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Tuesday - May 8, 2001
- The Mummy Returns with a Weekend Take of $68 Million
- Animation/FX Cheers and Sneers for April 2001
- Square Announces Electronic Entertainment Expo Lineup
- News Link of the Day - Hollywood Goes Digital

The Mummy Returns with a Weekend Take of $68 Million
(by Many Box Office records fell when The Mummy Returns stormed the nation this past weekend with a final take of over $68 million in three days. It makes The Mummy Returns the biggest opening non-Holiday Box Office movie ever. The FX film made $25 million more in its opening weekend than the original Mummy movie two years ago.

In addition, The Mummy Returns topped Toy Story 2 as the biggest Friday opening ever. It also broke The Lost World's record for the biggest Saturday opening ever. The Mummy Returns made more money than the 60 films under it combined!

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Animation/FX Cheers and Sneers for April 2001
(by Here is the list of Digital Media FX's April 2001 Cheers and Sneers for the animation and visual effects industries:

Cheers!Cheers: Michael Dudok de Wit (winner of this year's Best Animated Short Oscar) receives an HDTV set from the Academy for giving the shortest speech at the Academy Awards. He promptly donates the TV set to charity.

SneersSneers: A movie trailer for Osmosis Jones (at the time, rated PG-13) is tagged onto Pokemon 3, but hardly no one sees it because Pokemon 3 performs so poorly at the Box Office (despite free trading cards being given away). WB announces plans for Pokemon 4.

Cheers!Cheers: Michael Eisner, chairman of Disney, makes a comment at the Washington News Bureau that Disney animators deserve the greatest protection within Disney because they "represent the heart and soul of Disney."

SneersSneers: Just one week after Eisner says animators "represent the heart and soul of Disney," it is reported that Disney Animation will be hardest hit in planned Disney layoffs and that those animators that remain will have their salaries slashed by up to 50%.

Cheers!Cheers: Steven Spielberg announces that he is bringing E.T. back to the big screen with new footage. Spielberg passes on the idea of test marketing the rerelease first (like WB always does with mixed results) in order to give everyone the opportunity to see it again in its original format and fully remastered.

SneersSneers: Mighty Mouse endorses cheese in a TV commercial where the super mouse doesn't save the day because he would rather be eating cheese. Another classic cartoon icon reappears only as a 100% commercialization character.

Cheers!Cheers: A groundbreaking ceremony is held in Kansas City to restore Walt Disney's original Laugh-O-Gram Studios. It is called the "birthplace of the world's biggest entertainment empire [Disney]."

SneersSneers: DreamWorks announces a pop soundtrack for Shrek but doesn't elude to any plans for a Shrek background score. Instead DreamWorks announces that there will be a medley consisting of short clips from the background score on the soundtrack. This is a major surprise from a company that took such pride in past score releases.

Cheers!Cheers: DreamWorks extends its movie distribution deal with Universal Studios, which had been a long running winning combination. DreamWorks had been considering switching over to AOL Time Warner.

Cheers!Cheers: Shrek wins a showing at Cannes, the first animated film accepted into the elite competition since the 1950's.

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Square Announces Electronic Entertainment Expo Lineup
(by Square has announced its lineup for the 2001 Electronic Entertainment Expo taking place May 17-19 in Los Angeles. For the Playstation, Square will show off its Final Fantasy Chronicles: Final Fantasy IV & Chrono Trigger (read earlier dFX article on this here).

Final Fantasy XFor the Playstation 2, Square will be displaying Final Fantasy X (read earlier dFX article on this here). This is the first title in the popular franchise to be released for the PlayStation 2.

The main character, Tidus, is a star player of blitzball, a popular full-contact sport. After miraculously surviving the destruction of his homeland, he awakens among ruins. He befriends a young woman named Yuna on her journey through the world of Spira. As a summoner, Yuna must travel to distant temples and learn the secret arts of summoning aeons -- powerful spirits of yore, in order to defeat Sin. Tidus learns that a thousand years in the past, mankind lived in spectacular cities and relied on machines for everything, until Sin suddenly appeared and destroyed all civilization. Now, people shun technology, and no one knows when Sin will strike next. This installment of Final Fantasy features a distinct Asian influence, bringing a different feel to the characters, music, settings and story. Final Fantasy X is scheduled to be released early 2002 in North America.

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News Link of the Day - Hollywood Goes Digital

According to The Irish Times:

"…This other Hollywood, is the digital one. It's the one that sank the Titanic and created Toy Story. But while the Old Hollywood is actually in Hollywood, or at least Los Angeles, the New Hollywood is really located somewhere else. In fact, it's located 300 miles from here in the San Francisco Bay Area.…"

Click here for the full story.

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