Tag Archives: DreamWorks

Guardians Slow to Rise, Opens in Fourth Place

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Such childhood heroes as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus save the world in Rise of the Guardians, but they didn’t stop the movie from opening in fourth place over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend.

Featuring the voices of Chris Pine and Alec Baldwin, the DreamWorks Animation movie made $32.6 million since opening Wednesday, including $24 million over the weekend itself.

That’s a far cry from the $64 million made by teen vampire sequel The Twilight Saga: Breaking Yawn – Part 2 in its second weekend.

Rise of the Guardians was produced by DWA for about $145 million. Distributor Paramount Pictures had expected it to gross $35 million in its first five days, according to Box Office Mojo.

Based on children’s author William Joyce’s book series The Guardians of Childhood, the film is the last being distributed by Paramount will release for DWA. Next year, DreamWorks Animation movies will be distributed by Fox.

Observing “the great parent reactions we’ve seen” to the film, Anne Globe, Dreamworks’ chief marketing officer, said it was one of the few choices for families through the end of the year. The studio is “hoping for very long legs through the holidays,” she added.

In sixth place was Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, which brought in $23 million. It was in fourth place the previous weekend. So far, Wreck-It Ralph has made $149.5 million domestically.

The North American box office for the Thanksgiving weekend (Wednesday to Sunday) reached $290 million, beating the previous holiday weekend record of $273 million set in 2009, when The Twilight Saga: New Moon was the leader.

Weekend ticket sales in the United States and Canada were compiled by the box office division of Hollywood.com.

21 Animated Features Submitted For 2012 Oscar Race

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Twenty-one features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 85th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday.

The 21 submitted features, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

Adventures in Zambezia
Delhi Safari
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Kokurikozaka Kara (From Up on Poppy Hill)
Krishna Aur Kans (Hey Krishna)
Hotel Transylvania
Ice Age Continental Drift
A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
The Mystical Laws
Le Tableau (The Painting)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
 Le Chat du Rabbin (The Rabbi’s Cat)
Rise of the Guardians
Secret of the Wings
Le Noël de Walter et Tandoori (Walter And Tandoori’s Christmas)
Wreck-It Ralph

Several of the films listed have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying runs. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process. At least eight eligible animated features must be theatrically released in Los Angeles County within the calendar year for this category to be activated.

Films submitted in the Animated Feature Film category may also qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live Thursday, January 10 at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on ABC. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in over 225 countries worldwide.

DreamWorks Animation’s Profit Rises by 24 Percent

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation had net income of $24.4 million for the third quarter ended September 30, up 24% from $19.7 million for the same period in 2011, the studio announced Thursday.

For the quarter, the company reported total revenue of $186.3 million. This compares to revenue of $160.8 million for the same period in 2011.

“DreamWorks Animation’s third quarter results were driven by the blockbuster international box office success of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which has earned nearly $720 million at the worldwide box office to date, to become the fifth highest-grossing film of the year on a global basis,” said CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We are looking forward to the next major event film for the company during the fourth quarter, the November 21 theatrical release of Rise of the Guardians.”

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted contributed about $47.1 million of revenue to the quarter, driven primarily by its performance at the worldwide box office. Released on June 8, the film has grossed over $216 million at the domestic box office and approximately $503 million at the international box office to date.

Puss In Boots contributed $44.8 million of revenue to the quarter, driven primarily by domestic and international pay television. The film reached an estimated 5.6 million home entertainment units sold worldwide through the end of the third quarter, net of actual and estimated future returns.

Kung Fu Panda 2 contributed $9 million of revenue to the quarter, driven primarily by international pay television. The film reached an estimated 6 million home entertainment units sold worldwide through the end of the third quarter, net of actual and estimated future returns.

Megamind contributed 700,000 of revenue to the quarter and reached an estimated 5.6 million home entertainment units sold worldwide through the end of the third quarter, net of actual and estimated future returns.

DWa’s library contributed approximately $50.6 million of revenue to the quarter. All other items, including non-feature film businesses, contributed $30.1 million of revenue to the quarter.

The company’s acquisition of Classic Media, which closed August 29, contributed about $4 million of revenue to the quarter, primarily from home entertainment.

Costs of revenue for the third quarter equaled $114 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses totaled $36.5 million, including approximately $3 million of stock-based compensation expense.

The company’s income tax expense for the third quarter was $14.3 million. Its combined effective tax rate — the actual tax rate coupled with the effect of the company’s tax sharing agreement with a former stockholder — was approximately 34.5% for the third quarter.

DreamWorks Animation’s fourth-quarter results are expected to be driven primarily by the continued performance of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in the international box office, as well as the global home video market. The November 21 theatrical release of Rise of the Guardians is also expected to contribute to the company’s fourth-quarter results.

