Monthly Archives: June 2011

Cars 2″ beats “Kung Fu Panda 2″ in foreign race

Cars 2

Cars 2

In the bat­tle of the sequels at the inter­na­tional box office, Pixar-Disney’s Cars 2 flew past the check­ered flag over the week­end, open­ing at $42.9 million.

Although it played in fewer coun­tries, Cars 2 out­grossed Dream­Works Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2.

Cars 2 was screened in 3,129 loca­tions in 18 over­seas coun­tries, mak­ing $13,710 per venue. Dis­ney called the results “25% of our poten­tial performance.”

This was also 127% ahead of the amount from the orig­i­nal Cars (2006), which grossed $217.9 mil­lion over­seas. Dis­ney pointed out that the Cars 2 open­ing beat by 80% that of Up (2009), which made a total of $438.3 mil­lion abroad.

The weekend’s for­eign tak­ings over­took by 77% those of Rata­touille (2007), which made a total of $417.3 mil­lion, and by 4%)those of last year’s Toy Story 3 ($648.2 million).

Accord­ing to Dis­ney, the open­ing three-day gross total world­wide reached $110.9 mil­lion. The largest over­seas mar­kets for Cars 2 mar­kets were Rus­sia ($9.3 mil­lion), Mex­ico ($8.1 mil­lion), Brazil ($7.6 mil­lion), Italy ($5.7 mil­lion) and Aus­tralia ($5.2 million).

Kung Fu Panda 2 was seen in over three times as many coun­tries over­seas this past week­end as Cars 2. Although it had led the for­eign box office for the pre­vi­ous two week­ends, the bruin sequel fell to No. 2, hav­ing made $32.9 mil­lion at 10,467 venues in 46 countries.

Released by Para­mount, the 3D ani­mated movie has made $336 mil­lion since it debuted over­seas May 26. In Aus­tralia this past week­end, it pre­miered at No. 2 (after Cars 2), col­lect­ing $4.87 mil­lion from 448 movie houses.

Still in the­aters over­seas, Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures’ Hop has made a total of $69.2 million.

Cars 2″ co-director Brad Lewis switching studios

Brad Lewis

Brad Lewis

Long­time Pixar fig­ure Brad Lewis, co-director with John Las­seter of the just-released Cars 2, is chang­ing garages.

Lewis is mov­ing on to direct ani­mated fea­tures at Tra­di­tion Stu­dios, based in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The com­pany is owned by Dig­i­tal Domain Media Group.

Cars 2 topped the North Amer­i­can box office this week­end and grossed over $115 mil­lion around the world. Dur­ing his 10-year tenure at Pixar, Lewis also pro­duced the Oscar-winning Rata­touille, which made $624 mil­lion worldwide.

Tra­di­tion Stu­dios opened in 2009 to develop and co-produce orig­i­nal, family-oriented CG fea­tures. Although no titles have been announced so far. the stu­dio is con­struct­ing a 115,000-square-foot facil­ity, set to open in Port St. Lucie in December.

Dig­i­tal Domain is partly owned by direc­tor Michael Bay. Its hold­ings also include Dig­i­tal Domain’s flag­ship VFX facil­ity in Venice, Cal­i­for­nia, which has pro­duced visual effects for such films as the Tron remake and The Curi­ous Case of Ben­jamin But­ton.

I am excited to join a com­pany with Dig­i­tal Domain’s tal­ent and exper­tise and to have an oppor­tu­nity to be a part of its team in cre­at­ing family-friendly sto­ries and adven­tures,” Lewis said in a statement.

Before join­ing Pixar, Lewis was at PDI/Dreamworks for over 11 years. There, he was a pro­ducer on 1998’s Antz and exec­u­tive pro­duced TV movies. He was also an exec­u­tive producer/vice-president of pro­duc­tion for Pacific Data Images.

Lewis was nom­i­nated for an Emmy for the first 3D computer-animated episode of The Simp­sons. He won an Emmy for graphic design for ABC’s Mon­day Night Foot­ball.

