April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: dreamworks

Shanghai’s $2.4 billion “DreamCenter” to Open in 2017

In a sign of Hollywood’s expanding ties with China, DreamWorks Animation and Chinese partners Thursday unveiled their $2.4 billion “DreamCenter,” an entertainment complex in Shanghai that is set to open in 2017.
The complex will contain a 500-seat IMAX cinema with international film festivals and red carpet events in mind, bars, restaurants and performance venues, according to the companies.
A “Dream Avenue” theater district modeled on London’s West End and New York City’s Broadway will also be part of the complex, according to the Associated Press.
The 40-acre site includes eight outdoor events plazas.
The project is led by “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek” maker DreamWorks Animation, Chinese investment fund CMC Capital Partners, whose owners include state-owned companies, and Hong Kong developer Lan Kwai Fong, according to the AP.
“This will become the world’s third great urban center of entertainment and arts alongside New York’s Broadway and London’s West End,” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told a news conference, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Golden Globe Awards Announce 2014 Nominees

The race for the 2014 Golden Globe awards is officially underway with the announcement of the nominees, and award watchers have finally got an indication of which films and actors are headed for Golden Globe glory.
12 Years A Slave and the comedy-drama American Hustle top the list of nominations with seven each.
Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde and Aziz Ansari were introduced by HFPA president Theo Kingma at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and announced the following nominations:
1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Plan B Entertainment, New Regency Productions and River Road Entertainment; Fox Searchlight Pictures
b CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
c GRAVITY
Warner Bros. Pictures / Esperanto Filmoj / Heyday Films; Warner Bros. Pictures
d PHILOMENA
Pathe, BBC Films, BFI, Canal+, Cine+, Baby Cow/Magnolia Mae; The Weinstein Company
e RUSH
Universal Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title, Revolution Films; Universal Pictures
2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a Cate Blanchett BLUE JASMINE
b Sandra Bullock GRAVITY
c Judi Dench PHILOMENA
d Emma Thompson SAVING MR. BANKS
e Kate Winslet LABOR DAY
3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 YEARS A SLAVE
b Idris Elba MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
c Tom Hanks CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
d Matthew McConaughey DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
e Robert Redford ALL IS LOST
4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a AMERICAN HUSTLE
Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
b HER
Warner Bros. Pictures / Annapurna Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
c INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Mike Zoss Productions, Scott Rudin Productions, Studio Canal; CBS Films
d NEBRASKA
Paramount Vantage; Paramount Pictures
e THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures; Paramount Pictures
5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a AMY ADAMS AMERICAN HUSTLE
b JULIE DELPY BEFORE MIDNIGHT
c GRETA GERWIG FRANCES HA
d JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS ENOUGH SAID
e MERYL STREEP AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a CHRISTIAN BALE AMERICAN HUSTLE
b BRUCE DERN NEBRASKA
c LEONARDO DICAPRIO THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
d OSCAR ISAAC INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
e JOAQUIN PHOENIX HER
7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
a THE CROODS
DreamWorks Animation LLC; Twentieth Century Fox
b DESPICABLE ME 2
Universal Pictures/Illumination Entertainment; Universal Pictures
c FROZEN
Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
a BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
FRANCE)
(La vie d’Adele, chapitres 1 et 2)
Quat’sous Films; IFC Films
b THE GREAT BEAUTY
(ITALY)
(La Grande Bellezza)
Indigo Film, Medusa Film, BABE Films; Janus Films
c THE HUN
(DENMARK)
(Jagten)
Zentropa Entertainment; Magnolia Pictures
d THE PAST
(IRAN)
(Le passé)
Memento Films Production, France 3 Cinema, BIM Distribuzione;
Sony Pictures Classics
e THE WIND RISES
(JAPAN)
(Kaze tachinu)
Studio Ghibli; Touchstone Pictures
9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
a SALLY HAWKINS BLUE JASMINE
b JENNIFER LAWRENCE AMERICAN HUSTLE
c LUPITA NYONG’O 12 YEARS A SLAVE
d JULIA ROBERTS AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
e JUNE SQUIBB NEBRASKA
10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
a BARKHAD ABDI CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
b DANIEL BRÜHL RUSH
c BRADLEY COOPER AMERICAN HUSTLE
d MICHAEL FASSBENDER 12 YEARS A SLAVE
e JARED [...]