DWA’s Katzenberg To Receive 150% Salary Increase

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s annual base salary will increase 150% from $1 million a year to $2.5 million under a contract extension reached with the studio.

Katzenberg’s term as CEO will now run through 2017. His previous contract had run until the end of 2014.

He will also be eligible for $4 million a year in cash bonuses. According to United States Securities and Exchange Commission, he will also be eligible for long-term equity incentives of $4.5 million. These have been reduced from $8 million under his previous agreement.

In addition, Katzenberg will be compensated for such business expenses as private aircraft use for business-related travel and security personnel.

The new terms stipulate that if DWA changes owner, Katzenberg could collect his compensation for the rest of the current contract or for two years, whichever is longer.

Meanwhile, Ann Daly’s term as chief operating officer has been extended through 2017, too. Her annual base salary is being hiked from $1.012 million to $1.5 million.

Daly will be eligible for $750,000 in annual cash bonuses this year, which will be doubled in 2013. She also will be eligible for annual long-term equity incentives of $3.5 million, up from $2.5 million under her earlier agreement.

Under a new agreement, general counsel Andrew Chang’s annual salary increases from $460,000 to $550,000, starting next year. The agreement runs until January 1, 2016.

[Via The Hollywood Reporter www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jeffrey-katzenberg-ann-daly-up-384615]

DreamWorks Animation Chairman Roger Enrico Quits

Roger Enrico

Roger Enrico

Roger Enrico has resigned as chairman of the board of directors for DreamWorks Animation, effective immediately, the company announced Thursday.

DreamWorks Animation’s board of directors has named fellow board member Mellody Hobson as his successor.

Enrico had served as chairman of DreamWorks Animation since its inception as a public company in 2004. He formerly served as chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, Inc., where he spent 31 years.

“Roger has been an invaluable leader to our board of directors, and his guidance helped put DreamWorks Animation on a path to success from day one,” commented studio CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “On behalf of the board of directors and our entire management team, I’d like to deeply thank Roger for his unfailing service over the past eight years and wish him the very best in the future.”

Renee Fleming Singing for Rise of the Guardians Cartoon

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Acclaimed soprano Renee Fleming has performed the original song “Still Dream” on the soundtrack for the upcoming Rise of the Guardians, DreamWorks Animation announced.

The film also features a score by four-time Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning composer Alexandre Desplat. Varese Sarabande will release the soundtrack November 13, preceding the film’s nationwide release November 21.

The original end-credit song “Still Dream” was written and produced by Desplat, with lyrics by Rise of the Guardians screenwriter, Grammy nominee and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Lindsay-Abaire. The complete score, recorded at the historic Abbey Road in London and Air Studios, was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and features choral work by London Voices. To create the music and lyrics for the original song, Desplat and Lindsay-Abaire drew upon the film’s heroic and sweeping story as inspiration.

“There is much more music in Rise of the Guardians than is found in the average live-action film,” says Desplat, who conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in the recording of his original compositions. “The goal with the score was to emphasize every moment of joy, sadness and soul so that audiences would be able to dive with the characters into their worlds. The main theme — conveying all the wonder of children’s dreams and their beliefs — became the melody on which I wrote the song.”

Renee Fleming

Renee Fleming

“This is a truly beautiful film and I am honored to perform ‘Still Dream,’ which serves as the perfect finale for Alexandre’s incredible film score,” says Fleming.

One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renee Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. Known as “the people’s diva” and named 2012 Female Singer of the Year by the German Echo awards, she continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media.

Fleming is a three-time Grammy Award winner. Last June, in a historic first, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Four-time Academy Award nominee Desplat is one of the most coveted film composers in the world today, noted for his creative collaborations with some of the world’s top filmmakers. Desplat has scored a wide range of acclaimed films and received Oscar nominations for his music in Fantastic Mr. Fox, The King’s Speech, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Queen. Desplat received the Golden Globe for his original score for The Painted Veil and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning one for The King’s Speech.

Lindsay-Abaire is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and librettist. He was nominated for a Grammy Award and two Tonys for his work on Shrek The Musical: Best Score, and Best Book of a Musical.

His most recent play, Good People, premiered on Broadway last season, and was awarded the 2011 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, The Horton Foote Prize, The Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award and two Tony nominations. His previous play, Rabbit Hole, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations and the Spirit of America Award.

In addition to his work in theatre, his screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole, as well as the upcoming feature Rise of the Guardians.

Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes — each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. The film stars Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine and Hugh Jackman.

Rise of the Guardians is directed by Peter Ramsey, written by Lindsay-Abaire, produced by Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein, and executive produced by William Joyce and Guillermo del Toro.

