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Saturday - July 14, 2001
- New Animated Feature Scheduled for 2003
- Final Fantasy Nose Dives at Box Office in Opening Weekend!
- Shrek Nears Toy Story 2 Mark
- News Link of the Day - FX Guru Says Actors Need Not Fear "Fantasy"

New Animated Feature Scheduled for 2003
(by For years designer and conceptual artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud has dreamed of turning his movie vision into a full CGI animated feature. Now that dream is about to become a reality as a team of 3D artists work to bring "Thru the Moebius Strip" to the big screen in the summer of 2003. The movie is about a physicist whose experiments with transportal transportation send him to an alien civilization. The doctor's family is his only hope of being returned to the Earth he knows and the loved ones that he has been separated from via light-years.

Thru the Moebius Strip

Giraud, a French illustrator, has plenty of experience with U.S. films including being a designer for The Fifth Element and Tron, as well as a conceptual artist for Willow, Alien, and The Abyss. For nearly two decades he has dreamed of creating his own animated film, realizing that dream when American Frank Foster and a digital film producer in Hong Kong, Raymond Noeh. The majority of animators working on the movie are from China. The decision to use Chinese artists was purely a financial decision and the filmmakers are pleased with the quality of the work coming from the artists.

Thru the Moebius Strip

Columbia Pictures will examine the film when it is closer to completion with the option for first distribution rights in the U.S.

(special thanks to "imrip" for news tip)

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If you're looking for the second set of stills from Osmosis Jones, click here.

Final Fantasy Nose Dives at Box Office in Opening Weekend!
(by Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within nose dived at the box office, placing third on Friday with only $3.9 million. Easily coming in first was Legally Blonde followed by The Score. To add insult to injury, both Legally Blonde and The Score opened in fewer theaters than Final Fantasy while nearly doubling the box office take of Final Fantasy.

An average marketing campaign, lack of a good story, and failure to capture the magic of the video game series appears to be the downfall of the movie, which cost well over $100 million to make. Of the top 10 film critics, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times was the only one to give Final Fantasy a positive review.

Some fans of the video game series have expressed disappointment that the first Final Fantasy movie tackled a futuristic storyline versus a fantasy/medieval storyline that could have included recognizable Final Fantasy creatures like Chocobos.

Square Pictures has been working on a top secret project since completing Final Fantasy. It is unknown if the disastrous performance at the box office will effect the progress of that project. Another animation company, Aardman Animations, recently laid off 90 animators and put its Tortoise vs. Hare project on hold due to script problems and in order to develop a stronger story.

Final Fantasy tried to elevate itself to "event" status by opening on a Wednesday instead of a Friday. The result was a mediocre $5 million opening on Wednesday followed by a disappointing $2.6 million on Thursday and a $3.9 million third place finish yesterday.

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Shrek Nears Toy Story 2 Mark
(by Shrek is about to overtake Toy Story 2's total gross at the box office to move into second place in the Top Animated Films of All Time, based on total domestic box office receipts. Toy Story 2 made a total of $245.8 million at the box office and Shrek, still playing strong, currently stands at $243.7 million. By the end of this weekend Shrek will likely dethrone Toy Story 2 for the #2 spot. It is rumored that Shrek will soon be pulled from theaters and held until later this year when it will be rereleased (with a whole new marketing campaign). DreamWorks has declined to confirm nor deny this rumor.

The number one grossing animated movie of all time is The Lion King with $312.8 million.

DreamWorks was originally going to release the video and DVD for Shrek in November to coincide with the release of the Shrek X-box game. The strategy could drastically change, however, if DreamWorks goes with a rerelease plan instead.

Shrek is currently regarded as a favorite to win next years new Best Animated Feature category.

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News Link of the Day - FX Guru Says Actors Need Not Fear "Fantasy"

According to The Kansas City Star:

"Special effects master Stan Winston, who created some of the dinosaurs in the upcoming Jurassic Park 3 movie, says the fear of computer-generated actors expressed by two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is 'foolish' and 'ridiculous.'

'That's a foolish remark from Tom Hanks, he will always have an audience,' says Winston..."

Click here for the full story.

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