Pearl Studio Doubles Down on Stories That Will Appeal to Chinese and International Crowds

Read on: Variety.

No U.S.-China venture could have had a more auspicious start than Oriental DreamWorks. On a state visit to the U.S. in February 2012, then-Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping had lunch and watched a Los Angeles Lakers game with Jeffrey Katzenberg. That s…

Former Pixar Director Lee Unkrich Shares Letter to Former Colleagues to Explain His Exit

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former Pixar director Lee Unkrich has shared a letter addressed to his former colleagues at the studio explaining his reasons for leaving after 25 years.

“It is impossible for me to adequately express how epic this twenty-five year journey has been, and how much it has meant to work alongside such fantastic people and phenomenal talents,” Unkrich wrote in the letter, which he shared on social media on Saturday. “Many of you are like family to me, and it’s nearly incomprehensible to imagine no longer being here at Pixar with you.”

Unkrich, who directed “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is a longtime editor at Pixar, dating back to its early days and to the first “Toy Story” film. He also served as a co-director “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.”

Also Read: Lee Unkrich, Director of ‘Coco’ and ‘Toy Story 3,’ to Leave Pixar After 25 Years

Echoing the statement released with the announcement of his exit, Unkrich made clear he was leaving the animation studio to spend time with family and pursue “interests that have long been back-burnered.”

“I am incredibly grateful to the leadership at Pixar and Disney for believing in me, mentoring me and championing me throughout the years, the director wrote. “I am also grateful to all of you who have poured your heart and souls into the many films we’ve made together. You are the pinnacle of talent and passion, and you are putting important, meaningful art into the world.”

Unkrich’s final film at Pixar, 2017’s “Coco,” took home the Academy Award for best animated feature and pulled in more than $800 million at the box office.

“My experience with ‘Coco’ has undeniably shown me how deeply the stories we create can affect both individuals and entire cultures,” he wrote.

Also Read: Time’s Up: Skydance’s John Lasseter Hire ‘Perpetuates a Broken System’

Unkrich’s exit comes amid shakeups at Pixar, with former chief John Lasseter leaving in Nov. 2017 amid sexual misconduct accusations, and President Ed Catmull retiring at the end of 2018.

Letter sent to my Pixar family.

— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) January 19, 2019

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Lee Unkrich, Director of ‘Coco’ and ‘Toy Story 3,’ to Leave Pixar After 25 Years

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Lee Unkrich, Director of ‘Coco’ and ‘Toy Story 3,’ to Leave Pixar After 25 Years

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Lee Unkrich, a two-time Oscar winner and director for Pixar, is leaving the animation studio after 25 years, he announced on Twitter Friday.

“After twenty-five incredible years, I’ve decided to leave Pixar,” the director tweeted. “The time has come for new adventures.”

Unkrich, who directed “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is a longtime editor at Pixar, dating back to its early days and to the first “Toy Story” film. He also served as a co-director “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.”

Also Read: Oscar Short Film Finalists Include Pixar’s ‘Bao’

“I’m not leaving to make films at another studio; instead, I look forward to spending much-needed time with my family and pursuing interests that have long been back-burnered,” Unkrich said in a statement obtained by TheWrap.

Pixar’s Pete Docter, who directed “Monsters, Inc.,” “Up” and “Inside Out,” praised his colleague upon notice of his departure.

“Lee arrived at Pixar as we were crafting ‘Toy Story,’ and he’s had a profound effect on all Pixar films since,” Docter said in a statement. “He literally taught us rookie filmmakers about staging, composition, and cutting.  His artistry and expert craftsmanship as an editor and co-director became a major reason for the high quality of our filmmaking, and as Lee went on to direct, his ability to find the deep humor and emotion enabled him to create some of the strongest films we’ve made.  He will be sorely missed — but we are enormously grateful for his tireless dedication to quality, and his ability to touch the hearts of audiences around the world.”

Also Read: Pixar’s ‘Onward’ To Star Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer

Unkrich’s exit comes amid shakeups at Pixar, with former chief John Lasseter leaving in Dec. 2017 amid sexual misconduct accusations, and President Ed Catmull retiring at the end of 2018. Lasseter was recently hired as head of Skydance Animation.

After twenty-five incredible years, I’ve decided to leave Pixar.

The time has come for new adventures.

— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) January 18, 2019

THR was first to report.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Disney/Pixar Animation President Ed Catmull to Retire at End of 2018

Pixar Accused of ‘Sleazy’ Sexual Harassment Culture by Former Graphic Designer

End of an Era: Inside Pixar on the Eve of John Lasseter’s Departure

HBO Picks Up ‘Icebox’ Feature About 12-Year-Old Honduran Seeking Asylum in US

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

HBO Films announced on Thursday that it has acquired the worldwide rights to director-writer Daniel Sawka’s feature film debut “Icebox.”

