|Formerly||South Side Amusement Company (1984–1997) ImageMovers Digital (2007–2011)|
|Industry||Motion pictures, motion-capture & Computer animation|
|Founded||March 1, 1984 (original)|
1997 (as ImageMovers)
|Headquarters||Novato, California, U.S.|
|Robert Zemeckis, Doug Chiang, Steve Starkey, Jack Rapke|
Number of employees
ImageMovers (IM) (formerly known as South Side Amusement Company), is an American production company which produces CGI animation, motion-capture, live-action films and television shows. The company is known for producing such films as Cast Away (2000), What Lies Beneath (2000), The Polar Express (2004), Monster House (2006), and Beowulf (2007). From 2007 to 2011, The Walt Disney Company and ImageMovers founded a joint venture animation facility known as ImageMovers Digital which produced two motion-captured CGI-animated films: A Christmas Carol (2009) and Mars Needs Moms (2011) for Walt Disney Pictures, neither of which were financially successful.
On March 1, 1984, Robert Zemeckis incorporated and founded the company as South Side Amusement Company. The company was in-name only from the beginning.
In the early 1990s, Zemeckis signed a production deal with Universal Pictures, to release films under the South Side Amusement Company banner. There, it is one of the producers of Death Becomes Her, Trespass, The Public Eye, The Frighteners and Contact.
In 1997, it was announced that South Side Amusement Company was rebranded as ImageMovers, and hired Creative Artists Agency employee Jack Rapke and producer Steve Starkey (who was a producer on Zemeckis' films he's directing since his stint as associate producer on 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit) came on board to join the company. It was also announced that ImageMovers signed a non-exclusive feature film deal with DreamWorks Pictures.
In 2001, the studio tried to sign a deal with Warner Bros., but they ultimately failed. After the Warner deal collapsed, the studio is reupping a first-look deal with DreamWorks to produce more films from that time.
ImageMovers' first eight films under the name were What Lies Beneath (with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer), Cast Away (with Tom Hanks), Matchstick Men (with Nicolas Cage), The Polar Express (also with Tom Hanks), The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (with Julianne Moore), Last Holiday (with Queen Latifah), Monster House (with Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, and Steve Buscemi), and Beowulf (with Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, and Angelina Jolie).
In 2007, ImageMovers and The Walt Disney Company set up a joint venture animation facility known as ImageMovers Digital, based in Marin County-based film company where Zemeckis would produce and direct 3D animated films using CGI performance-capture technology.
On November 6, 2009, ImageMovers Digital released their first CGI film A Christmas Carol, a CGI performance capture film based on the Charles Dickens book of the same name and starring Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Cary Elwes. On March 12, 2010, Disney and ImageMovers announced that ImageMovers Digital would close operations by January 2011 after movie production on Mars Needs Moms was completed. Resulting in a lay-off of approximately 450 employees, Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman said, "...given today's economic realities, we need to find alternative ways to bring creative content to audiences and IMD no longer fits into our business model." The company had previously been reported to have Calling All Robots, a remake of Yellow Submarine, a Roger Rabbit sequel and The Nutcracker in development. Disney dropped all of these projects following the box-office failure of Mars Needs Moms.
In August 2011, it was announced that ImageMovers has entered a two-year first-look producing deal with Universal Pictures.
