Tag Archives: DreamWorks

Animation award going to “Rise of the Guardians”

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Dream­Works Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians” will receive this year’s Hol­ly­wood Ani­ma­tion Award at the 16th Annual Hol­ly­wood Film Fes­ti­val and Hol­ly­wood Film Awards gala cer­e­mony, to be held Octo­ber 22 at the Bev­erly Hilton Hotel.

The announce­ment was made Tues­day by awards founder and exec­u­tive direc­tor Car­los de Abreu.

It is a great plea­sure to rec­og­nize Rise of the Guardians as the recip­i­ent of our ani­ma­tion award. This piece of avant-garde ani­ma­tion style surely will be another clas­sic for gen­er­a­tions to come,” de Abreu said.

Directed by Peter Ram­sey and writ­ten by Pulitzer Prize win­ner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rab­bit Hole), Rise of the Guardians is based on the highly acclaimed series of children’s books by William Joyce. Joyce, who won an Oscar last year for his ani­mated short The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more, was named by Newsweek as “one of the top 100 peo­ple to watch in the new millennium.”

Rise of the Guardians stars the voice tal­ents of Chris Pine, Alec Bald­win, Hugh Jack­man, Isla Fisher and Jude Law. Pro­duced by Christina Stein­berg and Nancy Bern­stein and exec­u­tive pro­duced by Guillermo del Toro, Michael Siegel, and William Joyce, the Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion fea­ture film will be released Novem­ber 21 by Para­mount Pictures.

Said DWA chief cre­ative offi­cer Bill Dam­aschke: “This award is a tes­ta­ment to the vision and ded­i­ca­tion of our direc­tor Peter Ram­sey and our pro­duc­ers Christina Stein­berg and Nancy Bern­stein, who saw in William Joyce’s beau­ti­fully writ­ten books a truly mag­i­cal world that he was able to bring to life with the help of David Lindsay-Abaire’s won­der­ful screen­play and, of course, the out­stand­ing work by his entire film­mak­ing team. We could not be more proud of the movie, or this recog­ni­tion, and we thank Car­los and the Hol­ly­wood Film Awards for this great honor.”

Past recip­i­ents of the Hol­ly­wood Ani­ma­tion Award include Cars, Rango, Rata­touille, Toy Story 3, UP and Wall-E.

Rise of the Guardians is an epic and mag­i­cal adven­ture that tells the story of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sand­man, and Jack Frost’s leg­endary char­ac­ters with pre­vi­ously unknown extra­or­di­nary abil­i­ties. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gaunt­let to take over the world, the immor­tal Guardians must join forces to pro­tect the hopes, beliefs, and imag­i­na­tion of chil­dren everywhere.

DWA enters into distribution agreement with Fox

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion announced Mon­day that the Glen­dale, California-based com­pany has entered into a new five-year dis­tri­b­u­tion agree­ment with Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox.

Under the terms of the agree­ment, Fox will assume cer­tain mar­ket­ing and dis­tri­b­u­tion respon­si­bil­i­ties in both domes­tic and inter­na­tional mar­kets for all ani­mated fea­ture films pro­duced by Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion for release from 2013 through 2017.

Fox has long been an indus­try leader in both the­atri­cal and home video, thanks in large part to its well-integrated approach to dis­tri­b­u­tion across a wide range of plat­forms around the globe,” said Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion CEO Jef­frey Katzen­berg. “Jim Gianop­u­los and Tom Roth­man have built a world-class dis­tri­b­u­tion team, and we are excited to apply their exper­tise, robust infra­struc­ture and global resources so that Dream­Works Animation’s films can reach their fullest pos­si­ble poten­tial over the next five years.”

