Good morning. It’s Monday, July 6, 2009, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
The weekend box office race for the number one movie comes down to a tie with Fox‘s newly released 3D animated movie Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and DreamWorks/Paramount’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, now in its second week, each taking in an estimated $42.5 million domestically for the July 4th holiday weekend. So we’ll have to wait until the final numbers to come in to see which movie took the weekend domestically. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs earned a total of $215.5 million in worldwide box office receipts, $148 million of that was gleaned internationally in 101 markets, which, per Variety, makes it the biggest international open for an animated movie ever.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
CBBC orders up more new series across several genres at Showcomotion.
- Just William – a Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly, Reggie Perrin) adaptation of Richmal Crompton’s books about a scruffy and mischievous 11-year-old boy. Set in England 1952, Just William is a CBBC production for BBC One and will air Sunday afternoons when it launches in 2010. This marks the fourth TV adaptation of Just William, with two different BBC versions airing in the 1960s and 90s and an ITV adaptation in the 70s.
- Big Babies (26×15) – a mixed live action, puppet and CGI animated comedy about two babies, Rocco and Brooks, with the heads of grown men. Things get more complicated when the babies are taken out for a walk and their toys take over the nursery. Big Babies is created by Broken Biscuits‘ John Riche and Spencer Jones, with consultant Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Free Agents).
- Inside Life (10×30) – the series takes kids behind the scenes of the BBC Natural History Unit’s new series Life. Slated to bow this fall, the program will feature ten “CBBC agents” on the road around the world with Life to find out how they get the wildlife footage for the series. Life in Inside Life is a CBBC production.
- A new documentary series (6×28) – each single topic documentary will focus on a different aspect of kid’s lives in the UK. The series will features programs from indie and in-house documentary producers including two from Indus Films (Amazon with Bruce Parry), one about a rite of passage for boys in a Coventry school and the second about a group of traveler kids in Essex. The Foundation with documentary producer Mick Robertson will produce a program about young mayors, while Welsh indie Boomerang will follow three kids whose parents are in prison.
Rumors are gathering speed everywhere across the web and in offline fan circles about a new Doctor Who movie that, if the rumors are correct, would star David Tennant as Doctor Who and that the movie will be officially announced later this month at Comic-Con in San Diego. The rumors also have former Doctor Who writer/executive producer Russell T. Davies involved in the project. David Tennant is the current Doctor Who and as previously reported set to leave that role after just a few more episodes and specials air. Taking over for Tennant, who by the way is the 10th actor to play the good Doctor Who, is Matt Smith, with Steven Moffat set to run the newest incarnation of the TV series.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Target Entertainment Group inks a deal for seasons one and two of the preschool 2D digital cell animated series Fluffy Gardens (80×7) to GMTV/CiTV (UK). The broadcaster will air the series as part of its Fluffy Club block, which airs weekends on GMTV (6a- 7:25a). The Fluffy Club also broadcasts on The CiTV Channel and ITV4 during term time weekdays (8:40a-9:25a). Turner Broadcasting’s preschool channel Cartoonito, which currently has the rights to air Fluffy Gardens in the UK, will share a window with GMTV/CiTV. Created, written and directed by Jason Tammemagi from Dublin-based Monster Animation & Design, a second season (40×7) is currently in production for the commissioning broadcaster, RTE (Ireland). Target holds the worldwide TV, licensing and home entertainment rights to Fluffy Gardens.
Other news out of Showcomotion Children’s Media Conference:
- Disney UK and Ireland is seeking to cast its own ‘Zac Efron’ to star in TV movies and series, a la High School Musical and Hannah Montana, aimed at boys. Disney UK and Ireland plans to produce international formats, including entertainment, music and sports centric shows, for the new Boy 6-14 aimed Disney XD channel, which launches in the UK this fall – taking over for the Jetix channel.
- The UK’s CiTV will grow its budget in 2010, the only ITV channel to do so, with Emma Tennant ITV’s Controller, Digital Channels explaining she would like to see more real kids in preschool programming. While noting that these are huge increases and budgets are still tight, Tennant said they are not looking at animated or magazine series or even necessarily at creating new original program, pointing out that acquisitions are more cost-effective and that co-productions are also a good option too. She added that they are interested in more factual and drama series programming for K4-9.
