Friday, July 4, 2008

News - 07/04/08...

Exclusive: Kurtzman/Orci on Upcoming Comic Projects

Last week, spoke with the production and writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci ("Alias," Transformers, Star Trek) about their upcoming action-thriller Eagle Eye, but they also talked a little about the writing of Michael Bay's sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and some of the movies they've optioned based on Platinum Studios' comics like Cowboys & Aliens, currently under negotiation to star Robert Downey Jr.!

CS: Have you two been able to be as involved in the sequel? Because of the strike, there was a question whether they could get it going fast enough for a summer '09 release.

We gave them a treatment before the strike which they prepared off of, then when we came back, we started writing immediately, and back to your question about how we were able to do it. On "Transformers," we demanded to be teamed up with the amazing Ehren Kruger, who co-wrote the movie with us, so it was really the three of us just spent four months in a hotel room and we got the script in shape.

CS: When I talked to you for "The Island" a couple years ago, you had a lot of ideas that you wanted to put in the first movie. Were you able to bring some of that stuff over to the second movie? There's probably a ton of things you can do in a sequel so did you have some idea of that when going in?

There were many things that we knew for sure, many things from the first script that we were able to use, and then Ehren brought a bunch of great ideas as a pair of fresh eyes, so the combination of those two things were just fantastic.

CS: I have to say I'm not the biggest Transformers out there in that I know them from the old comics but not so much from the cartoons. Are you going to bring in some of the mythology that only the real fans will know?

Orci: I think that now that the Transformers have been introduced, we felt that we could take more time to really find out about them.

CS: The last time we spoke, you guys were working on adapting a book called "2012" for Michael Bay…

Roland Emmerich beat us to it. During the strike, he wrote a movie called "2012" and he just got it going, and we couldn't write during the strike because it was a book. It wasn't a spec that he did, and so he beat us to it.

CS: So you can't finish that up and have to wait to see what happens with his movie?

I think we just felt that given the fact that movie had so much momentum and was a Roland Emmerich movie already, why go up against that when we had just sort of acquired the rights to Whitley's book?
Orci: And they're about the exact same thing, you know?

Kurtzman: I think the next big project is "Cowboys & Aliens." We're really excited about that. Robert Downey Jr. just signed on to do it, either before or after "Iron Man."

Orci: I don't know if that's closed though. Yeah, it was leaked, but it's not official.

CS: I think it was said he's in negotiations, but he's obviously someone who's very much in demand. That's with Platinum Studios run by Scott Rosenberg, and I know you're doing another movie with him, too.

Yeah, we actually have another one of their comics called "Atlantis Rising" which we just got and we're starting to put together now. Absolutely, they have great ideas coming out of there and our relationship with them on "Cowboys" has been really good, so hopefully, there'll be more stuff together.

Orci: Really, what we have to do is make our own comics. What a great idea, we're missing out.

Kurtzman: I agree… let's do that!

You can read the rest of our interview with Kurtzman/Orci here!

Interview : Christian Bale

Moviehole talks to Christian Bale about donning the cowl for "The Dark Knight".

Christian Bale walks in to our interview sporting a short-cropped haircut and trimmed beard, part of his look on the new Terminator film. Always serious and contemplative, it is clear that the British actor is impassioned about his latest incarnation as Gotham City’s Batman, in Chris Nolan’s ‘’The Dark Knight’’.

This time, the film explores moral ambiguity as a theme, and it’s the film’s darker approach to the material that appealed to the actor as he reprised the iconic character given a darker twist this time around. “I met with Chris, I had read Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, I had read various other graphic novels, and for the first time I’d seen something interesting in Batman which I’d never seen before, and that was more the tone how I wished to portray him,” Bale explains as we chat in a Beverly Hills hotel room. “I expressed that to Chris, he told me how he wanted to make the movie, it seemed very compatible and so he decided, yes, he would cast me for it. To me, actually, I feel like we’ve kind of gone back to its roots, when I’ve spoken with friends of Bob Kane, relatives, they’ve said, ‘No, he meant this to be a very dark character.’ He always viewed what Adam West did so well, but he was spoofing Batman, he wasn’t really playing Batman then.”

In ‘’The Dark Knight’’, which pits him against Heath Ledger’s psychotic Joker, Bale agrees that he has made Batman about order and chaos. “I think though that Batman is having to maintain this discipline and a sense of order because he does have such a temptation for chaos, for disruption and for violence, because he has this great shadow side born of the pain of the death of his parents, born for a need for revenge. His creation of Batman is never been healthy for his own personal life, he has a great capability for violence and he’s given himself this one rule of he will not kill precisely because he can see how very easily he could cross that line. But because of his inherited altruism and philanthropy from his parents he does not wish to cross that line, but he’s always in conflict with himself about it, and the Joker is the person who has managed to have him questioning his own ethics, more so than anybody up until now, and tempting him to break his own rule because he knows if he can break his own rule, he can possibly prevent the deaths of many of many other people, and the question of, well, is it in that case selfish to hold on to his principles, should he break his own principles for that, and there is some wonderful ethical questions that come up in The Dark Knight.”

One of the most violent sequences in ‘’The Dark Knight’’ has Batman interrogating The Joker, a scene that is violent and almost sadistic. It was the first scene that Bale and Ledger shot, and he recalls “it was a great way to start because we were also afforded the luxury for some part of that scene for being completely alone inside of a room with the cameras outside, and mirrors surrounding us so that the two of us [were] able to be eyeballing each other and then any way we looked we would just see reflections of two freaks sitting at the table together.” It was here that Bale got a clear sense of the kind of gifted actor he was working with. “I was able to see for the first time how Heath was playing the Joker, and the complete commitment he had to it, and really enjoyed seeing that. Of course, what the scene reveals is that this is not going to be Batman’s ordinary foe who he is able to intimidate with violence, because the more he beats the Joker, the bigger the smile on the Joker’s face becomes, so he realizes he’s just satisfying the Joker with this violence. Heath, man, received some heavy bangs and bruises from that scene and he loved every second of it,” Bale recalls laughingly. “He just adored it, and he was egging me on for more as the walls were buckling in from doing that scene. He had total commitment to it, he created this really iconic villain, portrayed the Joker in a way that he’s never been portrayed before, far creepier, far more anarchic than anything we’ve seen, a Clockwork Orange style Joker, and it was a great scene to kick off with, literally.” Bale agrees that working with the late Australian actor helped push his game in a way when working with someone like that. “What we do for a living is completely ridiculous, because we call ourselves grown men who are still pretending to be other people for a living. The more ridiculous I view what I do, the more I love it, and the more I appreciate that I’m able to do this as a living, and the more seriously I take it. It sound paradoxical, but I think that the more serious and the more dramatic any role gets in any genre, the more ridiculous you’ve made it. But I take this incredibly seriously and I recognize that in Heath as well, and so me sitting opposite [him], seeing him, I was getting real pleasure from seeing the satisfaction he was getting from it, because I recognized it was the same satisfaction that I get from acting as well, and absolutely when you have anybody as good as him, we’ve got a damn good cast straight throughout this movie, it becomes that much easier to create great scenes.”

