Monday, March 17th, 2008

 

Cynopsis: Kids!

03/17/08

Good morning. It’s Monday, March 17, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment, publisher of Dark Horse Comics, and producer of movies and TV series, have inked a three-year worldwide production and distribution deal establishing a studio home for Dark Horse’s properties.  Under the deal, Universal has access to all Dark Horse characters and properties, as well as material acquired by Dark Horse on its own and opts to develop as a feature film.  Meanwhile, Dark Horse has the option to independently produce its own material and to distribute movies through Universal.  Universal Pictures will open Hellboy II: The Golden Army, directed by Guillermo del Toro and based on Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse Comics character, on July 11, 2008.  Dark Horse Entertainment, which has produced a range of movies and TV shows, is represented by Endeavor and The Gotham Group.

NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Disney has added to the cast of its new feature Race to Witch Mountain, which they are calling a “reimagining” of its 1975 movie Escape to Witch Mountain.  Joining the cast is Carla Gugino, who will star opposite the previously announced Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as well as director/actor Garry Marshall, per The Hollywood Reporter.  Race to Witch Mountain is directed by Andy Fickman, and is slated for a spring 2009 release.  Other previously announced cast members include AnnaSophia Robb, Ciaran Hinds and Alexander Ludwig.

Will Smith’s kids Willow (I Am Legend) and Jaden (The Pursuit of Happyness) are set to star in the Warner Bros. movie Amulet: The Stonekeeper, according to Variety.  Adapted from Kazu Kibuishi’s graphic novel of the same name, the movie will be co-produced by Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment, with Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road.  Kibuishi is expected to write four additional books in the series.

MORE KIDS STUFF

KidsCo, the family-targeted multi-platform channel, is set to launch in four territories across Asia this week on Thursday, March 20, 2008.  Specifically KidsCo will bow on Sky Cable (Philippines), Hana TV (Korea), SingTel’s mio (Singapore) and PNCC (Palau) on 20th March 2008.  KidsCo is a joint venture of NBC Universal, DIC Entertainment and Corus Entertainment Inc.  In addition to the carriage deals, KidsCo has also signed a deal with the Philippines’ Cable Boss to act as the distributor in that market.  Currently available in Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Russia, Turkey and Poland, the goal is to have KidsCo available in 40+ territories within the next 18-months.

In its 4Q and fiscal 2007 report Imax Corporation confirms that when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens in theaters this November, it will do so in Imax theaters, in addition to traditional movie theaters per Imax.  Warner Bros. fifth Harry Potter movie is slated to open November 21, 2008.  Additional movies set to bow in Imax this year include versions of: Shine A Light (April 4), Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert movie; Speed Racer (May 9), a Warner Bros. picture; Kung Fu Panda (June 8)  which is part of a four picture deal with DreamWorks Animation; and The Dark Knight (July).

Little Airplane Productions hangs out its shingle in London, the production company’s first studio outside of the US.  The opening of the new studio comes on the heels of Little Airplane’s newly announced animated series 3rd & Bird! (26×30), which is a co-production with the BBC’s CBeebies Productions, and is slated to premiere on CBeebies in 2008.  Little Airplane Productions is the creator/producer of preschool series including The Wonder Pets! (Nick Jr.), Go, Baby! (Playhouse Disney), and Noggin’s Oobi!

The newest book in Today Show’s Al Roker’s, Al’s Book Club For Kids, an effort launched by NBC with Scholastic in summer 2007, is Chasing Vermeer from author Blue Balliett and featuring illustrations by Brett Helquist (he also did the Series of Unfortunate Events books).

MARKETING/LICENSING

HarperCollins Children’s Books has launched Read It Before You See It, a worldwide digital marketing campaign designed to promote the second Narnia movie from Disney and Walden Media, based on C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.  The campaign features Web 2.0 efforts including various promotions, quizzes and the like on Facebook and MySpace, a Prince Caspian widget and enter and win contests. Other initiatives include a dedicated microsite ( www.harpercollinschildrens.com/narnia ) and online advertising on nick.com and nickjr.com. Additionally NeoPets.com will host an interactive game along with links to the microsite, trailer and other features.

STONE SOUP

Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; March 14-16 2008:
Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (Fox) G                    Opening Weekend $45.1m
10,000 B.C. (Warner Bros.) PG-13                            $16.4m-2 wk total $61.2m
Never Back Down (Summit Ent.) PG-13                     Opening Weekend $8.6m
College Road Trip (Buena Vista) G                             $7.9m-2 wk total $24.3m
Vantage Point (Sony/Columbia) PG-13                       $5.4m-4 wk total $59.2m
The Other Boleyn Girl (Sony/Columbia) PG-13            $2.9m-3 wk total $19.2m
The Spiderwick Chronicles (Paramount) PG                 $2.4m-5 wk total $65.4m
Jumper (Fox) PG-13                                                  $2.1m-5 wk total $75.8m
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Focus Features) PG-13 $1.9m-2 wk total $5.3m
Fool’s Gold (Warner Bros.) PG-13                               $1.7m-6 wk total $65.4m
Source: Box Office Mojo

