The channel’s called AwesomenessX and it will offer “original sports, gaming, comedy, pranks and lifestyle content” for males in their teens and 20s, says the company that’s owned by DreamWorks Animation. As the Web destination grows it can “segment our audience so we can better target the programming and build communities around specific interest areas,” says its CEO Brian Robbins. The new channel will pick up some series from AwesomenessTV including The City – Basketball, Sk8 Spotterz, Blow Up Guys, That Was Awesome and How To Be Awesome. It will also launch new series including one that follows Winter X-Games gold medalist David Wise. Another will track “the first Chinese skaters and their friends as they begin to open the minds of the Chinese people to a sport that has always been looked down upon.” Other shows will offer videos of the best game moves and photo shoots of swimsuit models. There’s also The Frank Dog (a dog that “breaks down the latest viral video, with a special dark place just for those adorable cat clips”), Baby Gaga (a talking baby that “will break down his favorite baby videos from around the web and also give his hilarious opinion on what is really going on”) and Fingerlings (where finger puppets poke fun at “current pop culture moments”).
This is the deal that DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg appears to have been alluding to last night when he said he had video-related “news to share pretty quickly.” He says this AM that the YouTube destination is “one of the fastest-growing content channels on the Internet today and our acquisition of this groundbreaking venture will bring incredible momentum to our digital strategy.” AwesomenessTV has TV and film aspirations which indicates it has “continued cross-platform expansion plans,” the companies say. The deal, which includes contingencies, should provide a nice payoff for founder and CEO Brian Robbins as well as UTA and Ziffren Brittenham — all of whom supported (the trendy term is “incubate”) the young service. Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says DWA’s acquisition is “strategically prudent” given the growth in Internet video viewing even though it will “likely be dilutive [to earnings] in the near term.” DreamWorks shares are up 6.6% in mid-morning trading. Here’s the release:
Specialty B.O.: ‘Spring Breakers’ Powers To $270K In 3 Cinemas, ‘Poppy Hill’, ‘Ginger & Rosa’, ‘Mindless Behavior’ Solid In Debuts
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
UPDATED: Just in time for the debauchery of Spring Break that has long provided fodder for Hollywood, distribution newcomer A24 Films scored big time with this weekend’s three-theater opening of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. The Venice/Toronto debut headlining James Franco and Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens grossed a whopping $270K for a $90K average. That’s the best opening per-theater-average in the specialty arena for 2013. A24 also fared well with their other rollout, Ginger & Rosa, which had the third-highest per theater average of the current weekend with $15K. Both titles should prove strong box office contenders in the weeks to come. GKids released Studio Ghibli’s From Up On Poppy Hill, which averaged an impressive weekend second-best $27,514 in a pair of theaters. The animated film was directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of master Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, who was co-writer on the movie. YouTube channel AwesomenessTV partnered with AMC Entertainment to open the teen R&B concert pic Mindless Behavior: All Around The World in 117 theaters, grossing over a half-million dollars with a solid $4,351 average. Oscilloscope bowed Matteo Garrone’s Reality in one theater, grossing $8K, while Millennium took Upside Down to 11 locations, averaging $2,570.