As for a third Batman, nobody, Bale included, is giving anything away. “You’ve got to ask Chris that, but look, I see that in finishing the movie I want to know what happens, what is going to happen. It is completely in the hands of Chris, of whether he desires to do that or not. But I think that there’s a great challenge to it for two reasons, one is that there have been a number of sequels that have surpassed the first movie, such as Godfather 2, Empire Strikes Back, in my personal opinion, at least it surpassed the first. There’s not been many times where the third in a trilogy has managed to be the best, and I see that as a good enough reason to want to tackle it. There’s also another challenge which is Heath has done such a superb job with this, how do you create a superior villain to that?”

And it’s unlikely he would a third film without director Chris Nolan. “I can’t imagine doing this without Chris, I don’t even want to consider that, because he’s created this. No matter how much there are great performances, and no matter how much there’s a great cast and everything, it all comes down to the director. He cast those people; he’s responsible for picking the right people for the right parts, he’s responsible for the whole damn thing, so if the movie works it’s all due to Chris. If the movie fails it’s all due to Chris, the director should take the credit and all the blame whether a movie works or not. Absolutely, he should, because he is the one that’s making all the decisions, I’m just providing the piece of the puzzle, but he’s picked me to provide that piece of the puzzle, so if I’m not doing it well, okay, I’m to blame for not bringing that up but he’s to blame for casting me in the first place.”

Bale is currently shooting the new ‘’Terminator’’ film and laughs slightly when asked what it is about him and franchises. “That was actually something which I questioned greatly, I would say, ‘Do I want to do that again?’ But what I saw with Terminator was what I saw with Batman Begins. Now whilst Batman Begins was clearly an origin story, and we were in many ways ignoring any of the other movies that had come before, that won’t be the case with the Terminator – we are staying true to the mythology, certainly to one and two more so than three, but it’s the opportunity and the chance to reinvent and revitalize that, otherwise. And there’s no point in making it. So that is my aim, and that’s why I finally decided, because I took a long time to consider and why I finally decided yes, I wanted to try this, because that’s a responsibility that we have as filmmakers and that’s what I’m aiming to achieve.” He says he is pleased with the way Terminator is progressing. “It’s going well, but it’s a tall order, it really is, and I recognize that and we have a lot of work to do, and I’ve just begun on it, because I only just finished working on Public Enemies a couple of weeks back.”

Whoa. The Day the Earth Stood Still Trailer

Currently playing in theaters with Hancock, the trailer for 20th Century Fox's The Day the Earth Stood Still has yet to make it online officially., however, now has it up in both QuickTime and Flash format!

In the December 12 release, based on the 1951 classic, Keanu Reeves portrays Klaatu, an alien whose arrival on our planet triggers a global upheaval. As governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind the visitor's appearance, a woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her young stepson get caught up in his mission – and come to understand the ramifications of his being a self-described "friend to the Earth."

Check out the trailer here!

Here's a YouTube of the trailer linked above. Lower quality, but infinitely faster.

Jackie Ormes

Another discovery, for me, at the recent Book Expo was this new book from University of Michigan Press. Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist is not about an animator, but is the fascinating true story of a female black comic strip artist who achieved considerable success between the years 1937 and 1956. The author has set up a nice website devoted to Ormes with samples of her comics work, excerpts from the book (by Nancy Goldstein), and images of Patty-Jo doll, inspired by her most popular strip. Publishers Weekly has an in-depth article about how Ormes’ work was rediscovered and turned into this biography. If you are interested in the history of comics, Ormes’ story is a long-forgotten part of its legacy.

(thanks cartoonbrew)

Stonebridge to Release Satoshi Kon Book

Stone Bridge press will be releasing Satoshi Kon - The Illusionist by Andrew Osmond on August 1. The 96 page book, with 60 color photos and illustrations will retail for $18.95

Speaking of Kon, Grady Hendrix on Satoshi Kon's Theory of Animation

UDON Announces Street Fighter Remix #0

UDON announced that they will be returning to monthly comic and Street Fighter in August with Street Fighter Remix #0, a one-shot prelude issue featuring three all-new stories, each of which leads into a new UDON comic book series:

Street Fighter II Turbo with art by Jeffrey "Chamba" Cruz (Sinbad: Rogue of Mars)

Street Fighter III with art by Joe Ng (Transformers, Red Sonja)

Street Fighter Legends: Chun-Li, a four issue mini series with art by Omar Dogan (Street Fighter Legends: Sakura, Robotech)

The 32 page issue will be released on August 27th for $3.95

Viz Plans Release of Second Naruto Movie

VIZ Media will be releasing NARUTO THE MOVIE 2: THE LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL on DVD July 29.

From Viz's description

In the latest feature film, Naruto, Shikamaru and Sakura are in the middle of returning a lost ferret to its owner, supposedly the easiest mission ever. Or so they think! When a young knight, Temujin, attacks them out of nowhere, they are drawn into a fierce struggle over a treasure harboring legendary power – the Stone of Gelel. Temujin's master wants to use the stone's power to create a utopia, while the last of the clan who once controlled the stone wants to keep it sealed away forever. Naruto and the others, along with help from Gaara and Kankuro, must protect the stone from those who want to misuse its power. When the dream of utopia becomes a nightmare, it'll take a ninja to set things right!