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion is a great com­pany that makes ter­rific films and every­one here feels priv­i­leged and hon­ored to have been cho­sen to dis­trib­ute their mar­velous work through­out the world,” stated Fox Filmed Enter­tain­ment CEOs and chair­men Gianop­u­los and Roth­man. “We are par­tic­u­larly excited to add Dream­Works Animation’s films to the strong and grow­ing slate of movies from our out­stand­ing Blue Sky Stu­dios divi­sion, which is com­ing off another global block­buster with Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift, and has Epic and Rio2 in advanced pro­duc­tion. Together we will be a dom­i­nant force in ani­mated enter­tain­ment for years to come.”

Start­ing in 2013, Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion con­tent will be dis­trib­uted in the more tra­di­tional mar­kets under a fee struc­ture that is sim­i­lar to our exist­ing arrange­ment with our cur­rent dis­trib­u­tor,” con­tin­ued Katzen­berg. “How­ever, our new agree­ment with Fox presents more favor­able eco­nom­ics over­all for Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion because we are tak­ing advan­tage of lower costs asso­ci­ated with the emerg­ing dig­i­tal dis­tri­b­u­tion land­scape and man­ag­ing domes­tic tele­vi­sion dis­tri­b­u­tion in-house.”

Under the terms of the agree­ment, Fox will receive a dis­tri­b­u­tion fee on world­wide the­atri­cal and home video gross receipts as well as on inter­na­tional tele­vi­sion, and on cer­tain dig­i­tal busi­nesses, includ­ing rentals, SVOD and EST. Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion will retain the rights to dis­trib­ute its prod­uct in the domes­tic tele­vi­sion win­dows with­out pay­ing a fee to Fox.

Kung Fu Panda 3 to be U.S.-Chinese co-production

King Fu Panda 3

King Fu Panda 3

The third install­ment of Dream­Works Animation’s Panda series, “Kung Fu Panda 3″ will be made in China as a co-production with DWA, a new Chi­nese joint ven­ture announced Monday.

This is the first time that any major Hol­ly­wood ani­mated fea­ture film has been co-produced with a Chi­nese firm.

Kung Fu Panda 3, set for global release in 2017, will be the first ani­mated fea­ture to be pro­duced by Shanghai-based Ori­en­tal Dream­Works. The enter­tain­ment firm was launched in Feb­ru­ary to develop and pro­duce Chi­nese ani­mated and live-action mate­r­ial for dis­tri­b­u­tion in China and worldwide.

With­out ques­tion, China has what is needed to make great ani­ma­tion film.… this is a per­fect fit for us at Dream­Works,” DWA CEO Jef­frey Katzen­berg told a news conference.

Ori­en­tal Dream­Works is a joint ven­ture between Glen­dale, California-based DWA and China’s three largest media com­pa­nies, China Media Cap­i­tal, Shang­hai Media Group and Shang­hai Alliance Invest­ment Ltd.

Major Hol­ly­wood co-productions with China include the live-action The Expend­ables 2 and the upcom­ing Iron Man 3 from Disney/Marvel Studios.

Ori­en­tal Dream­Works announced the co-production dur­ing a cer­e­mony mark­ing the open­ing of its Shang­hai headquarters.

The joint ven­ture added that it will invest $3.14 bil­lion (20 bil­lion yuan) to open “Dream Cen­ter,” a shop­ping, din­ing and enter­tain­ment hub, in the Xuhui dis­trict of Shang­hai. It’s sched­uled to launch by 2016. China Media Cap­i­tal chair­man Li Ruigang said he hoped that it would become the Chi­nese equiv­a­lent of New York’s Broad­way or London’s West End.

Last year, the Walt Dis­ney Com­pany broke ground on its planned Shang­hai Dis­ney­land. The Shang­hai theme park is esti­mated to cost 24.5 bil­lion yuan, with hotels and other facil­i­ties cost­ing an addi­tional 4.5 bil­lion yuan.

Nightmare at DreamWorks: quarterly profit down 63%

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

Second-quarter net income at Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG Inc. fell by a whop­ping 63 per­cent, the Glen­dale, California-based com­pany announced Tuesday.

