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Friday - April 6, 2001
- Pokemon 3 Released to Theaters
- Quotes of Interest From Pixar's Annual Report
- BBC News: Hanna-Barbera "Most Famous Names in Cartoons"
- News Link of the Day - From Pencils to Pixels

Pokemon 3Pokemon 3 Released to Theaters
(by digitalmediafx.com) The animated Pokemon 3 opened on 2,675 theater screens today, complete with a marketing campaign that gives free exclusive Pokemon cards to people who attend this weekend.

The original Pokemon movie to be imported to the U.S. grossed a staggering $50 million in its opening five days (it opened on a Wednesday) in November 1999. The sequel hit US theaters last year grossing $19 million in its opening weekend. Warner Bros. is hoping for another huge opening for Pokemon 3 around the tune of $12 million or higher. Pokemon 3 will have tough competition, particularly from last weekend's mega hit, Spy Kids, which grossed $27 million in its opening weekend and has sustained strong word of mouth. Most industry analysts are predicting that Spy Kids will demolish Pokemon 3 at this weekend's box office.

In Pokemon 3, the main characters come across the most "mysterious" ever pokemon character named Unown. The official subtitle of the movie is "Spell of the Unown." Like the last two films, audiences will be forced to sit through a 22-minute short prior to the feature. Warner Bros. is forced to do this in order to bring the movie in at a regulation time in order to be considered a "feature" for theaters. The 22-minute short is titled "Pikachu and Pichu."

Giving Pokemon 3 only one out of five stars, the Orlando Sentinel states, "As brainless as this drivel is, parents can still pass along lessons to the wee ones from a Pokemon movie. Talk about the 'culture in decline' that produced this phenomenon, a nation that gave us sushi, Godzilla and Iron Chef now depends on gullible American kids to end its trade deficit."

Critics are almost unanimous in their detest of the Pokemon franchise, yet most recognize that kids don't care and will still be entertained sequel after sequel after sequel.

Yes, there is a Pokemon 4 in the works for release in the U.S. next year.

Click here to see the movie trailer for Pokemon 3.

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Quotes of Interest From Pixar's Annual Report
(digitalmediafx.com) Pixar released its annual report last Friday. Here are some interesting animation tidbits pulled from the report:

"In 1999, we began production on our fourth theatrical film, Monsters, Inc. and concept development on our sixth animated feature film, 'Film Six.' In 2000, we began production on our fifth animated feature film, Finding Nemo and concept development on our seventh animated feature film, 'Film Seven.' These films will be produced and distributed under the Co-Production Agreement and will count as the second, third, fourth, and fifth films of the five original films to be produced under the Co-Production Agreement. We expect to release Monsters, Inc. in November 2001, and Finding Nemo in summer 2003, at the earliest. Film Six and Film Seven are currently targeted for release no earlier than 2004 and 2005, respectively."

"Under the Co-Production Agreement, we share equally with Disney in the profits of Toy Story 2 and A Bug's Life after Disney recovers its marketing, distribution and other predefined costs and fees."

"Film and animation services revenue increased from $10.4 million in 1998 to $115.3 million in 1999, and increased to $163.2 million in 2000. Film revenue increased from $9.8 million in 1998 to $114.4 million in 1999, and increased to $162.3 million in 2000... Animation services revenue includes revenue generated from short projects related to our feature films. Fees for animation services, which are fixed in advance, depend on the relative complexity and length of each production and may also depend on the market and other competitive conditions. Animation services revenue increased from $630,000 in 1998 to $873,000 in 1999, and remained relatively flat at $882,000 in 2000."

"After the Co-Production Agreement was executed, we determined that, despite the fact that our first CD-ROM titles were successful on relative terms, the resources devoted to our interactive products division would be better allocated to other projects arising from the Co-Production Agreement. We determined in March 1997 to discontinue our business of producing CD-ROM and other interactive products and redirected the approximately 60 employees in that division to film and related projects within Pixar."

"In November 2000, we moved our offices from leased facilities in Richmond, California to our new headquarters and studio facility in Emeryville, California. As of December 30, 2000, we incurred capital expenditures of approximately $98.6 million to purchase the land and to construct our studio and headquarter facility. In order to complete construction and furnish and equip our Emeryville facility, we expect to incur capital expenditures ranging from $5 million to $7 million in 2001."

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BBC News Calls Hanna-Barbera "Most Famous Names in Cartoons"
While the world still awaits a press release from Warner Bros. honoring the memory of William Hanna, other publications continue to comment on his contributions to the cartoon world.

BBC News had the following to say: "Joseph Barbera and William Hanna, who has died aged 90, remain the two most famous names in cartoons more than 60 years after they first met and teamed up to form their formidable partnership...Hanna Barbera studios was bought by Warner Brothers in 1996 but William Hanna was said to have worked at his desk every day up until his death."

William Hanna passed away on March 22 at the age of 90.

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News Link of the Day - From Pencils to Pixels

According to The Hindu:

"When visual art meets Computer Science, the result is an exciting `sangam' which has breathed new life into one of the earliest, purest forms of the cinematic arts - the animated film. We still lament the lack of quality among the quantity of popular Indian Cinema ( an exercise triggered off at this time every year by our predictable absence in the list on Oscar Night). But unheralded and largely ignored, quality is creeping in - and it is rapidly establishing an Indian stamp in a lucrative neck of the global cinema business: the meeting place of education and entertainment that is the animated film..."

Click here for the full story.

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