Bonus features on the two DVD set include “Creating the World of Naruto 2” and one on how to “Write and Adapt Like a Ninja,” plus “Words From Japan,” “Production Art Gallery,” “Original Storyboards,” and the “Original Japanese Movie Trailers.” In addition, the disc contains a director’s commentary track and a trailer for the upcoming third NARUTO movie, Naruto the Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom, which will be released by VIZ Media in the near future.

Upcoming in Japan

Kotaku notes that Death Note artist Takeshi Obata will be illustrating a manga tie-in to upcoming Wii Castlevania 3D fighting game Castlevania Judgment.

A second season of Neko Rahmen has been announced.

From Anime Nation

Geneon Entertainment (not to be confused with former distributor Geneon USA) announced that a second Ichigo Marshmallow (”Strawberry Marshmallow”) OVA and a ToHeart 2ad Plus OVA are indeelopment.

The recently broadcast final episode of the fourth Major baseball anime television series included an announcement of a January 2009 planned premier of a fifth Major television series.

the anime adapation of Alive: The Final Evolution, released in North America by Del Rey, will be animated by Gonzo & AIC studios and directed by Hiraike Yoshimasa (Solty Rei, Sketchbook ~full color’S~).

Gonzo will be hosting the upcoming Strike Witches pm YouTube and Crunchyroll.

From Anime News Network

Slayers Future will premiere in the September issue of Kerokero Ace (on sale on July 26). The series by scenario writer Yoshijiro Muramatsu and manga creator Shin Sasaki, with transpose sorceress to a technology based near-future.

Macross Frontier
, the ongoing sequel to the Macross space opera franchise, is inspiring a third manga series, the first novel volume (written by Ukyo Kodachi with illustration by character designer Mikan Ehime and the main manga artist Hayato Aoki), and a biweekly reference magazine Macross Chronicle
in July.

Sorahiko Mizushima's manga Macross Frontier: Dakishimete, Ginga no Hate made (Macross Frontier: Hold Me Tightly to the Edge of the Galaxy) will join Macross Frontier Cho Jiku Utahime Ranka (Macross Frontier: The Super Dimension Songstress Ranka)?as well as the main Macross Frontier in Kadokawa Shoten's Comp Ace magazine in the September issue (on sale on July 26).

The August issue of Jump Square (on sale on July 4) will feature the premiere of Kuzumoto Sanchi no Yon-Kyodai manga by Dragonaut - The Resonance artist Satoshi Kinoshita, the one-shot manga Sonezaki Shinju by Ichigo 100% (Strawberry 100%) and Hatsukoi Limited creator Mizuki Kawashita and Kawashita's adaptation of Chikamatsu's celebrated Edo-era play Sonezaki Shinju (The Love Suicides at Sonezaki)

Yuu Watase will be ending
Perfect World Fushigi Yuugi
magazine and moving Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden to Monthly Flowers. She will also be launching an unnamed new manga series.

Di Gi Charat
manga creator Koge Donbo* will launch a new manga called Naki Shojo no Tame no Pavane (Pavane for a Dead Girl)
in the September issue (on sale on July 30) of Mag Garden's Monthly Comic Blade magazine.

The story revolves around a boy and 12 girls at a music school at the end of Japan's Meiji era (or early 20th century).

New Temagotchi movie Eiga! Tamagotchi Uchu Ichi Happy na Monogatari!? will be in Japanese theatres December 20th.


Mamoru Oshii's The Sky Crawlers
Kiku-chan and the Wolf
, based on the story by Grave of the Fireflies' Akiyuki Nosaka
ef - a tale of melodies
20th Century Boys
Rosario+Vampire CAPU 2
Zero no Tsukaima: Princesses no Rondo (third season)
Strike Witches

Favorite Anime By Gender

giapet has posted the results of Business Media Makoto's gender aggregated favorite anime poll results

1. Mobile Suit Gundam franchise
2. Dragon Ball franchise
3. Sazae-san
4. Doraemon
5. My Neighbor Totoro
6. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
7. Lupin III franchise
8. Space Battleship Yamato
9. Laputa: Castle in the Sky
10. Kyojin no Hoshi

1. My Neighbor Totoro
2. Sazae-san
3. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
4. Case Closed
5. Doraemon
6. Heidi of the Swiss Alps
7. Laputa: Castle in the Sky
8. One Piece
9. Chibi Maruko-chan
10. Dragon Ball

Worth Checking Out...

Otaku USA's has relaunched their site with a new design

FUNimation's branded YouTube channel

a geek by any other name and Random Curiosity have summer anime previews

Ghibli World looks at the first Ponyo on a Cliff review

Via Kaiju Shakedown, Comic Book Resource's J. Michael Straczynsk interview touches on the script for the Wachowskis' Ninja Assassin (rumored Ninja Scroll), written over the course of 53 hours.

Muku's stop motion film, to be screened at the Junior 8 Summit can be seen on YouTube here

Alt Japan notes this Here Be Monsters tour of Japan and other kappa released coolness

On a related note, Shigeru Mizuki's "Fifty-Three Stations of the Yokaido Road"

The First Time the Word "Cosplay" Appeared

"Explanation of Evangelion 1.01?" has been translated

Anime on DVD offers a guide to July anime collections

Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat on Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms

Ralph Bakshi interview

jaPress PEACE NOW interview.

PW sizes up the hyper-violent Gantz

First peek at the full-scale Yatter-Bark to be featured in Takashi Miike’s ‘Yatterman’

Spore recreation of Pokemon

Super Punch points out this strangely amusing Pokemon related web-comic

essential books about manga

Active Anime interviews translator Andrew Cunningham concerning his work on Death Note: Another Note

Patrick Macias runs down his Speed Racer pieces, leveraging the movie's Japanese release

News Week calles Osamu Tezuka Manga’s Homer and Walt Disney All in One

Paul Pope shows off Battling Boy

Speaking of Pope,Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat has interview

The third Gurren Lagann Parallel Works has gone online

Event News

If you're at Anime Expo this weekend, events to check out include
Otaku USA's panel, Sunday 7/6 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Heisei Democracy will have a panel

The new
Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone will be screened at Anime Expo on Saturday at 10pm.

