news digest


Oz location group loses CEO Woods

SYDNEY — Ausfilm, an Australian film locations marketing agency, said Monday that CEO Mark Woods would not be renewing his contract after it expires in August. He will leave the agency after a two-year stint in which the sector saw improved incentives and increased production levels. "With dedication and energy, Mark led Ausfilm's management team in bringing a clear-sighted policy, advocacy and marketing program to bear at Ausfilm," Ausfilm chairman Ian Robertson said. A replacement has not been named.

Par, Ruwaad partner on UAE-set park

Paramount Licensing and Ruwaad Holdings have signed a long-term branding pact in connection with Ruwaad's planned development of a Paramount Pictures-branded theme park in the United Arab Emirates. The park would be part of a $2.5 billion destination envisioned to incorporate boutique hotels and resorts and large themed retail areas. Under the arrangement, International Destination Brands Ltd., an affiliate of Ruwaad, will be responsible for funding development and securing a feasible site for the large-scale destination.

'Spy Kids 3D,' 'Hannah' lead Dis Channel

Disney Channel scored Friday night with the debut of the theatrical "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over" and episodes of the live-action original series "Hannah Montana," which boosted the network to its highest total-day numbers in total viewers (2.5 million), kids 6-11 (1.1 million) and tweens (4.2 million), according to Nielsen Media Research. Disney Channel also finished as Friday's No. 1 network (broadcast and basic cable) in 6-11 and 9-14. "Spy Kids 3D," which aired from 8-9:30 p.m., now rates as the most-watched basic cable movie in the second quarter among total viewers (4.8 million) and 6-11 (1.9 million) and the second-most-watched in 9-14 (1.8 million/7.3 rating).

Nick helping drive Chrysler via brand deal

Nickelodeon has partnered with Chrysler in a new multimillion-dollar advertising and promotional multiplatform deal. The partnership is part of the Chrysler brand's efforts to target families with its 2008 Town & Country, and the deal will highlight the minivan's Sirius Backseat TV, which will broadcast Nickelodeon and Nicktoons Network. Chrysler has signed on as the exclusive auto sponsor for Nickelodeon's Slime Across America summer tour, which launches in July. The advertising campaign kicks off Oct. 1 on several Nick platforms.

Monkey biz: 'Chimps' lands deal with Dole

Chimps are coming to a supermarket near you. In a deal with producers Starz Media and Vanguard Animation and Film, Dole Food Co. will place 100 million collectible stickers of characters from the animated sci-fi comedy "Space Chimps" on its bananas. Additional stickers for the 20th Century Fox release will be placed on Dole salad packages and pineapples when the film hits theaters next year.

Nielsen adds Japan, Korea to b.o. service

Nielsen EDI said Monday that it is expanding its global boxoffice measurement service to include Japan and South Korea, the largest boxoffice markets in Asia. "With the inclusion of the Japanese and Korean markets in our global coverage, Nielsen EDI's clients will now have the unmatched ability to access daily boxoffice receipts from countries representing 80% of the global marketplace," Nielsen Entertainment international president Nick King said. Nielsen EDI offers real-time or near real-time boxoffice information daily from 17 countries, representing more than 60,000 cinema screens. Nielsen EDI is a division of the Nielsen Co., parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.