The stu­dio blamed in part the delayed release of Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in sev­eral over­seas coun­tries, as well as higher dis­tri­b­u­tion costs.

Net income fell to a level below ana­lysts’ expec­ta­tions. Mean­while, shares dropped over 8 per­cent in after-hours trad­ing Tuesday.

Results for the stu­dio were aided by box office rev­enues from Mada­gas­car 3, which has grossed over $500 mil­lion in the­aters around the world since it was released June 8. By com­par­i­son, Kung Fu Panda 2grossed $600 mil­lion a year ear­lier, although that movie’s rev­enues were helped by a release two weeks ear­lier in the quarter.

DWA’s net income in the three months ended June 30 was $12.8 mil­lion (15 cents per share), com­pared with $34.1 mil­lion (40 cents per share) last year. Rev­enue in the sec­ond quar­ter was $162.8 mil­lion, down 25 per­cent from the same period in 2011.

Ana­lysts polled by Fact­Set, on aver­age, had pre­dicted income of 25 cents per share on rev­enue of $185 million.

Some of the rev­enue for Mada­gas­car 3 was recorded after the quar­ter ended. As well, dis­trib­u­tors took a greater cut of ticket sales to pay for film prints and adver­tis­ing than expected, said stu­dio chief finan­cial offi­cer Lew Coleman.

He also noted that the Lon­don Olympics caused the film’s delayed release in such major over­seas mar­kets as the United King­dom, Ger­many, Aus­tria and New Zealand. Cole­man added that mar­kets that had released Mada­gas­car 3, such as Rus­sia and China, have been pay­ing DWA a smaller share of ticket sales than aver­age, which hurt revenue.

Though he blamed tim­ing prob­lems for neg­a­tively affect­ing second-quarter rev­enue, Cole­man pre­dicted that Mada­gas­car 3 would be a “very prof­itable film.”

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion shares closed up 2 cents to $19.20 in reg­u­lar trad­ing. But they fell $1.60 (8.3 per­cent) to $17.60 after the quar­terly report’s release.

Fox and Blue Sky Studios announce “Epic” casting

Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios

Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox Ani­ma­tion and Blue Sky Stu­dios announced Thurs­day the voice cast for Epic, a 3D CG action-adventure com­edy that reveals a hid­den world unlike any other.

From the cre­ators of Ice Ageand Rio, Epic tells the story of an ongo­ing bat­tle deep in the for­est between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teenage girl finds her­self mag­i­cally trans­ported into this secret uni­verse, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whim­si­cal char­ac­ters in order to save their world… and ours.

Bey­once Knowles, one of the most widely rec­og­nized and highly respected women in pop cul­ture and star of the upcom­ing A Star Is Born, voices Queen Tara; Colin Far­rell (Total Recall) is Ronin; Josh Hutch­er­son (The Hunger Games) is Nod; Amanda Seyfried (Dear John) por­trays Mary Kather­ine; and Johnny Knoxville (Jack­ass) voices Mandrake.

Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recre­ation) por­trays Mub, and rap­per Pit­bull voices Bufo. Jason Sudeikis (Hor­ri­ble Bosses and the upcom­ing The Cam­paign) por­trays Bomba, and rock leg­end and Amer­i­can Idol judge Steven Tyler is Nim Galuu.

Co-starring are Blake Ander­son (Worka­holics) as Dagda, and Judah Fried­lan­der (30 Rock) as Larry.

Epic charges into the­aters every­where May 24, 2013. The film is directed by Acad­emy Award-winner Chris Wedge, and pro­duced by Lori Forte (Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift) and Jerry Davis (Robots).

Colbert, Janney join “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” cast

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Stephen Col­bert (“The Col­bert Report”), Emmy win­ner Alli­son Jan­ney (The Help, The West Wing), Ellie Kem­per (Brides­maids, The Office), Ariel Win­ter (Mod­ern Fam­ily) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion) have joined Dream­Works Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sher­man, which is now sched­uled to be released on Novem­ber 8, 2013, the stu­dio announced Tuesday.

