NEW YORK -- In keeping with its reputation for industry-standard-setting quality, IMAX Corp. (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX), today announced it has promoted David Keighley to the newly created role of Chief Quality Officer. In this role, Keighley will be responsible for continuing to demand that every film IMAX touches not only meets the Company's exceptional criteria, but becomes an enhanced version of the original.
"While many organizations today are preoccupied with finding ways to do things cheaper, IMAX is focused on maintaining the highest quality of presentation and continuing to improve all aspects of the cinematic experience," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "David Keighley has been the driving force behind that approach at IMAX for many years. By operating this way, we are able to deliver exceptional value to our audiences, partners and shareholders."
Keighley has been involved in the post-production of more than 265 IMAX films and will continue as president of IMAX's post-production image and quality control subsidiary, DKP 70MM Inc., co-founded with his wife and business partner, Patricia, in 1972 and acquired by IMAX in February 1988. Keighley was appointed Executive Vice President of IMAX in July 2007 and previous to that had been Senior Vice President since July 1997.
Award-winning filmmaking team Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas commented on Keighley's new post: "We were thrilled to hear of David's promotion. His attention to detail, extraordinary technical knowledge and dedication to the highest standards of motion picture image quality have been essential to the IMAX presentations of our films."
"David Keighley is an icon in the industry, earning a sterling reputation through his meticulous attention to detail and his sense of personal responsibility to the work he's done for the best, brightest and most innovative filmmakers," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President, Filmed Entertainment at IMAX. "David's collaboration with these key partners and his unwavering focus on delivering the ultimate cinematic presentation have been key contributors to solidifying IMAX's position as an important partner for Hollywood's most influential, leading filmmakers."
Keighley is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and participates in the Academy's Science and Technology Awards Committee. He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and a recipient of its Herbert T. Kalmus Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Color Motion Pictures. He has also received the Giant Screen Theater Association's inaugural Special Achievement in Film Award.
"As CQO, I am committed to ensuring IMAX remains the presentation quality leader and am very grateful for this opportunity to reinforce the IMAX brand," said Keighley. "My passion for raising the bar for our talented filmmakers will carry on and I am confident that the IMAX team will continue to offer premium cinematic experiences as we near almost half a century of astounding our audiences."
CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Neal H. Moritz, founder of Original Film and producer of such high-profile forthcoming motion pictures as Battle: Los Angeles and Fast Five, has extended his first-look development and production pact with Columbia Pictures for three more years, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. The extension of Moritz's deal comes 18 months before his current deal was set to expire and continues a successful partnership and collaboration with Sony, the studio that has been his home since he produced I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997.
"We have been working together with Neal for nearly 15 years and over that time, we have partnered with him and his team on more than 20 films, most recently with The Green Hornet and Battle: Los Angeles," Belgrad said. "He is simply one of the best and most prolific producers in the business. He knows what audiences want and is completely dedicated to delivering hits that audiences worldwide consistently enjoy while being fully conscious to bring his projects in on budget and on time."
"Neal is an important member of the Sony Pictures family and the kind of producer you want in your corner. He has terrific taste for stories that excite the imagination of audiences everywhere. We have established a level of trust and confidence in him that can only come from the kind of long term success we have shared together for so many years," said Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Moritz added, "Sony has been my home almost since I first started producing and I couldn't ask for a better or more supportive studio partner. Amy, Michael, Doug and the entire production team is first rate. They are truly the best as creative collaborators and problem solvers, and they are backed by Jeff Blake's marketing and distribution team. There is a reason that I continue to call Sony my home and it has everything to do with the pleasure I get from being part of such a great, winning team. Years from now, when I have produced the last film of my career, it will probably be made with my friends at Sony."
Moritz has produced a total of 15 No. 1 hits, most recently The Green Hornet for Columbia Pictures. As the founder of Original Film, he has been producing feature film and television for over three decades.
He is currently in production on the Universal Pictures comedy The Change Up starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and helmed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). His next film to be released is Fast Five, the fifth installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise, starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson.