“The Croods” Leads Weekend Box Office

What a difference three years and an deflated expectations make. Three years ago this weekend, Dreamworks had to eat a token amount of crow when How To Train Your Dragon opened with *just* $43 million.
Coming off the $59 million debut of Monsters vs. Aliens a year prior and elevated expectations due to the “new-found” popularity of 3D, the film was written off initially as a slight disappointment with the hopes that strong reviews and word-of-mouth would keep it alive. Of course, the film had insane legs and eventually ended up with $217 million domestic, but that’s another story.
Now, coming off the somewhat disappointing Rise of the Guardians ($303 million worldwide), a series of company lay-offs, and the delaying and/or cancellation of a few projects (like Me and My Shadow), Dreamworks is now trying to sell the (estimated as of this writing) $44 million debut of The Croods as a comeback and/or a massive win for the company.
But not only is this not a comeback, but I would argue that Dreamworks doesn’t have anywhere to come back from and that the perception of their failing after a single disappointing film is indicative of the fall-out of our obsession with rise/fall narratives where they don’t belong.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” new release date is March 7

DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that, at the recommendation of its distributor, Twentieth Century Fox, it has decided to change the domestic theatrical release date for Mr. Peabody & Sherman to March 7, 2014. The film had previously been scheduled for release on November 1, 2013. Me & My Shadow, which had previously been scheduled for release in March of 2014, will now return to development at the studio.
“Our distributor, who has had great success in March with their Ice Age franchise, has recommended we move Mr. Peabody & Sherman to the spring of 2014, which we totally agree is a much more advantageous release window,” said Anne Globe, Chief Marketing Officer of DreamWorks Animation. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman is now the first of our three-picture lineup for next year.”
The Company’s feature film slate for 2013 and 2014 is now as follows: The Croods on March 22, 2013; Turbo on July 19, 2013; Mr. Peabody & Sherman on March 7, 2014; How To Train Your Dragon 2 on June 20, 2014 and Happy Smekday! on November 26, 2014.
“We believe the best strategy for DreamWorks Animation in the long run is to ensure that every one of our films has an optimal release date with the biggest opportunity to succeed at the box office,” added Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation. “The move of Mr. Peabody & Sherman means that we will now release two films in 2013, and we are adjusting our operating infrastructure costs accordingly.”
About DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE®Magazinefor five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranks #12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 25 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Puss In Boots.
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Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

“Wreck-It Ralph” wins Best Animated Feature at Annie Awards

Disney’s ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ won the Best Animated Feature honor at the 40th Annual Annie Awards held Saturday, February 2 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. This year’s expanded list of categories topped 30, honoring many more nominees and team entries as in years past. New to the awards this year was the addition of the Best Student Film. A live streaming of the ceremony was made available again to animation enthusiasts as well as those who were unable to attend the event at
www.annieawards.org/watch-it-live. A complete list of winners can be viewed at www.annieawards.org.
The Best Animated Special Production was awarded to “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem” (Illumination Entertainment); Best Animated Short Subject to “Paperman” (Walt Disney Animation Studios); Best General Audience Animated TV Production for Preschool Children “Bubble Guppies
‘A Tooth on the Looth’” (Nickelodeon Animation Studios); Best Animated Television Production
for Children “Dragons: Riders of Berk ‘How to Pick Your Dragon’” (DreamWorks Animation); Best General Audience Animated Television Production “Robot Chicken ‘DC Comics Special’” (Stoopid Buddy Studios); Best Animated Video Game “Journey” (Sony Computer Entertainment America);
and Best Student Film “Head Over Heels” (Timothy Reckart).
“What a great evening filled with a lot of fun and surprises,“ said ASIFA-Hollywood President Frank Gladstone. “A variety of individuals and studios participated and joined in celebrating the best in animation across project, studio and geographic boundaries.”
Former Annie Awards host and movie reviewer Leonard Maltin and voice actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice Lamarche shared hosting duties, along with a special appearance by long time Annies presenter-favorite, actor and animation industry professional, Seth Green.
Honored with the Winsor McCay award were Terry Gilliam, Oscar Grillo and Mark Henn. The Winsor McCay stands as one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation.
Howard Green was honored with the June Foray award which is presented to an individual who has given significant and benevolent contributions to the art and industry of animation, and Toon Boom Animation was honor with the Ub Iwerks award created and given to individuals or companies for technical advancements that make a significant impact on the art or industry of animation.
Often a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 30 categories ranging from best feature, production design, character animation, and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing [...]