They join pre­vi­ously announced cast mem­bers Ty Bur­rell (Mod­ern Fam­ily) and Max Charles (The Amaz­ing Spider-Man, The Three Stooges).

The film had pre­vi­ously been slated for March 14, 2014, a release date now planned for the studio’s Me and My Shadow.

These incred­i­ble cast­ing addi­tions have ele­vated Mr. Peabody & Sher­man to a new level of excite­ment, and we are truly for­tu­nate to work with so many tal­ented actors,” said Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion chief cre­ative offi­cer Bill Dam­aschke. “I’m cer­tain that their col­lec­tive pas­sion and enthu­si­asm for the film will bring the clas­sic char­ac­ters of Mr. Peabody & Sher­man to new life and thrill audi­ences of all ages when we open in Novem­ber of next year.”

Mr. Peabody & Sher­man is directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stu­art Lit­tle) and pro­duced by Alex Schwartz (Jour­ney to the Cen­ter of the Earth, Bridge to Ter­abithia) and Denise Cas­cino (Mega­mind, Shrek The Third). It is being writ­ten by Craig Wright (United States of Tara, Six Feet Under), with revi­sions by Michael McCullers (Baby Mama, Austin Pow­ers in Gold­mem­ber). Bull­win­kle Stu­dios’ Tiffany Ward and Clas­sic Media’s Eric Ellen­bo­gen are serv­ing as exec­u­tive pro­duc­ers on the film, along with Jason Clark (Mon­ster House, Stu­art Lit­tle).

Based on Jay Ward’s clas­sic car­toon, Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest per­son who hap­pens to be a dog. When his “pet” boy Sher­man uses their time-traveling WABAC machine with­out per­mis­sion, events in his­tory spi­ral out of con­trol to dis­as­trous and com­i­cal results. It’s up to this most unex­pected of father-son teams to some­how put things back on track before the space-time con­tin­uum is irrepara­bly destroyed.

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) — Theatrical Feature

Kung Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda 2

#CotD: One year old today, “Kung Fu Panda 2″ was an Acad­emy Award nom­i­nee, but did not take the top prize.

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) — The­atri­cal Feature

Po is now liv­ing his dream as The Dragon War­rior, pro­tect­ing the Val­ley of Peace along­side his friends and fel­low kung fu mas­ters, The Furi­ous Five — Tigress, Crane, Man­tis, Viper and Monkey.

But Po’s new life of awe­some­ness is threat­ened by the emer­gence of a for­mi­da­ble vil­lain who plans to use a secret, unstop­pable weapon to con­quer China and destroy kung fu. It is up to Po and The Furi­ous Five to jour­ney across China to face this threat and van­quish it.

How can Po stop a weapon that can stop kung fu? He must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mys­te­ri­ous ori­gins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.

You can watch “Kung Fu Panda 2″ on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Shrek (2001) — National Film and Television School

Shrek

Shrek

#CotD: Named Best Ani­mated Fea­ture in 2002, “Shrek” is also the first ani­mated film nom­i­nated for an Acad­emy Award for best adapted screenplay.

Shrek (2001) — National Film and Tele­vi­sion School

Hideous green mon­ster Shrek just wants to be left alone. He has his own swamp, and is quite happy there, thank you very much. But when Lord Farquaad’s poli­cies force other fan­tasy crea­tures into the swamp, Shrek must make a deal with the devil. So he sets out on a quest to find Lord Farquaad’s per­fect wife and ter­ri­fies every­one he meets dur­ing his adventures.

Come see “Shrek” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Puss in Boots” gives DreamWorks’ earnings a boost

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

First-quarter earn­ings at Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG Inc. rose slightly in the first quar­ter as both rev­enue and costs increased, the stu­dio announced Wednesday.