Sinbad The Sailor (1935) — ComiColor Cartoons Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: In his short stint away from Dis­ney, leg­end Ub Iwerks pro­duced “Sin­bad The Sailor” among other shorts ~ http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/3611-Sinbad_The_Sailor.html

Sinbad The Sailor (1935) - ComiColor

Sin­bad The Sailor (1935) — ComiColor

Sin­bad The Sailor (1935) — Comi­Color Car­toons The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Sin­bad bat­tles a band of pirates (includ­ing a hearty, liquor-swilling pirate chief) at sea and on a trop­i­cal isle. A giant bird res­cues Sin­bad and flies off with him, and he ends up back on his ship with the pirates’ trea­sure. The pirate flag takes on dif­fer­ent expressions.

Watch Sin­bad The Sailor at Big Car­toon DataBase

Ratatouille (2007) — Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

CotD: Since every­thing is com­ing up PIXAR these days, today we have “Rata­touille” from 2007 ~ http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/62177-Ratatouille.html

Ratatouille (2007) - Feature Length Theatrical Animated

Rata­touille (2007) — Fea­ture Length The­atri­cal Animated

Rata­touille (2007) — Fea­ture Length The­atri­cal Ani­mated Film

A rat named Remy dreams of becom­ing a great chef despite his family’s wishes and the obvi­ous prob­lem of being a rat in a decid­edly rodent-phobic pro­fes­sion. When fate places Remy in the city of Paris, he finds him­self ide­ally sit­u­ated beneath a restau­rant made famous by his culi­nary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the appar­ent dan­gers of being an unwanted vis­i­tor in the kitchen at one of Paris’ most exclu­sive restau­rants, Remy forms an unlikely part­ner­ship with Lin­guini, the garbage boy, who inad­ver­tently dis­cov­ers Remy’s amaz­ing tal­ents. They strike a deal, ulti­mately set­ting into motion a hilar­i­ous and excit­ing chain of extra­or­di­nary events that turns the culi­nary world of Paris upside down.

Remy finds him­self torn between fol­low­ing his dreams or return­ing for­ever to his pre­vi­ous exis­tence as a rat. He learns the truth about friend­ship, fam­ily and hav­ing no choice but to be who he really is, a rat who wants to be a chef.

Watch Rata­touille at Big Car­toon DataBase

Trailer Up For PIXAR’s “Brave”

Pixar's Brave

Pixar’s Brave

PIXAR’s Cars 2 is still fresh (and clean­ing up!) in the­aters, and PIXAR releases the first video trailer for the next big film, Brave.

Brave, set for release in about a year, on June 22, 2012. Brave is said to be a fairy tale story, a first for a film from PIXAR. It is also the first PIXAR film not directed by the core group of direc­tors at the stu­dio. Brave‘s direc­tor is Mark Andrews, who pre­vi­ously directed the short, One Man Band.

Described by Toy Story 3 direc­tor lee Unkrick as “Gritty”, PIXAR describes the film thus:

A rugged and mythic Scot­land is the set­ting for Pixar’s action-adventure Brave. The impetu­ous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daugh­ter of roy­alty, would pre­fer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother com­pels Merida to make a reck­less choice, which unleashes unin­tended peril on her father’s king­dom and her mother’s life. Merida strug­gles with the unpre­dictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. The sto­ry­telling wiz­ards of Pixar con­jure humor, fan­tasy and excite­ment in this rich High­land tale.”

The film stars Reese With­er­spoon as Princess Merida and Emma Thomp­son as her mother, Queen Eli­nor. Addi­tional voices include Billy Con­nolly as King Fer­gus, Tom Hulce as Prince Jef­frey, and Julie Wal­ters as a witch.

You can see the trailer on the BCDBBrave” page now.

Eagleman Stag” wins at Los Angeles Film Festival

The Eagleman Stag

The Eagle­man Stag

Mikey Please’s “The Eagle­man Stag,” pro­duced at Britain’s Royal Col­lege of Art, won the award for Best Ani­mated Short Film at the Los Ange­les Film Fes­ti­val, the fest announced Sunday.

The Eagle­man Stag” fea­tured the voices of David Cann, Tony Guil­foyle, this unique stop-motion ani­mated film depicts a man’s haunt­ing obses­sion with the pas­sage of time and his unortho­dox rela­tion­ship with a beetle.

