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BUSINESS
May 26, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Universal Pictures is bringing in a veteran of rival Sony Pictures to run its movie marketing department, the second change in the studio's top executive ranks in the last month. Josh Goldstine, a senior creative advertising executive who has worked at Sony since 1991, will soon be named president of marketing for Comcast Corp.-owned Universal, according to several knowledgeable people who requested anonymity because the appointment is not yet official. Goldstine is still under contract at Sony and is negotiating to move to Universal soon.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By John Horn
The animation exodus from 2014 is continuing as Universal Pictures announced that it will move its “Minions in 3D,” a spinoff from the blockbuster “Despicable Me” franchise, from December 2014 to July 10, 2015. The move comes the same week that Disney said it was moving its troubled Pixar Animation Studios title “The Good Dinosaur” from May 2014 to November 25, 2015. Pixar is replacing the film's director, Bob Peterson, and the resulting production delays will mean that Pixar will have no theatrical release next year, the first time since 2005 that the studio will go a calendar year without a new movie.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By John Horn
The animation exodus from 2014 is continuing as Universal Pictures announced that it will move its “Minions in 3D,” a spinoff from the blockbuster “Despicable Me” franchise, from December 2014 to July 10, 2015. The move comes the same week that Disney said it was moving its troubled Pixar Animation Studios title “The Good Dinosaur” from May 2014 to November 25, 2015. Pixar is replacing the film's director, Bob Peterson, and the resulting production delays will mean that Pixar will have no theatrical release next year, the first time since 2005 that the studio will go a calendar year without a new movie.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
The animated film "Despicable Me 2" has been denied a release in China, a spokesperson for distributor Universal Pictures has confirmed. The 3-D movie, a sequel to the 2010 hit, has grossed $584 million worldwide. And it has been a huge success overseas, taking in $308 million internationally since rolling out in most territories in early July. It's not clear why  China's State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) blocked the movie from the country, the second largest film market in the world.  FULL COVERAGE: Reel China The film from production company Illumination Entertainment, the main supplier of family movies to Universal,  centers on the Steve Carell-voiced Gru, a reformed baddie who teams up with his minions to save the world from a super-villain named El Macho.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2012 | By John Horn and Ben Fritz
DreamWorks Animation has decided not to distribute its own films after its longtime deal with Paramount Pictures expires this fall, and it may strike a new pact with Sony Pictures, according to people close to the negotiations not authorized to speak publicly. The Glendale-based studio behind the “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda” movies must find a new distribution partner quickly. Its last film under the Paramount deal, “Rise of the Guardians," hits theaters on Nov. 12. The publicly held DreamWorks does not yet have a distributor for “The Croods,” set to come out in March, and for "Turbo," scheduled for next July.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Consulting firm Beck Media & Marketing is acquiring Insignia Public Relations, which is run by veteran Hollywood media strategist Eddie Michaels. While Beck Media & Marketing focuses primarily on the digital space, Michaels is something of an old school public relations man who wotks with both actors and producers including Illumination Entertainment, the family animation company behind "Despicable Me. " Michaels is also something of a crisis specialist and last week was retained by "Two and a Half Men" co-star Angus T. Jones after a video of the actor blasting the show became public.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2010 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
With summer coming to a close, the season's animation underdog is poised to upset a king. "Despicable Me" has sold a total of $236.1 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada. Though its box-office run will end in the next few weeks, the animated family film is almost certain to surpass the $238-million total for "Shrek Forever After," which virtually has finished its time in theaters. "Shrek Forever After" is the fourth entry in a hugely successful animated series from DreamWorks Animation; "Despicable Me" is the first movie from Universal Pictures' new Illumination Entertainment family label and is based on an original story.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Acknowledging that the movie business is "not for the faint of heart," NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said he'd like to see more animation  and more franchise films out of Universal in the years ahead. "We've had our ups and downs for the last 18 months," Burke said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Investor Conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday. Among Universal's disappointments this year were "Battleship" and "The Five-Year Engagement. " But "Ted" was a smash and "The Lorax" and "The Bourne Legacy" delivered solid numbers.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Easter may be weeks away, but that won't stop the holiday's iconic bunny from bouncing right over the competition at the box office this weekend. "Hop," a hybrid computer-animated comedy about the Easter Bunny's teenage son that also features live actors, is on track to open to about $25 million, according to people who have seen prerelease audience surveys. That should far exceed the ticket sales of "Source Code," a sci-fi thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which is likely to collect $15 million to $18 million.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
