Project Zero is a 2000 American animated science fiction comedy film produced by TjsWorld2011 Entertainment for Paramount Pictures. The fourth feature film from TW2011 Entertainment, it was co-written and directed by TjsWorld2011 and co-written and produced by Ntpockets, and was the studio's first independently produced film since The Hub (1995). It follows an amateur technician who invents a makeshift gateway to the computer world, but soon discovers that his school's computer network is being corrupted from within. He is thus given the task to travel inside the cyberworld and eliminate the cause of the corruption: the leader of an oppressive dictatorship inside it.
The film's concept was envisioned by TjsWorld2011 in 1998 while working on his Nickelodeon series Tj's World. Ntpockets convinced him to pitch their original screenplay for the film to Paramount in January 1999. Production lasted from February to August 1999, with recently-founded visual effects company Blur Studio assisting the studio in creating various cyberworld backgrounds and scenes, as well as various visual effects. Project Zero also marked Mary Kay Bergman's final film role before her suicide on November 11, 1999, and the film is thus dedicated to her memory.
Project Zero premiered in Los Angeles on March 18, 2000, and was released in the United States on March 24, 2000. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its animation, characters, and style, and grossed $102.6 million worldwide against its $27 million budget, making it the sixth highest-grossing animated film of 2000, as well as the fourty-ninth highest-grossing film of 2000 overall. The film was later released on DVD and VHS on April 10, 2001 and on Blu-ray on March 24, 2010, exactly ten years after its original release.
- Matthew Broderick as Jason
- Kath Soucie as Ashley
- Grey DeLisle as Brenda
- Rob Paulsen as Michael
- Samuel L. Jackson as Cyrus
- Sam Register as Viro
- Mary Kay Bergman as Mrs. East
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Animation and styleEdit
- Further info: Project Zero: Music from the Motion Picture and Project Zero: Original Motion Picture Score
The film's accompanying soundtrack album was released on March 7, 2000 by Columbia Records and Sony Music Soundtrax, and its score album, composed by John Debney, was released on March 14, 2000 by Sony Classical. The soundtrack album features music by artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, Sneaker Pimps, The Chemical Brothers, UNKLE, Boards of Canada, and Aphex Twin.
Beginning in August 1999, Paramount Pictures launched a cryptic marketing campaign in the lead-up to the release of the film's teaser trailer. The campaign involved three short teasers released on the film's website in QuickTime format from August 12, 1999 to September 20, 1999, each reading one of the three numbers of the film's release date ("03.24.00"). Also, breaking with years of industry practice, early outdoor advertising for the film only featured an arrow symbol with the release date under it without any other information, primarily appearing on billboards, buses, and other spaces commonly used for advertising.
The film's official teaser trailer was released on September 29, 1999, and was shown before films such as Superstar, The Landrums, and Toy Story 2. The first theatrical trailer was released on November 28, 1999, and was shown before films such as Stuart Little, Paint World, and Galaxy Quest. The second theatrical trailer was released on January 26, 2000, and was shown before films such as Snow Day, Hanging Up, and Mission to Mars. TV spots for the film were released from February to April 2000.
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Project Zero grossed over $78.3 million in North America and over $24.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $102.6 million against its $27 million budget. In the United States, the film opened at number three at the box office, behind Romeo Must Die and Erin Brockovich and ahead of Final Destination (which fell to number four after Project Zero's opening), and grossed over $15.3 million from 2,244 theaters on its opening weekend. By the end of the year, Project Zero had finished as the sixth highest-grossing animated film of 2000, as well as the forty-ninth highest-grossing film of 2000 overall. It was TW2011 Pictures' highest-grossing feature film up to that point, until it was surpassed by the studio's own PuffRuff School: The Movie later in 2001.
Project Zero was originally released on DVD and VHS on April 10, 2001. The DVD release included a 23-minute making-of documentary titled Project Zero: Behind the Screens, which also aired on CBS and Nickelodeon in May 2001.
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