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‘Ant’ sets same-day Imax bow

CGI-ani 'Bully' features Cage, Roberts, Streep

TORONTO — Large-screen exhibitor Imax has sealed a deal for an Imax 3-D day-and-date release of CGI-animated film “The Ant Bully.”

Pic, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Paul Giamatti, will be released Aug. 4, 2006. John A. Davis directs; Warner Bros. will distribute worldwide.

Collaboration is Imax’s third with co-producer Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone Prods. and its 10th with Warner Bros. Pictures. Davis, of DNA Prods., is also co-producing; exec producer is Keith Alcorn.

Based on the book by John Nickle, “The Ant Bully” is about a boy who, after flooding an anthill with his water gun, miraculously shrinks to insect size and must do hard labor to atone for his misdeed.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has brought the company its highest opening weekend ever, grossing $2.21 million in 65 North American Imax theaters last weekend.

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