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Saturday - August 25, 2001
- Inside: Disney Won't Commit to Anime
- Details of Xbox Canadian Release Made Available
- Planet of the Apes only FX Movie in Top 10
- News Link of the Day - Review: Madden NFL 2002

Inside: Disney Won't Commit to Anime
(by Inside Magazine is reporting that Disney is not showing any interest in bringing Japan's record-breaking anime blockbuster, Spirited Away, to U.S. shores. According to an article titled, "Burnt Once by Anime, Disney Is Shy About Releasing New Japanese Blockbuster in the U.S." the following is stated:

"The film, Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature Spirited Away, is already on track to unseat Titanic as Japan's highest-grossing film ever. And Disney, which has a lucrative worldwide distribution deal with the director, is uniquely positioned to jump in. Yet the best explanation for Disney's caution can be summed up with two words: Princess Mononoke. Mononoke, Miyazaki's last film, also was a smash hit in Japan -- taking in a second-best-ever $150 million at the Japanese box office in 1997 -- but was a mammoth dud in the States."

The article fails to challenge Disney marketing for the so-called Princess Mononoke disaster. In stating that the movie grossed only just above $2 million, the article fails to point out that the movie was only put into limited release in a few select cities, playing in fewer theaters than many IMAX movies that take over a year to gross $10 million (i.e. CyberWorld 3D). Buena Vista (Disney) marketing failed to create a buzz for the movie using grass-root efforts that could have started with hundreds of anime clubs throughout the United States. Not giving Princess Mononoke a wide release then lambasting it as a failure for making only over $2 million is near doublespeak.

With Spirited Away, which is blowing away all Japanese records, Disney executives who viewed the film are said to have "not liked it," according to the Inside article.

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Details of Xbox Canadian Release Made Available
(by Microsoft Canada Co. has announced updates to the Canadian launch plans for the Microsoft Xbox video game system. Starting Nov. 8, 2001, Xbox will be available for purchase at retail outlets across Canada at an estimated retail price of $459.99(*) Cdn. Microsoft Canada anticipates its launch library of 15 to 20 games will contribute significantly to driving sales of 1 to 1.5 million units across North America by the end of the holiday season.

Regarding games available, Microsoft says, "Halo introduces gamers to an exciting new world where humans battle aliens on a mysterious ring-world with the objective of uncovering Halo's horrible secrets and destroying mankind's sworn enemy. In Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, players embark on an adventure using the special powers of two characters, Abe and Munch, to cooperatively make their way through the trials of Oddworld. Project Gotham Racing is a circuit based racing game where players can compete against up to three friends in photo-realistic downtown environments. In Amped, players experience freestyle riding down real mountain slopes with the goal of becoming one of the world's snowboarding superstars."

Microsoft says that's only a few of the 15-20 games that will be available at the Xbox launch. Xbox moved into a strategic position when Nintendo announced last week that it is delaying the GameCube launch.

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Planet of the Apes Only FX Movie in Top 10
(by Results for Friday's Box Office are in and Planet of the Apes is the only visual effects movie remaining in the top 10. On Friday, Planet of the Apes brought in close to $1 million to place 10th and to bring its box office total to date to a hefty $165.2 million.

The top three movies on Friday were Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, American Pie 2, and Rush Hour 2. Disney's live action G-rated The Princess Diaries continued to perform strong, placing 7th on Friday to bring its total to more than $77 million. With animated films going PG and PG-13, many saw The Princess Diaries as a sign of whether parents still wanted G-rated family movies. The outcome could send a warning message to animation studios not to turn its back against the large audiences that still populate G-rated movies. This summer, the box office seemed oversaturated with PG and PG-13 animated fares, most performing very poorly, like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

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News Link of the Day - Review: Madden NFL 2002

According to CNN/IDG/GamePro:

"When you're at the top of your game, you can afford to concentrate on the details. Madden NFL 2002 maintains its All-Pro rep as it heads into its second season on the PlayStation 2...

The graphics and animation look sharp and silky smooth. The gameplay character images actually look cleaner, and at times the animation looks so real it's eerie. This 2002 edition also ups the in-game eye candy. Post-play cinematic replays are more frequent, which is either going to turn you on or off depending on your mood...."

Click here for the full story.

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