James Cameron To Make ‘Avatar’ Sequels In New Zealand; Government Unveils New Tax Breaks For International Productions

james cameronAfter making Avatar in Wellington, James Cameron’s three sequels are now also lined up to shoot in New Zealand. The Kiwi government says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox to see the director make each of the next Avatar installments locally. The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise given Cameron/Avatar‘s history Down Under, along with the helmer’s 2012 purchase of oodles of land in South Wairarapa, near Wellington. The news coincides with changes to the tax incentive structure in New Zealand which were also unveiled today. Under the new regs, the new Avatars could qualify for a total rebate of 25%.

avatarWhen the first Avatar was made in New Zealand, it delivered more than NZ$307M in spend for the local economy. The memo of understanding on the new movies includes several commitments inlcuding a spend of at least NZ$500M ($413.1M) on local production activity – ie, most of the live action shooting and VFX. There’s also an engagement to hire Kiwis in Head of Department roles with about 90% of the live action crew expected to be local. New Zealand will also get to host “at least one” official red carpet premiere. (The original film world premiered in London.) James Cameron and John Landau have also offered to serve as founding members of a new screen advisory board. And, there is language on marketing and promotion of New Zealand and its film industry alongside the three Avatar films; the transfer of technological know-how to New Zealanders; retaining screen production infrastructure in New Zealand that could be used for industry training; and a commitment by both parties to grow the screen sector in New Zealand and to building a long term and productive relationship between the Crown and Lightstorm/Twentieth Century Fox.

Meanwhile, changes to the tax incentive scheme announced by the local government today will see a hike in the rebate from 15% to 20% for international film and television productions. A further 5% will be available for international productions that deliver significant economic benefits to New Zealand. An as-yet undefined points system will determine eligibility. Read More »

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Fox Home Entertainment Names Two To Marketing Posts

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 7:00am PST

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has tapped Julia Howe as Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing reporting to Twentieth’s Worldwide Marketing EVP Vincent Marcais. Howe will oversee North America brand marketing for new live action film … Read More »

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Fox, Scott Free Acquire ‘The Asset’ Pitch By Morgan Davis Foehl

By | Monday November 4, 2013 @ 10:17am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a mid-six-figure deal, 20th Century Fox has acquired The Asset, a thriller that will be written by Morgan Davis Foehl, who with Michael Mann co-scripted Cyber, the film Mann is helming. Maybe it’s the fact that … Read More »

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Fox Seeks A Single Partner To Buy ‘The Simpsons’ Cable Syndication Rights

The animated series is “the greatest television asset of all time, and certainly of the generation,20th Century Fox Television chairman Gary Newman told investors today Read More »

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Fox Home Entertainment Ups James Finn To EVP Marketing Communications

By | Tuesday July 9, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT

James Finn has managed communications for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for all title releases and technology advancements since 2009. In his new role as EVP Marketing Communication, Finn’s expanded responsibilities include global oversight of corporate communications, digital marketing, media, publicity and marketing partnerships for the division. His appointment was announced today by Mary Daily, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Worldwide Marketing, to whom he will report. In his previous position, Finn oversaw the implementation of more than 200 campaigns a year and was involved in several of Fox’s most successful film and TV franchises, including Avatar, Alvin And The Chipmunks, Family Guy, Glee, Ice Age, Modern Family, Planet Of The Apes, Rio, Sons Of Anarchy, Star Wars, The Simpsons and X-Men. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Runner Runner’

By | Friday June 7, 2013 @ 3:38am PDT

Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Anthony Mackie and Gemma Arterton star in this drama set in the world of offshore online gambling. Lincoln Lawyer helmer Brad Furman directs Runner Runner from a script by David Levien and Brian Koppelman. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way produces the … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Wolverine’

Hugh Jackman returns as The Wolverine in the Fox superhero movie that bows Stateside on July 26. The James Mangold-directed pic is the sequel to 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the latest in the X-Men franchise. It finds Wolverine out of his depth in modern day Japan where he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Brian Tee, Will Yun Lee and Hiroyuki Sanada also star, with a cameo by Famke Janssen. Oscar-nominee Jackman will also strap on his Adamantium claws for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past that’s out next year. Here’s the domestic trailer Fox released today, followed by the international one:

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20th Century Fox Putting End Cards On Films Now To Explain True Cost Of Piracy; UPDATE: Idea Was Vice President Biden’s

By | Sunday October 28, 2012 @ 12:40pm PDT

SUNDAY UPDATE: Twentieth Century Fox Film Chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos tells me that the end card anti-piracy project was suggested by the Obama administration. “It was actually an idea of Vice President Biden’s when we visited him during a MPAA Board meeting earlier this year. We thought it was an … Read More »

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DreamWorks Animation’s Desperation Move

Jeffrey KatzenbergWith zero fanfare today, execs for DreamWorks Animation and its new distributor Twentieth Century Fox announced DWA’s 2013-2016 slate which includes 12 CG animated films in 4 years. That, the execs say, is a major industry first. What they’re not saying is that it also seems like a desperation move for this public company. Wall Street is, to put it generously, skeptical about DreamWorks Animation’s prospects. Of the 13 analysts who follow the company according to Thomson/First Call data, only one has a “buy” recommendation. Seven rate it a “hold”. And five designate it either “underperform” or “sell”. The stock is up 5.8% so far this year but that’s lousy since NASDAQ where DWA trades is up 20.4%. And over the last 12 months DreamWorks Animation is down 5.4% while NASDAQ is up 27.1%.