Films in pre-production include, 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum , directed by Chris Miller & Phil Lord, and Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell and directed by Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard), R.I.P.D., starring Ryan Reynolds and Zach Galifianakis, and Jack the Giant Killer directed by Bryan Singer. With over 40 films to his credit, past titles include, most recently, The Green Hornet, which opened to #1 at the box office and has since taken in over $200 million worldwide; The Fast and Furious series, I Am Legend, XXX, S.W.A.T., Made of Honor, Gridiron Gang, Bounty Hunter, Evan Almighty, Sweet Home Alabama, Click, Vantage Point, Out of Time, Blue Streak, Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Skulls, Volcano, Urban Legend, and Juice.
Moritz' television credits include the HBO movie The Rat Pack, which earned 11 Emmy nominations, the drama series Prison Break for Twentieth Century Fox, and Showtime's highly acclaimed new series The Big C, starring Laura Linney and Oliver Platt.
A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Economics, Moritz went on to get a graduate degree from the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California.
GLENDALE, Calif. -- DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced its feature film release slate through 2014. The Company's current plan features six original films and is anchored by three sequels based on its hit Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon franchises.
DreamWorks Animation's theatrical release schedule is currently planned as follows: Kung Fu Panda 2 for May 26, 2011 and Puss In Boots for November 4, 2011; Madagascar 3 for June 8, 2012 and Rise of the Guardians for November 21, 2012; The Croods for March 1, 2013, Turbo for June 7, 2013 and Me and My Shadow for November 8, 2013; Mr. Peabody & Sherman for March 21, 2014 and How to Train Your Dragon 2 for June 20, 2014.
"At DreamWorks Animation, our creative ambition has never been greater and the release schedule we're unveiling today is designed to give our movies the time and resources they need to realize their full potential so each one can become a true event for our audiences," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation.
"Thanks to the extraordinary talent base at DreamWorks Animation today, our feature film slate is full of both original story ideas and exciting new franchise chapters that will form a solid foundation for the studio's creative output through 2014," added Bill Damaschke, the Company's Chief Creative Officer.
Below is additional detail on the feature films that comprise DreamWorks Animation's theatrical release schedule:
Kung Fu Panda 2 will be released on May 26, 2011. It is being directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda), produced by Melissa Cobb (Kung Fu Panda) and written by Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda). It stars Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong and Michelle Yeoh. In the sequel, Po is living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po's life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins... only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
Puss In Boots will be released on November 4, 2011. It is directed by Chris Miller (Shrek the Third) and produced by Joe Aguilar (Merry Madagascar) and Latifa Ouaou (Monsters vs. Aliens). It is being written by Tom Wheeler (The Cape). Andrew Adamson (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia) and Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) are serving as executive producers on the film, which stars Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris. Way before he ever met Shrek, the legendary Puss In Boots goes on a heroic journey, teaming up with mastermind Humpty Dumpty and the street-savvy Kitty Softpaws to steal the famed Goose that lays the Golden Eggs. It's the adventure of nine lifetimes!
Madagascar 3 will be released on June 8, 2012. It is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and produced by Mireille Soria (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and Mark Swift (Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa). It is being written by Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox) and once again stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer and Andy Richter. Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style.
Rise of the Guardians, based on the forthcoming books by William Joyce, will be released on November 21, 2012. It is directed by Peter Ramsey (Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space) and co-directed by Joyce. The film is being produced by Christina Steinberg (Bee Movie, National Treasure) and Nancy Bernstein, long-time head of Production at DreamWorks Animation. Rise of the Guardians is being written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro and Michael Siegel. It stars Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law. More than a collection of the well-known childhood legends, Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes - each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.
The Croods will be released on March 1, 2013. It is being written and directed by two-time Academy Award® nominee Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon, Lilo & Stitch) and Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps) and produced by Kristine Belson (How to Train Your Dragon) and Jane Hartwell (Shrek). It stars Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman. The Croods is a comedy adventure that takes us back to a previously undiscovered era in the history of our planet known as the Croodaceous, when nature was still a work-in-progress... full of never-before- seen creatures and landscapes. Audiences will relate to the hilarious family antics as an imaginative and resourceful newcomer helps the Croods navigate their way through the fantastic world beyond their cave.
