to bring Rainbow Rangers to life and are committed to selecting partners of the same caliber that have a shared passion for the brand,” said Heyward. “Nickelodeon has introduced so many of the most beloved and exciting characters to kids and families across the globe.”

Rainbow Rangers is an empowering, exciting, behind-the-curtain peek at the real lives of superheroes – Earth’s First Responders. The series seamlessly blends fantasy and action-adventure with relatable, accessible stories about friendship and saving the environment. The Rainbow Rangers – seven girls, each a different color of the rainbow, each with her own wildly unique personality and powers – band together to save the day whenever there’s trouble for the people, animals or natural wonders of the Earth. Every storyline is designed to show viewers the importance of working together and that actions both big and small can make the world a better place.

As a flagship property for Genius Brands in its strategy to build global properties, the new animated series has received strong interest from broadcast and licensing partners since its debut at MIPJunior in Cannes last October. Fisher-Price, the world leader in the preschool category, will lead the licensing and merchandising program with a broad range of preschool products in the toy category.

Rainbow Rangers is an exciting content series that we believe will strike a relevant cord with its mission based adventures and message of empowerment for preschool girls,” said Susie Lecker, EVP & Chief Brand Officer, Mattel’s Toy Box. “Bringing Rainbow Rangers to life through engaging product allows us to address the opportunity in the preschool toy aisle for a girl-targeted, heroic, action-focused line. We’re looking forward to the continued collaboration with Genius Brands and the incredible pedigree of talent behind the development of the series, to realize the full potential of a compelling toy line.”

Genius Brands is actively developing its global merchandising, licensing and retail program across all key categories to coincide with the series launch.

“Combining Genius Brands’ unique business model and expertise in creating highly engaging cross-platform content with Nickelodeon and Mattel’s pedigree and industry-leading position in the global market gives Rainbow Rangers the fuel it needs to lead in the preschool space,” said Stone Newman, President of Global Consumer Products, Worldwide Content Sales & Marketing. “Our partnerships can be seen as indicators of the growth potential for this property and its ability to generate significant revenue streams across multiple categories.”

 

Rainbow Rangers will be the finest addition to Nick Jr.’s current preschool schedule once it makes its debut soon.

 

 

An achievement was made last Wednesday across the pond as Cbeebies’ Sarah and Duck reached 100 episodes. This BAFTA winning series, currently seen on Sprout, managed to join other UK TV shows who surpassed this goal, Shaun The Sheep not withstanding. To commemorate 100 episodes Dan, what did British kiddy viewers see last week?

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Karrot Entertainment’s BAFTA-award winning pre-school series Sarah & Duck reached a milestone yesterday with its 100th episode on CBeebies. The animated series about a seven-year-old girl, Sarah, who lives with her best friend, Duck, launched in 2013, and continues to be an on-air favorite.

The show marked the occasion with a special episode featuring a musical dream sequence, starring the popular Duck at the core of the story. Inspired by his afternoon of playtime with Sarah, discovering the narrator’s old toy robots, Duck drifts into a flight-of-fancy naptime dream, imagining himself exploring a quirky and fun robotic world, with an electronic, bouncy soundtrack.

“We’re thrilled to have reached this milestone of 100 stories about the unique world of Sarah & Duck,” says series producer Jamie Badminton. “The show has featured gentle continuity from the very first episode, which helps explain the amazing dedication shown from our young and old fans. It really does feel like Sarah and Duck, as characters, have grown up and made friends within their world, in front of our very eyes.

“We have had great success with two previous dream sequences set to music but this is the first time we time we have done one from Duck’s perspective,” he adds. “It is one of our richest and most striking stories so far.”

“It is a privilege to be a part of this beautifully animated, wonderful and funny show,” says   Henrietta Hurford-Jones, director of children’s content, BBC Worldwide. “From seeing Sarah & Duck befriend the Shallots in the very first episode, to the heart-warming moment the duo meet in Duck Flies, all the way to the forthcoming 100th episode it has been fantastic to see this series go from strength to strength, winning the hearts — and awards — of audiences all over the world.”

The 100th episode aired as part of a new batch of 10 episodes on the channel, which include a guest appearance from British actor Simon Callow, alongside series regulars Roger Allam and Lesley Nicol. New locations include the reveal of a new kitchen space at the Bakery, allowing Sarah & Duck to join in with imaginative cooking alongside popular characters Bread Man and Cake.

Sarah & Duck is a Karrot Entertainment production for CBeebies U.K. and BBC Worldwide.  It was co-created by Karrot Entertainment’s creative director Tim O’Sullivan and designer/writer Sarah Gomes Harris.

 

On TV this week, see Alvin and The Chipmunks in 4 new episodes on Nick. Meanwhile on Cartoon Network, catch the newest editions of Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go!.

 

And so ends April for this week. As we jump towards May, season finale sweeps are in play as Summer 2017 fast approaches. We’ll keep a close eye if the Galaxy Guardians hit pay dirt like they did back in 2015. We’ll also inform you if your favorite animated shows survive or take a hike as fan viewership intensifies. As for us, we have 8 months left before our desktop entertainment studio closes down, but things could change ASAP. But for now, this is Gene Scallop saying see you next edition on Gene Scallop’s box office report. 

