Shochiku, Mitsui team on prod’n deal

Due to launch company to distribute, promote pix

Japan’s oldest film studio, Shochiku, and trading house Mitsui are to cooperate in a range of areas, including film production and sales.

Shochiku and Mitsui have launched a planning company with a 60/40 split, respectively. This summer or fall, the company will morph into a joint venture that will distribute and promote films and other visual content on mobile devices and the Internet.

The two also will cooperate in other media-related businesses, including live-action film production, animation development and sales and international content marketing.

The two already have financial ties — Mitsui is an investor in the Shochiku-run Satellite Theater movie channel and Shochiku subsidiary Shochiku Multiplex Theaters. Mitsui also put up 15% of the coin for the production of “Helen the Baby Fox,” a family film that Shochiku produced and released wide earlier this year.

Shochiku, however, denied a Nikkei newspaper report that Mitsui intends to acquire 7% of its stock. “It’s not on the table,” said a Shochiku spokesman. “We’ll work together project by project.”

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