Sidus launches distribution arm

Unit to kick off with 'Yonguijudo Miss Shin'

South Korean production company Sidus FNH will launch its own distribution arm by the end of the year, likely kicking off with helmer Park Yong-jip’s romantic comedy “Yonguijudo Miss Shin,” a co-production with Road Pictures.

“Truck” and “Radio Days,” both about to start shooting, will fill out the new lineup. Prexy Tcha Seung-jai also is said to be considering distribution of outside titles.

As Korea’s most prolific production house, releasing six to 12 titles per year, the new distribution operation is expected to be an influential player. Previously, Sidus pics were released by market leaders CJ Entertainment and Showbox.

Sidus is part owned by major telco KTH, which has assembled multiple investment funds to be used for production of new titles. One factor that reportedly pushed Sidus into its decision is the lack of funding currently available from partial investors, making the company less able to pay out the standard 8%-10% distribution fee.

The long-rumored development will add yet another player to a sector that has seen considerable upheaval this year. In June, rival producer Chungeorahm announced it was relaunching its long-dormant distribution division in partnership with investor M&FC. Major telco SK Telecom is also said to prepping a distribution operation for 2008.

Meanwhile, restructuring at Showbox, one of Korea’s top two distributors, is expected to open up room for other distribs to advance. On July 17 parent company Mediaplex sold exhibition arm Megabox to a consortium of foreign investors, and the group’s content division is rumored to be planning a tie-up with sister company OCN, a leading player in the cable industry.

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