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Fast 8 continues box office romp with 38 million with 900 million topped worldwide; Lionsgate to debut the My Little Pony Movie October 6th; DreamWorks’ Spirit: Riding Free gallops to Netflix May 5th

 

Dominick continues to defend his family. Gene Scallop here with this week’s box office report. Fast 8 is still rolling after notching its best open this month with 164 million smackers. This week, worldwide numbers increased again with 900 million smackers giving the flick a comfortable 38 million lead. Let’s see why these worldwide numbers are still zooming:

 

The top of this weekend’s box office looks a lot like last weekend as the top three films remain the same, once again headlined by The Fate of the Furious as it closes in on $1 billion worldwide. As for the weekend’s new releases, Disney’s Born in China topped the list with the best start for a Disneynature title since the $10.6 million opening for 2012’s Chimpanzee. Otherwise, WB’s Unforgettable, Open Road’s The Promise, Cinelou’s Phoenix Forgotten and A24’s Free Fire all under-performed.

At #1 for a second weekend in a row is Universal’s The Fate of the Furious, which performed mostly as expected, dropping 61% in its second weekend and bringing in an estimated $38.6 million as its domestic cume now climbs to $163.6 million. Internationally, the film continued its impressive overseas run bringing in an estimated $163.4 million from 65 territories as its overseas total balloons to $744.8 million for a global cume that stands at $908.4 million. The film will cross $1 billion worldwide later this week and it will be making its debut in Japan on April 28.

And just as this weekend saw a repeat at #1, the same goes for second and third with Fox’s The Boss Baby and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast delivering estimated $12.75 million and $9.97 million weekends respectively. Both are strong performances with Boss Baby only dropping 20% as its cume closes in on $140 million domestically. Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast dipped only 28% as its cume is now over $471 million domestically.

Overseas, Beauty and the Beast debuted in its final international market, Japan, where it opened at #1 with an estimated $12.8 million as the film enjoyed an estimated $22.9 million weekend internationally bringing its international total to $629.2 million for a worldwide cume that stands at $1.1 billion.

Moving along, Disney also took the fourth slot at the weekend box office with the latest Disneynature release, Born in China, which managed to deliver an estimated $5.1 million from 1,508 theaters. This is an improvement over the last two Disneynature openings—Monkey Kingdom ($4.6m) and Bears ($4.8m)—and the film received an “A-” CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

Rounding out the top five is WB’s Going in Style, which also dropped only 20% and brought in an estimated $5 million as its cume now totals $31.7 million.

In sixth was Smurfs: The Lost Village, which brought in an estimated $4.5 million as its domestic cume now stands at $33.3 million. Internationally, the latest Smurfs feature has now crossed $100 million overseas after opening in China this weekend with an estimated $11.1 million.

We don’t get to the next new release until the seventh slot as Warner’s Unforgettable will clearly soon be forgotten as the film could only manage an estimated $4.8 million from 2,417 theaters, well below our forecast and pre-release industry expectations. While critics weren’t too enamored with the film—it scored a 45 on Metacritic—opening day audiences weren’t too impressed either as the film received a “C” CinemaScore.

In eighth is Fox Searchlight’s expanded release of Gifted, which delivered a solid $4.5 million weekend as it expanded into 1,986 theaters (+840). The film seems to have found some traction after something of a moderate start, whether that leads to Searchlight to shift plans and expand further remains to be seen.

Ninth place belongs to Open Road’s The Promise, which opened with just $4 million from 2,251 theaters. Reports have pegged the production budget for this one at $90 million and the film wasn’t without its own share of controversy leading up to release as was noted in a Washington Post article discussing the project with director Terry George including the film’s subject matter and the more than 120,000 ratings on IMDb in advance of the release, which we referenced in our weekend forecast.

Rounding out the top ten is Bleecker Street’s expanded release of The Lost City of Z. After opening in four theaters last weekend the film expanded to 641 locations and brought in an estimated $2.1 million for a strong, $3,497 per theater average.

Finishing just outside the top ten is Cinelou’s Phoenix Forgotten, which opened in 1,592 theaters with an estimated $2 million and just behind it is Universal’s Get Out, which brought in an estimated $1.7 million to start its ninth week in release as the domestic cume for the $4.5 million budgeted feature has now topped $170 million.

Much further down the list we find A24’s new release Free Fire, which failed to capture audience attention, finishing with an estimated $1.03 million from 1,070 theaters.

In limited release, IFC’s Citizen Jane opened in two theaters in New York, bringing in an estimated $33,760 ($16,880 PTA) and will open in Los Angeles next week, followed by a rollout into the top fifteen markets throughout May. Additionally, The Orchard’s Jeremiah Tower also debuted in two theaters, bringing in an estimated $24,068 ($12,034 PTA).

Overall, the weekend was down 40% compared to last week as the top twelve couldn’t combine for more than $100 million for only the second time this year.

Next weekend sees the release of STX’s The Circle starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, Pantelion’s How to be a Latin Lover starring Eugenio Derbez and the next potential Blumhouse breakout feature, Sleight, a sci-fi actioner starring Jacob Latimore that played at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

To recap, Fast 8 zooms quickly to record territory 1st, The Boss Baby stays alive in 2nd, Beauty and the Beast 2017 dances in 3rd Born in China delivers in 4th, and Going in Style has some oomph in 5th.