|1984||Romancing the Stone||Robert Zemeckis||20th Century Fox||$10 million||$115.1 million|
|1985||Back to the Future||Universal Pictures
|$19 million||$389.1 million|
|1988||Who Framed Roger Rabbit||Touchstone Pictures
|$50.6 million||$329.8 million|
|1989||Back to the Future Part II||Universal Pictures
|$40 million||$335.9 million|
|1990||Back to the Future Part III||$246.1 million|
|1992||Death Becomes Her||Universal Pictures||$55 million||$149 million|
|Trespass||Walter Hill||$14 million||$13.7 million|
|The Public Eye||Howard Franklin||$15 million||$3.06 million|
|1994||Forrest Gump||Robert Zemeckis||Paramount Pictures
The Steve Tisch Company
Wendy Finerman Productions
|$55 million||$678.2 million|
|1996||The Frighteners||Peter Jackson||Universal Pictures
|$26 million||$29.3 million|
|1997||Contact||Robert Zemeckis||Warner Bros. Pictures||$90 million||$171.1 million|
|2000||What Lies Beneath||DreamWorks Pictures
20th Century Fox
|$100 million||$291.4 million|
|Cast Away||$90 million||$429.6 million|
|2003||Matchstick Men||Ridley Scott||Warner Bros. Pictures
Scott Free Productions
|$62 million||$65.6 million|
|2004||The Polar Express (CGI Motion-Capture)||Robert Zemeckis||Warner Bros. Pictures
Castle Rock Entertainment
Golden Mean Productions
|$165 million||$310.6 million|
|2005||The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio||Jane Anderson||DreamWorks Pictures||$12 million||$689,028|
|2006||Last Holiday||Wayne Wang||Paramount Pictures||$45 million||$43.3 million|
|Monster House (CGI Motion-Capture)||Gil Kenan||Columbia Pictures
|$75 million||$140.2 million|
|2007||Beowulf (CGI Motion-Capture)||Robert Zemeckis||Paramount Pictures (US)
Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
|$150 million||$196.4 million|
|2009||A Christmas Carol (CGI Motion-Capture)||Walt Disney Pictures; as ImageMovers Digital||$175–200 million||$325 million|
|2011||Mars Needs Moms (CG Motion-Capture)||Simon Wells||$150 million||$39.2 million|
|Real Steel||Shawn Levy||Touchstone Pictures
21 Laps Entertainment
|$110 million||$299.3 million|
|2012||Flight||Robert Zemeckis||Paramount Pictures
|$31 million||$161.8 million|
|2015||The Walk||TriStar Pictures
|$35–45 million||$108.4 million|
|$85–113 million||$120 million|
|2018||Welcome to Marwen||Universal Pictures
Perfect World Pictures
|$39–50 million||$12.9 million|
|2020||The Witches||Warner Bros. Pictures
Double Dare You Productions
|2021||Finch||Miguel Sapochnik||Apple TV+
Walt Disney Pictures
Depth of Field Studios
|2024||Here||Sony Pictures Releasing
ImageMovers' first foray into television production was The Borgias, which aired on Showtime from 2011 to 2013. On August 25, 2016, Compari Entertainment, the company's television division, was founded, with NBC's Manifest, which premiered on September 24, 2018, as their first television series.
This motion capture remake of the 1968 Beatles film was developed by Robert Zemeckis. Disney canceled the project due to the box office failure of the Zemeckis-produced motion capture film Mars Needs Moms and aesthetic concerns about the technology. After its cancellation at Disney, Zemeckis then tried to pitch the film to other studios, before eventually losing interest in the project.
On March 26, 2008, Michael Dougherty was set to direct the animated sci-fi adventure film Calling All Robots with Zemeckis producing the film through ImageMovers Digital for Walt Disney Pictures.
In December 2007, Marshall stated that he was still "open" to the idea, and in April 2009, Zemeckis revealed he was still interested. According to a 2009 MTV News story, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman were writing a new script for the project, and the animated characters would be in traditional two-dimensional, while the rest would be in motion capture. However, in 2010, Zemeckis said that the sequel would remain hand-drawn animated and live-action sequences will be filmed, just like in the original film, but the lighting effects on the cartoon characters and some of the props that the toons handle will be done digitally. Also in 2010, Hahn, who was the film's original associate producer, confirmed the sequel's development in an interview with Empire. He stated, "Yeah, I couldn't possibly comment. I deny completely, but yeah... if you're a fan, pretty soon you're going to be very, very, very happy." In 2010, Bob Hoskins stated he was interested in the project, reprising his role as Eddie Valiant. However, he retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a year earlier, and died from pneumonia in 2014. Marshall confirmed that the film would be a prequel, similar to earlier drafts, and that the writing was almost complete. During an interview at the premiere of Flight, Zemeckis stated that the sequel was still possible, despite Hoskins' absence, and the script for the sequel was sent to Disney for approval from studio executives.
On November 26, 2009, Zemeckis had signed on to produce and direct the motion capture animated film adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker through ImageMovers Digital for Walt Disney Pictures. On July 21, 2016, Universal Pictures revived the adaptation, which may or may not use motion capture, with Zemeckis only set to produce the film and Evan Spiliotopoulos was hired to write the script. There has been no information since.
On April 14, 2011, Zemeckis had signed on to produce and potentially direct the live-action/animated hybrid film adaptation of Chuck Sambuchino's book How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack along with The Gotham Group and Sony Pictures Animation. In November that year, Chad Damiani and JP Lavin were hired to write the script.
On October 29, 2019, at the HBO Max launch event, it was announced a live-action/animated hybrid TV series featuring Looney Tunes characters to be produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the series was in development after it was announced as Tooned Out, to be released on the then upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service. Zemeckis teamed up with Jared Stern to write the series. There have been no new updates since.
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