To celebrate the birth month of Peyo, the creator of The Smurfs, Sony Pictures Animation has mounted a Smurfs Invasion of the Skypark of the Marina Bay Sands – with some 5,000 Smurfs figurines!

Rendering the Skypark practically blue, the invasion was part of Smurfs Night which concluded the highly successful Sony Pictures Summit: Singapore, a four-day publicity blitz that highlighted the studio’s upcoming blockbusters, including “Ghostbusters,” “Inferno,” “The Magnificent Seven” and “Smurfs: The Lost Village.”

Pierre Culliford (born June 25, 1928), known as Peyo, was a Belgian comics artist, and best remembered for the creation of The Smurfs comic strip from which the cartoon show is based. His work is being carried on by his son Thierry Culliford, who has also currently adopted the pen name Peyo.

The newest entry in the Columbia Pictures movie franchise that has grossed more than $900 million globally, “Smurfs: The Lost Village” is set for a worldwide release on March 31, 2017The fully-animated return to the tone and style of the beloved comic book creations of Peyo is directed by Kelly Asbury (“Shrek 2,” “Gnomeo & Juliet”), produced by Jordan Kerner (“Charlotte’s Web,” “The Smurfs”) and co-produced by Mary Ellen Bauder (“Hotel Transylvania”), and executive produced by Raja Gosnell and Ben Waisbren.

In the film, it seems to Smurfette that everyone else in the Village has a purpose — Papa Smurf (leading), Baker Smurf (baking), even Grouchy Smurf (grouching) — except for her. So what’s the only girl in the village to do? Go in search of hers, of course! When she accidentally crosses paths with a mysterious creature that takes off into the Enchanted Forest, she follows, and sets off into the uncharted and strictly forbidden woods. Joined by her brothers Brainy, Hefty and Clumsy — and with the evil wizard Gargamel shadowing their every step — Team Smurf undertakes a wild journey full of action, danger and discovery, setting them on a course that leads to the biggest mystery in Smurf history!

“Smurfs: The Lost Village” stars Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel and Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf.  Also starring are triple Emmy nominee Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) as the sweet, awkward and honest-to-a-fault Clumsy, who’s forever trying his best and missing the mark;  Danny Pudi (“Community”) as book smart and geek proud Brainy, who’s long on knowledge, but short on inter-Smurf-onal skills; and Joe Manganiello (“True Blood,” “Magic Mike”) as the strong and super-positive Hefty, a loyal dynamo struggling with his hero complex.  

Opening across the Philippines on March 2017, “Smurfs: The Lost Village” will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.


Hank, Finding Dory

In Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory” (opening June 16th in the Philippines), Dory, Marlin and Nemo embark on a new adventure—this time to the California coastline—on an uncertain search for the family Dory thinks she left behind. Their journey leads them to the Marine Life Institute (MLI), where they meet a diverse array of sea creatures.

In the journey to the MLI, Dory finds herself separated from Marlin and Nemo, and must rely on her own intuition—as well as a host of colorful characters, appealing to each of them to help her on her quest. Foremost of them is Hank, a disgruntled octopus voiced by “Modern Family’s” Ed O’Neill, who was tapped to bring Dory’s chief wingman to life. “He doesn’t like anybody and just wants to be left alone,” O’Neill shares.

“We realized that Dory needed a foil,” says director Andrew Stanton. “Dory was created in the first movie as a surrogate for Nemo. Marlin’s emotional journey to be a better parent called for a character like Dory to test him. Kids—and Dory—are very in the moment; they don’t think about the future too much. They take risks and have fun.

“For this film,” Stanton continues, “we needed a surrogate Marlin. Hank is a curmudgeon, an introvert. He really doesn’t want to be healed and sent back out to the ocean. He’d prefer a solitary existence inside an aquarium tank, so he’s trying to get himself into a more permanent installation.”

“Hank is smart, set in his ways and very cranky,” says Ellen DeGeneres, the voice of Dory. “He’s not happy where he is, while Dory is always happy wherever she is. There’s a great juxtaposition between these two; they’re complete opposites. It’s a great pairing because she is so innocent, yet pushes him to open his mind. They’re both fearful—though Dory doesn’t realize it. She just keeps swimming.”

Hank is actually a “septopus”: he lost a tentacle—along with his sense of humor—somewhere along the way. But Hank is just as competent as his eight-armed peers. An accomplished escape artist with camouflaging capabilities to boot, Hank is the first to greet Dory when she finds herself in the Marine Life Institute. But make no mistake: he’s not looking for a friend. Hank is after one thing: a ticket on a transport truck to a cozy Cleveland facility, where he’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful life of solitude.

“Hank tests Dory,” says Stanton. “He questions her optimism, her bravery. He brings out the best in her, and she does the same for him. He’s reluctantly kind. He has a heart of gold that Dory seems to sense from the start.”

Filmmakers deliberately developed Hank’s personality to contrast Dory’s bright disposition. “We can get a lot of comedy out of pairing opposites,” says co-director Angus MacLane. “Hank is actively trying to get away from connection, while Dory is striving to make one.”

“Hank would be happy living out his days in a secure aquarium all by himself,” says Max Brace, story supervisor for the film. “He’d do anything to avoid going back to the ocean—even if it means escorting Dory through the Marine Life Institute.”

“They need each other,” says O’Neill. “Hank never thought he could make friends, but he’s slowly drawn in by Dory’s charm. Through a lot of adventure, danger and fear, they bond. They become friends through their experiences.”