Last month, we previewed The My Little Pony Movie where the Mane 6 unexpectedly added a TV favorite to the cast. Lionsgate got to work on that immediately. 2 weeks later, the studio revealed the plot as well as an official release date. When will fans see the Mane 6 this year Danny?

Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)-As is fitting in the online age, Lionsgate Entertainment has released a first-look clip and movie poster for My Little Pony: The Movie via the film’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Directed by Jayson Thiessen from a screenplay written by Megan McCarthy, My Little Pony: The Movie features an all-star voice cast with Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana, with an original song performed by Sia.

Andrea Libman, Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain and Cathy Weseluck — the voice actors behind the “Mane 6” from Hasbro’s massively popular MLP: Friendship is Magic series — also return to voice their roles.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A new dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 (Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity) embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship and save their home.

 

 

My Little Pony: The Movie trots into theaters on October 6.

 

 

Remember DreamWorks’ Sprit: Stallion of the Cimarron from 2003? If you do, DreamWorks has got big news. The newest series continues where the flick left off as Spirit, the powerful mustang, finds new horse friends along with a new rider that will lead to a new journey destined to ride free, hence the new title. Who’s going to ride Spirit for the new series Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)- The Oscar-nominated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron introduced the world to a resilient mustang named Spirit, and now it’s inspired a brand new story set to enchant the next generation of fans in Spirit Riding Free, a Netflix original series from DreamWorks Animation Television, debuting exclusively May 5.

 

Spirit Riding Free follows the heartfelt journey of a gutsy 12-year-old girl named Lucky who befriends a wild mustang whom she aptly names Spirit. With her two best friends (and their horses) by her side, Lucky and her friends explore a world filled with endless rides, magnificent horses and never ending fun! Together they’ll push their own limits, harness the power of friendship and discover what it truly means to be free.

 

The voice cast includes Amber Frank as “Lucky,” Sydney Park as “Pru,” Bailey Gambertoglio as “Abigail, Darcy Rose Byrnes as “Maricela,” Nolan North as “Jim” and Kari Wahlgreen as “Aunt Cora.”

 

On TV this week, don’t miss 5 brand new episodes each of Adventure Time and We Bare Bears, as Finn, Jake, Panda, Grizz, and Ice bring on new encounters ahead as the CN alliance prepares to send off another team to make room for more teams to fill in since we found out last week Clarence is leaving the network next year with a few episodes to go for Uncle Grandpa and Adventure Time. And speaking of departing TV teams…

 

The excitement continues in May with more surprises than ever. As old cartoons such as Clarence and Uncle Grandpa leaving the CN alliance, we ask ourselves who’ll step in to fill the shoes for Mordecai and the Park Boys and as of last week Clarence? All of these answers will be revealed soon. So as we conclude this week in April, this is Gene Scallop saying, see you next edition on Gene Scallop’s box office report!

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The LEGO Batman Movie leads box office with 34 million going into President’s Day weekend, The Great Wall leads on with 18 million; Mattel to create 10-part Monster High spinoff series; Fisher-Price to create toy line for Rainbow Rangers

 

The dark knight continues to fight! Gene Scallop here for this week’s edition of Gene Scallop’s box office report. Last weekend The LEGO Batman Movie scored 55 million smackers on its first run. This time, the dark knight was helped with 34 million smackers as Universal’s The Great Wall debuted triumphantly with 18 million smackers. As President’s Day weekend continues, let’s see if both flicks can earn more than this week:

 

The LEGO Batman Movie topped the weekend box office for a second week in a row, holding off a trio of newcomers led by Universal’s The Great Wall. Fellow new releases, Fist Fight and particularly Fox’s A Cure for Wellness, fizzled in their respective debuts as the start of 2017’s Presidents’ Day weekend saw the top twelve come in 47% behind last year. While that was mostly to be expected, it’s a rather significant dip as 2017 is currently pacing 10.4% behind 2016’s yearly grosses.

With an estimated $34.2 million, WB’s The LEGO Batman Movie finished #1 by a considerable margin, dropping 35.4% and raising its domestic cume to $98.7 million after ten days in release. The film should top $43 million for the four-day weekend, pushing it over $100 million by end of day Monday. Internationally, LEGO Batman is up to $72 million after bringing in an estimated $21.5 million from 62 markets this weekend elevating its worldwide total over $170 million. The film opens in China on March 3.

In second place is Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker, performing mostly as expected, dipping 55% in its second weekend and bringing in an estimated $20.9 million for the three-day weekend as its domestic cume grows to $89.6 million after ten days in release. The film is expected to top $24 million for the four-day holiday weekend.

In addition to its domestic performance, Fifty Shades Darker finished atop the international weekend box office for a second week in a row, bringing in an estimated $43.7 million from 59 markets. As a result, the film’s international cume has grown to $187.2 million, bringing its worldwide total to $276.9 million.

In third we find the first of the weekend’s new releases in Universal and Legendary’s The Great Wall, which bested industry expectations delivering an estimated $18.1 million for the three-day and is expected to gross $21 million for the four-day weekend. The film received a so-so “B” CinemaScore from opening day audiences of which 59% were male vs. 41% female of which 50% were under the age of 30. Further demographic breakdowns show 45% of the opening weekend audience was Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 15% Asian and 10% African American.