The basic problem for DreamWorks is that its business model appears to be crumbling. One major concern is that Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s formula of making parodies of movie genres as well as sequel after spinoff has run its course – and the new slate looks like more of the same. (As opposed to Pixar’s boundless creativity.) Competition is growing in computer animation not just from Pixar but from Illumination Entertainment and Blue Sky Studios and so on. DVD sales for family fare are declining  at an alarming pace. 3D didn’t live up to anyone’s expectations even though Katzenberg negotiated with exhibitors for its exorbitant pricetag. (Yes, consumers, he’s to blame.) Production costs keep rising.  Merchandise sales for recent movies including Madagascar 3 were disappointing. Live shows are only so-so. (DWA took a $5M impairment charge for Shrek The Musical). And so on.

Which were just some of the reasons why Time Warner, Comcast, and the Walt Disney Co weren’t interested in buying DreamWorks Animation when Katzenberg thought it would be a slam dunk deal.  Read More »

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‘Titanic 3D’ Set For Release In Myanmar

By | Monday August 13, 2012 @ 12:55pm PDT

Twentieth Century Fox is releasing Titanic 3D through a licensing arrangement with the Mingalar Company on August 17. “In recent years, we have entered markets such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea”, Twentieth Century Fox co-presidents Tomas … Read More »

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Lovefilm To Stream Fox Movies, TV Shows

By | Monday June 25, 2012 @ 2:31am PDT

Amazon-owned Lovefilm has entered a multi-year streaming deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution for recent and upcoming movies and TV series. Subscription service Lovefilm, which operates in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Norway, also has agreements in place … Read More »

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Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ To Be Twentieth Fox Co-Financed & Distributed Internationally

By | Monday January 23, 2012 @ 11:01am PST

EXCLUSIVE: So this now means 20th Century Fox is getting behind both Steven Spielberg’s earnest Lincoln biopic as well as Tim Burton’s horror genre film Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. (“Preferably not releasing them at the same time,” … Read More »

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Fox Powers Up David Guggenheim And Tony Scott On ‘Narco Sub’

Twentieth Century Fox acquired the action thriller spec Narco Sub from David Guggenheim with Tony Scott attached to direct. Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films is producing with Tony and Ridley’s Scott Free shingle. Guggenheim developed the script with Kinberg … Read More »

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EASTER WEEKEND RISES: #1 ‘Rio’ Soars, #2 ‘Madea’ Mans Up, #3 ‘Elephants’ Steps Up



SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 5TH UPDATE: Studios tell me this Easter Weekend began and ended with rain and storms … Read More »

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‘Rio 3D’ #1 In US And Foreign With $168M; ‘Scream 4′ Whimpers; Weekend Up Overall

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 3RD UPDATE: After some initial uncertainty, this was indeed the comeback weekend that finally ended Hollywood’s extended 2011 slump at the North American box office. Because after a weak Friday, most of these pics grossed stronger on Saturday. The overall total … Read More »

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‘Rio’ Opens #1 Film In World This Weekend

By | Monday April 11, 2011 @ 1:55am PDT

The makers of the hit toon franchise Ice Age have another winner on their hands, and Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha a tribute to his home town’s natural beauty and upbeat lifestyle. Twentieth Century Fox numbers show its newest 3D animation feature Rio flew … Read More »

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3D ‘Star Wars: Phantom Menace’ Coming February 10, 2012

By | Thursday March 3, 2011 @ 9:32am PST
Mike Fleming

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (March 3, 2011) – Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox announced today that the 3D theatrical launch of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace now has an official release date – February 10, 2012! Set against the thrilling and exotic backdrop of a “galaxy far,

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FOXY 2011 MOVES: ‘Rise Of The Apes’ Takes Thanksgiving Slot; ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ Set For Start Of Summer

Twentieth Century Fox execs today muscled their 2011 release schedule. First and foremost the studio’s big tentpole Rise Of The Apes moves from June 24th to November 23rd because there’s a Thanksgiving family film overload. This Planet Of The Apes origins … Read More »

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Ridley Scott Directing ‘Prometheus’ For Fox; Noomi Rapace Locked While Angelina Jolie And Charlize Theron Circling; Damon Lindelof Scripted With Scott From ‘Alien’ DNA

EXCLUSIVE: First, it started out as an Alien Prequel. But then it morphed into something “more original”, an insider tells us – even though Hollywood kept referring to the project as “The … Read More »

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