The jury pre­sented the award “for mix­ing inno­v­a­tive three-dimensional paper-cut ani­ma­tion, a stun­ning white-on-white visual style, and a wryly orig­i­nal sense of storytelling.”

The award for Best Nar­ra­tive Short Film went to Saba Riazi’s The Wind Is Blow­ing on My Street. The award for Best Doc­u­men­tary Short Film went to Susan Koenen’s I Am a Girl!.

The Audi­ence Award for Best Nar­ra­tive Fea­ture went to Attack the Block, directed by Joe Cor­nish, and the Audi­ence Award for Best Doc­u­men­tary Fea­ture went to Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Trav­els of a Tribe Called Quest, directed by Michael Rapa­port. Asif Kapadia’s Senna won the Audi­ence Award for Best Inter­na­tional Feature.

The Audi­ence Award for Best Short Film went to Blind Date, directed by Joe Rosen. Can’t Shake This Feel­ing, directed by The Gen­eral Assembly’s Adam Lit­tke, Ryan McNeill, Adam Willis won the Audi­ence Award for Best Music Video for Grum.

This year’s Los Ange­les Film Fes­ti­val screened over 200 fea­ture films, shorts and music videos, rep­re­sent­ing more than 30 countries.

Lost Town of Switez” wins at Palm Springs fest

The Lost Town of Switez

The Lost Town of Switez

Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Short­Fest named a Polish-Canadian pro­duc­tion by Kamil Polak titled “The Lost Town of Switez” as the Best Ani­mated Short at the festival.

A spec­tac­u­larly ani­mated story about a trav­eler whose jour­ney is diverted when his car­riage dri­ver falls asleep, The Lost Town of Switez won First Place — along with $2,000. The film is an epic tale across wild lands and towns that glim­mer like jew­els, about a man who becomes a hero.

As the first-place win­ner in the cat­e­gory, The Lost Town of Switez is now eli­gi­ble for Acad­emy Awards consideration.

Win­ning Sec­ond Place and $500 was Inter­reg­num, directed by Nick Fox-Gieg of Canada. In 1944 Vichy France, an unlikely group finds a way to make thou­sands of peo­ple invis­i­ble at the same time.

A Jury Spe­cial Cita­tion in the ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory went to France’s The Cord-Woman (La Femme Á Cordes) for Best Sound Design. In this gor­geous jour­ney into the dark cor­ners of freak shows and under­ground bur­lesque, the pro­tag­o­nist devel­ops an uncon­trol­lable crush on a mis­treated per­former. Will he save her or destroy himself?

The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more, directed by William Joyce and Bran­don Old­en­burg, was named Audi­ence Favorite Ani­ma­tion Short at the fes­ti­val. A gor­geously ren­dered alle­gory about the cura­tive effects of story, this tale con­cerns a man who has built his whole life around his love of books.

Runner-up in the Audi­ence Favorite Ani­ma­tion Short cat­e­gory was Danny & Annie, by Dave Isay and Tim Rauch. A doc­u­men­tary offer­ing an unex­pected vision of what true love looks like, this inti­mate and heart­break­ing film was based on a tale from National Pub­lic Radio’s Sto­rycorps project.

The Birds Upstairs, by Christo­pher Cinq-Mars Jarvis, won First Place for Best Stu­dent Ani­ma­tion. Exquis­ite ani­ma­tion exposes a couple’s despair when, after years of try­ing, they at last have a child who, to their dis­may, doesn’t look any­thing like them. The short is a beau­ti­fully dis­turb­ing exam­i­na­tion of famil­ial expectations.

Sec­ond Place was assigned to Heavy Heads, by Helena Frank of Den­mark. It is an oddly intrigu­ing study on lone­li­ness, despair and alien­ation… and the unique ser­vices of a friendly fly.

The largest short film fes­ti­val and mar­ket in North Amer­ica, the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Short­Fest awarded a total of $128,800 in prizes, includ­ing $14,000 in cash awards, in 18 categories.

Through­out the fes­ti­val, 331 short films were screened, along with over 3,000 film­maker sub­mis­sions avail­able in the film market.

The fes­ti­val saw a large rise in atten­dance this year on all fronts, includ­ing ticket buy­ers, film­mak­ers and film indus­try delegates.

