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Friday - March 30, 2001
- IMAX Troubles Continue - Can Animation Save It?
- Warner Bros. Release The Matrix 2 & 3 Filming Details
- Disney to Show Select Animation Shorts at the El Capitan
- News Link of the Day - Human Touch a Bit Too Realistic for Animated Shrek

IMAX Troubles Continue - Can Animation Save It?
(by digitalmediafx.com) IMAX, which is looking to Disney animation as its hero, continues to struggle financially. Yesterday, the Company reported a loss of $32.5 million or $1.08 per share for the fourth quarter and a loss of $92.9 million or $3.11 per share for the full year.

"While we expect such difficulties to continue to affect our financial results into 2001, we are putting in place strategic initiatives to improve the Company's results in 2002 and beyond," said IMAX Co-Chief Executive Officers Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "The IMAX Experience is becoming increasingly popular with audiences around the world. We are particularly pleased that The Walt Disney Company announced last month that it intends to follow last year's successful release of Fantasia 2000: The IMAX Experience with a large-format release of Beauty and The Beast next March, which should provide a further boost to IMAX's exposure and theatre attendance. This is a clear validation of our strategy to attract better film content to IMAX theatres."

Disney's Fantasia 2000 was IMAX's biggest money making film last year.

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Warner Bros. Releases The Matrix 2 & 3 Filming Details
The Matrix(by digitalmediafx.com) The following is an unedited press release put out by Warner Bros. about The Matrix sequels:

Producer Joel Silver and directors Larry and Andy Wachowski will shoot sequels to their groundbreaking, Academy Award-winning blockbuster The Matrix in Australia, it was announced today by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, President of Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

"We had a terrific experience shooting The Matrix in Australia," Lorenzo di Bonaventura said. "We look forward to reteaming with our partners from Village Roadshow, and returning to the state-of-the-art facilities and incredible locations in Sydney to shoot the sequels in collaboration with the talented local production crew and with the cooperation of the Australian government."

"This is wonderful news because it's return business," said Bob Carr, the Sydney-based Premier of New South Wales. "The Matrix was the first big international production to come to our new Sydney studios. Now the sequels will be shot here as well. That's a great vote of confidence in our crews, our locations and our facilities. It confirms our position as a leading film-making destination."

After completing preliminary photography in California, the production will be based at the Fox Studios in Sydney. The Matrix sequels will film on location in Sydney with the support and assistance of the Federal Government, the State Government of New South Wales, N.S.W. State Premier Bob Carr, and the Office of State and Regional Development.

Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving will reprise their roles from The Matrix. Also returning will be Australian producer Andrew Mason, as well as numerous local crew members and award-winning technicians from the original Matrix production.

The highly acclaimed action thriller won four Academy Awards, became the fastest-selling DVD on record at the time of its release, and has accumulated the biggest box office in Warner Bros. Pictures' history - over $450 million worldwide.

The Matrix sequels, presented by Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Village Roadshow Pictures and NPV Entertainment, are scheduled to begin production in Sydney in September 2001. The films will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and, in select territories, by Village Roadshow Pictures. Village Roadshow Pictures is the Motion Picture Production division of Village Roadshow Limited, an international entertainment company whose operations also include Cinema Exhibition, Film Distribution, Radio and Theme Parks. Village Roadshow Pictures co-produces ten to twelve titles annually with major studio partners.

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Disney to Show Select Animation Shorts at the El Capitan
The Silent 1924 Peter Pan Movie(by digitalmediafx.com)
Mark your calendars if you live near Los Angeles. On Sunday, April 8, Disney will show a few classic animated short films along with a feature presentation of the live action silent movie Peter Pan, which was originally released in 1924.

The live action Peter Pan movie served as an inspiration to Walt Disney who purchased all rights to the film and started work on an animated version in 1938.

Last year, Disney showed the same silent Peter Pan movie to a sellout crowd.

"Our special presentation of Peter Pan last year was such a success that we're bringing it back for those who missed it and those who want to see it again. It's one of the best movies from the silent era and when you add live accompaniment on 'the Mightiest of the Mighty Wurlitzers' played by acclaimed organist Chris Elliott and a birthday celebration for Walt Disney, you have an entertainment event that is truly unique. The El Capitan is a wonderful showcase and we're committed to providing the ultimate in entertainment for the whole family."

Buena Vista Marketing says that the event will be a celebration of Walt Disney's 100th birthday that includes rare screenings of two 1922 animated shorts, "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Puss in Boots," along with family home movies and previously unseen footage. Disney film restoration expert Scott MacQueen will host the event.

To order tickets, call 1-800-DISNEY6. Ticket prices are $12 a piece. Digital Media FX staff will be in attendance at the event, which begins at 2PM on Sunday, April 8.

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News Link of the Day - Human Touch a Bit Too Realistic for Animated Shrek

According to USA Today:

"Sometimes, Hollywood can stray too far from never-never land.

The technology behind the computer-animated Shrek -- one of the most anticipated PG-rated films of the summer season -- faced a reality check during production. The characters were getting a bit too, well, real..."

Click here for the full story.

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