Good morning. It's Tuesday, May 29, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
Disney Junior's interactive multi-platform Yo Ho, Let's Go Summer! programming event returns on both the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel and the Disney Junior channel -- Monday, June 4 through Friday, August 24, 2012. The summer stunt line up will include new series episodes, kicking off June 4, with a week of new Jake and the Never Land Pirates episodes. From June 15, new episodes of Disney Junior series will air every Friday throughout the summer, including a special episode of Jungle Junction (1x45, July 6), Jim Belushi as a guest star as the recurring character Glo-Bo on Doc McStuffins (July 20), and Jane Kaczmarek guest stars in the recurring role of Red Jessica, in Jake and the Never Land Pirates (August 10). Yo Ho, Let's Go Summer! will be featured across all Disney Junior digital platforms, including Disney Junior On Demand, mobile and iTunes, as well as an online super-site on DisneyJunior.com/Summer (www.disneyjunior.com/summer), as well as the addition of new online games each week and a printable summer scrapbook (new pages added each week), among other printables.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Universal is angling to acquire the feature film rights to Lego's Hero Factory robotic toy line, which would be a live-action picture, per THR. Writers Michael Finch and Alex Litvak (Predators, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Treasure Island) are in talks to pen the script. The movie - if it goes forward - would be produced by Mark Gordon Company's Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff and Film 360's Ben Forkner and Dean Schnider.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Eurocom join to introduce the Harry Potter for Kinect videogame, exclusively for Kinect for the Xbox 360 system, this fall 2012. In the new game, which is based on all eight Harry Potter movies, would be wizards can join Harry, Ron and Hermione on various adventures. Players can play as the main characters or use Kinect's scanning technology to scan in their own face and create a unique witch or wizard avatar to make their way through key adventures from the films. In addition, Kinect's hands-free and voice recognition capabilities lets gamers cast spells using physical maneuvers and by calling out spell names. Furthermore, players who master their lessons can take on their opponents in competitive mini-games, or team with friends in co-op gameplay.
MGA Entertainment and US-based Exim Licensing Group enter into a licensing deal to introduce a licensing program based on MGA's Lalaloopsy doll line across Latin America. Under the deal Exim will represent Lalaloopsy for all licensing efforts in Latin American territories (excluding Brazil). Targeted to K4-8, Lalaloopsy will roll out across all platforms including merchandising, toys, Moonscoop produced TV series, videogames, DVD, music, publishing, an interactive website containing webisodes and a 3D play land. Designed to encourage imagination, friendship, and individuality, the Lalaloopsy toy line features 58+ characters so far in various forms, including playsets, large dolls and accessories, fashion packs, a range of miniature collectibles and carrying cases.
Spain-based Vodka Capital completes licensing and merchandising deals for its music/comedy preschool series Jelly Jamm through its licensing agents including Turner Enterprises in EMEA, El Ocho in Spain and Portugal, Exim Licensing in Latin America and Televisa Consumer Products in Mexico. Signing on as new licensee and merchandisers for Jelly Jamm are: in Spain and Portugal -- STOR (homeware), SAFTA (back-to-school products) and Clementoni (educational games) -- all products will launch in 2013; in Mexico -- Fotorama (toys), ATM (back-to-school), Granmark (party goods) and Convergram (metallic balloons). Further licensee partnerships are in the works in these territories. On the license and merchandise side new partnerships include: Bandai inks a master toy deal for Europe, Middle East, South Africa and US; Grupo Planeta for publishing in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Latin America; and Big Picture for DVDs in Spain and Portugal.
Australia's Moose Toys appoints Lisle International Licensing as its licensing and merchandising agent for The Trash Pack in the UK and Ireland. Lisle will launch the licensing program in the UK and Ireland in late 2012. The Trash pack is a collection of squishy mini figures based on the not so appetizing things you just might find in your garbage including Trashie characters such as Mouldy Milk, Rancid Roach and Putrid Pizza. Flair debuted the mater toy line in the UK and Ireland last year.
London-based indie licensing company Rocket Licensing enters into a global direct-to-retail deal with Mothercare, a retailer of parenting and kid's products, to offer an exclusive line of licensed products based on the Isabella's Toybox book series by author/illustrator Emma Thomson. The new product line will be focused on the newborn market and is targeted to moms, relatives and gift buyers. Prior to this agreement, Isabella's Toybox has fostered a greeting card and plush line for several years. First published in 2007 by Hodder's Children's Books, the Isabella's Toybox tales begin with the story of a little girl who discovers the lost key to a toy box and frees the toys inside and opening up a world of adventures.
Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Santa Cruz Skateboards unveil eight new Simpsons skateboard decks (www.mfgbysc.com/simpsons), the second group in the Simpsons-themed line of skateboards under their partnership. The new collection of boards features Santa Cruz Skateboards' classic designs with a Simpsons twist, including the legendary Jeff Grosso Toybox now known as the Bart Toybox Mini Cruzer, the Homer Face Cruzer which pays homage to the classic Rob Roskopp Face graphic, and the Bart Slasher Blue Cruzer inspired by the classic Keith Meek Slasher design, which also commemorates the series' 500th episode of the animated TV series. The line also includes the Krusty Brand Kruzer, with glitter infused graphics, and the Marge & Maggie two-deck set.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
VTech partners with Amazon to introduce its new boy toy Switch & Go Dinos line with the release of the first four toys available now exclusively on Amazon.com ($15.99) in the US. The toys then be available from June 18 at www.vtechkids.com. Targeted to boys 3-8, each Switch & Go Dinos toy transform back and forth from dinosaur to vehicle and also features an LCD screen for customized animation, dinosaur and vehicle sound effects and dinosaur facts. The Switch & Go Dinos line is comprised of seven collectible dino toys, including four starter toys, Sliver the T-Rex, T-Don the Pteranodon, Tonn the Stegosaurus and Horns the Triceratops. The full line, including the starter figures as well as the more expensive Attila the Ankylosaurus ($24.99), Span the Spinosaurus ($29.99), Brok the Brachiosaurus ($49.99), will be available at major retailers beginning this fall 2012.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment team to release two new preschool home entertainment titles on DVD, digital download and on demand, both on June 12, 2012. The two titles are: Angelina Ballerina: Musical Moves, which is comprised of five episodes of the animated Angelina Ballerina, as well as the bonus feature A Dance A Day Dance Club; and Awesome Adventures: Races, Chases & Fun, a compilation of six adventure stories featuring Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder.
Disney Junior releases two new free apps, both for younger kids. First up is The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally Appisode, an interactive episode for iPad that features touch, tap, shake, swipe, drag activities that focus on counting, critical thinking and problem solving skills. This is the first "appisode" with a number of others set for release this year. The second app, Jake's Never Land Pirate School, is for iOS devices and invites kids to complete pirate-themed challenges that are presented in various classes. Features include -- hunting for doubloons on Doubloon Beach, a customizable pirate certificate signed by Jake; and the ability to import a kid's photo.
Orion Children's Books acquires the rights to publish Ghost Knight, a new middle grade book by noted author Cornelia Funke (Inkheart trilogy, Reckless) in a hardback gift edition in the UK this November 2012. Additionally, Orion's sister company, Little, Brown acquired the English-language rights to the book for North America, where it was recently released. Ghost Knight centers on 11-year-old Jon Whitcroft who arrives a boarding school, which he never expected to enjoy - but then again he also never expected to face by a pack of vengeful ghosts either. At school Jon becomes friends with the quirky and adventurous Ella. Together Jon and Ella work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder, while being haunted by ghosts intent on revenge. During their quest Jon calls upon the ghost of the knight Longspee for his protection, but can Longspee really be trusted?
Join us for the 1st annual Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards Breakfast on June 7 from 8:00-10:30 a.m. at Le Parker Meridien in NYC. Join award finalists, and our keynote speaker Richard Wiese, host of Born to Explore. Register now http://www.cynopsis.com/events/kids-awards.
Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; Four Day Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28, 2012:
Men In Black 3 (Sony) PG-13 Opening Weekend $70.0 million
Marvel's The Avenger (Disney) PG-13 $46.9m-4 wk total $523.6m
Battleship (Universal) PG-13 $13.8m-2 wk total $47.3m
Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $9.4m-3 wk total $64.9m
What To Expect When Your Expecting (Lionsgate) PG-13 $8.9m-2 wk total $23.9m
The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) PG-13 $2.9m-10 wk total $395.9m
Think Like A Man (Sony) PG-13 $1.9m-6 wk total $88.7m
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony) PG $1.5m-5 wk total $27.7m
Bernie (Millennium Entertainment) PG-13 $1.2m-5 wk total $2.5m
The Lucky One (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $700,000-6 wk total $58.4m
Source: Rentrak (www.rentrak.com)
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What makes Lumber-Jack-Rabbit starring Bugs Bunny so unusual? The only WB cartoon shot it 3-D in the 50's. Kudos to: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NYC; Keith Manzella-Eastwest, MG/NY; Sharaine Roberts-A+E Networks/NYC.
Today's Trivia Question: The Mutants of Plun-Darr are enemies with whom? (Email John@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you've been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can't be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Later -- Gwen
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