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Hot Featurette: ‘ParaNorman’ Aims To Shake Up Animated Feature Race

By | Friday February 8, 2013 @ 5:57pm PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: In terms of awards campaigns for the Best Animated Feature Oscar this year, ParaNorman, a nominee from Focus Features and Laika seems to be the one making the most noise, at least as far as advertising goes. Taking a cue from the Juno campaign a few years ago there is even a ParaNorman coffee truck driving around town serving up goodies. Hey, why not? If an Academy member happens to be strolling by what could be a better way to get their attention than selling them a cappuccino from Norman himself? Focus and Laika are clearly proud of their work and want Oscar voters to know they actually have racked up more critics awards than any other animated film this year, although at Rotten Tomatoes it is an extremely close race for the title of Best Reviewed animated feature among the five Oscar nominees with Frankenweenie at 88% fresh barely ahead of ParaNorman and The Pirates! Band Of Misfits at 87% while Wreck-It Ralph has 85% and Brave 78%, all healthy scores indicating this could turn out to be an extremely tight race in the end even with Ralph scoring big wins at the Annies and PGA over the competition. ParaNorman is aiming to turn the tide. Here’s an exclusive featurette:

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Annie Awards: ‘Wreck-It-Ralph’ Wins 5 Including Feature, Robot Chicken ‘DC Comics Special’ TV, ‘Paperman’ Best Short

By | Saturday February 2, 2013 @ 9:58pm PST

Wreck-It Ralph heads toward this year’s Academy Awards withRich Moore and Clark Spencer newly added momentum. The videogame-themed Walt Disney Animation Studios pic was the bigger winner tonight at the 40th Annual Annie Awards. Ralph took Best Animated Feature plus Best Directing, Music, Voice Acting and Best Writing in an Animated Feature. Last year’s Annies Animated Feature winner Rango went on to win the Oscar for the same category in 2012.

Related: Annie Award Nominations Unveiled

Hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin and voice actors Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen, the ceremony from UCLA’s Royce Hall saw DreamWorks’ Rise Of The Guardians, LAIKA/Focus Features’ ParaNorman, and Pixar’s Brave pick up several awards as well. Robot Chicken’s DC Comic Special won the Best General Audience Animated Television Production award. Marvel’s blockbuster The Avengers took the nod for Best Animated Effects in a Live Action Production and Rhythm & Hues Studio won best Character Animation in a Live Action Production for their work on Life Of Pi. Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Paperman won the Best Animated Short Subject award. South Park’s Trey Parker scooped a best Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production for the long running satire’s South Park: Jewpacabra. Check out the full list below:

Wreck-It RalphAnimated Feature
Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Director Rich Moore only thanked Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO John Lasseter, as many people did tonight, but said he was so honored and thankful to be part of the Disney Legacy.

Annie AwardsGeneral Audience Television Production
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special – Stoopid Buddy Studios

“Let’s just keep making awesome stuff”, says Seth Green to the crowd on Robot Chicken’s win and the animation industry in general.

Directing in a Feature Production
Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios

The Annies exploded with a roar when Ralph’s Moore name was read aloud for best Feature Directing. The director joked that he’s in trouble because he gave his speech to “the teleprompter guy” (they’ve had issues tonight). Moore then gave a seamless speech thanking a wide variety of people involved “in this fantastic film”.

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OSCARS: Animating ‘ParaNorman’

By | Saturday December 1, 2012 @ 11:05am PST

Craig Modderno is an AwardsLine contributor.

Details are everything in animation, but ParaNorman producer Arianne Sutner knows all too well how difficult it can be to get them right. Her seemingly simple suggestion to add a shower cap in a scene in the 3D stopmotion film quickly became a question of balancing creativity and schedule.

“There’s a scene where Courtney comes to the door looking for Norman and is met by Mitch, who is wearing a towel,” Sutner recounts. “I thought having Mitch wear a shower cap would be funny. The trouble came when I remembered in stopmotion you can only do a minute a week.” Fortunately, Sutner had codirector Sam Fell, codirector and writer Chris Butler, and fellow producer Travis Knight — who’s also the CEO of the financing company Laika — on her side. “We had an unspoken rule that if anyone had a change that could improve the film, we would try it,” Knight says. “We were working from an excellent script, so we looked at ideas like hers as basically tweaking the source material, which we all loved.”
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‘The Expendables 2′ Tops Crowded Box Office With $28.7M Weekend, ‘Bourne Legacy’ $17M, ‘ParaNorman’ $14M; ‘The Campaign’ $13.3M, ‘Sparkle’ $12M

August 17-19 Weekend Actuals

1. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) NEW [3,316 Runs] R Friday $10.5M, Saturday $10.2M, Sunday $7.9M, Weekend $28.6M

2. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 2 [3,753 Runs] PG13 Friday $5.3M, Saturday $7.1M, Sunday $4.7M, Weekend $17.1M (-55%), Cume $69.6M

3. ParaNorman 3D (Focus Features) NEW [3,429 Runs] PG Friday $4.6M, Saturday $5.4M, Sunday $4.1M, Weekend $14.1M

4. The Campaign (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,255 Runs] R Friday $4.1M, Saturday $5.3M, Sunday $3.7M, Weekend $13.1M (-51%), Cume $51.4M

5. Sparkle (TriStar/Sony) NEW [2,244 Runs) PG13 Friday $4.5M, Saturday $4.3M,Sunday $2.8M, Weekend $11.6M

6. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros) Week 5 [3,157 Runs] PG13 Friday $3.1M, Saturday $4.6M, Sunday $3.3M, Weekend $11.0M (-42%), Cume $409.8M

