#1 in US Box office and fire at Aardman

As probably all of you have heard already, it’s been quite a mixed day for the folks at Aardman. There was the devistating news of a fire at the warehouse in Bristol that held the props and things from their older films. From the emailed press release:

On the day that Aardman celebrate a chart-topping opening weekend in the US with Wallace & Gromit ‘The Curse of the Were-rabbit’, news of a fire at our storage unit in Bristol has been devastating.

The facility used to store sets, awards, and historical artefacts, is not a part of the Aardman studio, and we are glad to report that no Aardman staff have been affected. However, we have lost a number of irreplaceable storyboards, awards, props and pieces of film memorabilia from our 30 year history.

None of the material from the new Wallace & Gromit film ‘The Curse of the Wererabbit’ was in storage at the time, but we have lost many original sets from Chicken Run, Creature Comforts, and the three Wallace & Gromit short films, that were used for reference and toured around the world for exhibition.

This will not in any way affect existing or future Aardman productions as 100% of sets and props are purpose built for each production.

I nearly cried when I heard about this. A spokesman from Aardman said: “Today was supposed to be a day of celebration, with the news that ‘Wallace and Gromit’ had gone in at No. 1 at the U.S. box office, but instead our whole history has been wiped out,” Aardman spokesman Arthur Sheriff said. “It’s turned out to be a terrible day.”

Nick Park has taken a more optimistic tone with: “In light of other tragedies, today isn’t a big deal.” I am sure this must be crushing to him though.

But, as was mentioned, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit topped the box office in the US over the weekend! Weekend Gross according to Yahoo.com was $16,025,987. Cracking job Gromit!

Thanks to everyone who emailed me with the news of the fire.

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