NEW YORK and PORTLAND, OR -- Focus Features and LAIKA, the two companies behind the Academy Award-nominated animated feature Coraline are reteaming for LAIKA's next two projects. The first of the duo, ParaNorman, will be released nationwide on August 17th, 2012. The second, yet-to-be-named, picture will be released nationwide in 2014. Following the groundbreaking Coraline, ParaNorman is only the second stop-motion animated feature to be made in 3D. Focus CEO James Schamus and LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight made the announcement today.

As on Coraline, Focus will hold worldwide distribution rights to the movies, and Universal Pictures International will release them overseas. Coraline is Focus' second-highest-grossing movie of all time, with over $75 million domestically. The picture earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics' Choice, and Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year's 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI) with an AFI Award.

Currently in production, ParaNorman is being directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, from Mr. Butler's original screenplay. Mr. Fell was director of The Tale of Despereaux and Flushed Away. Mr. Butler was storyboard supervisor on Coraline and storyboard artist on Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. The voice cast includes Academy Award nominee Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show), Jeff Garlin (Toy Story 3), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc.), Bernard Hill (Titanic), Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Leslie Mann (Rio), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (How to Train Your Dragon), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), and Tony and Emmy Award winner Elaine Stritch (30 Rock).

In the comedy thriller, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Mr. McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he'll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.

Arianne Sutner, animation producer on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Travis Knight are producing ParaNorman. Academy Award winner Brian Van't Hul (King Kong, Coraline) is the movie's visual effects supervisor; Emmy Award winner Nelson Lowry (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) is its production designer; and Tristan Oliver (Fantastic Mr. Fox, the Academy Award-winning Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) is the director of photography on ParaNorman.

Mr. Schamus commented, "Everyone at Focus is proud to be partnered with LAIKA again on their newest wondrous creations. Travis Knight is both an extraordinary businessman and a visionary artist who we know will shepherd these projects with imagination and originality. We're thrilled to have ParaNorman as our next movie together, one which marries the stunning visuals of 3D stop-motion with a compelling, heartfelt, and funny story anchored by a terrifically relatable underdog hero."

Mr. Knight added, "ParaNorman is a story of intense beauty and emotional truth. It's audacious, has genuine heart, and is funny as hell. We're incredibly excited to share this wonderful story with the world. And we're privileged to work again with Focus Features, with whom we share a commitment to bold, distinctive, and enduring films. LAIKA and Focus are truly kindred spirits. James Schamus and his extraordinary team have built their reputation on original thinking, old-fashioned muscle, and an unerring fidelity to creatively rich and thematically challenging cinema. We're thrilled to extend the relationship that began with Coraline and look forward to being a part of the Focus/Universal family for years to come."

 

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NEW YORK -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and Southern Theatres, LLC today announced a four-theatre joint revenue sharing agreement to install and operate digital IMAX(R) theatre systems in four locations in Panama City Beach, FL; Slidell, LA; Winston-Salem, NC; and Macon, GA. The announcement marks the first time IMAX has entered into a joint revenue sharing arrangement with a regional exhibitor. The theatres are expected to open in July of 2011.

The Company's recent spate of theatre signings is partially attributable to increased interest in the IMAX brand from small-market domestic exhibitors, who are increasingly able to enter into the IMAX business as a result of the more favorable economics of IMAX's digital projection system, increased consumer interest in The IMAX Experience(R) and the expanding IMAX film slate.

"There is significant positive buzz surrounding the IMAX brand among consumers as well as exhibitors, and for good reason," said George Solomon CEO of Southern Theatres, LLC. "More movies are being released in IMAX's format than ever before, and IMAX theatres deliver a differentiated experience that resonates with audiences, regardless of whether the presentation is 2D or 3D. This partnership represents a whole new way for Southern Theatres patrons to experience movies."

"We're seeing very strong performances from our locations in small to mid-sized domestic markets, proving that with the right partners, there is opportunity for expansion and success in this relatively new market segment for our Company," said IMAX's Chief Executive Officer, Richard L. Gelfond. "Through partnerships with exhibitors such as Southern Theatres, who understand the value of delivering top-quality presentations, we will be able to offer The IMAX Experience to more people in places that previously lacked easy access to an IMAX theatre."

IMAX's digital projection system delivers The IMAX Experience and helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens. The system can run both IMAX and IMAX(R) 3D presentations.

The Company's 2011 film slate from April through December includes:

-- Born to be Wild 3D
-- Fast Five: The IMAX Experience
-- Thor: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Super 8: The IMAX Experience
-- Cars 2: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Transformers: Dark of the Moon: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Real Steel: The IMAX Experience
-- Contagion: The IMAX Experience
-- Puss in Boots: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Happy Feet 2: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol: The IMAX Experience
-- The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn: An IMAX 3D
Experience

 

 

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(Washington, DC -- The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today called on the movie studios participating in the early-to-the-home "premium" video on demand (VOD) experiment to release sales figures for the movies that have been offered on the platform.

The controversy around the shortened theatrical window involved in the early premium VOD offering has drawn intense interest in Hollywood, the trade and business press, and Wall Street. But has the early VOD offering drawn the interest of the consumer?

"What's an experiment without data?" asked NATO president and CEO John Fithian. "Every weekendusually before the weekend is overthe performance of movies at the U.S. box office is reported around the world. Studio executives are working the phones, touting the stellar box office for hit movies and explaining the underperformance of the flops. When it comes to premium VOD-crickets."

