Paramount goes solo in Japan

Standalone operation replaces UIP

LONDON — Paramount Pictures International will launch a standalone theatrical distribution operation in Japan from the beginning of 2008.

The move means UIP Japan will close at the end of this year.

Universal announced in February that Toha-Towa will distribute its pics in Japan. “The Bourne Ultimatum” will be the first U pic to be released by Toha-Towa.

When Par and Universal decided to untangle most of their distribution operations last year, Japan remained one of the key territories still handled by United International Pictures.

“This is a truly important development for Paramount,” Andrew Cripps, president of PPI, said. “The Japanese market is challenging and exciting with real potential for growth and this move represents Paramount’s next step in our international program of expansion.”

Par’s Japanese theatrical arm will combine with existing Paramount Home Entertainment Japan.

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