Digital Manga Publishing will be presenting Hideyuki Kikuchi, the author responsible for
Vampire Hunter A Wind Named Amnesia, Wicked City and Demon Beast Shinjuku and Saiko Takaki, the artist behind the Vampire Hunter D
manga as their industry guests for Anime Expo.

Appearances include
DMP Presents: Hideyuki Kikuchi and Saiko Takaki!
Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hideyuki Kikuchi and Saiko Takaki Autograph Sessions

Saturday, July 5, 2008 - 1:00-2:00pm
Sunday, July 6, 2008 - 1:00-2:00pm
Booth #510

Panel prizes include Takaki’s ink sketches of D, exclusive Vampire Hunter D merchandise and the grand prize of a dinner date for you and a friend with both creators

For more information stop by the DMP booth (#510) before the panel

eigoManga will hosting an anime releases panel and screening on Friday from 4:00pm-5:00pm at LP4 (LACC 411)

They are hosting video screenings on
Strike Witches/Tower on Druaga - Thursdays 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Video 1 (LACC 403)

Blassreiter - Friday 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm Video 2 (LACC 408)

Tower of Druaga - Saturday- 12:00 pm-1:00 PM Video 1 (LACC 403)

Bandai Entertainment make a last minute reveal, that their "mystery guest" is Masahiko Minami, involved with the production of hit anime titles such as Escaflowne: The Movie, Cowboy Bebop, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, Wolf’s Rain, and Company President of Bones.

Anime localizers Bang Zoom! will present a series of Voice Acting Workshops at Anime Expo.

These workshops will be held each day during Anime Expo and be led by notable voice actors Tony Oliver (Lupin The 3rd, Robotech) and Philece Sampler (Last Exile, Bleach, Eureka 7). Topic to be covered include an overview of the dubbing process and the technology used in recording as well as an insider’s view of voice acting business as it relates to the Anime industry.

The classes are scheduled for 5:30-6:30pm on Thursday, July 3 in LACC Room #304, Friday, July 4 from 11:00am-12:00pm, also in LACC Room #304. The workshop for Saturday July, 5 will be held from 2:30pm-3:30pm in LACC Room #304 as will the Sunday session which runs from 11:30-12:30 also in the same room. Those interested to attend one of the workshops may pre-register at the Bang Zoom! booth (#811) to reserve a spot.

Bang Zoom! will also offer behind the scenes documentary ADVENTURES IN VOICE ACTING - Volume One for sale at their booth

Kotobukiya will have a booth at Anime Expo (1100-1102)

Kotobukiya’s booth will be located at booth#1100&1102, where representatives will be answering fan questions.

Featured sales items includes:






Del Rey Manga announced plans for Fairy Tail manga creator Hiro Mashima’s appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.

During his appearance at the convention, which takes place from Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27, Hiro Mashima will be featured on a panel hosted by Del Rey Manga.

Del Rey Manga Presents: Hiro Mashima

Saturday, July 26, 2008

2:30-3:30 PM

Room 10, San Diego Convention Center

Join Hiro Mashima, Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Del Rey Manga, and Del Rey Manga’s Director of Licensing and Acquisitions Mutsumi Miyazaki for a conversation on Mashima’s latest creation, Fairy Tail.

Signings with Hiro Mashima:

Friday, July 25, 2008

2:30-3:30 PM

Del Rey Booth (#1128), San Diego Convention Center

Saturday, July 26, 2008

4:30-6:30 PM

Official Autographing Area 1, San Diego Convention Center

All signings with Hiro Mashima will be ticketed events. Tickets will be limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets will be distributed at the Comic Cellar booth. Convention goers who purchase a copy of any of the first three volumes of Fairy Tail from the Comics Cellar booth will receive a ticket to one signing, limited to one ticket per customer.

Mashima will be signing exclusive copies of
Fairy Tail shikishi boards specially created for
his San Diego convention appearance.

Shout! Factory announced the what they've organized for San Diego Comic Con

Friday, July 25 (7:15 PM – 8:15 PM) Room 6B –
MST3K 20Th Anniversary Reunion Panel

Moderated by Patton Oswalt, an historic reunion of cast and crew, including creator Joel Hodgson, producer Jim Mallon and fellow
MST3K family: Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, Mike Nelson, Bridget Nelson Mary Jo Pehl, Paul Chaplin, J. Elvis Weinstein and the MST3K robots Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot

Shout! Factor will be releasing
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition DVD
box set on October 28, 2008. The set will feature four of the show’s most requested unreleased film episodes (the exact 4 titles will be revealed at Comic-Con) and boasts exclusive DVD bonus content that explore the genesis, life and afterlife of MST3K. More in-depth info to be revealed at the 20th Anniversary Reunion Panel


The DVD collection of the first five episodes of the animated series adapted from Martin Baynton’s popular children’s books will be released Auguat 19th.

Talent appearing at their booth includes:

Friday, July 25 (11 AM) Sam & Max creator Steve Purcell will be at Shout! Factory’s booth (#3749)

Friday, July 25 – TBD –
MST3K talent at Shout! Factory’s booth (#3749)

Saturday, July 26 (1 PM)
Swamp Thing star Dick Durock and co-creator Len Wein at Shout! Factory’s booth (#3749)

Saturday, July 26 (3:00 PM) Dan Milano, co-creator and voice talent) of
Greg The Bunn
y will be at Shout! Factory’s booth (#3749)

Baltimore’s Otakon is running a "a webcomics challenge" through July 11th. Two winners, who produce comics about convention, will be selected and awarded a free table in Otakon’s Alley, complete with two complimentary memberships (or suitable replacement) to the convention and “front of the line” pass pick-up. See the convention's site for details and sign-up.

Otakon also announced that the convention will be hosting Last Unicorn author Peter S. Beagle, sponsored by Conlan Press

The conventions artist alley arrangements have been posted.

The New York Anime Festival today announced it will again partner with the World Cosplay Summit at the second annual New York Anime Festival this September in New York City.