Stanton says O’Neill captured the character perfectly. “His voice carries that duality of curmudgeon and softie,” says the director. “Ed nailed that in one way in ‘Married with Children’ and an entirely different way in ‘Modern Family.’ We never thought of anybody else.”

O’Neill, who voiced a character in Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph,” says the key is having an open mind. “There isn’t really a way to prepare for animation,” he says. “I did do one thing: I Googled ‘mimic octopus’ and found this creature I didn’t even know existed. There are several different types of octopus, I learned. The one I’m playing is a shape-shifter. It’s crazy.”

“Finding Dory” is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, and use the hashtag #FindingDoryPH.


Tom Hanks, Inferno
Director Ron Howard, actor Tom Hanks and Irrfan Khan attends the “Inferno” red carpet and photo call at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands on June 14, 2016 in Singapore.

Hollywood legends Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard led the red carpet event for Columbia Pictures & IMAGINE Entertainment’s new action-thriller “Inferno” in Singapore June 14, taking the film’s promo tour to Asia. Joining them is acclaimed Indian actor Irrfan Khan who alo stars in the film.

Watch the video of the red carpet event here at

“Inferno” is the third film in the studio’s Robert Langdon series (including “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons”), which has taken in more than $1.2 billion worldwide to date.

Academy Award® winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown’s billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, “Inferno,” which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.

Opening across the Philippines in October 28, “Inferno” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.



Jack Huston, who will be seen this August in Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ “Ben-Hur,” received this year’s “CinemaCon® Rising Star of the Year Award.”

Huston was presented with this special honor at the “CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards” ceremony held recently The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. CinemaCon is the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).

“Already known throughout the world for his compelling performance in the critically acclaimed ‘Boardwalk Empire’, Huston is poised to break out on the big screen with his upcoming performance in this summer’s ‘Ben Hur,’” noted CinemaCon Managing Director Mitch Neuhauser. “The Huston family legacy is cherished in our industry, and it is a great honor for CinemaCon to be able to recognize Jack as he embarks on what we know is going to be a great career on the big screen.”

“Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption

The film is based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D’Elia and Morgan Freeman. Produced by Sean Daniel, p.g.a., Joni Levin, p.g.a. and Duncan Henderson, p.g.a.. Screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov.

Best known for his portrayal of the deeply troubled and complex war veteran ‘Richard Harrow’ on HBO’s hit series “Boardwalk Empire,” Huston began his career starring in the small screen adaption of “Spartacus.” Most recently he was seen in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” “The Longest Ride” and “American Hustle.” Other credits across film and television include “Wilde Salome,” “Outlander,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “Factory Girl,” “Not Fade Away,” “Two Jacks,” and “Night Train to Lisbon.” On stage, Huston played Charles Bruno in “Strangers on a Train” at London’s Gielgud Theatre.

Opening across the Philippines in August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.


Independence Day: Resurgence

Liam Hemsworth leads a team of young pilots fighting aliens in “Independence Day: Resurgence” directed by Roland Emmerich with an all-star cast including Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Sela Ward, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher and Angelababy.

The aliens are back with a vengeance for “Independence Day: Resurgence,” which represents director Roland Emmerich’s huge return to the genre that made him famous. The 1996 original shot into the public imagination with its vistas of destruction, its memorable characters and huge impact on both science fiction and disaster movies. With giant alien spaceships unleashing incredibly devastating power upon the world, it took brain, brawn and heroics to figure out a way to fight back.

Now, 20 years later, humanity has united to rebuild the world’s major cities, while salvaged alien technology has been utilized to work on solving many big problems such as climate change. But the lingering threat of the extra-terrestrials’ return still hangs over our heads and the Earth Space Defence programme has formed to be ready for when that day comes. Ominously, it appears that our greatest enemy is indeed back.

Demonstrating versatility and skill in a range of performances, Hemsworth has proven to be one of the most sought-after actors of his generation.  In “Independence Day: Resurgence,” Hemsworth plays Jake Morrison, a hotshot fighter pilot whose family was killed in the original alien attack chronicled in Roland Emmerich’s groundbreaking 1996 sci-fi thriller. Growing up an orphan, Jake joined the military, and quickly showed an aptitude for daring flight missions.

Hemsworth particularly enjoyed exploring the character’s motivations to be at the front lines of this new battle against the Aliens.  “Jake’s parents were killed during the War of 1996, so he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder in this fight.”  The chip on Jake’s shoulder impacts his behavior with authority.  Hemsworth elaborates: “Jake can be a little outspoken, because he’s always been the underdog who had to fight for every scrap.   As a result of growing up as an orphan, Jake became resentful and jealous of other people’s positions.”

Jake’s outspokenness, as well as his fearlessness and occasional disregard for authority, land him in hot water.  He gets his wings clipped and is relegated to piloting a Moon Tug, which is more or less like working a giant forklift or tug boat, transporting weapons to the military’s moon defense base.   The outpost is a first-response center in the event of another Alien attack.  “The Moon Tug is a lot slower than the jets Jake is used to flying, and basically his day consists of moving heavy parts around from point A to B, on the moon,” says Hemsworth.  “It’s not the most exciting job for Jake, who knows he belongs in a fighter jet.  And he will end up in a fighter jet.”

Hemsworth says he jumped at the chance to be a part of “Independence Day: Resurgence,” because the first film is one of his all-time favorites, although he was only six years old when it was released.  “Battling an Alien invasion fleet in this film was a dream come true for me,” says the actor.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” opens June 22 in cinemas nationwide (2D, 3D and IMAX) from 20thCentury Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.