With a reported budget of $150 million that domestic opening looks weak, but when you consider The Great Wall has already generated over $244 million internationally and now stands at $262.7 million worldwide things come a bit more in focus. However, a $150 million budget looms large and this one is still going to be looking for additional earnings as it continues to roll out internationally over the coming months as similar Legendary openers have failed to reach $45 million domestically.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter Two finished in fourth position with an estimated $16.5 million for the three-day and is expected to deliver an estimated $19.5 million for the four-day weekend. The film’s domestic cume stands at an estimated $58.6 million after just ten days, which already tops the entire domestic run of the first film‘s $43 million gross, a figure Chapter Two topped after just eight days in theaters. Internationally, John Wick 2 is up to $31.8 million, bringing its worldwide total to just over $90 million with openings in France, Belgium, South Korea and Mexico set for next weekend.

Rounding out the top five is our second new release of the weekend, that being Warner Bros’ release of New Line’s comedy Fist Fight, which delivered an estimated $12 million from 3,185 theater and is expected to finish just over $13 million for the four-day weekend. Opening day audiences were only mildly impressed, awarding the film a “B” CinemaScore. The audience was broken down 54% male vs. 46% female, of which 39% where under the age of 25. Looking ahead, a $30-35 million domestic run seems about right given the film’s opening performance.

Hidden Figures finished in sixth as its domestic cume climbs over $140 million, continuing to solidify its position as the highest grossing release among 2016’s Best Picture nominees. The film also brought in an estimated $7.3 million internationally this weekend as its worldwide cume now stands at $163.9 million. Its international expansion will see it add 15 additional markets next weekend, including Poland, UAE, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey.

Universal’s Split added an estimated $7 million as its cume now stands over $123 million domestically and Lionsgate’s La La Land added an estimated $4.5 million this weekend bringing its domestic cume to $133.5 million. Additionally, La La Land added $31.7 million from 73 international markets this weekend bringing its worldwide and international totals to an estimated $340.1 million and $206.1 million respectively.

Finally, rounding out the top ten is Fox’s A Cure for Wellness, delivering an estimated $4.2 million from 2,704 theaters. Expectations were low for this one headed into the weekend and while we tried to present a case for how it might be able to outperform in our weekend preview it just wasn’t to be. The film is expected to fall short of $5 million for the four-day and word of mouth doesn’t appear as if it will be helping matters over the coming weeks as it scored a disappointing “C+” Cinema Score with opening day audiences.

Internationally, A Cure for Wellness scrounged up $4.5 million from 2,734 screens in 36 markets including France and South Korea where it brought in an estimated $950K and $862K, respectively. The film expands into 7 markets next weekend, including the UK, Germany and Mexico.

Outside the top ten, Lionsgate’s release of Pantelion’s Everybody Loves Somebody delivered an estimated $1 million from 333 theaters, which is similar to the $979k Un Padre No Tan Padre opened with earlier this year as it currently stands at $2 million after 24 days in release.

Next weekend sees the release of Jordan Peele‘s Get Out, Open Road’s release of the long-delayed Collide and Lionsgate’s animated pick-up Rock Dog.

Tor recap, LEGO Batman defends the fort 1st, Fifty Shades Darker continues the fairy tale in 2nd, The Great Wall attacks from all sides in 3rd, John Wick Chapter 2 goes guns blazing in 4th, and Fist Fight misses big time in 5th.

Your favorite Monster High friends are back after last year’s biggest feature. The folks at Mattel Creations last week created an exclusive sequel to the Monster High franchise. How many episodes will it have on this exclusive Danny?

Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Mattel Creations has announced that a brand-new series of global hit animation Monster High, The Adventures of The Ghoul Squad, will be available exclusively on YouTube and YouTube Kids. This marks the first time Mattel has debuted an entire series to premiere on the platform.

The new 10-part series is the first full episodic series Mattel Creations has produced that will premiere exclusively on YouTube and YouTube Kids. Monster High: The Adventures of The Ghoul Squad will premiere on YouTube and be available through the YouTube Kids app which is currently available in 26 countries and has tens of millions of downloads to date. One episode will be released each week. The 11-minute adventures will be action-packed with all the same ghoulish charm and humor loved by Monster High fans, with an emphasis on friendship, family and working together. Additionally, a 44’ special is also being developed to compliment the series which will be available to broadcasters and SVOD partners.

“At Mattel Creations we have a clear understanding of where our audience are most likely to engage with our content and by creating content specifically for YouTube and YouTube Kids, we are recognizing that series content is not just for linear or SVOD,” said Mattel chief content officer Catherine Balsam-Schwaber. “YouTube Kids is a leader in reaching children aged 6-11 so, it’s the right platform for the Monster High content and fans. We are delighted to be furthering our partnership with YouTube Kids and welcome more families into the world of Monster High.”

“We’re thrilled that YouTube and YouTube Kids will be the exclusive home of Mattel’s engaging new series, Monster High: The Adventures of the Ghoul Squad,” said Malik Ducard, Global Head of Family and Learning for YouTube. “Mattel continues to bring enriching and entertaining content to the platform and we’re looking forward to this latest series.”

