Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 4, 2012, and this is your first early morning briefing.

DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, the new animated TV series from DreamWorks Animation SKG and based on the studio’s feature film How To Train Your Dragon (2010), premieres tonight on Cartoon Network at 7:30p. DreamWorks Animation’s third animated TV series, its first for Cartoon Network, DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk follows the ongoing adventures of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless on the Viking island of Berk, along with the band of dragon trainers, who all now have dragons of their own. The series features a voice cast, including Jay Baruchel (Hiccup), America Ferrera (Astrid), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs) and T.J. Miller (Tuffnut), all reprising their roles from the movie. Also lending their voices to characters in the series are, Tim Conway, Chris Edgerly, Mark Hamill, Julie Marcus, Nolan North, Zach Pearlman, Stephen Root and Tom Wilson. DreamWorks Animation’s feature film sequel to How To Train Your Dragon is slated for release on June 20, 2014.

Over the holiday weekend Warner Bros.‘ feature film The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Christopher Nolan, hit a magic movie milestone breaking $1 billion in estimated combined domestic ($431.2 million) and international ($574 million) box office receipts, an estimated combined total of $1,005 billion to be exact, per Box Office Mojo. This puts The Dark Knight Rises just ahead of The Dark Knight (2008), which reached $1,0003 billion, and making it the 12the movie in history to bust the billion dollar marker – with Avatar still sitting atop the field with $2.782.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the kid-targeted movie Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (rated G), from Kenn Viselman Presents, unfortunately set a record at the other end of the spectrum. The movie, which opened on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, took in an estimated $448,000 from 2,160 locations in its first weekend, making it the worst weekend debut for a movie opening in 2,000+ theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. For the week ending Sunday, September 2, 2012, Oogieloves had earned an estimated five-day total of $674,000.


BBC Worldwide Consumer Products inks licensing deals for the popular CBeebies and BBC iPlayer preschool series Something Special. Golden Bear has been appointed the UK master toy license for Something Special and will develop a range of products (a Mr. Tumble tea set, an interactive toy phone, and Mr. Tumble soft toys) to launch in fall/winter 2012. Other new licensees include: Jumbo Games will produce 4 shaped puzzles in a box for September 2012, to be followed next year by an assortment of puzzles, memo and floor game; Portico, which recently launched a Something Special line of cards, which will be followed with a calendar; Mc Cambridge Group is developing celebration cakes; and Trade Mark is producing a version of the Mr. Tumble “spotty bag.” Hosted by UK kid’s TV icon Justin Fletcher (Mr. Tumble), Something Special is designed to encourage language development of all kids, including those with learning and communication difficulties. The series, which launched in 2003 and includes 100+ episodes, employs the Makaton signs and symbols language program, and also uses rhymes and songs.

Sifteo, Inc. introduces its newest interactive Sifteo Cubes, which had their initial launch last year, and two new gaming partnerships with Nickelodeon and Richard Garfield, creator of Magic the Gathering. The new 1.7-inch color touch TFT LCD screen blocks communicate wirelessly and interact with one another and the players gestures – and this time around are more portable. The earlier Sifteo Cubes required close proximity to a computer to support gameplay, while the next generation of cubes come with a Sifteo Base, which stores players’ games, features a built-in speaker and USB port, makes the game more easily portable. As part of its four game deal with Nickelodeon, Sifteo and Nickelodeon are developing the game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ninja Slide for release this November 2012. Under its other new partnership, game designer Richard Garfield is developing a game that is set for an early 2013 release. The interactive system, cubes and base, can now support up to 12 Sifteo Cubes versus the previous six. Sifteo Cubes includes three cubes, the Sifteo Base and comes with four game titles pre-installed, a micro USB cable, AAA batteries and soft carrying case ($129.95), with add-cubes ($29.95) also available.


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In effort to continue to encourage kids to get outside and spend some time in nature, the US Forest Service and Ad Council are teaming up with Universal Pictures and Project Learning Tree to develop an educational curriculum for the three-year-old Discover the Forest (www.discovertheforest.org/lorax) Public Service Advertising campaign, which will now feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. The curriculum features new downloadable content and materials for use in the classroom and by families, and which is broken down into two sets of educational kits – all of which features characters from images from Universal’s animated move adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. For the un-indoctrinated, The Lorax is a hopeful creature who lives in the forest and “speaks for the trees.” The new educational resources are in addition to the campaign’s ongoing educational curriculum, available at www.FindingMyForest.org, that connects students and educators to forested areas near them.


In other Cartoon Network (US) programming news, the channel debuted Cookie Jar Entertainment‘s action/adventure car racing anime series Scan2Go over the weekend, which will air Saturday and Sunday mornings at 7a. Scan2Go follows the adventures of Kazuya (Kaz) and his team as they leave their small planet to follow the great car battles taking place in outer space  each battling to be the best racer in the universe. From the director of Beyblade, Bakugan and Dragonball Z, Scan2Go is a Japanese, Korean and Middle East co-production between D-rights Inc., NewBoy FZCO, SBS Contents Hub and Stonebridge Capital Inc. Additionally, MGA Entertainment is set to debut the Scan2Go toy and accessory lines in North America this fall 2012. Each Scan2Go radio controlled toy car will come with a set of power and turbo cards featuring technology that allows kids to activate power and turbo sequences while racing. Also available will be Scan2Go tracks and track extensions, with racing cards sold separately.

