With more than $1.7 Million in Advance Sales, Disneynature Already Set to Save More Than 9,500 Acres-- and Still Counting
BURBANK, California, April 11, 2011 -- "African Cats" is still more than two weeks from opening on Earth Day, but moviegoers have already bought $1.7 million in tickets to see the movie during its opening week (April 22-28) and save the African savanna in the process. Thanks to the "See 'African Cats,' Save the Savanna" initiative, Disneynature's pledge to make a contribution in honor of everyone who sees the film opening week already translates to more than 9,500 acres of land within Kenya's Amboseli Wildlife Corridor--and that number continues to rise.
"We are very impressed with the passion people are showing for 'African Cats'--advance ticket sales for this film have surpassed both 'Earth' and 'Oceans' at this stage of the game, which shows how excited moviegoers are for both the movie and the 'Save the Savanna' initiative," said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios. "The Amboseli Corridor is an essential passage utilized by so many animals in the African savanna. The advance ticket sales so far will allow Disneynature with African Wildlife Foundation's assistance to conserve more than 9,500 acres of this passage--which equates to 19 Disney's Animal Kingdoms, or nearly two-thirds the size of Manhattan--and we still have two weeks till opening day."
"The 'See "African Cats," Save the Savanna' program transforms the moviegoing experience into tangible on-the-ground conservation action. The commitment of Disneynature combined with the passion of moviegoers will raise critical funds to conserve the land that the magnificent species featured in 'African Cats' call home," said Dr. Patrick Bergin, CEO, African Wildlife Foundation. "Through this amazing collaboration, we celebrate our 50th Anniversary together with Disneynature and all the people who are helping establish the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor."
"See 'African Cats,' Save the Savanna" continues Disneynature's conservation efforts, which began with its first release, "Earth" (2009), for which three million trees were planted in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. The program in support of "Oceans" (2010) helped establish 40,000 acres of marine protected areas in The Bahamas, which contain miles of vital coral reef.
"SEE 'AFRICAN CATS,' SAVE THE SAVANNA"
During the film's opening week (April 22-28), a portion of the proceeds from that week's ticket sales will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to ensure the future of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and a host of other animals in the vibrant African savanna. The AWF will be working to protect the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, a passage between the Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks that is frequently used by a variety of wildlife.
The film, which will be released in theaters worldwide, opens in North America on April 22, 2011. Tickets for groups of 20 or more are already available in the United States by calling 1-888-DISNEY6. Tickets are also available online at www.disney.com/africancats.
There are also a number of innovative online efforts underway that allow moviegoers to pledge their commitment to the film and in doing so, support the cause.
Like Disneynature on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Disneynature
Pledge to see "African Cats" on Eventful: http://eventful.com/africancats
Join the "African Cats"grassrootscommunity and donate to the African Wildlife Foundation on Causes: http://www.causes.com/africancats
Buy tickets through Disney Tickets Together: http://apps.facebook.com/ticketstogether/
ABOUT THE MOVIE
An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, "African Cats" captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. Narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson, the story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother's strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion and his sons. Disneynature brings "The Lion King" to life on the big screen in this True Life Adventure directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill ("Earth"). An awe-inspiring adventure blending family bonds with the power and cunning of the wild, "African Cats" leaps into theatres on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. For more information about the movie and the "See 'African Cats,' Save the Savanna" initiative, check out Disney.com/AfricanCats.
Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF's programs and conservation strategies are based on sound science and designed to protect both the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa's people. Since its inception AWF has protected endangered species and land, promoted partnerships with the private sector for conservation tourism to benefit local African communities as a means to improve livelihoods, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation--all to ensure the survival of Africa's unparalleled wildlife heritage. AWF is a non-profit organization currently operating in 14 countries across the continent. AWF is a registered 501(c)(3) in the United States. Visit www.awf.org.
Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years, was launched in April 2008 to bring the world's top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife subjects and stories with theatrical audiences. "Earth" (opening Earth Day 2009) was the first film to premiere domestically under the new label, and garnered a record-breaking opening weekend for a nature documentary. Its "Buy a Ticket, Plant a Tree" initiative led to the planting of three million trees in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Hitting theaters on April 22, 2010, "Oceans" was the third highest grossing feature-length nature film in history. Its "See 'Oceans,' Save Oceans" initiative helped establish 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, preserving essential coral reefs. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1949 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards. For more information about Disneynature, check out disneynature.com like us on Facebook: facebook.com/Disneynature, and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Disneynature. For more information about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, please visit Disney.com/conservation.
ABOUT DISNEY WORLDWIDE CONSERVATION FUND
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has advanced Disney's legacy of conservation to inspire people and partnerships to protect the world's wildlife. To date, the DWCF has granted more than $14 million in 110 countries. DWCF is a Disney initiative to support conservation and animal welfare and is not a US 501(c)(3) public charity. More information about DWCF's efforts for wildlife, wild places and the people linked to their survival, is available at www.disney.com/conservation.
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