MyToons has unveiled the winners of its international Bumper Blastoff Animation Contest at SXSW.  Contestants participated by submitting original animated bumpers (:30 seconds or less). ( www.mytoons.com/blastoff)

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Bob Osher is named President of the Digital Production division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Hannah Minghella becomes President/Production, Sony Pictures Animation.  Osher, who has been COO/Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group, takes over the reigns from Yair Landau, who announced his departure last week to launch a new games and animation venture.  In addition to his new responsibilities, Osher will maintain his oversight of the Motion Picture Group.  The Digital Production division (f/k/a Sony Pictures Digital) is comprised of Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation.  Additionally, it was announced that Sony Online Entertainment, once part of Sony Pictures Digital, would move to Sony Computer Entertainment.  Minghella is currently Director/Creative Affairs, working for Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal.

John Cerna is named Creative Director/On-Air Promotions, qubo.  Cerna will report to President and GM, Rick Rodriguez. Most recently, Cerna was a freelance writer/producer/director for companies including TLC, Discovery Kids and Ringling Brothers.  Previously he toiled as a sr. writer/producer for PBS Kids.

RATINGS

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, March 13, 2008, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1090; K6-11 525; TWEENS 9-14 392
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   691; K6-11 440; TWEENS 9-14 349
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   468; K6-11 232; TWEENS 9-14 188
TOON DISNEY:           K2-11   150; K6-11   60; TWEENS 9-14   39
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data



Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  The Squirrel Scouts, the female counterparts of the Bean Scouts, attend a camp called Acorn Flats on what animated TV series?  CAMP LAZLO (Cartoon Network)   Kudos to: Alonna Glass-WKID Inc./NY; Kim Mullaney-Thirteen/WNET/ NY; Joe Swaney-Cartoon Network/GA; Kimberly Keeley-Safety4Kids/Stamford; Al Ovadia -Al Ovadia & Associates, Inc./Hidden Hills, CA; Juan Morales-Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/North Hollywood

Today’s Trivia Question: On Disney Channel’s animated series Kim possible, Kim’s lifelong friend Ron had a naked mole rat as a pet. What was its name? ( Click here 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!
03.17.08

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JOB OPENING: MARKETING MGR/MSNBC/NY: Must have BA & 5 yrs agency exp or 3 yrs in TV marketing;develop & execute sales initiated sponsorships & promo programs for MSNBC on-air, online& mobile. Apply: www.nbcunicareers.com #809277 (3/22)

JOB OPENING: INTERACTIVE AD SALES MKTG MGR/HGTV/NY: Concept convergent sponsorships for sales organizations. Implement online sponsorships. 4 yrs in field, deadline-oriented environment. Apply: www.scrippsnetworks.com (3/22)

JOB OPENING: DR SALES COORDINATOR/New York, NY/GSN/The Network for Games: Rep to VP Sales Op & DR AE for Ad Sales. Good Com/detail req. Send Res/Cov Letter: [email protected]  (3/22)

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JOB OPENING:  SALES/ Univision/TeleFutura National Spot Sales: Seeking dynamic Account Executive for NY HQ. Prior media sales experience required, broadcast experience preferred. Res to: [email protected] EOE (3/22)

JOB OPENING:  FREELANCE COORD/USA Strategic Marketing/NY: Support creation of client programs inc. sponsorships, finances, etc. 2+ yrs integrated mktg exp in TV or ad agency preferred.Resumes to [email protected]   (3/22)

JOB OPENING: ACCT MGR-DIRECT RESPONSE/ New York, NY: BET: Cable salesperson w/strong presentation skills. Comfortable w/multi-platform & integrated opps. Sales/agency exp. req’d. Email: [email protected] (3/22)

JOB OPENING: PROD MGR, PREMIUM BUSINESSES/MTV NETWORKS/NEOPETS/LA: Exp. w/subscription businesses, prod. mgmt, feature enhancements, etc. required. See full JD at www.mtvncareers.com or email [email protected] (3/21)

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JOB OPENING: PROGRAM PLANNING & SCHEDULING MANAGER/VERSUS/PHILADELPHIA: Execute program scheduling plan for the network and assist with all aspects of planning and scheduling. Read more and apply (Req # 60727) at www.versus.com (3/20)

JOB OPENING: SVP FINANCE/NY: Ent/prod/dist co seeks proactive finance professional. Royalty acct., bookkeeping, A/R, AP, media exp. pref’d. Strength in corp. struct., working w/outside auditors, benefits exp. [email protected]  (3/19)

JOB OPENING: WRITER PRODUCER ON-AIR PROMOS/ABC Daytime/LA: Write/produce/supv edits/promos for ABC soap OLTL, SOAPnet, abc.com. Must have 5-7 yrs exp. w/in cable or broadcast network. Apply: www.disneycareers.com Req ID #145721 (3/19)
 
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WINTER AND SPRING INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. They are posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected] .

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SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Self motivated and organized individual to work in office & post-production. Interest in non-fiction filmmaking & reality TV production. Knowledge of Final Cut Pro helpful.  Send resume:   [email protected]   (3/20)

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E-mail  [email protected] for rates and specs for Job Openings. 

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