MegaStar Media opens in Vietnam

Eight-screener cost an estimated $4 million

MegaStar Media has opened its second multiplex cinema in Vietnam, one of the world’s most underdeveloped movie territories.

The eight-screener is in the TD Plaza shopping mall in the northern port city of Haiphong and cost an estimated $4 million.

MegaStar is a joint venture between local publisher and retailing conglom Phuong Nam Co. and Envoy Media Partners, an outfit run from New York by former Loews Cineplex prexy Ted Shugrue.

Company opened its first hardtop in Hanoi in April 2006 and will open another in Bien Hoa next month and one in Ho Chi Minh City in September. The initial building phase, to be completed next year, will see two more complexes open in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Da Nang.

Vietnam has a population of 82 million and just 100 screens, so the multiplexes should have a significant impact on moviegoing habits and auds.

One other foreign company, South Korea’s Good Fellas, has opened a multiplex in Ho Chi Minh City’s Diamond Plaza as a joint venture with local distributor Fafilm.

The modernization includes distribution, where Envoy has struck deals with United Intl. Pictures and with Buena Vista Intl. Its recent releases include “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”

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