The World Cosplay Summit is an international costume competition that is the equivalent of the Olympics of Cosplay. It features cosplayers from nearly every continent competing before famed anime and manga creators, with previous judges including Leiji Matsumoto (Galaxy Express 999) and Go Nagai (Cutie Honey). New York Anime Festival's partnership with the World Cosplay Summit will make the convention, September 26-28, 2008 at the Jacob Javits Center, the site of the World Cosplay Summit's Official USA Preliminary Round -- with the winners of the convention's Cosplay Masquerade receiving trip a Japan to represent the USA in the World Cosplay Summit Finals.

Hellsing Ultimate, Black Lagoon US Bound Again

Yesterday, the day leading into Anime Expo, an announcement that many fans have been hoping for has been made...

FUNimation Entertainment has obtained the exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of established Geneon titles, including international successes "Ergo Proxy", "Hellsing Ultimate" and "Black Lagoon".

Follow up releases include "Black Lagoon Second Barrage", “Karin”, "Kyo kara Maoh! Season 2", and "Lyrical Nanoha".

Among the first titles to be released includes the special edition of "Hellsing Ultimate", directed by Tomokazu Tokoro and produced by Satelight (“Aquarion” and “BALDR FORCE EXE Resolution”).

Additional titles include: “Black Lagoon”, “Elemental Gelade”, “Fate/stay night”, “Kamichu”, “Ninja Vixens”, “Paradise Kiss”, “Rozen Maiden”, “Rozen Maiden - Träumend”, “Shana”, “Shonen Onmyouji”, “The Familiar of Zero”, “The Story of Saiunkoku”, “When They Cry”, and “The Law of Ueki”.

These titles were previously licensed and scheduled to be distributed by Geneon USA before that company shut down its sales, marketing and distribution opperations.

An extensive preview of Black Lagoon can be read here. The original manga, previewed here, will be released by Viz Media on August 12, 2008.

Reviews of the first two volumes of Hellsing Ultimate can be read here and here

Hello, Dolly! composer moved by Wall•E

AP caught up with Hello, Dolly! composer Jerry Herman to get his reactions on the use of two of the Tony-winning musical’s songs in Pixar’s latest blockbuster. “I’m still blown away by the fact that two songs of mine that are close to 50 years old have been used as the underpinning. My eyes were really wet at both the opening and the closing of the film, and just the wonderful way those songs were used to make him more human. That’s really what they did.” Laughing, Herman said it was “so weird” that the songs would be used in a robot movie. But he said the theme of Hello, Dolly! — about a 19th-century widowed matchmaker who learns to live again — is relevant to the world of WALL-E, where chubby, unmotivated humans are pampered by robots in a giant space ship before a wake-up call jolts them out of complacency. “It’s about a basic need for people to go on with life and not shut themselves away and to make the most out of the time we have on this planet.” Wall•E writer/director Andrew Stanton said he knew he wanted to juxtapose retro music with this futuristic setting, but discovered “a perfect fit” to his narrative when he stumbled upon the Hello, Dolly! repertoire and the lyric “out there.” (In the musical, it is the song that a Yonkers store clerk croons as he and his apprentice plan their New York City adventure.). “I thought it was a perfect counterpoint to have this sort of almost naive optimism in the song,” Andrew said. “But then it seemed even more appropriate the more I thought about it, because the song is about two naive guys (who) have never left their small town and they just want to go to the big city for one night, live it up and kiss a girl. And I thought, `That is my main character.’ You’re meeting WALL-E’s dreams before you ever get to meet WALL-E. And I love that. That was just so poetic to me,” the director added.

Disney drops Destino DVD release plans

Ultimate Disney reports that the Mouse House has revised its press release for Walt Disney Treasures: Wave 8 by dropping from the track list the 2003 realization of the long-unfinished Walt Disney/Salvador Dali animated short, Destino. The site adds that The Chronological Donald, Volume 4 and Dr. Syn, Alias The Scarecrow are still scheduled for release on November 11th.

More details on the Madagascar and Shrek the Third Blu-rays

DVD Active has the full list of bonus features on the September 16th Blu-ray release of DreamWorks Animation’s blockbuster hit Shrek the Third and cover art for the September 23rd release of Madagascar.

MPAA rating for Igor

The CG comedy, set for release in the U.S. on September 19th, is rated PG for “some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language.”

Birds Of Prey: The Complete Series Coming to DVD

Product Details

Plot Synopsis:
Who will stand up to villains now that a heartbroken Dark Knight has mysteriously vanished? Never fear, New Gothamites, a trio of champions is ready to take wing – and Helena, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, is among them. She calls herself Huntress and crime is her prey. Teenaged Dinah is the youngest of the group, learning as she goes and gifted in clairvoyance. And overseeing the awesome threesome’s high-tech nerve center is Batgirl. Left wheelchair-bound by The Joker, she has reinvented herself as Oracle, the team’s cyber expert. Huntress, Dinah, Oracle: They are the Birds of Prey. Fighting together. Living together. And soaring into adventure together in 13 breathtaking live-action episodes.

Actors: Ashley Scott, Dina Meyer, Rachel Skarsten, Shemar Moore, Ian Abercrombie, Mia Sara
Directors: Chris Long, Shawn Levy
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 4
Run Time: 737 Minutes
DVD Release Date:
July 15, 2008
DVD Features: GOTHAM GIRLS SEASONS 1-3 - The animated web-based series featuring the female heroes and rogues from Gotham City.
Unaired Pilot

Birds Of Prey will be out on DVD on July 8th!

We've got your first look at the Menu and Disc art for the upcoming DVD release, "Birds Of Prey."

Astro Boy Zooms to Anime Expo

Imagi Studios and Summit Ent. will be at Anime Expo 2008 this weekend to introduce attendees to the upcoming animated feature film Astro Boy. The companies will be at booths 913 and 915 with various treats for anime fans, including a special edition Astro Boy t-shirt. Anime Expo kicks off today at the Los Angeles Convention Center and continues through Sunday, July 6.

David Bowers (Flushed Away) is directing Astro Boy from a screenplay by Timothy Harris. Set in futuristic Metro City, the movie will tell the tale of a powerful young robot that a brilliant scientist created in the image of the son he lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man’s expectations, our metalic hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators. The pic is based on the classic manga and anime property created by Japan’s “god of manga,” Osamu Tezuka.