The movies released so far include Just Go With It (Sony), Cedar Rapids (Fox), and Hall Pass (Warner Bros.). The Adjustment Bureau (Universal) is scheduled for release this week. The movies are being released through DirecTV's Home Premiere at a price of $29.99 roughly 60 days after their theatrical debuts.

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Centennial, Colo. -- One of the most magical adventures in motion picture history is coming to the big screen this summer-bigger and better than ever-as NCM Fathom and Warner Home Video present The Lord of the RingsTM Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition Event. The Academy Award®-winning trilogy will be featured in an exclusive series of in-theater events in June, including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingTM on June 14; The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersTM on June 21; and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King TM on June 28, all beginning at 7:00 p.m. local time. During each Fathom event, theater audiences will view nearly[2] an hour of additional feature footage per film with additional and extended scenes that were carefully selected under the supervision of director Peter Jackson. In addition, fans will be treated to personal introductions to each film from Jackson, which were captured on the set of his current film The Hobbit, all making this an historic series that can only be experienced on the big screen.

Tickets for The Lord of the RingsTM Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition Event are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations, prices and additional information, visit the Fathom website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

The Lord of the RingsTM Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition Event will appear in nearly 500 movie theaters across the country via the new digital cinema projection systems.

Jackson, currently busy on set directing The Hobbit, took a moment to share his thoughts on the upcoming The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition theatrical showings: "I am happy to bring The Lord of the Rings back up on the big screen, particularly these new presentations of the extended editions that have been remastered for high-definition. Making these films was a great experience and I'm pleased to be able to share them with fans eager to make a return journey to Middle-earth."

Out of the 30 total Academy Award nominations received, The Lord of the RingsTM Trilogy won a record 17 Academy Awards®: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingTM (2004) won 11 awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and eight others. Based on the best-selling novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, Jackson's movie trilogy is an epic journey of men, hobbits, elves, dwarves and the rest of Middle-earth's creatures and cultures. The trilogy chronicles the struggle of good versus evil with fantastic special effects and a strong emotional center; capturing the enduring fellowship and ultimate sacrifice while enhancing the chaos and destruction of Middle-earth.

"The Lord of the RingsTM Extended Edition Trilogy is a visual masterpiece that returns to the big screen to be experienced the way Peter Jackson intended: with the additional feature footage for each installment," said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. "Combined with all-new introductions to each event by Jackson, the exceptional quality of digital cinema and the one-of-a-kind experience the movie theater offers, The Lord of the RingsTM Extended Edition Event marks a new landmark in cinematic history."

Warner Home Video will release all three of Jackson's epic adventures in their extended edition versions on June 28 as a stunning 15-disc trilogy, The Lord of the RingsTM Motion Picture Trilogy: Extended Edition on Blu-rayTM . The trilogy features all three Extended Edition films on Blu-ray with nine Special Feature DVDs, and over 26-hours of spellbinding behind-the-moviemaking material including the rare Costa Botes documentaries. Botes was given unprecedented access to the set of each production by Jackson and features in-depth behind-the-scenes film footage.

 

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Hollywood, CA -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp.(NASDAQ: CIDM), the global leader in digital cinema, announced today that Jill Newhouse Calcaterra has joined Cinedigm in the capacity of Chief Marketing Officer effective May 1, 2011. The newly created role has Ms. Calcaterra reporting directly to Chris McGurk, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp.

"We are entering a new and exciting era where Cinedigm can fully leverage the digital cinema platform for targeted distribution, research and alternative content," said Chris McGurk."Given her track record and relationships, Jill is the perfect person to guide Cinedigm's overall marketing initiatives and industry outreach."

"I'm honored and excited to be a part of the Cinedigm team at a time of amazing growth and evolution in the entertainment industry," said Ms. Calcaterra. "Having served as an advisor to the company for the last four years, I'm confident that we're clearly positioned to benefit from all that digital cinema deployment enables, including alternative content, precision marketing, research, software analytics and focused distribution."

In her capacity as CMO and member of the Management Committee, Ms. Calcaterra will manage corporate marketing, investor relations and public relations for all Cinedigm divisions, including the entertainment group, software, digital media services, UniqueScreen Media and digital cinema deployment.

Additionally, Ms. Calcaterra will manage the company's consumer-facing marketing and promotions programs for alternative content and special events. Recent releases by Cinedigm include the LIVE Foo Fighters documentary screening and 3D performance; the ground-breaking, worldwide LIVE 3D broadcast of the FIFA World Cup Championship; the BCS Championship in LIVE 3D; the Dave Matthews Band 3D concerts, and the sold out 3D PHISH concerts. Cinedigm also releases KIDTOONS, a weekly family friendly matinee series that runs in over 165 theatres across the country.

A twenty-year entertainment industry veteran, Ms. Calcaterra was Vice President of Marketing, Promotions and Partner Relations at Nelvana Communications/Corus Entertainment; Vice President of Marketing at PorchLight Entertainment, and gleaned extensive experience in the advertising world at Goldberg Moser O'Neill and Hoffman/Lewis. She has also been a trusted advisor to a number of internet start-ups, including Smartycard, Imbee, Everloop, and Simon Malls.

 

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