"Dr. Seuss' the Lorax" is primed to rake in lots of green at the box office this weekend. The 3-D animated film, based on a popular 1971 book by Dr. Seuss, could debut with as much as $50 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. The weekend's only other new release, the low-cost, R-rated party movie"Project X,"will probably start off with a healthy sum of about $20 million. "The Lorax,"about an environmentally friendly creature who works to save trees, features the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Consulting firm Beck Media & Marketing is acquiring Insignia Public Relations, which is run by veteran Hollywood media strategist Eddie Michaels. While Beck Media & Marketing focuses primarily on the digital space, Michaels is something of an old school public relations man who wotks with both actors and producers including Illumination Entertainment, the family animation company behind "Despicable Me. " Michaels is also something of a crisis specialist and last week was retained by "Two and a Half Men" co-star Angus T. Jones after a video of the actor blasting the show became public.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Acknowledging that the movie business is "not for the faint of heart," NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said he'd like to see more animation  and more franchise films out of Universal in the years ahead. "We've had our ups and downs for the last 18 months," Burke said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Investor Conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday. Among Universal's disappointments this year were "Battleship" and "The Five-Year Engagement. " But "Ted" was a smash and "The Lorax" and "The Bourne Legacy" delivered solid numbers.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2012 | By John Horn and Ben Fritz
DreamWorks Animation has decided not to distribute its own films after its longtime deal with Paramount Pictures expires this fall, and it may strike a new pact with Sony Pictures, according to people close to the negotiations not authorized to speak publicly. The Glendale-based studio behind the “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda” movies must find a new distribution partner quickly. Its last film under the Paramount deal, “Rise of the Guardians," hits theaters on Nov. 12. The publicly held DreamWorks does not yet have a distributor for “The Croods,” set to come out in March, and for "Turbo," scheduled for next July.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" posted the biggest opening of the year at the box office over the weekend, evidence that moviegoers were eager for a family film. The animated 3-D environmental tale greatly exceeded industry expectations, raking in $70.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures. Meanwhile, the weekend's other new release, a polar opposite for families, the R-rated party flick "Project X," collected a healthy $20.8 million. As a result of the robust ticket sales, receipts were up 26% as compared with the same weekend last year.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
"Dr. Seuss' the Lorax" is primed to rake in lots of green at the box office this weekend. The 3-D animated film, based on a popular 1971 book by Dr. Seuss, could debut with as much as $50 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. The weekend's only other new release, the low-cost, R-rated party movie"Project X,"will probably start off with a healthy sum of about $20 million. "The Lorax,"about an environmentally friendly creature who works to save trees, features the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift.
BUSINESS
July 7, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
As Paramount Pictures moves to create an in-house animation division, its longtime partner DreamWorks Animation will be looking for a new home. With the expiration of the studios' distribution agreement looming at the end of 2012, the relationship between the two companies has become increasingly strained over financial issues including how much DreamWorks would pay Paramount to release its films. On Wednesday, it became apparent that negotiations had broken down and that the companies would almost certainly be going their separate ways, ending a partnership that began in 2006 when Paramount acquired DreamWorks Animation's live-action sibling studio, DreamWorks SKG. To emphasize the schism, Paramount, owned by Viacom Inc., announced that it planned to start making its own slate of animated movies beginning in 2014.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
The animated film "Despicable Me 2" has been denied a release in China, a spokesperson for distributor Universal Pictures has confirmed. The 3-D movie, a sequel to the 2010 hit, has grossed $584 million worldwide. And it has been a huge success overseas, taking in $308 million internationally since rolling out in most territories in early July. It's not clear why  China's State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) blocked the movie from the country, the second largest film market in the world.  FULL COVERAGE: Reel China The film from production company Illumination Entertainment, the main supplier of family movies to Universal,  centers on the Steve Carell-voiced Gru, a reformed baddie who teams up with his minions to save the world from a super-villain named El Macho.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Time
Family audiences flocked to the live-action/animated hybrid "Hop" this weekend. The film, which features the voice of comedian Russell Brand as the teenage son of the Easter Bunny, grossed $38.1 million in ticket sales, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures. However, even though the film's strong opening — the best debut for any movie released this year — far exceeded earlier industry projections, the box office was down a staggering 30% compared to the same weekend last year, when "Clash of the Titans" premiered Easter weekend to $61.2 million.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Universal Pictures is bringing in a veteran of rival Sony Pictures to run its movie marketing department, the second change in the studio's top executive ranks in the last month. Josh Goldstine, a senior creative advertising executive who has worked at Sony since 1991, will soon be named president of marketing for Comcast Corp.-owned Universal, according to several knowledgeable people who requested anonymity because the appointment is not yet official. Goldstine is still under contract at Sony and is negotiating to move to Universal soon.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Time
Family audiences flocked to the live-action/animated hybrid "Hop" this weekend. The film, which features the voice of comedian Russell Brand as the teenage son of the Easter Bunny, grossed $38.1 million in ticket sales, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures. However, even though the film's strong opening — the best debut for any movie released this year — far exceeded earlier industry projections, the box office was down a staggering 30% compared to the same weekend last year, when "Clash of the Titans" premiered Easter weekend to $61.2 million.
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