Monster High: The Adventures of The Ghoul Squad is an action and adventure series featuring some favourite ghouls from Monster High. Draculaura, Frankie, Clawdeen and their ghoul friends combine their wits and abilities as they travel to exotic locations, solve spine-tingling mysteries and rescue lost monsters all over the world. They are an elite squad of talented ghouls who make a pact to always be there for each other, and their fellow monsters, no matter what the odds. The series will be available in English, French, German, LATAM Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian and will launch later this year.

 

The big M also scored an adverting tie-in last week with Genius Brands’ own Rainbow Rangers, a team of 7 super heroines to defend the Earth. Only one brand was able to take on this mighty task. Who’s chosen to help Mattel since the reintroduction of Max Steel Dan?

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)-  Genius Brands International has signed Mattel subsidiary Fisher-Price as global master toy partner for the Company’s all-new original CGI-animated preschool series, Rainbow Rangers, marking the first licensing partnership as Genius Brands develops its global licensing program and content distribution strategy.

Currently in development on season one and two (104 x 11’ episodes) with broadcasters to be announced shortly, Rainbow Rangers features an all-star team of acclaimed creators that includes Rob Minkoff, Director of Disney’s Lion King, Shane Morris, who co-wrote Disney’s Frozen, along with his partner Tim Mansfield and New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-nominated writer Elise Allen (Dinosaur Train, Lion Guard) who is serving as head writer and co-creator. Emmy Award-winning producer of more than 5,000 episodes of children’s programming, Andy Heyward, serves as executive producer. Additionally, key designs are created by legendary Disney alum Ruben Aquino, who designed most of the major Disney characters from Little Mermaid through to Frozen.

Rainbow Rangers is an empowering, exciting, behind-the-curtain peek at the real lives of superheroes — Earth’s First Responders. The series seamlessly blends fantasy and action-adventure
with very relatable, accessible stories about friendship and saving the environment. The Rainbow Rangers — seven girls, each with her own wildly unique personality and powers — live a rainbow’s ride away in Kaleidoscopia. But whenever there’s trouble for the people, animals, or natural wonders of the Earth, the Rangers zoom into action and ride a rainbow across the sky to save the day! While watching the Rangers take on missions as huge as saving the Amazon rainforest and as small as helping a single lonely girl, viewers learn that there are all kinds of ways to make the world a better place. And since each Ranger is so unique, the show spreads the message that when we all come together, blending all our colors of the rainbow, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.

“With the tremendous and proven creative talent we have behind the production of Rainbow Rangers, we are committed to partnering with best-in-class licensing and retail partners who understand our inspiration for the brand,” commented Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO, Genius Brands. “We could not have asked for a better partner than Fisher-Price, whose pedigree speaks for itself, to fulfill our vision with the development of a unique and robust toy program for worldwide retail distribution.”

Rainbow Rangers is an exciting content series that we believe will strike a relevant cord with its mission based adventures and message of empowerment for preschool girls,” said Susie Lecker, EVP & Chief Brand Officer, Mattel’s Toy Box. “Bringing Rainbow Rangers to life though engaging product allows us to address the opportunity in the preschool toy aisle for a girl targeted, heroic, action focused line. We’re looking forward to the continued collaboration with Genius Brands and the incredible pedigree of talent behind the development of the series, to realize the full potential of a compelling toy line.”

Genius Brands is currently developing a global, merchandising, licensing and retail program across all key categories for Rainbow Rangers to coincide with the series launch. As global master toy partner, Fisher Price will create a broad range of preschool products in the toy category, including dolls/figures, playsets, plush, vehicles, technology and interactive toys, musical toys, role play and much more.

Stone Newman, President of Global Consumer Products, Worldwide Content Sales & Marketing, Genius Brands said: “Since debuting the series at the MIPJr market in Cannes last October, we have received a tremendous amount of interest for Rainbow Rangers from broadcast and licensing partners around the globe. We are thrilled to announce that Fisher-Price, the world leader in the preschool category, will lead the charge of our Rainbow Rangers licensing and merchandising program. Mattel and its Fisher Price team immediately saw how toyetic this brand is and that it lends itself to an extremely broad toy program. With Mattel’s creativity and ingenuity, we will no doubt present an unparalleled preschool program for the global marketplace that kids will love!”

 

 

On TV this week on Nick, don’t miss the season 9 finale of SpongeBob as we possibly say good bye to the Krusty Krab’s own Krabby Patty. Then, catch new episodes of The Loud House. And catch the season opener of Bunsen is a Beast! On CN this week, more new episodes of Gumball are on the horizon as well as an all new Teen Titans Go!, Clarence, and Steven Universe. And catch the sneak peek of CN’s new series, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs before it begins March 6th. Let’s just hope food doesn’t rain down on us next time on Gene Scallop’s box office report.