The film stars Anthony Gonzalez (“Coco”) as Oscar, a 12-year-old Honduran boy who is forced to flee his home and seek asylum in the U.S., only to find himself trapped in the U.S. immigration system.

As Oscar attempts to reach his uncle in Arizona, he is apprehended by Border Patrol and placed in “the icebox,” a detention facility where he joins scores of other migrant children being held without their families. Faced with a seemingly impenetrable immigration system, Oscar struggles to navigate a path to freedom, with a journalist and his uncle, himself a recent immigrant, as his only lifelines.

Also Read: Laura Dern, Lin-Manuel Miranda, America Ferrera Among Stars at Rallies to Protest Trump Immigration Policy

The drama will debut on HBO on Friday, Dec. 7.

“I have seldom seen a movie so of the moment – it’s almost reportage,” said HBO Film president Len Amato in a statement. “‘ICEBOX’ gives viewers not only an opportunity to witness what it’s like inside these migrant detention centers, but also to feel the emotions of the children, revealing a world that many journalists and citizens have not yet been able to sufficiently penetrate.”

“Icebox” was produced by Oscar-winner James Brooks’ Gracie Films and co-financed with Endeavor Content. Richard Sakai, Julie Ansell and David Greathouse also serve as producers.

Brooks and his production company, Gracie Films, partnered with Sawka to expand the project from a master’s thesis short into a feature-length film. “Icebox” premiered in the Discovery section at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Endeavor Content co-financed the production and handled the worldwide sale.

Also Read: HBO Films Acquires Jeffrey Wright Prison Movie ‘O.G.’

The film also stars Omar Leyva, Johnny Ortiz, Matthew Moreno, Jessica Juarez and Genesis Rodriguez.

“The narrative and characters in ‘Icebox’ are inspired by so many personal stories that were told to me through years of research and outreach – stories that unfortunately have become all too prevalent in today’s world,” Sawka said in a statement. “I can’t think of a better partner than HBO Films with which to present this incredibly timely issue.”

Filmed on location in New Mexico, the film was shot primarily in Spanish with English subtitles. Sawka originally wrote and directed “Icebox” as a short film for his 2016 American Film Institute MFA thesis project. The short was shortlisted for the 2018 Academy Awards, won the Grand Jury Award at AFI Fest and screened at Telluride Film Festival.

Related stories from TheWrap:

HBO Films Acquires Jeffrey Wright Prison Movie ‘O.G.’

Susan Sarandon Among 575 Arrested in Washington DC at Protest of Trump Immigration Policy

Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg Blast ‘Inhumane’ Trump Immigration Policy

Teen Choice Awards: ‘Riverdale’, ‘Infinity War’, ‘Black Panther’ Among Top Honorees – Full Winners List

Read on: Deadline.

The Teen Choice Awards were handed out tonight at the Forum in Los Angeles and Riverdale dominated the TV side of things while the Disney, Marvel and Pixar topped the movies.
Avengers: Infinity War took home the trophy for Choice Action Movie while Rob…

Even the people making trailers don’t know if the movie is going to be good

Read on: The A.V. Club.

A good trailer can really make or break a film. If that tightly edited two-minute clip does its job well, previously uninterested audiences may find themselves brimming with anticipation. On the other hand, a clunky or overly expository trailer may be …

Imagen Awards Nominations: ‘The Shape Of Water’, ‘Coco’ Among Best Picture Hopefuls

Read on: Deadline.

The nominations are out for the 33rd annual Imagen Awards, which celebrate positive portrayal and creative excellence of Latinos and Latino cultures in TV and film. See the full list below.

Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water is nominated for…

Here’s Everything Coming to and Leaving Netflix in May

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

If Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” had you singing and dancing along in the theater, you’re in luck. You’ll soon be able to get up and dance to the Oscar-winning song “Remember Me” in your own living room when “Coco” drops on Netflix on May 29.

Several titles coming to the streaming giant next month don’t yet have a date, including “Riverdale” Season 2, “The Flash” Season 4, “Arrow” Season 6, “Dynasty” Season 1 and “Supernatural” Season 1.

Plenty of Netflix Originals are returning in May as well, like “Dear White People” on May 4 and “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman,” also on May 4, with guest Tina Fey.

Also Read: ‘Fast and the Furious’ Animated TV Series Heads to Netflix

See the complete list below.

Avail. May 1
27: Gone Too Soon

A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana


Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Season 1

Beautiful Girls


God’s Own Country

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous Live at Radio City– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A new stand-up special from John Mulaney.

Mr. Woodcock

My Perfect Romance

Pocoyo & Cars

Pocoyo & The Space Circus

Queens of Comedy: Season 1

Reasonable Doubt

Red Dragon

Scream 2


Simon: Season 1

Sliding Doors

Seven strangers anxiously waiting for their HIV test results decide to bribe the clinic receptionist to get them early, learning one is positive.

