Good morning. It’s Monday, April 11, 2011, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Disney teams with Shanghai Shendi Group to break ground on the Shanghai Disney Resort, the first Disney theme park in Mainland China. With construction under way, the new Shanghai Disney Resort will be set on 963 acres in Pudong, Shanghai, featuring Shanghai Disneyland (a Magic Kingdom-style park), themed attractions and hotels and an 11 acre green space at its center, and is slated to open in about five years. By comparison, the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is set on 30,000+ acres. The Disney Shanghai Shendi Group joint venture will see an initial investment of US$4.4 billion to build the theme park and other aspects of the resort. The investment amounts will be split between Disney and the Shanghai Shendi Group with Disney holding 43% of the shares of the owner companies and the Shanghai Shendi Group holding the remaining 57%. Financing will be proportional to ownership. In addition, a joint venture management company will be formed with Disney having a 70% stake and Shanghai Shendi Group having a 30% stake. The management company will be responsible for creating, developing and operating the resort. At the groundbreaking ceremony Robert Iger, President and CEO, Disney said that the Shanghai Disney Resort would be “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures revealed yesterday that Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire) will take on the role of General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s new Super movie, Man of Steel. Shannon will star opposite Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent/Superman in the film, which also features Amy Adams as Lois Land, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent. Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film. The screenplay is being written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are serving as executive producers. Man of Steel will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic (DLA/USH) acquires the pay TV broadcast rights to the CG animated preschool series Rob the Robot from distributor Televix Entertainment. A co-production between Canada’s Amberwood Entertainment and Singapore’s One Animation, the first season of Rob the Robot is comprised of 26×22 episodes. Discovery Kids Latin America will start airing the series in July 2011. Discovery Familia in the US will begin airing the series in June 2012.
PBS will debut two new episodes of the PBS Kids Go series Wild Kratts this month as part of its special family-targeted Earth Day programming (check local listings). The two new episodes, Wild Kratts: Falcon City and Wild Kratts: The Blue and the Gray, will premiere on April 21 and 22 respectively.
Celebrated author/illustrator Maurice Sendak‘s (Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There) newest, and much anticipated, picture book, Bumble-ardy, will be published this fall by HarperCollins. Bumble-ardy (Michael di Capua Books/HarperCollins) is set for release on September 6, 2011, with a first printing of 500,000 copies. Based on an animated segment created for Sesame Street in the early 1970s, Bumble-ardy revolves around a mischievous pig who has reached the age of nine without ever having birthday party … until he throws a party for himself.
imbee ( www.imbee.com ), a social network targeted to K8-14, will launch imbeeRadio, a safe on-demand streaming listening service, exclusively for its registered users on May 30, 2011. Featuring a library of 8+ million songs, the new imbeeRadio allows users to create a personalized station streaming an unlimited number their own playlist, which they can share with their friends on imbee and listen to on multiple devices. Users can sign up now until May 30 for imbeeRadio for $3.99/monthly (for the first six months), after that date the fee goes to $4.99/month.
EmoClick teams with RAI (Italy) to launch the new social network MyJunior.Rai.it ( www.myjunior.rai.it ) targeted to kids 18 and younger. MyJunior is designed to introduce kids to the basics of navigating the internet, develop social networking skills and keep up with their friends, and it also features games, videos, gifts, status updates, messages, and a “like” function. The site has focused resources on making the world safe for kids, including status updates and messages available only as pre-screened text “quips” positive phrases that kids can scroll through and select. These are monitored by EmoClick’s multilingual panel, which filter out inappropriate content. Parents can also take part in managing their kid’s experience MyJunior by consenting to activate their kid’s account, and then they will receive a weekly report of what their kid has been up to.
Italy’s Atlantyca Entertainment signs a deal with Stone Arch Books, an imprint of kid’s books and digital products and services Capstone, for the worldwide English language rights for the Bat Pat book series, at the annual London Book Fair. Under the deal Stone Arch Books acquires eight titles in the series, and pans to release four titles by spring 2012 in the US, followed by four others in fall 2012 in double formats, hardcover and soft cover editions. The Bat Pat books are published in Italy, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, China, Turkey, and Brazil, and there are 1+ million copies in print in Spain.
Hit Entertainment partners with Latin American department store chain Falabella to launch an exclusive Thomas & Friends direct to retail program across Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Under the deal the Thomas & Friends products, which will be based on the new CG animated series Thomas & Friends (Thomas y sus amigos), will be available at all 73 Falabella stores. Beginning summer 2011 will create, manufacture and market Thomas & Friends apparel, accessories, and kid watches. Additional products will be available by territory including stationery, school and art supplies (Argentina, Chile); bedding (Peru); beach towels and fleece blankets (Colombia, Peru); and melamine and plastic drink ware (Chile, Colombia, Peru). Thomas and Friends debuted on Discovery Kids in Latin America last summer. The series can also bee seen across Latin America including in Chile, Argentina, and Peru on free TV during the Hit-braded preschool block from Albavision.
Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; April 8-10, 2011:
Hop (Universal) PG $21.7m-2 wk total $68.2m
Arthur (2011) (Warner Bros.) PG-13 Opening Weekend $12.6m
Hanna (Focus Features) PG-13 Opening Weekend $12.3m
Soul Surfer (TriStar) PG Opening Weekend $11.1m
Insidious (FilmDistrict) PG-13 $9.7m-2 wk total $27.1m
Source Code (Summit Entertainment) PG-13 $9.1m-2 wk total $28.6m
Limitless (Relativity) PG-13 $5.7m-4 wk total $64.4m
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (Fox) PG $4.9m-3 wk total $45.5m
Rango (Paramount) PG $2.3m-6 wk total $117.5m
Sucker Punch (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $2.1m-3 wk total $34.0m
Source: Rentrak ( www.rentrak.com )
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, April 7, 2011, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON: K2-11 1055; K6-11 400; TWEENS 9-14 284
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 933; K6-11 465; TWEENS 9-14 358
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 393; K6-11 246; TWEENS 9-14 186
DISNEY XD: K2-11 197; K6-11 142; TWEENS 9-14 103
NICKTOONS: K2-11 93; K6-11 61; TWEENS 9-14 40
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
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