 

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The LEGO Batman Movie tops 55 million, Fiifty Shades Darker moves 2nd; Zootopia wins 6 Annie’s including best animated feature; Disney attributes 100 million for animation crisis

It’s great to be Batman! Gene Scallop here on this week’s box office report. The dark knight faces off against The Joker, but this time, he’s not alone. With 55 million smackers, with Robin and Batgirl by his side, it’s going to take a superhero team big enough to take down the clown prince of crime. Let’s check it out:

It was the best weekend at the 2017 box office so far, led by WB’s The LEGO Batman Movie along with fellow newcomers Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter Two topping the box office in that order. But along with the new releases, five of the weekend’s holdovers, especially Lion, held on extremely well, dropping 35% or less compared to last weekend. Overall the weekend top twelve came in just a fraction below our overall expectation of $180 million as the top twelve combined for an estimated $176.9 million.
At #1, WB’s second film in their LEGO franchise, The LEGO Batman Movie, delivered an estimated $55.6 million, which is well below Mojo’s forecast and even a bit below the $60 million the studio was expecting. However, opening day audiences gave the film a strong “A-” CinemaScore, which plays well with the strong critical reception the film received. Of that audience, 48% were males vs. 52% females and 48% were over the age of 25.
Looking ahead, outside of Lionsgate’s acquisition of Rock Dog due in theaters in a couple weeks, there isn’t a lot of competition in terms of animated films in the near future and the extended holiday weekend next weekend should ensure LEGO Batman holds on nicely. As for its overall domestic performance, after a $69 million opening, The LEGO Movie delivered a $257.7 million domestic total. A similar performance for LEGO Batman would mean a $207+ million run, which means we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if this one can top $200 million.

Outside of North America, LEGO Batman brought in an estimated $37 million from 60 overseas markets for a combined, $92.6 worldwide opening. Some highlights include an estimated $9.3 million opening in the U.K. along with openings in Mexico ($2.6m), Germany ($2.3m), Russia ($2.2m), Brazil ($2m), France ($1.6m), Spain ($1.5m) and Italy ($1.2m). Looking ahead, the film opens in China on March 3 followed by openings in Australia (March 30) and Japan (April 1).
In second position is Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker, which topped the box office on Friday and held on well over the weekend, finishing with a slightly stronger than expected $46.79 million from 3,710 theaters. Opening day audiences gave the film a “B+” CinemaScore and of that audience 70% was female vs. 30% male. The age breakdown saw 56% of the audience coming in under the age of 30 and 34% of the audience was Caucasian, 21% Hispanic and 14% African American.
Looking ahead, while this opening is nearly $40 million less than 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, that was to be expected and how it plays this week with Valentine’s Day on Tuesday and next weekend’s four-day holiday weekend will be the true test as Fifty Shades of Grey dipped a massive 74% in its second weekend while Darker should play a little more traditionally. What does that mean? Well, proportionally, Fifty Shades Darker’s opening compared to Fifty Shades of Grey is spot on when compared to the performance of Sex and the City to its sequel, which dropped 60% in its second weekend, ending its run just shy of $100 million, a number that would appear to be the bar to keep an eye domestically with $125 million looking like the ceiling for this release.
Overseas, Fifty Shades Darker delivered an estimated $100.1 million from 57 markets, the fourth largest international opening weekend ever for an R-rated film, behind Fifty Shades of Grey ($157.1m), Deadpool ($132.2m) and The Matrix Revolutions ($117.6m). Top markets include Germany ($11m), U.K. ($9.7m), France ($8.7m), Brazil ($7.5m), Russia ($6.7m), Italy ($6.5m), Australia ($5.9m), Spain ($5.6m) and Mexico ($2.7m). The film has four more territories in which it will be released, the last of which being Japan on June 23.
Third place belongs to Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter Two, which more than doubled its predecessor’s opening with an estimated $30 million from 3,113 theaters. Heading into the weekend we were wondering if the R-rated actioner could manage to cross $30 million and with estimates it appears it just barely made it. Opening day audiences scored the film with an “A-” CinemaScore (the first received a “B”) to go along with its 76 Metacritic score (the first received a 68). The opening day audience was 64% male vs. 36% female, identical to the first film.
Looking ahead, the question now is to wonder if John Wick 2 can approach $90 million domestically. The first film delivered a 2.98x multiplier, which would suggest a nearly $90 million domestic run for the sequel. Based on the CinemaScore, opening weekend and R-rating a run closer to $73 million would trend closer to the average, but don’t be surprised if Wick 2 crosses $80 million if not a little bit higher.
Internationally, John Wick 2 debuted in 41 markets with an estimated $10.6 million of which Russia was the only major market release where it brought in an estimated $2.5 million, just $100,000 shy of the first John Wick feature in the country. Other openers included estimated results in the Philippines ($1.3m), Taiwan ($775k), Malaysia ($754k) and Hong Kong ($525k). The next major markets set to release later this week are Brazil and Germany on February 16 and the UK a day later.
Universal’s Split finished in fourth, dropping just 35.4% for an estimated $9.3 million as its domestic cume climbs to $112.3 million. The film will soon pass The Village’s $114.2 million domestic total to become M. Night Shyamalan’s fourth largest domestic release.
Rounding out the top five is the continued strong performance of Hidden Figures with an estimated $8 million, dropping just 21.5% in its eighth week since its limited, Christmas Day debut. Its domestic cume now stands at an impressive $131.4 million, currently the highest grossing domestic release of the 2016 Best Picture nominees.
Elsewhere in the top ten, Lionsgate’s La La Land grossed an estimated $5 million (-32.2%) for a total domestic cume of over $126 million. Additionally, the film brought in an estimated $11.5 million internationally bringing its worldwide total to an estimated $294.3 million through Sunday.
The best holdover in the top ten was the Weinstein’s Lion, which saw a 9% bump compared to last weekend despite dropping 68 theaters. The Oscar contender delivered an estimated $4 million this weekend as its domestic cume now stands at $30.3 million since its limited bow 12 weeks ago.
Outside the top ten, other new openers include FIP’s Jolly LLB 2, which brought in an estimated $780k from 173 theaters ($4,509 PTA); Magnolia’s release of The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017 brought in an estimated $660k from 184 theaters ($3,587 PTA); China Lion’s Duckweed debuted in 27 theaters with an estimated $160k ($5,926 PTA); Fox Searchlight’s A United Kingdom delivered an estimated $70k from four theaters ($17,500 PTA) and Sony Classics’ Oscar contender Land of Mine debuted with an estimated $15,758 from three theaters ($5,253 PTA). Lastly, Oscilloscope’s Kedi delivered the best per theater opening average of the year so far as it brought in an estimated $40,510 from one theater this weekend.
Additional highlights this weekend include the release of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which brought in a whopping $61.9 million in China this weekend from 6,600 locations. It’s the largest opening for a Hollywood film in February and with $6 million it delivered the second largest IMAX February opening in China behind The Monkey King 2. The film’s international cume now stands at an estimated $186.5 million for a worldwide total nearing $230 million, placing it second to 2002’s xXx within the franchise. Return of Xander Cage will release in Japan on February 24.
This weekend also saw Illumination and Universal Pictures’ Sing top $500 million worldwide as it brought in an estimated $7.5 million from 61 overseas markets this weekend bringing its overseas cume to $235.5 million. Combined with $265.3 million domestically the film’s worldwide cume stands at $500.8 million.
Next weekend sees the release of Universal’s The Great Wall into 3,200+ theaters on the heels of the film already grossing $224.6 million internationally. Other openers include the WB comedy Fist Fight into ~3,000 theaters and Fox’s A Cure for Wellness into 2,700 theaters.
For a look at this weekend’s estimated results click here and we’ll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
Until next bat time, let’s see if the dark knight’s plan pays off.
Zootopia’s been on a roll since their Golden Globe win. The flick scored big time at the Annie’s last week. Let’s see if their winning streak continues.