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Carter Effect

The Clapper

The Reaping

The Strange Name Movie

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Season 2

Also Read: Netflix Exec Ted Sarandos Made 19 Percent More in 2017 vs Prior Year

Avail. May 2

Avail. May 4
A Little Help with Carol Burnett– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In this original unscripted series starring comedy legend Carol Burnett, kids dish out advice to celebrities and everyday people in front of a live audience.

In a future where technology has rendered privacy obsolete, a detective investigates a serial assassin who has been deleted from all visual records.

Busted!: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A hilarious panel of Korean entertainment icons team up with some of the biggest names in K-Drama in this madcap whodunit variety show. More “Keystone Cops” than “Sherlock Holmes,” each episode sees our cast of bumbling detectives solve a different mystery based on vignettes presented by famous Korean actors and comedians. An overarching plot unfolds throughout the series, and the tension mounts as the panel edges closer to the awful truth.

Dear White People: Volume 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Romantic dilemmas, a social media troll and big changes at Armstrong-Parker House push Sam, Lionel and friends to the breaking point.

Directed by Academy Award winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, End Game is an intimate vérité style documentary short that follows visionary medical practitioners who are working on the cutting edge of life and death — and dedicated to changing our thinking about both.

Forgive Us Our Debts– NETFLIX FILM
Threatened by creditors, a newly unemployed man agrees to work for a debt collector, but soon discovers his deal with the devil has unexpected costs.

Kong: King of the Apes: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Lukas and friends explore a lost world full of prehistoric beasts, uncover clues to Kong’s past and race to stop a robot uprising led by Botila.

Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo

A Chinese pharmaceutical lawyer framed for a vile crime teams up with a sharp-witted Japanese detective to stop a dangerous corporate plot.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Tina Fey– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Tina Fey opens up about her family, the changing culture at “SNL” and the one moment she wishes she could take back. Plus, blues icon Buddy Guy.

No Estoy Loca

The Rain: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
After a brutal virus wipes out most of the population, two young siblings embark on a perilous search for safety. A Scandinavian thriller series.

Avail. May 5
Faces Places

Avail. May 6
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale (Streaming every Sunday – Season 1 Finale on May 13)– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Also Read: ‘Seven Seconds’ Won’t Return for a Second Season on Netflix

Avail. May 8

Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Hari Kondabolu breaks down identity politics, celebrity encounters, his mango obsession and more in a stand-up set full of unexpected twists.

Avail. May 9
Dirty Girl

Avail. May 11
Bill Nye Saves the World: Season 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Bill and his guests explore the future of food, the science of addiction and more in a new set of episodes of the Emmy-nominated series.

Evil Genius: the True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
This docuseries investigates the true story of a pizza delivery man who robbed a bank, then was killed by a bomb fastened around his neck.

Spirit Riding Free: Season 5– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Inspired by the Oscar® nominated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Spirit Riding Free follows the heartfelt journey of a wild mustang who could not be tamed. A whole new generation will experience all the daring adventures when Spirit meets a girl named Lucky whose courage matches his own. Together they push limits, harness the power of friendship and discover what it means to be free. With their best friends by their side, they explore a world filled with endless rides, magnificent horses and never-ending fun.

The Kissing Booth– NETFLIX FILM
When teenager Elle’s first kiss leads to a forbidden romance with the hottest boy in high school, she risks her relationship with her best friend.

The Who Was? Show: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A live-action sketch comedy show for kids starring the greatest names in history. Based on the best-selling book series.

Avail. May 13
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Pregnant again, Ali Wong returns in her second original stand-up comedy special and gets real on why having kids is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Also Read: ‘Lost in Space’: What Happened to Earth and Why Are Humans Leaving?

Avail. May 14
The Phantom of the Opera

Avail. May 15
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: Season 4

Grand Designs: Seasons 13 – 14

Only God Forgives

The Game 365: Seasons 15 – 16

Avail. May 16

Mamma Mia!

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The Kingdom


Avail. May 18
Stranded in rural Australia in the aftermath of a violent pandemic, an infected father desperately seeks a new home for his infant child, and a means to protect her from his own changing nature.

Catching Feelings– NETFLIX FILM
A Johannesburg professor and his journalist wife find their relationship tested in new ways when a famous, hard-partying writer enters their lives.

Inspector Gadget: Season 4– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Dr. Claw attempts anger management, Talon poses as a panda and Inspector Gadget goes … to jail? It’s a MAD, MAD world with plenty of surprises.

