Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios, announced in a recent interview that Pixar's plan is to "significantly scale back its production of sequels." He went on to say, "Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world—which is the rationale behind the sequel . . . But if you keep doing that, then you aren't doing original films." We can expect an original once a year, and a sequel roughly every other. Read more about the interview here.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the professional organization that gives out the Oscars) has invited 276 film artists to join its ranks this year. Those who made the cut include actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jennifer Lopez, and Jason Bateman, among others, and directors such as Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Glory at Sea), Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School), and Catherine Hardwickle (Twilight, Thirteen). The Academy generally restricts the number of invitees each year, but this year opted to allow each branch to invite as many as they felt were qualified. The branches include actors, directors, documentary, executives, costume designers, music, producers, public relations, short films and feature animation, sound, writers, and visual effects, as well as many more. Read the full list of invitees here.
Monsters University held at number one in the box office for its second weekend, with 20th Century Fox's comedy The Heat in second and World War Z in third. Z may not have had the opening Paramount was hoping for, but they announced yesterday that it was the #1 film globally this past weekend, grossing $263 million worldwide since its release. Fourth place in the box office was Sony's White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx—a disappointing opening for its first weekend. Read more box office numbers here.
On August 27, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, PBS will release its documentary The March. Robert Redford's Sundance Productions is co-producing. "This is one of these events that I swore as a kid if I ever became a filmmaker I would do something with," director John Akomfrah said. PBS is preparing a week's worth of programming in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, with Akomfrah's documentary as the pinnacle. The film will feature rare home video footage, interviews with key individuals from the march, and stories from known March participants. Read more about The Marchhere.