Monday, May 21st, 2007


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Monday, May 21, 2007 and this is your first early morning briefing.

Seeing Shrek the Third this weekend was “de rogre” (yes the worst pun I could come up with), as the DreamWorks Animation’s picture, distributed by Paramount, earned an estimated $122.9 million in its first weekend.  The weekend box office estimates include Thursday night previews receipts.  The third Shrek picture opened in 4,122 theaters (about 8,600 movie screens) and set a new record as the largest opening weekend for an animated feature film, knocking Shrek 2 (May 19, 2004/$108m) from that post, moving The Incredibles to the third position (November 5, 2004/$70.5m) and Finding Nemo (May 30, 2003/$70.3m) to fourth.  Overall Shrek the Third is now the third biggest grossing weekend opening ever behind Spider-Man 3 (July 7, 2006/$151.1m) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man’s Chest ($135.6m).  Meanwhile Spider-Man 3 dropped 51% from its opening weekend


Building off of their successful partnership that delivered us the animated movie Happy Feet, Warner Bros. Pictures and Animal Logic, have inked a deal to develop and co-produce a slate of animated feature films.  Three projects have already been slated for the development tract and will be announced soon.  Warner Bros. will hold the worldwide distribution rights for all the movies produced under the pact.  Previously Animal Logic provided visual effects for Warner Bros. pictures including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games are just around the corner and so is a new 3D animated TV series based on the Five Friendlies (52 episodes), aka Fu Wa, which are the mascots for the games, according to China Daily.  The Five Friendlies animated series will tell the story of how they help two characters to return to current times after a Olympic time-traveling adventure that spans 100-years of Olympic Games history. Produced by Shenzhen Phoenix Star Film Disseminate Co., the Publicity Dept. of Shenzhen local government, Shenzhen Media Group and Shandong TV station, the series is expected to launch the middle of 2008.  The characters are pretty cute, so this is likely going to be the Olympics of vinyl toys in addition to the never ending Olympic pin collecting and trading that goes on at each games.

You may recall a couple of months back I told you that Avi Arad and his company Arad Productions would produce a mixed live-action/CGI animated movie based on Wowwee’s high-tech toy Robosapien.  Adding to that news is that Arad has teamed for the project with Crystal Sky Pictures to produce and Sean McNamara to direct the picture, per Variety.  Robosapien remains slated for release in 2009.  Arad and Crystal Sky Pictures are currently producing the live-action Bratz: The Movie, which is based on MGA’s Bratz doll line, with McNamara directing.


Word World, the new animated series for preschoolers, will bow on PBS stations on September 3, 2007.  PBS station, WTTW Chicago developed the series under a multi-year grant from the Department of Education as part the Ready To Learn initiative announced about two years ago.  Word World is designed to support literacy, specifically the connection between letters, sounds and visual word recognition as well as other skills, through the help of WordFriends and WordThings, a collection of animals characters and familiar objects respectively, which look like and spell out the objects they represent. Word World was featured this weekend at the PBS Showcase, and creator Don Moody will discuss the series later this morning with PBS station affiliates.

Nickelodeon Latin America has completed a new group of broadcast deals for Kappa Mikey.  Picking up the anime series are: Artear Channel 13 (Argentina), Antenna Latina 7 (Dominican Republic), Medcom (Panama), Megavision (Chile), Compania Televisora Honduras (Honduras), and Teleamazonas (Ecuador).  Through these new partnerships 17.6 million broadcast TV HH in Latin America will be able to see Kappa Mikey, in addition to the 18.5 million cable HH that watch it on Nickelodeon Latin America.  Animation Collective, a NYC based studio, created and produces the series in the US.

The live-action series, Timeblazers (40×30′), has been picked up by Nine Network (Australia), Discovery Kids US, Discovery India, Discovery UK, SRC (Canada), TPS (France), ATV (Hong Kong), and Media Corp (Singapore).  Additionally, Brazil’s Log On Editora has acquired the home video rights for the series.  Targeted to K7-11, Timeblazers is co-produced by CCI Entertainment and Coneybear Stories in association with YTV.