Slated for worldwide theatrical release in 2009 from Summit Ent., Astro Boy will feature the voices of Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Nathan Lane and Eugene Levy. Animation is being handled by Hong Kong- and Los Angeles-based Imagi, whose first feature was the 2007 box-office success TMNT, a CG-animated reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise.

FX All Ears for Horton Hears a Who!

The hit animated family feature Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! will make its free TV debut on FX. Daily Variety reports that the basic cable network has snatched up broadcast rights to the 20th Century Fox Animation production as part of a five-picture deal worth approximately $47 million. The other Fox flicks included in the four-year license package are the sci-fi actioner Jumper, the successful comedy What Happens in Vegas, the romantic comedy 27 Dresses and the spoof Meet the Spartans. Horton is slated to air in November of 2010, following HBO's 18-month pay-TV window.

Featuring the voices of Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell and Carol Burnett,
Horton debuted in theaters in March of this year. The comedy held the top spot at the North American box office for two consecutive weeks and managed to hang around for several months. The pic eventually grossed nearly $300 million worldwide, proving nearly as profitable in foreign markets as it was in the U.S. A DVD release is expected soon and should be a top seller as well.

FX, which has historically snatched up action movies aimed squarely at the young male demographic, is diversifying its movie lineup with more kid-friendly fare lately.
Horton and other toon purchases including the first two Ice Age movies and the recent hit Alvin and the Chipmunks will help fill holiday and summer programming slots. The network will continue to serve the male 18-34 demographic with high-octane action pic including this summer's comic-book adaptations Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Cartoon Net, Adult Swim Comic-Con Plans Set

Cartoon Network and Adult Swim will again host panel discussions, signings and a number of other activities at this year's San Diego Comic-Con Int'l. Taking place July 24-28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the convention is a Mecca for fans of comic books, movies, animation and other forms of genre entertainment. Cartoon Network (booth 3645) and Adult Swim (booth 4151) are sure to draw big crowds as they spotlight such high-profile projects as the CG-animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the new series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Robot Chicken.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Friday, July 25, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: TBD

This latest interpretation of the classic Batman franchise from Warner Bros. Animation has the caped crusader teaming up with heroes from across the DC Universe, including Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Aquaman and countless others. Though still based in Gotham, Batman will frequently find himself outside city limits, facing unfamiliar situations. Diedrich Bader, the new voice of Batman, will be joined on the panel by exec producer Sam Register, producer James Tucker, story editor Michael Jelenic, director Brandon Vietti, director Ben Jones, director Michael Chang and voice director Andrea Romano.

The Powerpuff Girls/Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
Friday, July 25, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Location: Room 6A (1,000 capacity room)

The Powerpuff Girls celebrate their 10th Anniversary with panelists including creator Craig McCracken and voice actors Cathy Cavadini (Blossom), Tara Strong (Bubbles), Elizabeth Daily (Buttercup) and Tom Kenny (Mayor). For the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends panel, McCracken will be joined by writer Lauren Faust and voice actors Tom Kenny (Eduardo) and Keith Ferguson (Bloo).

Star Wars: The Clone Wars/ Lucas Panel
Friday, July 25, 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Location: Hall H
Cartoon Network series Star Wars: The Clone Wars to be a component of the main Star Wars panel.

Adult Swim Panel
Friday, July 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location: Room 6B
Moderator: Keith Crofford, VP, Adult Swim

Robot Chicken
Co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich will be on hand to discuss how the show uses asction figures and stop-motion animation to bring pop-culture parodies to life in a modern take on the variety/sketch show format.

The Venture Bros.
Creator Jackson Publick and voice actor Mike Sinterniklaas (Dean Venture) for a behind-the-scenes look at this animated comedy series that follows the adventures of Dean and Hank Venture, the sons of famous-but-flailing scientist Dr. Thaddeus S. Venture.

Ben 10: Alien Force Panel with a sneak peak at Secret Saturdays
Saturday, July 26, 10:15-11:15 a.m.
Location: Room 6A (1,000 capacity room)

Ben 10: Alien Force begins the next chapter in the saga as a 15-year-old Ben Tennyson chooses to once again put on the Omnitrix. Joined by his super-powered cousin, Gwen Tennyson, and his equally powerful former enemy, Kevin Levin, Ben is on a mission to find his missing Grandpa Max. In order to save his Grandpa and defeat the evil DNAliens, a powerful alien race intent on destroying the galaxy, starting with planet Earth. Appearing in person will be executive producer Glen Murakami, story editor Dwayne McDuffie and voice actors Yuri Lowenthal (Ben), Dee Bradley Baker (Aliens), Ashley Johnson (Gwen) and Greg Cipes (Kevin).

Secret Saturdays is a new show that revolves around a family of world-saving adventure scientists known as The Secret Saturdays. To the Saturdays, ordinary folk tales aren't just legends, but real-life mysteries and adventures. Traveling from the Gobi Desert to the Marianas Trench, they explore ancient temples and bottomless caves and tangle with twisted villains, including masked madman V.V. Argost and his half-human/half-giant spider. Creator Jay Stephens will be Introducing the series.

Tim and Eric-CON II
Saturday, July 26 12 p.m.- 2 p.m.
Embarcadero Marina Park North

Tim and Eric, the comedy duo from the hit Adult Swim series, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, host a picnic along with games, giveaways and a karaoke contest. The winner of the day gets an opportunity to ride on jet ski's with Tim and Eric.

Chowder/The Misadventures of Flap Jack (with a sneak peak at Underfist)
Sunday, July 27, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Room 6A (1,000 capacity room)

Chowder creator Carl Greenblatt and voice actors Nicky Jones (Chowder), Dwight Schultz (Mung Daal) and Tara Strong (Truffles) will discuss the unique cartoon show, which is set in the magical Marzipan City and follows the adventures of Chowder, an aspiring young chef in training under the watchful eye of the eccentric and much older Mung Daal.