CBBC will premiere Up and Away: A Newsround Special on Friday, September 7 at 5p. Hosted by 14-year-old Rosie King, who also happens to have Autism, the special uses animation to tell the stories of several real kids with various special needs and how they make the transition to high school. Rosie is a Royal Television Society award winner for the film she hosted called My Autism and Me. Newsround is the BBC’s kid-targeted daily news and current affairs program that has been on the air for 40 years.

UK-based Platinum Films completes new TV sales for its boy-targeted CGI 3D animated adventure series Matt Hatter Chronicles (26×22) with SABC (South Africa) and Al Jazzera’s Children’s Channel (Arabic territories). Produced by Platinum Films, Matt Hatter Chronicles is animated by Toronto-based Arc Productions (Gnomeo and Juliet). Matt Hatter Chronicles follows the adventures of Matt, an average 13-year-old boy who finds out that his family is the defender of a gateway to another dimension – the Multiverse. In an effort to save the Multiverse and his family, Matt is called upon to go up against notorious villains from movies, myths and legends. Season 1 (13 x 22) launched in the UK on Nicktoons in fall 2011 and then aired on CITV in spring 2012.  The second season (13 x 22) aired on Nicktoons in spring 2012, and is scheduled to run on CITV this fall. Season three of Matt Hatter Chronicles is currently in pre-production. The merchandising and licensing effort for the property is set to roll out in 2013. ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) is representing rights for merchandising, publishing, promotional and home entertainment in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Licensees already on board include Penguin (publishing), Topps (trading cards, sticker collections), and Titan (print and digital comic magazines).

On the heels of the successful debut season, France Televisions Distribution acquires the rights to season two of the animated series Lulu Vroumette, which is produced by Mondo TV France. The series airs on France 5. Additionally, Lulu Vroumette has been sold to channels in 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia. Distribution’s expertise, the Lulu Vroumette brand is now available across a full range of media. France Televisions and France Televisions Distribution will attend Cartoon Forum (September 11-14, 2012) where they will showcase Lulu Vroumette, as well as new additions to the France Televisions Distribution catalog including T’Choupi (Charlie and Mimmo), Emily, Peter Rabbit, The Octonauts and Wendy to new audiences.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment releases the family-targeted Adventures of the Wilderness Family movie trilogy, re-mastered in HD, today, September 4, 2012, on Electronic Sell Through (EST) and VOD. The first movie in the series, The Adventures of the Wilderness Family, is also available today on DVD. Originally released in the mid and late 1970s the trilogy, Adventures of the Wilderness Family, Adventures of the Wilderness Family 2 and Adventures of the Wilderness Family 3, follows a family that moves from the city to a mountainous area, where they learn that it isn’t as peaceful as one might imagine as they build a cabin and encounter wild animals and extreme weather, among other things.


Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; Four Day Labor Day Weekend, August 31-September 2, 2012:
The Possession (Lionsgate) PG-13                                      Opening Weekend $21.3m
The Bourne Legacy (Universal) PG-13                                  $9.4m-4 wk total $98.4m
ParaNorman (Focus Features) PG                                        $8.8m-3 wk total 40.3m
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Disney) PG                          $8.5m-3 wk total $38.4m
The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.) PG-13                         $7.9m-7 wk total $433.2m
2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pictures) G               $7.1m-8 wk total $20.3m
Hope Springs (Sony) PG-13                                               $6.0m-4 wk total $53.4m
Premium Rush (Sony) PG-13                                              $5.1m-2 wk total $13.5m
Marvel’s The Avengers (Buena Vista) PG-13                         $2.4m-18 wk total $620.3m
Sparkle (Sony) PG-13                                                       $2.3m-3 wk total $22.2m
Source: Rentrak (www.rentrak.com)


Clarification: The ratings chart for the morning of Saturday, August 25, 2012 for the new Vortexx block on The CW should have read:
Final K6-11 Ratings for Saturday, August 25, 2012 Broadcast Networks only (Live + SD Data):
Source: Disney Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
CW (Vortexx) 0.8/4 Avg. (7a-12p)
Cubix 0.5/5; Rescue Heroes 0.6/6; Power Rangers Lost Galaxy 0.8/6; Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal 0.8/4; Iron Man Armored Adventures 0.9/4; Justice League Unlimited 1.0/5; WWE Saturday Morning Slam 1.1/5; Dragon Ball Z Kai 0.8/4; Yu-Gi-Oh 0.7/3; Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal 0.6/3.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What color is the plane piloted by the Koala Brothers? Yellow. Kudos to: Sharaine Roberts-A+E Networks/NYC; Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson; Maytal Nissim-The Hub/Burbank.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who sang the theme song to the animated series, Stanley? (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
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis Kids!

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