Thursday, May 28, 2015

One More Company Jumps In the Cartoon Pool

The announcement:

STX Entertainment has announced the launch of a family and animation division geared toward creating multi-platform family franchises across film, television and digital. STX has identified the first project that will be developed for the family audience and has entered a partnership with beloved toy brand UGLYDOLL as a leading pillar of the studio's new division. ...

Explained Sophie Watts, President of STX Entertainment, "As we launch our new animation and family division and begin to identify other partnerships with long-term potential at our studio, we strongly believe UGLYDOLL is the ideal first brand to cultivate with creative care and expert handling; not only in the feature film world, but also in television, digital, gaming and many other platforms. ...

UGLYDOLL? Beloved? How come I never got the memo? ...

Longtime movie producer Robert Simonds (Big Daddy, The Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, etc.) heads up STX Entertainment, and Mr. Simonds is of the opinion that there is good money to be made with star-driven, mid-budget theatrical motion pictures. (He's produced his share, so maybe he's on to something.)

And Mr. Simonds is not unobservant. He's noted that animation is a profitable growth industry, and animated product has a long shelf life. He's made a boatload of money with Adam Sandler pictures. Why not cartoons?

Add On: STX, the new cartoon company, is profiled here:

From its new offices atop the tallest building in Burbank, STX Entertainment literally towers over the competition.

Backlots at Warner Bros., Disney and Universal can be glimpsed from the windows of the start-up company’s gleaming headquarters. The view is emblematic of STX’s immense ambitions — to carve out a place for itself as the next major Hollywood studio.

STX was launched last year by film producer Robert Simonds and TPG managing partner Bill McGlashan with a mission to fill a hole in an entertainment business that has become fixated on budget-busting superhero epics. Instead of cooking up its own answer to the Marvel universe, the studio plans to produce films in the $20 million to $80 million budget range with big-name actors. It aims to release as many as 15 films annually by 2017. ...


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