The Misadventures of Flapjack chronicles the undersea adventures of Flapjack, Bubbie the talking whale and Captain K'nuckles, a tale-telling pirate they rescued from a shipwreck. Panelists include series creator and voice of Flapjack Thurop Van Orman, creative director JG Quintelland writer and voice talent Steve Little. Maxwell Atoms, the creator of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy will also be there to introduce a sneak preview of his new show, Underfist, immediately following the Chowder

Cartoon Network Signings
Friday, July 25
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
The Powerpuff Girls 10th Anniversary
4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

Saturday, July 26
10:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Maxwell Atoms, creator of Underfist
and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Ben 10: Alien Force/Secret Saturdays
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. The Misadventures of Flapjack

Sunday, July 27
10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Chowder

Halo Board Game Announced

Genius Products Inc. and B1 Games have teamed to create the first board game based on bestselling Halo video game property from Microsoft and developer Bungie. Scheduled to arrive at retail this September, the Halo Interactive Strategy Game will have a family-friendly tone as it offers players the chance to control UNSC Marine and Covenant forces in strategic battles for power. The game will also offer exclusive DVD content to enhance gameplay.

Master Chief and other popular characters from the video game are featured in the strategy title, which employs a modular board that can be re-configured for many different gameplay combinations. Fans will also recognize music from the video game’s award-winning soundtrack as they command armies of three-dimensional collectible character pieces for two different levels of play: Heroic for faster, more casual gameplay and Legendary for more strategic advanced gamers.

Gamers can follow storylines that expand the Halo experience in Campaign mode, or go head-to-head in interactive battle sequences with Slayer or Capture the Flag modes. The battle options are virtually endless with future add-ons of new adventures, vehicles, characters and weapons to expand the experience.

'Smallville' 8 to feature Justice League...and Superman?

Members of the Justice League return! Superman emerges! TV Guide takes a look at what's coming for Season 8 of 'Smallville'.

Justin Hartley is set to return as Green Arrow/ for at least 12 episodes. Alan Ritchson, Alaina Huffman and Phil Morris are also on tap to reprise their roles as Aquaman, Black Canary and Martian Manhunter respectively.

And wiil what looks to be the final season of the show finally see the man of steel?

"[This season is] about the Superman identity emerging as Clark Kent tries to maintain a normal life — or the appearance of a normal life," says new showrunner Kelly Souders.

"The camaraderie as they work side-by-side that everyone loves from the DC Comics and all the Superman lore is going to come to fruition this year," Souders says. "The two of them are thrown together in some unfortunate situations for Clark. She becomes a little bit of an obstacle to him saving the world, when he's on a deadline."

Chris Nolan says he didn't interfere with 'Justice League' movie

Many have speculated that the implosion of the 'Justice League' movie may have been due, in part, to the notion that 'Dark Knight' director Christopher Nolan was actively lobbying against a competing, big-screen vision of Batman.

However, at recent press rounds for the new Batman movie, Nolan downplayed such ideas.

"To be honest, films aren’t real until they’re real. I tend not to really get too worked up about things like that, that are theoretical," he told iFMagazine. "We’ve really just got on with this movie and this is the movie that we’ve been focusing on. It’s so tough to get a movie made -- you don’t want to be weighing on other people’s films and so forth. I’m very happy that there weren’t any projects that interfered with this one. We were able to get on and make the film we wanted to make."

Timm talks 'Wonder Woman' release, score

Comics2Film sat down with Bruce Timm -- Executive Producer of 'Batman: Gotham Knight' and the upcoming 'Wonder Woman' animated feature film -- and got him to spill a little bit of info on the upcoming WB direct to DVD movie featuring the DC Comics Amazonian warrior.

Timm said we can expect a release in early 2009, which could indicate a debut at Wonder-Con in San Francisco.

Timm said that animation was he was seeing animation for the project already and that so far everything is looking awesome.

We also found out that Christopher Drake who composed the scores for "Have I got a Story For You", and "In Darkness Dwells" segments of 'Gotham Knight' will be doing work on 'Wonder Woman'.

This is all the information that was provided, there will be a sneak peak included in the 'Gotham Knight' Special Edition DVD.

Hi-Res DVD Cover Art For "The Spectacular Spider-Man: Attack of the Lizard"

Sony Home Entertainment has provided Marvel Animation Age with the hi-res cover art for The Spectacular Spider-Man: Attack of the Lizard.

Click on the thumbnail below for a closer look.

The Spectacular Spider-Man: Attack of the Lizard will be available to own on September 9th, 2008.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Menu Shots From Upcoming "Batman: Gotham Knight" DVD Release

The World's Finest has your exclusive first look at the DVD menu systems for Batman: Gotham Knight - Two-Disc Special Edition, scheduled for a July 8th, 2008 release.

Click on the thumbnails below to check out the menu systems for Batman: Gotham Knight - Two-Disc Special Edition.



Larry Harmon, face of Bozo the Clown, dead at 83

Larry Harmon, who portrayed frizzy-haired Bozo the Clown for years and licensed the character to dozens of TV stations around the United States, died Thursday at 83.

Harmon died at his home of congestive heart failure, publicist Jerry Digney told the Associated Press.

Harmon didn't originate the Bozo character, but popularized it through his Larry Harmon Studios, which cranked out 156 five-minute Bozo, The World's Most Famous Clown cartoons for syndication. He provided the voice of Bozo in the series.

Larry Harmon Studios made 20 shorts in 1958; 84 more were added in 1959, while 52 were made in 1962. All were distributed by Jayark Films Corporation.

The character of Bozo was created by Alan W. Livingston for Capitol Records. Pinto Colvig (who also provided the voice for Walt Disney's Goofy) was his first voice when Capitol introduced the "Bozo" series of children's records in 1946. Colvig was also the first to portray Bozo on television (on Los Angeles station KTTV in 1949).

Harmon's cartoons originally bore a credit line for Livingston as the creator of the Bozo character, but the entrepreneur had Livingston's credit removed over the years. Cartoons released on video made no mention of Livingston, who is still alive.

Through Larry Harmon Pictures, Harmon also co-produced (and voiced Stan Laurel in) Hanna-Barbera Studios' Laurel and Hardy cartoon series, which ran for 148 episodes in 1966-67. Harmon had acquired the rights to the likenesses of the famous comedy duo from Stan and Eda Laurel, and Oliver Hardy's widow, Lucille, in 1961. (A large part of the profits from the cartoon series would eventually go to Laurel's widow Eda.)