It’s been a remark­able year for Short­Fest, with record atten­dance and a rap­tur­ous response to the pro­gram­ming by audi­ences, indus­try and film­mak­ers alike,” said fes­ti­val direc­tor Dar­ryl Mac­don­ald. “The Film Mar­ket and indus­try pro­grams were par­tic­u­lary active, adding hugely to the Festival’s suc­cess. I’m con­fi­dent a num­ber of major future film­mak­ers emerged here this year and will go on to enliven the fea­ture film world.”

Scene from Kamil Polak’s The Lost Town of Switez.

Possible Toy Story 4?

Tom Hanks Woody

Tom Hanks Woody

Tom Hanks was asked if any­one at Pixar has talked to him about voic­ing Woody again on a pos­si­ble Toy Story 4. Hanks was being inter­viewed on BBC Break­fast News on Mon­day while over­seas to pro­mote his new movie Larry Crowne. Hanks not only revealed that he feels con­fi­dent he will be voic­ing Woody in a fourth Toy Story the­atri­cal, but that the Pixar peo­ple are “work­ing on it now.”

It is pos­si­ble that a sequel is being tossed about as a poten­tial fea­ture film. But plenty of ideas get tossed up in the air; it is the really good ones that do come down as the fea­tures PIXAR makes. That is why all twelve of their fea­ture films ruled the box office on release. So at this point, don’t count on it.

Cars 2″ in pole position, opens with $68 million

Cars 2

Cars 2

For the 12th time run­ning, a Pixar film has opened to win the race at the box office.

The Dis­ney unit’s Cars 2 defeated all chal­lengers this week­end with a $68 mil­lion opener, accord­ing to stu­dio esti­mates Sunday.

The orig­i­nal Cars (2006) opened at $60.1 mil­lion. How­ever, it sold more tick­ets than Cars 2, as admis­sion prices are higher nowadays.

Cars 2 debuted con­sid­er­ably below last year’s Toy Story 3, which set a stu­dio record of $110.3 mil­lion. How­ever, its ini­tial week­end was almost as suc­cess­ful as that of Up, which opened in 2009 at $68.1 million.

Cameron Diaz’s class­room com­edy Bad Teacher opened in sec­ond place this week­end with $31 million.

Pixar first won at the box office with its ini­tial fea­ture film, Toy Story (1995).

Easter Yeggs (1947) — Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Despite its Easter theme, “Easter Yeggs” as released in June! ~ http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/643-Easter_Yeggs.html

Easter Yeggs (1947) - Looney Tunes

Easter Yeggs (1947) — Looney Tunes

Easter Yeggs (1947) — Looney Tunes The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

As Bugs Bunny reads a book on “How to Mul­ti­ply,” he is inter­rupted by a cry­ing Easter Bunny who com­plains of sore feet. Bugs vol­un­teers, “I’ll deliver the Tech­ni­color hen fruit for ya!” Reminded to “keep smil­ing,” Bugs sings a gooney song, “I’m the Easter Rab­bit, Hooray.”

His first stop is a mean lit­tle kid (so mean that, in one scene, he clicks off a gun in his mouth) who heck­les the hare by chant­ing, “I Wanna Easter Egg, I Wanna Easter Egg.” Return­ing, Bugs is goaded by the Easter Bunny into one more try.

This time, Bugs is greeted by ban­ners and posters wel­com­ing the Easter Bunny. It’s the home of Elmer Fudd, who is hun­gry for “Easter wab­bit stew.” Elmer is dis­guised as a baby, but Bugs is sus­pi­cious. Bugs smashes an egg in Elmer’s hand and takes off. Elmer ambushes Bugs: “I can’t miss with my Dick Twacy hat!” The trap sends Bugs and Elmer through a Tun­nel of Love. Bugs per­forms a magic trick which destroys Elmer’s pocket watch. Fudd gets his gun and chases Bugs. The Easter Bunny puts up a rope to stop Bugs. In a daze, Bugs returns and man­ages to paint Elmer’s head like an Easter egg for the mean lit­tle kid to pound with his ham­mer. Bugs takes care of the Easter Bunny by light­ing a fuse on an explo­sive egg. Bugs reminds the Easter Bunny: “Keep smiling.”

Watch Easter Yeggs at Big Car­toon DataBase