Turbo will be released on June 7, 2013. It is being directed by David Soren (Merry Madagascar), who first brought the project to the studio, and produced by Lisa Stewart (Monsters vs. Aliens). It is being written by Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After) together with Soren. Turbo tells the story of an ordinary garden snail with an impossible dream: to become the fastest snail in the world. When a freak accident gives him extraordinary speed, Turbo sets out to try to make this dream come true.
In Me and My Shadow, which will be released on November 8, 2013, the studio will pioneer a groundbreaking combination of both CG and traditional animation techniques seamlessly together throughout the film. The film is directed by Mark Dindal (Chicken Little, The Emperor's New Groove) and produced by Melissa Cobb (Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2) and Teresa Cheng (Shrek Forever After, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron). It is being written by Tom Astle and Matt Ember (Get Smart). Me and My Shadow tells the story of Shadow Stan, an extremely frustrated shadow who yearns for a dynamic life but happens to be stuck with Stanley Grubb, the world's most boring human. Finally pushed to the brink, Shadow Stan breaks the singular rule of the Shadow World - "They lead, we follow" - and takes control of Stanley!
Mr. Peabody & Sherman will be released on March 21, 2014. It is directed by Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little, The Lion King) and produced by Jason Clark (Monster House, Stuart Little) and Denise Nolan Cascino (Megamind). It is being written by Craig Wright (United States of Tara, Six Feet Under). Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Bullwinkle Studio's Tiffany Ward and Classic Media's Eric Ellenbogen are serving as executive producers on the film, which stars two-time Academy Award® nominee Robert Downey Jr. Based on Jay Ward's classic cartoon, Mr. Peabody is the world's smartest person who happens to be a dog. He and his "pet" boy Sherman discover that someone has stolen their time traveling WABAC machine and is changing moments in history to disastrous and comical results. It's up to this most unexpected of father-son teams to somehow put a stop to this villain before his actions destroy the space-time continuum in Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to the Academy Award®-nominated original film from 2010, will be released on June 20, 2014. It is being directed and written by Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon) and produced by Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon). Also based on the book series by Cressida Cowell, the sequel is being executive produced by Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) together with DeBlois. How to Train Your Dragon 2 again stars Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, TJ Miller and Kristen Wiig.
Austin, TX -- The Alamo Drafthouse, "#1 theater in America" (Entertainment Weekly) and Fandango, the nation's #1 moviegoer destination, have partnered to offer online and mobile ticketing on Fandango, in addition to current ticketing on Alamo Drafthouse sites. The online and mobile ticketing will cover first run films at all Alamo Drafthouse locations, as well as their special brand of signature programming, including Sing-Alongs, Quote-Alongs, Big Screen Classics, Terror Tuesdays, Weird Wednesdays, Films & Feasts, Live Score events and more. To celebrate the announcement Fandango & the Alamo Drafthouse will host a first-come, first-served party for festival badgeholders at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX.
"We're ecstatic to partner with Fandango, the industry leader in online ticketing. Theatrical releases & our specialty programming can sell out days, even weeks in advance and sometimes after minutes of being available for purchase, so online and mobile ticketing is a huge part of our business. As we prepare to expand to Los Angeles, New York and other markets across the country, this Fandango partnership will be integral to reaching new moviegoers with easy access to advance ticketing," said Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse CEO & Founder.
"Alamo Drafthouse Cinema deserves its acclaim as one of the most innovative exhibitors in the country," says Rick Butler, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Fandango. "We're thrilled to work with Tim League and his Alamo team, as they're constantly looking for new ways to redefine the cinema experience. They are all about providing showmanship for their customers, and we're excited to help them make their screenings and events even more convenient, fun and memorable."
In an effort to provide unique editorial & promote the Alamo Drafthouse experience to their users, Fandango will begin a weekly "Guide to the Alamo Drafthouse" highlighting special events and screenings so people will never miss out an opportunity to see "Robosaurus" before a Transformers screening or paddle down a river in a canoe for an outdoor screening of Deliverance.