Disney’s ‘Zootopia’ wins best animated feature at the 44th Annie Awards.

LOS ANGELES — Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia takes the top honor as Best Animated Feature at ASIFA-Hollywood‘s 44th Annual Annie Awards, Saturday evening at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Zootopia also received an Annies trophy for Outstanding Storyboarding – Dean Wellins; Outstanding Character Design – Cory Loftis; Outstanding Voice Acting – Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde; Outstanding Writing – Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; and Best Directing – Byron Howard & Rich Moore. Best Animated Feature – Independent was presented to the film, The Red Turtle (Studio Ghibli/Wild Bunch/Why Not Productions).
LAIKA’s Kubo And The Two Strings garnered three Annies for Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation, Production Design and Editorial; Best Animated Special Production was awarded to Pear Cider and Cigarettes (Massive Swerve Studios and Passion Pictures Animation); Best Animated Short Subject Piper (Pixar Animation Studios); Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial Loteria ‘Night Shift’ (Passion Pictures Ltd.); Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children Tumble Leaf – Mighty Mud Movers/Having a Ball (Amazon Studios and Bix Pix Entertainment); Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children Adventure Time – Bad Jubies (Bix Pix Entertainment, Cartoon Network, Frederator Studios); Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for a General Audience Bob’s Burgers – Glued, Where’s My Bob? (Bento Box Entertainment); and Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production: The Jungle Book (Walt Disney Pictures).
“It was a big year for animation all around. We saw a huge number of projects, great diversity of subjects and styles and increasing international participation,” remarked Frank Gladstone, Annie Awards executive producer. “Animation’s positive impact on communities worldwide was evident throughout the evening. It was a great night.”
Presenting the coveted Annie trophies this year were Lakers basketball legend, Kobe Bryant; actress Jenna Elfman; animator and film director, Patrick Osborne; Auli’l Cravalho – voice of Moana; animator, author and illustrator, Glen Keane; actor and comedian, Tom Kenny; Paige O’Hara – 25th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast; actor & director, James Hong; directors Travis Knight – Kubo and the Two Strings and Michael Dudok de Wit – The Red Turtle; comedian Stephen Kramer Glickman and actress Chelsea Kane, along with ASIFA-Hollywood President, Jerry Beck and Executive Director, Frank Gladstone.          
ASIFA-Hollywood was thrilled to have all three Winsor McCay recipients in attendance. The Winsor McCay recipients this year are legendary animator Dale Baer; independent animation champion Caroline Leaf; and influential anime director Mamoru Oshii for career contributions to the art form. The Ub Iwerks Award was presented to Google Spotlight’s Virtual Reality Platform for technical advancement; and the Special Achievement Award was presented to Life, Animated, a documentary about animation’s effect on one young autistic man’s journey. The June Foray Award was presented to Bill & Sue Kroyer for their career-long benevolent and public-spirited influence within the animation community. Certificate of Merit awards were presented to ASIFA-Hollywood volunteer coordinator Leslie Ezeh, and ASIFA-Hollywood’s office manager Gary Perkovac.
The Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 36 categories from best feature, best feature – independent, production design, character animation, and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting, and have often been a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The ceremony was live-streamed again this year at http://www.annieawards.org/watch-it-live where animation enthusiasts and those unable to attend the event, could watch the show.
The complete list of winners at the 44th Annual Annie Awards is shown below:
Best Animated Feature

Zootopia
Directing in an Animated Feature Production

Byron Howard, Rich Moore

Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production

Patrick Osborne

Pearl

Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures
Best Animated Feature-Independent

The Red Turtle 

Studio Ghibli – Wild Bunch – Why Not Productions
Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production

Bob’s Burgers 

Episode: Glued, Where’s My Bob?

