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Sunday - July 8, 2001
- Cats & Dogs Nudges Out Scary Movie 2
- Tom Hanks: "Digital Actors May Replace Human Actors"
- Disney Loses Its Magic (opinion article)
- News Link of the Day - AOL to Close All WB Stores

Cats & Dogs Nudges Out Scary Movie 2
(by Weekend estimates are in and if they hold true then Cats & Dogs will have barely beat Scary Movie 2 for the top spot. For the weekend, it is estimated that Cats & Dogs made $22 million while Scary Movie 2 made $21 million. A.I. was a distant third - losing over 50% of its audience from last weekend - at $14.2 million.

On the animation front, Shrek (which made an estimated $6 million) easily beat out Disney's Atlantis (which made an estimated $5 million). Final numbers will be reported in Tuesday's Digital Media FX update.

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Tom Hanks: "Digital Actors May Replace Human Actors"
(by Both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas deny that digital actors can replace real actors. However, Tom Hanks is on the record as worrying that it is a real possibility.

According to Online Ireland, "Oscar-winner Tom Hanks today said he fears Hollywood's stars will be replaced by computer-generated actors. The Saving Private Ryan star said he is concerned new technology could be used by film studious to replace humans with more compliant and cheaper electronic characters."

So far Hanks is the only mainstream acting professional to express such concerns and acknowledge the real possibility. Both Lucas and Spielberg have gone on the record as claiming that the press have overreacted to reports that digital characters can replace human characters. The comments by them were made at the grand opening of the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts Opens at USC School of Cinema last March.

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Disney Loses its "Magic"
( opinion article) Disney continues to receive negative press over terrible decisions ranging from Disney's California Adventure (DCA) to dismissing top animators associated with the former Disney animation empire. Disney has closed over 70 Disney stores and is now killing its DisneyQuest adventure in Chicago. In addition, plans for future DisneyQuest areas have been rejected.

Part of Disney's decision making process is associated with a project's ability to grow profits even if the venture is already profitable. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, "While the amusement and shopping parks did not lose money, it was believed they would not meet profitability goals if the chain were expanded." The philosophy? "Forget the profits these places make now. Just close them. Too inconvenient." So much for long term strategies.

Disney's continued mismanagement is costing the company millions of dollars in "experimentation" costs. If the visionary Walt Disney had followed the same philosophy, Disneyland would have been closed down in its first year. Disney has lost the art of putting the customer first (which grows businesses) and making projects long term to better brand them to audiences. As Disney gets more greedy, the company appears to be losing creativity, originality, and all the customer service formulas introduced by the founder of the company decades ago - Walt Disney.

The early 2000 years will be remembered as the "disassembling of Disney magic." From dismembering the powerful animation division to theme park fiasco's (the non-magical DCA) and closing of Disney stores along with themed attractions the illusion of money becomes more clear. After all, Disney just announced that it is embarking upon a major product campaign to get Disney characters onto products everywhere by the end of this year. The hope is that more money will be brought in from added merchandising, which will assumedly better brand the Disney name. Disney should go back about 25 years and take its own "public relations" course on Disney magic. The original is better than this rewritten version.

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News Link of the Day - AOL to Close All WB Stores

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

"AOL Time Warner Inc. said it will close all of its Warner Bros. retail stores, including five in the Bay Area, after it failed to find a buyer for the chain that employs 3,800 people…"

Click here for the full story.

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These news articles and all content are ©copyright 2001 by Joe Tracy and may not be reused for any purpose without expressed written consent of the author and Digital Media FX. All rights reserved.

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