Over half of its rev­enue — or $73.6 mil­lion — came from over­seas ticket sales of its fea­ture film Puss in Boots and its release on home video in the United States. The film grossed about $554 mil­lion at the box office worldwide.

Such other recent films as Kung Fu Panda 2 con­tributed to rev­enue as well.

Net income in the three months end­ing March 31 reached $9.1 mil­lion (11 cents per share), just up from $8.8 mil­lion (10 cents per share) a year ago.

Rev­enue jumped 26% to $136.1 mil­lion from $108.0 mil­lion. Ana­lysts polled by Fact­Set had pre­dicted earn­ings of 8 cents per share on $132.3 mil­lion in revenue.

Rev­enue costs rose to $96.5 mil­lion from $72 mil­lion, while DWA paid $5.1 mil­lion in income taxes in the first quar­ter — up by 38% from the same period last year.

Second-quarter and full-year results for Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion are expected to be dri­ven by Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which comes to the­aters on June 8. The film will com­plete with Pixar Ani­ma­tion Studio’s Brave.

How­ever, because of the sum­mer Olympics, Mada­gas­car 3 will be released late over­seas, DWA chief finan­cial offi­cer Lou Cole­man, said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call.

The stu­dio will release the movie in Aus­tralia, Italy, Japan, Spain and the Nordic region by the end of this year, and in the United King­dom and Ger­many in 2013.

Cole­man believes that the delay will affect both the box office and the DVD release for Mada­gas­car 3. Its dis­trib­u­tors will spend more on adver­tis­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter, he added.

TV rev­enue from Kung Fu Panda 2 and home enter­tain­ment rev­enue for Puss In Boots will also drive results in the sec­ond quar­ter, the com­pany said.

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion shares closed up 36 cents (2%) Wednes­day at $18.46 on the Nas­daq in the reg­u­lar ses­sion. They rose another 64 cents (3.5%) to $19.10 in after-hours trading.

Shares of DWA have dropped by 10% since it announced a sharp fall in profit in its fourth quarter.

SEC probing DWA, Disney over business in China

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion and Dis­ney have received let­ters of inquiry from the United States Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion over their busi­ness activ­i­ties in China, accord­ing to an unnamed per­son famil­iar with the matter.

The SEC wrote to at least five movie stu­dios in the past two months, includ­ing 20th Cen­tury Fox, said the source, who was not autho­rized to speak pub­licly about the letters.

The let­ters ask about pos­si­bly inap­pro­pri­ate pay­ments and how the com­pa­nies dealt with cer­tain Chi­nese gov­ern­ment officials.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Dream­Works, Dis­ney and News Corp. — the owner of 20th Cen­tury Fox — declined to com­ment. An SEC spokesman wouldn’t com­ment, either.

The state-owned China Film Group, which has long had a firm hold on the Chi­nese film mar­ket, didn’t answer repeated requests for comment.

Although China Film Group had a quota of for­eign films of 20 per year, it relaxed some restric­tions in Feb­ru­ary after Chi­nese leader-in-waiting Xi Jin­ping vis­ited Wash­ing­ton for a week. The agree­ment exempts 14 premium-format films, such as IMAX or 3D, from the quota, along with those films’ 2D versions.

Also in Feb­ru­ary, DWA announced that it had reached a deal to build a pro­duc­tion stu­dio in Shang­hai with some of China’s largest media firms. Last year, the studio’s Kung Fu Panda 2 became the highest-grossing ani­mated movie in China, rais­ing about $100 mil­lion at the box office.

The inquiry comes in the face of inten­si­fied SEC and United States Jus­tice Depart­ment scrutiny into poten­tial vio­la­tions of the 1970s-vintage For­eign Cor­rupt Prac­tices Act, which for­bids Amer­i­can com­pa­nies and indi­vid­u­als from brib­ing for­eign gov­ern­ment officials.