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Peter Chernin Takes Control Of Anime Provider Crunchyroll

By | Monday December 2, 2013 @ 4:49pm PST

The deal giving The Chernin Group a majority stake in Crunchyroll is a hedged bet on the future of anime — a genre that has a broad fan base but a mixed record for generating profits. Chernin Twitter copyPeter Chernin says that he intends to “continue to grow the anime vertical” online. But he adds that his company also will “launch new channels in different genres,” noting that Crunchyroll_logoWeb video “is growing faster than any other sector within media” and that Crunchyroll provides “a fantastic, anchor platform.” The company has ad-supported and subscription online services targeted to more than 160 countries. It aims to be the destination of choice for anime fans; in addition to videos it offers e-commerce, news, and social media features. The companies didn’t say how much Chernin is spending, but note that Crunchyroll’s senior management “will maintain a significant stake” as will TV TOKYO. Once a haven for pirated anime, in 2009 Crunchyroll dedicated itself to cutting legitimate licensing deals with content owners. But anime providers struggled as DVD sales diminished, and some fans turned their attention to Hollywood blockbusters that feature sci-fi themes and superheroes. That’s taken a toll on companies such as 4Kids Productions, Bandai Entertainment, and Tokyopop. Still, Crunchyroll CEO Kun Gao says that anime remains “at the heart of our company.” The Chernin investment “will allow us to provide an even better experience … Read More »

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G4 Picks Up 4 New Marvel Anime Series

By | Monday July 26, 2010 @ 11:40am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Los Angeles, CA, July 26, 2010 – G4 will be the exclusive U.S. television home of four brand-new anime series featuring some of the most successful and iconic brands from the Marvel Universe.  Produced by Madhouse for Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ), these four original series – “Iron Man,” “X-MEN,” “Wolverine” and “Blade” - will premiere on the network in 2011 and will air as standalone series made up of twelve 30-minute episodes under the guidance of Warren Ellis.

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Weekend Prediction: Problem-Plagued ‘Speed Racer’ Distant No. 2 To ‘Iron Man’

The last time I saw a studio resort to prayer for a movie opening was Universal for Evan Almighty. And the Box Office Gods didn’t make it a hit pic. But now Warner Bros is figuratively on its knees praying for at least a mid-$30 million weekend opening for its kiddie anime Speed Racer — already down from a hoped-for $40 million just a few days earlier. There are some positive, and some negative, factors to consider. For instance, a plus is that the “Parents and Kids” premium tracking has bettered by a lot. But before I delve into those issues, I have to say that I rarely see Hollywood so gleeful to dump all over a movie’s release. But my box office gurus can’t wait to puncture the tires of what they say will be Speed Racer‘s slow crawl of a domestic opening Friday. Still their predictions are a bit higher today than a few weeks ago; they now range from high $20sM to mid-30sM from 3,606 theaters. That’s well behind Marvel’s blockbuster holdover Iron Man which Paramount has placed in 4,111 venues and projected a $50M second weekend.

As a Warner exec told me this afternoon, “I remain optimistic that families will go. I’m hoping we mirror something like Alvin And The Chipmunks. Industry projections based on tracking had it opening at $25M, but it opened to $44M.” Unfortunately, Warner’s film will get creamed by the competition from the Disney/Walden blockbuster Narnia 2 opening the very next weekend. One bright spot is … Read More »

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