7. The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (Disney) Week 1 [2,598 Runs] PG Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.3M, Sunday $3.1M, Weekend $10.8M, Cume $15.1M

8. Hope Springs (Sony) Week 2 [2,361 Runs] PG13 Friday $2.8M, Saturday $3.9M, Sunday $2.5M, Weekend $9.1M (-38%), Cume $35.1M

9. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (Fox) Week 3 [2,737 Runs] PG Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.6M, Sunday $1.1M, Weekend $3.8M (-52%), Cume $38.7M

10. Total Recall (Sony) Week 3 [2,434 Runs] PG13 Friday $1.1M, Saturday $1.4M, Sunday $980K, Weekend $3.5M (-57%), Cume $51.8M

SUNDAY AM, 2ND UPDATE: Late start this morning. Full analysis coming. Here’s the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:

1. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) NEW [3,316 Runs] R
Friday $10.5M, Saturday $10.2M, Weekend $28.7M

2. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 2 [3,753 Runs] PG13
Friday $5.4M, Saturday $7.1M, Weekend $17.0M (-55%), Cume $69.5M

3. ParaNorman 3D (Focus Features) NEW [3,429 Runs] … Read More »

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Hot Web Trailer: ‘ParaNorman’

By | Tuesday August 14, 2012 @ 10:58pm PDT

Focus Features has released a final web trailer for the LAIKA stop-motion animated ParaNorman 3D feature that opens Friday. ParaNorman is directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux) and Chris Butler (who also wrote the screenplay). This trailer takes a different approach from those that preceded it:

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‘Brave’ And ‘ParaNorman’ Make Big Animated Splash With Weekend Concerts and Premieres From Pixar And Focus

By | Monday August 6, 2012 @ 12:38am PDT
Pete Hammond

It may only be August but already there is some subtle jockeying going on around the Oscar race for Best Animated Feature.

Not taking anything for granted after their Cars 2 failed to make the final cut of five nominees last year, Pixar pulled out all the stops this weekend with a sensational concert event at the Hollywood Bowl, a three-night engagement that may also inadvertently help Disney/Pixar’s orchestrated (in this case, literally) attempt to keep their big 2012 toon entry Brave front-of-mind  in the awards hunt. With the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra led by conductor Thomas Wilkins, Pixar In Concert (which will also be playing in other venues around the country)  featured several parts of scores from past Pixar Oscar winners and nominees like the  Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, A Bug’s Life, WALL-E, Up, The Incredibles, Cars 1 & 2, Monsters Inc and in the prized penultimate spot in the program, a beautiful suite from Patrick Doyle’s score of Brave. Extremely well-edited segments from each of the films accompanied the musical performances and seemed to dazzle the packed Bowl crowd on Saturday, the night I caught the action. Pixar’s Oscar winning composers Randy Newman (Toy Story) and Michael Giacchino (Up) were in the audience and also at a pre-concert reception and dinner Disney/Pixar threw for a large press crowd that included several awards-watchers and bloggers, plus a big chunk of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association among others. If anything, the smartly produced concert reminded people of the remarkable legacy … Read More »

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Comic-Con: Mintz-Plasse Says ‘Kick-Ass 2′ To Start In September; ‘ParaNorman’ Panel Wins Over Fans

By | Friday July 13, 2012 @ 11:42am PDT

Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse was on hand today for Focus Feature’s ParaNorman panel in Hall H but broke some news of his own. Making fans happy, he said Kick-Ass 2 should start shooting in September. In his words: “You heard it from me first, and now I’m probably gonna get my butt kicked.” Deadline reported earlier that Universal Pictures was stepping in to finance the film with Jeff Wadlow directing his script. Matthew Vaughn directed the 2010 original. Read More »

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‘Elysium’ Brings Jodie Foster To Comic-Con As Movies Rub Elbows With TV Series

Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage. This year’s event runs July 12-15.

Comic-ConJodie Foster at Comic-Con? Absolutely believe it. She and Matt Damon will be part of a panel that day for Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to District 9, which launched its initial ad campaign at Comic-Con (“this restroom is for humans only”) a year before actually showing footage there that really hyped things up. This is the biggest unknown quantity announced so far, the “we didn’t even know to be excited about it yet” item that could end up being the big-buzz item a la 300 (or, ahem, Sucker Punch). This news emerged today as Comic-Con continued its day-by-day rollout of what’s in store this year, releasing its schedule for Friday July 13. Elysium is surrounded on the Sony panel by Total Recall (they gave that a big push last year, and movies about to open seem less interesting to Con-goers) and Looper, which got a great reaction at Wondercon. Screen Gems’ latest Resident Evil sequel, which shared space with Looper and The Amazing Spider-Man at Wondercon, gets a panel all to itself, featuring all the usual regulars from the movies plus Michelle Rodriguez, somehow returning despite being killed in the first film. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘ParaNorman’

By | Wednesday December 14, 2011 @ 7:49pm PST

Here’s a new trailer for the stop-motion animated ParaNorman from Focus Features and LAIKA. Instead of the song that played with the teaser we showed you before Halloween, this adds dialogue and new scenes. It opens August 17.

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Hot Teaser: ‘ParaNorman’

By | Sunday October 30, 2011 @ 11:19pm PDT

Just in time for Halloween, here’s a teaser for the stop-motion animated ParaNorman, from LAIKA and Focus Features, the partners that made and released the deliciously dark Coraline. Directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux) and Chris Butler (who also wrote the screenplay), it’s about a boy who speaks to the dead and is the only one who can save his town from a curse of zombies, witches, ghosts and grownups.  Voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee (Norman), Tucker Albrizzi, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick and a bunch of other interesting people. It’s slated to open August 17, 2012. Enjoy!

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