Golden Globe Awards: And the winners are…

Winners for the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced live on NBC in a ceremony that took place at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted.
‘Argo’ Wins Best Drama, ‘Les Miserables’ Wins Best Musical. Daniel Day-Lewis Wins Best Actor, Jessica Chastain Wins Best Actress.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
WINNER – ARGO
Warner Bros. Pictures, GK Films, Smokehouse Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
DJANGO UNCHAINED
The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures; The Weinstein Company/Sony Pictures Releasing
LIFE OF PI
Fox 2000 Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox
LINCOLN
DreamWorks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox; Touchstone Pictures
ZERO DARK THIRTY
Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
WINNER – JESSICA CHASTAIN, “ZERO DARK THIRTY”
MARION COTILLARD, “RUST AND BONE”
HELEN MIRREN, “HITCHCOCK”
NAOMI WATTS, “THE IMPOSSIBLE”
RACHEL WEISZ, “THE DEEP BLUE SEA”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
WINNER – DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, “LINCOLN”
RICHARD GERE, “ARBITRAGE”
JOHN HAWKES, “THE SESSIONS”
JOAQUIN PHOENIX, “THE MASTER”
DENZEL WASHINGTON, “FLIGHT”
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
Blueprint Pictures/Participant Media; Fox Searchlight Pictures
WINNER – LES MISERABLES
Universal Pictures, A Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Productions; Universal Pictures
MOONRISE KINGDOM
Indian Paintbrush; Focus Features
SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
CBS Films; CBS Films
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR
MUSICAL
EMILY BLUNT, “SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN”
JUDI DENCH, “THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL”
JENNIFER LAWRENCE, “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK”
MAGGIE SMITH, “QUARTET”
MERYL STREEP, “HOPE SPRINGS”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
JACK BLACK, “BERNIE”
BRADLEY COOPER, “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK”
WINNER – HUGH JACKMAN, “LES MISERABLES”
EWAN MCGREGOR, “SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN”
BILL MURRAY, “HYDE PARK ON HUDSON”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
WINNER – BRAVE
Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
FRANKENWEENIE
Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Pictures
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA
Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
DreamWorks Animation LLC; Paramount Pictures
WRECK-IT RALPH
Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
WINNER – AMOUR
Les Films Du Losange, X Filme Creative Pool, Wega Film; Sony Pictures Classics
A ROYAL AFFAIR (DENMARK)
(En kongelig affære)
Zentropa Entertainment; Magnolia Pictures
THE INTOUCHABLES (FRANCE)
(Les Intouchables)
The WeinstenCompany, Quad Productions, Gaumont, TF1 Films Production, Ten
Films, Chaocorp; The Weinstein Company
KON-TIKI (NORWAY/UK/DENMARK)
Nordisk Film Production, Recorded Picture Company
RUST AND BONE (FRANCE)
(De rouille et d’os)
Page 114, Why Not Productions; Sony Pictures Classics
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
AMY ADAMS, “THE MASTER”
SALLY FIELD, “LINCOLN”
WINNER – ANNE HATHAWAY, “LES MISERABLES”
HELEN HUNT, “THE SESSIONS”
NICOLE KIDMAN, “THE PAPERBOY”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY [...]