Avail. May 19
Bridge to Terabithia

Disney’s Scandal: Season 7

Small Town Crime

Avail. May 20
Some Kind of Beautiful

Avail. May 21
Señora Acero: Season 4

Also Read: Watch ‘GLOW’ Ladies Take ‘Flashdance’-‘Maniac’ Sequence to the Next Level (Video)

Avail. May 22
Mob Psycho 100: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
There’s an organization gathering espers for a nefarious purpose. Powerful psychic Mob, however, is just trying to be the protagonist of his own life.

Shooter: Season 2

Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
As Shion and Tsubasa grow closer day by day, Ami and Takayuki’s relationship grows complicated, and new housemates join the group.

Tig Notaro Happy To Be Here– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Comedian Tig Notaro unleashes her inner prankster in a playful stand-up special packed with funny anecdotes, parenting confessions and more.

Avail. May 23
This series spotlights topical and timely issues that impact our lives — from the gender wage gap to geopolitical politics.

Avail. May 24
Doron teams up with his old undercover unit when a militant who has targeted him for revenge also launches a more ambitious covert plan.

Survivors Guide to Prison

Avail. May 25
When Harper’s two best friends tag along on her work trip to Barcelona, they ditch work and fly to Ibiza for Harper, who against her better judgement, falls for a hot DJ.

Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

The Toys That Made Us: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The new season features Star Trek, Transformers, LEGO and Hello Kitty.

Trollhunters: Part 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The fate of both trolls and humans hangs in the balance as the final chapter begins. Will Gunmar succeed in shrouding the world in darkness?

Avail. May 26
Sara’s Notebook– NETFLIX FILM
A woman embarks on a harrowing search for her missing sister that brings her into the depths of the treacherous, war-torn Congolese jungle.

Avail. May 27
The Break with Michelle Wolf– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Michelle Wolf pokes fun at everything and everyone on her weekly show. Wolf has worked on “The Daily Show” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Avail. May 29
Disney·Pixar Coco

Avail. May 30
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 4– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Kimmy gets a job at a tech startup, Titus pretends to have a TV show to impress Mikey, and Jacqueline starts a talent agency.

Avail. May 31
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Howard Stern– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The groundbreaking radio personality takes the stage in the latest installment of Letterman’s in-depth, wide-ranging interview series.

Leaving May 1
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Charlotte’s Web
Field of Dreams
Ocean’s Eleven
Silent Hill
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Hurt Locker
To Rome With Love
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
Leaving 5/2/18
12 Dates of Christmas
Beauty & the Briefcase
Cadet Kelly
Camp Rock
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
Cow Belles
Disney’s The Cheetah Girls
Disney’s The Cheetah Girls 2
Disney’s The Cheetah Girls: One World
Geek Charming
Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas
Hello Sister, Goodbye Life
High School Musical
High School Musical 2
Jump In!
Lemonade Mouth
Little Einsteins: Seasons 1 – 2
My Fake Fiancé
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension
Phineas and Ferb: Seasons 1 – 4
Princess Protection Program
Princess: A Modern Fairytale
Read It and Weep
Revenge of the Bridesmaids
Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure
Special Agent Oso: Seasons 1 – 2
Teen Spirit
The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Seasons 1 – 5
Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie

Leaving May 7
The Host

Leaving May 12
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Leaving May 30
Disney’s The Jungle Book

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Fast and the Furious’ Animated TV Series Heads to Netflix

Netflix Exec Ted Sarandos Made 19 Percent More in 2017 vs Prior Year

‘Seven Seconds’ Won’t Return for a Second Season on Netflix

Netflix Orders Idris Elba Comedy ‘Turn Up Charlie,’ Duplass Brothers’ True Crime Series ‘Evil Genius’

Animation is Role Model for Chinese Co-Production, Beijing Festival is Told

Read on: Variety.

Animation is tipped by leading executives as the most fertile sector for cross-border cooperation between China and overseas film industries. International co-production is a perennial discussion at every film festival in China or any market espousing a significant China connection. The Beijing International Film Festival, which kicked off on Sunday night, made co-production the theme […]

‘Ready Player One’ Racing To $400M WW; Scores $161M+ In China For WB Best – International Box Office

Read on: Deadline.

Refresh for latest: After beginning its quest in 62 markets last weekend, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s Ready Player One maintained the high score at the international box office, grossing $81.7M to lead the chart this session. That sets the Steven Spielberg pic on track for $300M overseas and $400M global in the coming days. The total cumes through Sunday are $294.4M offshore with $391.3M worldwide.
Remarkable has been the play in China where this ode to VR and…

Japan Box Office: ‘Coco’ Climbs to Top as Animation Dominates Rankings

Read on: Variety.

Pixar animation, “Coco” took the top spot at the Japanese box office in its third weekend on release.  For the April 31-April 1 frame the film earned $3.6 million on 328,000 admissions, extending its cumulative total to $24.5 million. Dropping one place from last weekend’s number one was Toho-Towa’s “The Boss Baby.” In its second weekend on […]