Harmon's company began animating The Laurel and Hardy Comedy Show around the same time that producer David L. Wolper contracted with Hanna-Barbera to produce another series, following Laurel's death. A legal challenge followed, with Wolper and Harmon agreeing on a modus vivendi (a state of affairs where two opposing parties agree to differ), wherein Harmon gave permission to use the characters in exchange for distribution rights.

With Jack Kinney Studios, Larry Harmon Studios animated UPA's Mister Magoo and The Dick Tracy Show TV series, both released in syndication in 1960. Through his own studio, Harmon produced 18 of the 220 Popeye cartoons released by King Features Syndicate in 1960-61.

Harmon was in the voice cast of Hanna-Barbera's 1972 series The New Scooby-Doo Movies. He was the announcer in the American dub of the early 1960s Hergé's Adventures of Tintin TV series, as well as several animated films based on Hergé's graphic novels.

When Harmon licensed the Bozo character to TV stations, they hired local actors to be Bozos. "You might say, in a way, I was cloning BTC (Bozo the Clown) before anybody else out there got around to cloning DNA," said in a 1996 AP interview. "Bozo is a combination of the wonderful wisdom of the adult and the childlike ways in all of us."

Harmon trained over 200 Bozos to represent him. He made millions through the business, which combined the animated series, character licensing and personal appearances.

His claim to have created Bozo -- and to have been the original -- was not without controversy.

In 2004, the International Clown Hall of Fame in Milwaukee posthumously inducted Colvig as the first Bozo, reversing the hall's "Lifetime of Laughter Award" given to Harmon in 1990 as Bozo's creator. (The hall had taken Harmon's plaque off its honor wall.)

The hall's executive director, Kathryn O'Dell, said at the time that the hall was fooled into thinking Harmon created Bozo, that that it learned the truth when columnist and entertainment producer Buck Wolf reported that Harmon was falsely claiming the character.

"It was something that was hinted at and hinted at, and we started to do research, and sure enough, the information we were getting from outside sources was true," O'Dell said.

Harmon then claimed that he hadn't misrepresented Bozo's history. He said that he had always acknowledged Livingston;s creation of Bozo The Capitol Clown. However, he said, he created Bozo's personality and image as "Bozo, The World's Most Famous Clown.

"What I created for the world was me and my image, what I sound like, what I look like, what I walk like, what the costume looked like, with my animation studio," he said.

Harmon once claimed on his Web site that Capitol Records chose him to star in the first filmed "Bozo" TV pilot. In 2004, Livingston begged to differ.

"I can't believe Larry Harmon says we'd ever hire him to star in anything," Livingston said. "Harmon is very good at marketing. He sold Bozo shows all over the country. But I suppose he never got over the fact that he's really not much of a clown."

Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1925, Harmon grew up in Cleveland. A University of Southern California alumnus, he was its only freshman to win the title of drum major. He led the Trojan Marching Band in the first televised coverage of the Rose Bowl Parade in the mid-1940s.

"I started out to be a doctor," he once said. "I love medicine. I always did."

"I did radio, big band, and when I came out to California, motion pictures and TV. Deciding between medicine and theater was a tough decision."

Harmon first assumed the Bozo character by answering a casting call to make appearances as a clown to promote Capitol's Bozo records. Getting the job, he eventually bought most of the rights to the clown when Livingston briefly left Capitol in 1956.

Harmon helped solidify the Bozo look, which combined orange hair, a bulb nose, and a red, white and blue costume. He became the sole owner of the licensing rights to Bozo in 1965 after buying out his business partners. Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation took over Capitol Records' "Bozo the Clown" copyright in 1971.

Bozo last appeared on TV when a version of the series ended its 40-year run on Superstation WGN 9 in Chicago in 2001.

"I felt if I could plant my size 83AAA shoes on this planet, (people) would never be able to forget those footprints," Harmon once reflected.

Who makes the ultimate Bozo? "I'm looking for that sparkle in the eyes, that emotion, feeling, directness, warmth. That is so important."

Larry Harmon was the perfect Bozo, said Susan Harmon, his wife of 29 years, who served as executive vice-president of Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation.

"He was the most optimistic man I ever met. He always saw a bright side; he always had something good to say about everybody. He was the love of my life," she said Thursday.

Larry Harmon is also survived by son Jeff Harmon, a freelance documentary filmmaker; and by daughters Lori Harmon, a stage actress who was in the first cast of Los Angeles ComedySportz; Marci Breth-Carabet, vice-president for corporate affairs of Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation; and Leslie Breth. He was previously married to Beverly Fogel.

Moderate $17.4 Mill. Open for Hancock

Will Smith's return to the 4th of July weekend might not be the wham-bam blockbuster hit originally projected as Sony's superhero action flick Hancock opened with just $17.4 million on Wednesday after Tuesday night previews took in an additional $6.8 million.

It's not a terrible opening. In fact, it's in the Top 15 opening Wednesdays ever, surpassing the opening day for Warner Bros.' Batman Begins three years ago. Then again, it's just below the Wednesday opening of Will Smith's breakout hit Independence Day twelve years ago and about a million lower than the opening day of Smith and Sony's comedy sequel Men in Black II six years ago. A big difference is that with the 4th of July being on Friday this year, Hancock could follow the pattern of previous movies that opened on July 2, such as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, in which case much of the movie's business will come on Friday and Saturday. Right now, we're projecting a three-day opening of between $62 and 65 million, which would make it the third or fourth biggest three-day opening for the holiday weekend behind Spider-Man 3 and last year's Transformers.

Who All Got to Meet Hellboy this Week?

In a very creative marketing move, Universal Pictures has had Hellboy show up in various videos for other shows over the last week. Here they are in no particular order!









Update: A Ton of Dark Knight Clips!

While we highly advise you to wait until you see the movie for this footage, a total of 13 clips from The Dark Knight are now online. Let's start with this one...

Need more? There's 12 here as well. The Batman Begins follow-up hits conventional theaters and IMAX on July 18th!

UPDATE: Four more TV spots are now up here!

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