Hollywood Film Awards to Honor “Rise of the Guardians” with the 2012 “Hollywood Animation Award”

HollywoodNews.com:The 16th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards, presented by The Los Angeles Times, have announced that DreamWorks Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians” will receive this year’s “Hollywood Animation Award” at the festival’s gala ceremony on October 22, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
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 by Paramount Pictures on November 21st.
The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, Founder and Executive Director of the Hollywood Film Awards. “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.”
Said Bill Damaschke, Chief Creative Officer at DreamWorks Animation, “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.”
ABOUT “RISE OF THE GUARDIANS”
“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.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
The [...]

Dreamworks Animation: Quality and Variety

HollywoodNews.com: As the initial reviews for Pixar’s Brave roll in (again, I’m waiting till opening day to take the kid), it’s clear that the film is both pretty solid and somewhat disappointing considering the uber-high standards that Pixar has set for itself. I personally think it’s almost dangerous to go into a Pixar film expecting each one to be as good as Up, but I digress. One of the running themes of said reviews is that the film is merely ‘Dreamworks good’.
If you think that’s supposed to be an insult, it is. The meme for the last decade or so is that Dreamworks is not just inferior to Pixar (probably true over all), but a genuinely mediocre producer of mass-market animated films that constantly engages in some of the worst practices of mainstream animation. But as we examine the last fourteen years of Dreamworks Animation, it becomes clear that their reputation is somewhat unfair, akin to judging Pixar based on Cars.
Dreamworks Animation may not have the sheer number of masterpieces as Pixar, but their 24 animated features (double Pixar’s output) show a remarkable range of both quality and variety. They truly are more than just the worst parts of Shrek the Third and the best parts of How to Train Your Dragon.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – Mostly clever all-ages fun

HollywoodNews.com: Madagascar 3 is so substance-free that one almost feels the need to apologize for enjoying. It tells a story that is almost thinner than the first film and certainly less introspective than the second film’s family drama. And it rivals Back to the Future II for an almost complete lack of overt ‘drama’.
But it *is* completely enjoyable and again proves that the technical side of Dreamworks Animation doesn’t do anything half-assed. It is a visually splendid adventure that continues the franchise’s refreshingly small-scale storytelling. Come what may, the Madagascar series exists as a definitive ‘western’ animated series with a specifically Jewish sensibility. Once again the primary conflict is ‘untamed wilderness versus civilization’ while the primary character arcs involve our heroes dealing with their own neuroses. Yes there is an outside threat, but the primary battle once again lies within.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is Number One

HollywoodNews.com: As I often say, ranking is a relatively irrelevant stat that shouldn’t be used as a barometer for box office success. Both wide releases opened like rather well this weekend, and in this case the weekend gross of the second place film is arguably a more impressive achievement. Anyway, the number one film of the weekend was Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (review) which debuted with a pretty big $60 million. That’s pretty close to the $63 million that Madagascar 2 opened with back in 2008 and the $61 million that the first film debuted with over its four-day Memorial Day 2005 opening weekend. I had theorized that the film might explode even higher due to the utter lack of kid pics this summer (ala The Lorax earning $70 million in March after months of no family films), but I’m not going to pretend that this debut it’s ‘disappointing’. It’s still a solid debut that’s right in line with the previous entries of the series, give or take inflation and the 3D bump. It’s almost identical to the $60 million debut of Kung Fu Panda in June 2008 and the $59 million debut of Dreamworks’s Monsters vs. Aliens in March of 2009. The film earned an ‘A’ from Cinemascore and while it’s not quite that good it is a lot of visually creative fun. That most kids are already out of school made the film’s Friday ($20 million) play like a proverbial Saturday, meaning that there was no Saturday jump ($22 million) as is sometimes the case with animated films. The film played 45% 3D, 56% female and 54% under 25 years old.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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