Source: THR

Jennifer Lawrence, star of Winter's Bone, has signed on to play Mystique in X-Men: First Class. Lawrence has been showered in critical praise for her turn in Winter's Bone, and she's already being pegged as a serious contender for the Best Actress Oscar. Rebecca Romijn played Mystique in the original X-Men trilogy.

Director Matthew Vaughn has built an impressive young cast for the film, with James McAvoy and Matthew Fassbender leading the way as Professor X and Magneto, respectively.

X-Men: First Class will hit theaters on June 3, 2011.

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Source: Variety

Elizabeth Banks is attached to star in a live-action version of the Tinkerbell story for Disney. The project is titled Tink and it's being produced by Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot and McG.

The role represents an interesting move for Banks, who mostly takes on parts in R-rated comedies such as Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Role Models. She could break out in the same way that Amy Adams did after playing a Disney princess in Enchanted.

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JOLIETTE, Quebec & OMAHA, Neb. -- Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services, cinema screens and other cinema products, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the Joliette, Quebec (Canada) facility that houses its Strong/MDI cinema screen manufacturing operations, as well as an adjacent parcel of land. Strong/MDI previously leased the facility. The acquisition will enable Ballantyne to significantly expand its cinema screen production facility and related capacity to meet rapidly growing global demand for conventional, large-format, "gain," silver and other specialized screens. Ballantyne estimates the capital investment in the building, land and facility expansion will approximate $6 million, with completion targeted for year-end 2010.

The expansion plan involves adding more than 26,000 square feet of production space and related state-of-the-art systems and equipment in Strong/MDI's ISO 9001 screen operations. This expansion of approximately 35% over the existing structure will substantially increase key production areas including the painting towers, PVC welding, rolling and drying areas to support a growing base of global business domestically and internationally.

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) Senior Vice President and Chief Purchasing Officer Rob Del Moro, stated, "Strong/MDI has been integral in providing Regal with state-of-the-art silver screens as we transform our circuit to support 3D digital cinema. This relationship builds on a decades-long partnership with Ballantyne Strong that now also encompasses their skilled team of technicians who are overseeing the turnkey installation and integration of thousands of digital projection systems at Regal theaters across the country."

Chris Stark, Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer of Ballantyne, commented, "Strong/MDI's screen backlog has been steadily growing as we have been operating at peak capacity in Joliette for several months now. With the global digital cinema transformation picking up momentum and straining our ability to meet demand, it became clear that we needed to invest in expanding Ballantyne's production capabilities to better meet global sales opportunities. After much review, we determined that expanding our current plant was the best path forward, but that required us to purchase both our building and adjacent land to provide sufficient space for this expansion. When complete, our Joliette facility will have a total of approximately 75,000 square feet of production area, making it one of the largest such facilities in the world."

 

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NEW YORK -- My Dog Tulip, an animated feature film based on the acclaimed best-selling memoir by author J.R. Ackerley, featuring the voices of Christopher Plummer, the late Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini, is the first acquisition of the newly reopened New Yorker Films. A bittersweet retrospective account of the author's 14-year relationship with his adopted Alsatian bitch, Tulip, the film will have its world theatrical premiere on September 1, 2010, at Film Forum in New York City, followed by a national release.

My Dog Tulip, which was written, directed and animated by award-winning filmmakers Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, is the first animated feature ever to be entirely hand drawn and painted utilizing paperless computer technology.

An official selection of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, My Dog Tulip is based on the book by British author and distinguished man of letters J.R. Ackerley. Ackerley hardly thought of himself as a dog lover when, in middle age, he came to adopt Tulip - a beautiful, yet intolerable 18-month-old German shepherd. To his surprise, she turned out to be the love of his life, the ideal companion he had been searching for in vain. Originally published in England in 1956, "My Dog Tulip" is now published in the US by the New York Review of Books in their Classics Series and is the series' best selling book. In vivid and sometimes startling detail, the film reveals Tulip's often erratic behavior, canine tastes, and Ackerley's determined efforts to ensure an existence of perfect happiness for her. Although unrated, My Dog Tulip is directed toward an adult sensibility.

New Yorker Films acquired the theatrical and non-theatrical rights as well as all DVD/Blu-ray, digital and television rights to the feature. Jose Lopez of New Yorker Films brokered the deal with Andrew Herwitz of The Film Sales Company. The film was produced by Norman Twain, Howard Kaminsky and Frank Pellegrino.

A little over a year after New Yorker Films was forced to close its doors, the pioneering distributor of foreign language and independent films has reopened. New Yorker Films is committed to continue releasing quality art and independent films from around the world. The company plans to acquire 6 to 8 titles each year for theatrical release. The Non-Theatrical and Home Video departments, both integral parts of the company, will continue acquiring and releasing numerous films. In addition to the acquisition of My Dog Tulip, New Yorker Films has several developments underway and expects to announce further details about the reinvigorated company in early Fall 2010.

 

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NEW YORK -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) today announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Laser Light Engines, a leading developer and manufacturer of ultra-high brightness, laser-driven light sources. Under the terms of the agreement, IMAX plans to make an equity investment in Laser Light Engines, and Laser Light Engines would develop a custom version of its laser light technology for exclusive use in IMAX digital projection systems. Laser Light Engines would additionally provide outsourced research and development for new features designed to further enhance and distinguish The IMAX Experience(R) for IMAX(R) theatre operators, film studios and moviegoers.

As part of the parties' contemplated partnership, Laser Light Engines would offer its technology exclusively to IMAX for a period of two years and would not offer its technology to any other large format theatre systems for a period of three years. The memorandum of understanding signed by IMAX and Laser Light Engines gives the parties an exclusive period of time within which to reach final agreement on these and other terms.

"IMAX has always been at the cutting edge in terms of developing the most advanced theatre projection systems in the world as part of our focus on providing the best movie going experience anywhere," said Richard Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "Subject to finalizing our diligence, we see Laser Light Engines as an ideal partner for IMAX, with a team of experienced executives and engineers who understand not only how to develop laser technology, but how to apply it and implement it to create a meaningful product and profitable business."

Gelfond continued, "As contemplated, this equity investment provides us with exclusive rights to the products and research and development pipeline in a period of significant growth in our industry, while enabling Laser Light Engines to further develop their technology and attract additional investors. We believe our business model is positioning us to generate significant cash over the next several years, and this strategic investment is an example of how we are looking to put our cash to work to enhance our market leading reputation for quality presentation, further expand our competitive differentiation and capitalize on the growth in our industry."

"We are thrilled to be tapped by IMAX Corporation which is strong validation of Laser Light Engines' technology in the most demanding application of digital cinema and large format film presentations," said Doug Darrow, chief executive officer of Laser Light Engines. "Laser Light Engines looks forward to designing and developing systems and products that will best harness our high brightness, solid-state illumination laser engines including but not limited to d-cinema, large venue and others."

 

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