- Channel 4 (C4) plans to produce more shows specifically aimed at tweens. C4 notes that younger teens are underserved on TV and are still watching TV as well as going to other platforms for content. This news follows on the heels of Lord Stephen Carter’s Digital Britain Review, which was published last month, that included a range of specific points including that Channel 4 must focus more on content for K10+.
Wizard Entertainment has launched FunFare, a new kid and parent targeted consumer magazine focusing on toys and games. Published by Wizard Entertainment founder and CEO Gareb Shamus, FunFare features a 100 hottest toy list for the coming season, toy and company histories, a kid critic’s panel and all sorts of other groovy stuff. The holiday issue of FunFare launches at Big Apple Con on October 16, 2009 and features the annual Holiday Hot Dozen List.
Namco Bandai Games America acquires the exclusive North American rights to publish future videogames based on the anime and manga series Dragon Ball for major consoles and handheld platforms in a deal with Toei Animation and Funimation Entertainment. The five-year pact begins in January 2010 and supplants the existing rights to publish titles for Nintendo DS, Wii, Playstation3, PSP, and Xbox 360. Additionally, Namco Bandai Games America also secures the right to initially publish three titles in 2009, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo exclusively for Wii, and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans exclusive for Nintendo DS.
The mobile game based on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is available from Glu Mobile. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – The Mobile Game lets players to control Autobot Bumblebee, as well as Prime. The game was adapted and scripted from the movie by veteran Transformers writers James McDonough and Adam Patyk of The Enemy (Superman/Batman: Heroes United, Hellboy among others). This is Glu’s third Transformers title under a license deal with Hasbro.
Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; The holiday weekend July 3-5, 2009:
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount (DreamWorks)) PG-13 $42.5m-2 wk total $293.5m
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) PG Opening Weekend $67.5m
The Proposal (Buena Vista) PG-13 $12.8m-3 wk total $94.2m
Up (Buena Vista) PG $6.6m-6 wk total $264.9m
My Sister’s Keeper (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $5.2m-2 wk total $25.9m
Year One (Sony/Columbia) PG-13 $2.1m-3 wk total $38.1m
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Fox) PG $2.1m-7 wk total $167.8m
Star Trek (Paramount) PG-13 $1.8m-9 wk total $249.8m
Whatever Works (Sony Classics) PG-13 $1.1m-3 wk total $2.0m
Land of the Lost (Universal) PG-13 $292,600-10wk tot $178.4m
Bestseller Children’s Series and Tie-Ins Books (top 10), Week of June 22, 2009: Title; Author (Publisher)
Twilight saga; Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown/Tingley)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians; Rick Riordan (Hyperion/Miramax)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Jeff Kinney (Abrams/Amulet)
The 39 Clues; N/A author* (Scholastic)
House of Night; PC Cast and Kristin cast (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Magic Tree House; Mary Pope Osborne (Random House)
The Vampire Diaries; L.J. Smith (HarperTeen)
The Mortal Instruments; Cassandra Clare (S&S/McElderry)
Gallagher Girls; Ally Carter (Disney-Hyperion)
Warriors; Erin Hunter (HarperCollins)
Compiled from data received from independent and chain bookstores.
*A different author writes each book in the series
Source: Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Children’s Picture Books (top 10), Week of June 15, 2009: Title; Author (Publisher)
Goldilicious; Victoria Kann (HarperCollins)
Gallop!; Rufus Butler Seder (Workman)
Listen to the Wind; Greg Mortenson (Dial)
Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinaire!; Jane O’Connor (HarperCollins)
Swing!; Rufus Butler Seder (Workman)
Llama Llama Misses Mama; Anna Dewdney (Viking)
The Curious Garden; Peter Brown (Little, Brown)
Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully; Julianne Moore (Bloomsbury)
Duck! Rabbit!; Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Chronicle)
Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy; David Soman (Dial)
Compiled from data received from independent and chain bookstores.
Source: Publishers Weekly
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