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Thursday - April 26, 2001
- Cats & Dogs Verus A.I.
- Cartoon Network Nabs Chicken Run
- The Mummy Returns Premiere Set for Sunday
- News Link of the Day - Disney to Lay Off Animators

Cats & DogsCats & Dogs Versus A.I.
(by digitalmediafx.com) Warner Bros. has two huge releases this summer, both which are potential blockbusters, both which have taken different approaches to marketing, and both which will be competing against each other at the box office!

AI, being released in theaters on June 29, has been mysterious in its marketing approach, with the WB opting to give very few details about the film in an apparent hope to "build interest through mystery." Meanwhile, Cats & Dogs, being released a week later on July 4 has been doing massive marketing showing off the films effects and story in movie theaters and on TV.

By releasing Cats & Dogs only one week after AI, Warner Bros. is setting it up so that both films, which have an overlapping audience, will be competing against each other. The odd move is further complicated by another issue: AI was produced by DreamWorks, which gave Warner Bros. U.S. distribution rights for the film while DreamWorks handles the International distribution.

Competing against each other for box office dollars will not be productive for either movie (particularly with the same studio distributing both), but it will create an interesting race to follow.

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Cartoon Network Nabs Chicken Run
(by digitalmediafx.com) The Cartoon Network has nabbed the rebroadcast rights of DreamWorks/Aardman's hit animated film, Chicken Run. The terms were sealed in a blockbuster licensing deal between Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS) and DreamWorks, which gives TBS cable rights to televise past, present, and future DreamWorks films. Under the terms, a major broadcast network is first allowed to air the movies then TBS gets exclusive cable rebroadcast rights.

For the Cartoon Network the deal also gives them cable broadcast rights to The Prince of Egypt, ANTZ, The Road to El Dorado, and even Shrek.

"Families around the country gather together to enjoy the best in contemporary animated features every week during Cartoon Theatre," said Betty Cohen, president, Cartoon Network Worldwide. "We already showcase films with stars such as Scooby-Doo and Bugs Bunny. Adding these modern classics will definitely enhance Cartoon Network's reputation as a destination for fans of top animated movies."

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The Mummy Returns Premiere Set for Sunday
(by digitalmediafx.com) The star-studded world premiere of The Mummy Returns will take place this Sunday at the Universal Studios Amphitheater at 6PM. All proceeds from the premiere are going to benefit the USC School of Cinema-Television, the alma mater of the movie's writer/director, Stephen Sommers.

"The USC School of Cinema-Television has produced some of the most talented and successful filmmakers working today, and Stephen Sommers easily fits into that category," says Stacey Snider, chairman, Universal Pictures. "We are thrilled to have him as part of our family and delighted to host the premiere of The Mummy Returns as a benefit for his alma mater."

In attendance at the premiere will be Brendan Fraser, The Rock, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velasquez, Freddie Boath, Shaun Parkes and Aharon Ipale, writer-director Stephen Sommers, producers James Jacks and Sean Daniel, executive producers Bob Ducsay and Don Zepfel, ILM Visual Effects Supervisor John Berton, composer Alan Silvestri, cinematographer Adrian Biddle and production designer Allan Cameron.

The Mummy Returns opens nationwide on May 4, 2001.

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News Link of the Day - Disney to Lay Off Animators

According to the New York Post:

"Disney's famed animation unit is in for some rough times.

The Disney department responsible for churning out such recent hits as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast reportedly may cut as many as 300 jobs and cut salaries by 30 to 50 percent..."

Click here for the full story.

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