Bento Box Entertainment
Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Children

Adventure Time

Episode: Bad Jubies

Bix Pix Entertainment Cartoon Network Frederator Studios
Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children

Tumble Leaf

Episode: Mighty Mud Movers / Having a Ball

Amazon Studios and Bix Pix Entertainment
Writing in an Animated Feature Production

Jared Bush, Phil Johnston

Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Writing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Lizzie Molyneux, Wendy Molyneux

Bob’s Burgers

Episode: The Hormone-iums

Bento Box Entertainment
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

(tie)

Auli’i Cravalho as Moana

Moana

Walt Disney Animation Studios

and

Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde

Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Voice Acting in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Carlos Alazaraqui as Ponce de León

The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show

Episode: Ponce de León

DreamWorks Animation Television
Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial

Loteria, “Night Shift”

Passion Pictures Ltd
Best Animated Special Production

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Massive Swerve Studios and Passion Pictures Animation
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

Nelson Lowry, Trevor Dalmer, August Hall, Ean McNamara

Kubo and the Two Strings

LAIKA
Pearl production design winner Tuna Bora gets a play-off after dropping her Annie trophy, having a nice recovery and, as a first-generation immigrant “from a predominantly Muslim country,” hails inclusion in the animation community. It’s clear that President Trump doesn’t have many if any fans here tonight.
Production Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Tuna Bora

Pearl

Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures
Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production

Jan Maas

Kubo and the Two Strings

LAIKA
Character Animation in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Mike Chaffe

DreamWorks Trollhunters

Episode: Becoming, Part 1

DreamWorks Animation Television
Character Animation in a Live Action Production

Andrew R. Jones, Peta Bayley, Gabriele Zucchelli, Benjamin Jones

The Jungle Book

Walt Disney Pictures
Character Animation in a Video Game

Jeremy Yates, Almudena Soria, Eric Baldwin, Paul Davies, Tom Bland

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Naughty Dog
Word games with presenter Kobe Bryant is getting laughs, but the real score is how good his onstage delivery is.
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

Cory Loftis

Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Character Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Victor Maldonado, Alfredo Torres, Jules Rigolle

DreamWorks Trollhunters

Episode: Win, Lose or Draal

DreamWorks Animation Television
Music in an Animated Feature Production

Hans Zimmer, Richard Harvey, Camille

The Little Prince

Netflix and On Animation Studios
Music in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Scot Stafford, Alexis Harte, JJ Wiesler

Pearl

Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures
Animated Effects in a Live Action Production

Georg Kaltenbrunner, Michael Marcuzzi, Thomas Bevan, Andrew Graham, Jihyun Yoon

Doctor Strange – MIRROR DIMENSION

Marvel Studios
Animated Effects in an Animated Feature Production

Marlon West, Erin V. Ramos, Blair Pierpont, Ian J. Coony, John M. Kosnik

Moana

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Best Animated Short Subject

Piper

Pixar Animation Studios
Best Student Film

Citipati

Director: Andreas Feix  

Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

Christopher Murrie

Kubo and the Two Strings
Editorial in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Illya Owens

Disney Mickey Mouse

Episode: Sock Burglar

Disney Television Animation
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Dean Wellins

Zootopia 

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Storyboarding in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

Hyunjoo Song

DreamWorks TrollhunteEpisode: Win, Lose or Draal

DreamWorks Animation Television
Winsor McCay Awards

Dale Baer

Caroline Leaf

Mamoru Oshii.
Ub Iwerks Award

Google Spotlight’s Virtual Reality Platform
June Foray Award

Bill & Sue Kroyer
Special Achievement Award

Life, Animated documentary feature
The animation crisis has gone on since 2014 and it looks like Disney has come up with a few smackers to cover it. Let’s check out how much:
Disney has agreed to a $100 million settlement in the class-action lawsuit filed in December 2014 claiming that it and other Hollywood studios violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the wages of animation and VFX artists.

According to a report by Variety, the settlement — which was disclosed in a court filing on Tuesday — covers Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Two Pic MC, formerly known as ImageMovers. The Disney settlement follows a $50 million settlement with DreamWorks Animation, $13 million with Sony Imageworks and $5.95 million with 20th Century Fox-owned Blue Sky coming out of the same legal action.
The class-action lawsuit alleges that Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and other studios violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the wages of animation and VFX artists via non-poaching agreements. 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.
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.
The U.S. District Court in San Jose has scheduled a hearing on the Disney settlement for March 9th, 2017.

And with that said like Batman, let’s stay inside the shadow next time on Gene Scallop’s box office report.

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