MGM has inked a license deal with Hong Kong’s Tengxun Entertainment and Management, and developer Shanghai Tianhong Real Estate Investment Co. to develop and build MGM Studio World, an indoor lifestyle entertainment center in Shanghai.  Slated to open in summer 2010, to coincide with the World’s Fair Expo in Shanghai, MGM Studio World will feature dinning, retail stores, nightlife and an entertainment space. Shanghai Tianhong Real Estate Investment Co. plans to invest upwards of $157 million to create the venue.  While MGM will not be a financial investor in the project, nor will it operate the venture, the studio will serve as the licensor and as the creative collaborator on the entire project.

Cartoon Network and tennis star Anna Kournikova, currently an Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), have teamed-up for a healthy lifestyles in-classroom DVD project targeted to the non-athletic kids out there.  The DVD, titled Get Animated with Anna Kournikova, will present kids with different ways to get and stay physically and mentally healthy and active in an indoor environment (e.g. a classroom), like warm up/cool down exercises as well as aerobic, strength training, stretching and the like.  The DVD features Cartoon Network animated characters, Kournikova and BGCA kids demonstrating various activities.  The DVD program will be distributed to 4,000 BGCA Clubs nationwide from June 4, 2007.  Additionally, support materials are available in English and Spanish.


Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; May 18-20, 2007:
Shrek the Third (Paramount (DreamWorks)) PG     Opening Weekend $122.9m
Spider-Man 3 (Sony / Columbia) PG-13                 $28.5m-3 wk total $281.9m
Disturbia (Paramount (DreamWorks)) PG-13          $3.7m-6 wk total $71.3m
Delta Farce (Lionsgate) PG-13                              $1.8m-2 wk total $6.1m
The Invisible (Buena Vista) PG-13                         $1.3m-4 wk total $17.7m
Waitress (Fox Searchlight) PG-13                          $1.1m-3 wk total $2.2m
Next (Paramount) PG-13                                      $1.1m-4 wk total $16.6m
Blades of Glory (Paramount (DreamWorks)) PG-13 $1.1m-8 wk total $115.4m
Away from Her (Lionsgate) PG-13                         $720,000-3 wk total $1.4m
The Ex (MGM (Weinstein)) PG-13                          $695,000-2 wk total $2.6m
Source: Box Office Mojo

The first Monopoly: The Mega Edition national championship tournament will be held this week in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at Caesars.  The competitors come from seven states and will go up against one another and the current US champ Matt McNally.  Parker Brothers’ Monopoly: The Mega Edition game includes 12 additional spaces, which includes seven new states, and allows players to build skyscrapers (for those of us who live in NYC, oh just think of the rents!). Why am I telling you this?  Well, after breaking up a group of six kids (ages 9-15) embroiled in a heated game of regular old Monopoly this weekend, this is a mega reminder that the holiday weekend is ahead and kids still play board games.  Oh and some still try to embezzle, but I’m not naming names.  More info on the tournament can be found at

Answer to Yesterday’s trivia question: On the show Malcolm in the Middle who plays Stevie, Malcolm’s best friend? Craig Lamar Traylor Kudos to: Kimberly Keeley-Safety4Kids/Stamford, CT; Kristen Tuinstra-Associate Editor/Grand Rapids, MI; Logan Christopher-Power of 8 Productions/Hollywood; Claire Wilmut-Boomstone Animation/Ottawa

Today’s Trivia Question: On The Simpsons what is Bart’s full 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!

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JOB OPENING: MARKETING MANAGER /Discovery Channel, Silver Spring, MD: Develop & manage strategic mktng & brand campaigns for the network. 5+ yrs advertising/mktng exp. TV exp preferred. Apply at Req#5257 (5/26)

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JOB OPENING: SR SALES RESEARCH ANALYST/CBS NETWORK SALES/NYC: Min 3 yrs agency planning &/or network research exp. Strong comp. skills/media research dbase exp req. Apply: job #2103. Indicate salary & source (5/26)

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