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News Bytes: Half of US Families Dig Disney+, Why ‘Angry Birds 2’ Rules the Netflix Roost, Cinesite’s ‘Witcher’ VFX Breakdown & More

Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2

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News Bytes: Half of US Families Dig Disney+, Why ‘Angry Birds 2’ Rules the Netflix Roost, Cinesite’s ‘Witcher’ VFX Breakdown & More

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Announces ‘Birds of Prey and the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn’
The “madly inventive, gleefully violent and happily slapdash” (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal) DC anti-hero romp will arrive on Digital on March 24. Directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) from a script by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee), the film stars Margo Robbie reprising Harley Quinn, with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ewan McGregor and newcomer Ella Jay Basco.

Digital special features include: Birds Eye View Mode, Birds of Prey: Birds of a Feather, Grime and Crime, Wild Nerds, Romanesque, Sanity is Sooo Last Season, A Love/Skate Relationship and Gag Reel. 

Fox to Acquire Tubi
Fox Corporation is set to acquire the AVOD service to the tune of $440 million, putting the proceeds of its Roku stake sale toward the purchase. Tubi is currently available on more than 25 digital platforms in the U.S., offering over 20,000 titles from 250+ content providers. Farhad Massoudi will continue to head the service.

Epic Games Acquires Facial Animation Technology Maker Cubic Motion
The move is the latest in the games and tech giant’s continuing quest to perfect digital humans. Cubic Motion has been key to Epic’s buzzworthy Unreal Engine real-time demos including the live character performance for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (GDC 2016), Meet Mike (2017) and Siren (2018) — the tech has also contributed to triple-A titles including God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man. Epic last year acquired 3Lateral, another digital humans specialist.

Why Is ‘Angry Birds 2’ So Relentlessly Popular on Netflix?
Polygon’s Jesse Hassenger delves into the “perfect storm of okay-ness” that keeps the CG-animated video game adaptation on the streamer’s recently introduced Top 10. If you missed Animag‘s feature story on the Sony Animation sequel last year, read it here before you watch!

Half of U.S. Families with Young Children Now Subscribe to Disney+
U.K. market research firm Ampere Analysis said its findings show the platform has been “disproportionately successful in engaging core audiences in its home market” since launching in November 2019. Disney previously announced that as of February 4, the service had already attracted 28 million subscribers, surpassing initial estimates from analysts.

Looks like leaving off Song of the South was the right idea.

WATCH: Cinesite ‘The Witcher’ VFX Breakdown Reel
The studio’s London team, supervised by Aleksander Pejic working closely with production supe Julian Parry, completed more than 250 shots for the first eight-episode season. Cinesite conjured the fearsome Kikimora and Striga monsters, water effects, a massive NIlfgaard v. Cintra battle, a deadly fire and more intense moments for the Andrzej Sapkowski adaptation. With S2 production on hold due to COVID-19, it might be time for a rewatch.

Cinesite The Witcher VFX Breakdown Reel from Cinesite on Vimeo.

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