Meet The Croods, The New Animated Stone-age Family

The Croods

The Croods

With DreamWorks Animation’s “Rise Of The Guardians” winning all kinds of awards- even before it is released- the next movie is the company pipeline is starting to get some love. “The Croods” is on deck and ready to show it’s stuff. First look is now available with the first trailer from the animated film now available.

The story of a stone-age family make make you think back to Hanna-Barbera’s The Flintstones, but other than sharing a time-period, there is no similarity. The film takes us back to a previously undiscovered era in the history of our planet known as the Croodaceous, when nature was still a work-in-progress… full of never-before-seen creatures and landscapes.

The Croods stars Nicolas Cage as Grug, the patriarch of the family. As he takes his family intro a dangerous new world, they meet Guy, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, who takes the family on a wilder ride than they ever thought possible. Emma Stone  and Catherine Keener are also voices in this film.

The film is directed  and written by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) and Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps). The film is produced by Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell. The Croods releases to theaters on March 22, 2013 in both stereoscopic 3-D and 2-D.

Rise of the Guardians to get Award at Rome Fest

Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians

The Rome Film Festival (Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma, November 9 to 17, Auditorium Parco della Musica) and Vanity Fair will award the new Vanity Fair International Award for Cinematic Excellence this year to Rise of the Guardians, the latest 3D film by DreamWorks Animation SKG.

This new acknowledgment by the festival is dedicated to a film that best expresses the innovative, artistic and strategic contribution made by production and distribution companies that have distinguished themselves in the world of contemporary cinema. Director Peter Ramsey will accept the award on behalf of the film and DreamWorks Animation.

The awards ceremony will be followed by the international theatrical premiere of Rise of the Guardians, distributed on November 21, and inspired by the series of illustrated books Rise of the Guardians by William Joyce. The ceremony and screening will also be attended by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and executive producer Guillermo del Toro.

“It is exhilarating to receive this recognition from Vanity Fair, and we are honored that they share in our excitement for what we believe is an incredible film in Rise of the Guardians,” said Bill Damaschke, chief creative officer at DreamWorks Animation. “We couldn’t think of a more thrilling place at which to make our international theatrical debut at the Rome Film Festival as we look forward to presenting Rise of the Guardians to audiences worldwide starting this holiday season.”

Rise of the Guardians has been an incredible journey for the entire creative team, and we are humbled by this early accolade by Vanity Fair and the Rome Film Festival,” continued Ramsey. “We are looking forward to the film making its international debut here in Rome.”

Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes — each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.

The film stars Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher and Hugh Jackman. Ramsey directs a screenplay written by David Lindsay-Abaire.

Rise of the Guardians is produced by Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein. Joyce and del Toro serve as executive producers.

Wallen New CTO at DreamWorks Animation

Lincoln Wallen

Lincoln Wallen

DreamWorks Animation has announced they have promoted Lincoln Wallen as their new CTO, replacing current CTO Ed Leonard. DreamWorks Animation has juts released Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,  and is releasing the highly anticipated Rise Of The Guardians next month.

Wallen joined DWA in 2008 as head of research and development, and has recently risen to head of animation technology. He has also served as CTO at the game company Electronic Arts Mobile where he was instrumental in shaping EA’s approach to the mobile business. Prior to joining EA, Lincoln was with Criterion Software and MathEngine. His early career involved 20 years of professional IT and mathematics research, including two years as BP Venture Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, and latterly as a Reader in Computer Science at the University of Oxford.

Former CTO Ed Leonard is now running a mobile app effort called Ptch which started at at DreamWorks. Leonard was instrumental in transitioning DreamWorks Animation to a LINUX as its core operating system for the production of animated films



Guardians Unite On A New Poster

Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians

After a series of character-centric teaser posters, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians released a new pre-release poster. Featuring all the major characters from the film, the poster instills a sort of animated Avengers team of super-heroes feel with it’s “Legends Unite” tag line.

The film is directed by Peter Ramsey and co-directed by William Joyce, based on his series of books. The film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won an Oscar for best animated short was based on another of Joyce’s stories.

The film, which does not release until November 21, 2012, will be honored at the 16th Annual Hollywood Film Awards with the Hollywood Animation Award on Oct. 22 at the Beverly Hilton. The Hollywood Animation Award honors the year’s best animated film; previous winner include Ratatouille (2007), Wall-E (2008), Up (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Rango (2011). While not all winners go on to win the Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, taking the Hollywood Animation Award goes a long way to increasing the chances of a win especially for an unreleased film.

Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes – each with extraordinary abilities. When an ancient evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. The world’s five unlikeliest heroes- Jack Frosty, North (aka Santa), Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny), Tooth (the Tooth Fairy) and Sandy (the Sandman)- must band together to stop Pitch (the Boogeyman) from plunging the world into eternal darkness.