Good morning. It’s Monday, May 14, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment launches its first licensed-products website, MySeaWorld.com (www.myseaworld.com), which offers consumers ocean, nature and animal-themed digital games, toys and apparel from Mattel, Office Max, SkinIt, Ruckus Media Group, Palmer Cash and InMotion Entertainment. The website features new products such as three educational interactive digital storybooks created in partnership with Ruckus Media Group and based on SeaWorld animals and conservation efforts. Available on various digital mobile platforms and devices, the stories are designed to both encourage kids to read as well as develop an interest in animals and science. Also new are 19 Skin It – SeaWorld marine-mammal themed skins for electronic devices including cell phones, laptops, iPads, Kindles, Nintendo DS among others. A portion of all net proceeds from SeaWorld’s licensed consumer product sales on the site will benefit the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.
Marvel’s The Avengers stay on top of the domestic box office with an estimated $103.2 million, and reaches more records. The Avengers sets a record for the best second weekend for a feature film ever – knocking the previous record holder, Avatar (2009, $75.6 million), out of the way, as well as becoming the fastest movie to hit $300 million and $350 million, and the highest eight day, nine day, and ten day grosses ever, per Box Office Mojo.
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McDonald’s Europe and digital agency partner Fuel launch of Happy Studio (www.happystudio.com), a kid-targeted virtual world based on McDonald’s Happy Meal, which has been in beta since August 2011 and has 1.8 million activated registered users. Accessible online and on mobile devices, Happy Studio is a free, and ad-free, virtual world that features licensed characters from various global entertainment properties, currently including Tom and Jerry, Tintin, Puss N Boots, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits pirates, among many others) and invites kids with fun and educational games and activities. Kids can create their own avatars to play with the various characters, complete missions, receive in-game rewards and interact safely with kids from 41 countries. The site also allows parents to monitor their kids activities via the Grown Up Dashboard. Happy Studio’s game play and educational content was developed with the guidance of child development experts.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter conjures its way to Japan. Universal Studios Japan, in partnership with Warner Bros. and Universal Parks & Resorts, will be bring the Harry Potter attraction to Japan, which is slated to open in late 2014. The theme park attraction is based on the almost two-year-old original The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan will be created with the creative leadership of Stuart Craig, Production Designer for the entire Harry Potter film series.
HoHo Entertainment‘s first series Cloudbabies (52×10) will launch on CBeebies (UK) on Monday, May 14, 2012. Created by art director Bridget Appleby (Fifi and the Flowertots, Noddy, Enjie Benjie) and animated at Manchester-based Studio Liddell, the CG animated preschool series will air on the channel weekdays at 11:25a. The Cloudbabies website, www.cloudbabies.co.uk, will go live simultaneously on May 14. Cloudbabies revolves around four caring kid-like characters, Baba Pink, Baba Blue, Baba Yellow and Baba Green whose are responsible for looking after the sky and their Sky Friends. They live together with Bobo White, a mischievous imp, in a house on a fluffy cloud, and every morning they jump on their Skyhorsies and begin their work.
Disney XD in Canada, part of Astral Media, will premiere the new animated series Motorcity on Saturday, May 26 at 6:30p. The series debut is part of the channel’s Drift, Draft and Drive Marathon that features car and racing centric episodes (2-7p). All episodes from the marathon will be available on Disney XD OnDemand beginning Wednesday, May 29. Following the series premiere, new episodes of Motorcity will take up its regular timeslot on Thursdays at 8p. Additionally, viewers can visit DisneyXD.ca this month and play the new Motorcity: Drive game to get a first look at the series. The free six-level racing game is also available for iOS devices. Motorcity is a production of Robin Red Breast, a subsidiary of Titmouse, and Disney Television Animation.
Canadian broadcasters CBC Radio Canada and Teletoon Canada acquire the second season of Big Bad Boo Studios‘ animated series 1001 Nights. In the mean time, Big Bad Boo is in pre-production for season 3 of 1001 Nights and has two other shows in development with a Canadian broadcaster. Big Bad Book is also publishing more 1001 Nights comic books, novels as well as online and mobile efforts based on the brand. An original comedy and adventure series, 1001 Nights (www.1001nightsshow.com) features Shahrzad presenting the tales of the classic 1001 Arabian Nights, including Sinbad, Aladdin and Ali Baba. 1001 Nights is launching in over 60 countries and 15 languages this year.
Entertainment One is set to release the debut DVD Babar: The Classic Series: The Complete First Season on June 5, 2012. The 2-disc set includes 13 episodes of the HBO Family animated series, which is based on iconic Babar storybook created by Jean de Brunhoff that in turn was based on the tale created by his wife, Cecile, for their kids. The DVD is in English, with French and Spanish language options. The Classic Babar animated currently airs on NBC, Telemundo and Ion, while the new animated series, Babar & the Adventures of Badou, can be seen on Disney Junior.
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Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; May 11-13, 2012:
Marvel’s The Avenger (Disney) PG-13 $103.2m-2 wk total $373.1m
Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.) PG-13 Opening Weekend $28.8m
Think Like A Man (Sony) PG-13 $6.3m-4 wk total $81.9m
The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) PG-13 $4.4m-8 wk total $386.9m
The Lucky One (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $4.1m-4 wk total $53.7m
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony) PG $3.2m-3 wk total $23.1m
Chimpanzee (Disney) G $1.6m-4 wk total 25.6m
Girl In Progress (Lionsgate) PG-13 Opening Weekend 1.4m
The Three Stooges (Fox) PG $1.0m-5 wk total 41.1m
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Universal) PG $409,500-11 wk total $209.6m
Source: Rentrak (www.rentrak.com)
HIT Entertainment names Shari Donnenfeld to the newly created position of Head of HIT Global Brands. Donnenfeld will report into Edward Catchpole, SVP/HIT Brands. In her new position, Donnenfeld is responsible for guiding the global brand and marketing strategies for HIT’s existing and new properties including Thomas & Friends, Mike the Knight, Fireman Sam, and Bob the Builder. Most recently, Donnenfeld ran a running a consultancy business specializing in developing consumer-centric brand strategies for the launch and revitalization of kid’s TV, digital and publishing properties. She previously served in senior positions at Nickelodeon, Disney and Fox Kids Europe. Donnenfeld began her career at FCB advertising in NY.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, May 10, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 828; K6-11 428; TWEENS 9-14 338
NICKELODEON: K2-11 746; K6-11 273; TWEENS 9-14 188
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 444; K6-11 262; TWEENS 9-14 207
DISNEY XD: K2-11 140; K6-11 106; TWEENS 9-14 110
NICKTOONS: K2-11 74; K6-11 43; TWEENS 9-14 46
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
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Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What is Sylvester the Cat’s full name? Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr. Kudos to: R J Cavallaro-Mills James Productions/Columbus, Ohio; Ed Dall’Aste-UPROAR!/NYC; Deedra L. Roberts-Turner Broadcasting Systems/Atlanta; Michael Ratliffe-B.E.T. Networks/Washington DC; Brett Ashy-The Ashy Agency/LA.
Today’s Trivia Question: What cartoon character was famous for saying, “This makes me very angry, very angry indeed.” (Email John@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
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