Korean distrib CJ bonds with Japan’s T-Joy

Companies form joint venture

SEOUL — Korea’s CJ Entertainment and Japan’s T-Joy are launching an investment and distribution joint venture in Japan.

The companies held a press conference in South Korea’s seaside resort Busan on Saturday, where the Pusan Film Festival is in full swing, to announce that the venture will bow in April.

It will produce three-to-five Japanese films, co-produce two-to-three international projects and distribute more than five Korean films in Japan where Tokyo-based T-Joy, Toei’s theater chain, runs 142 screens.

T-Joy and CJ Entertainment have released their partners’ pics since August 2008, including “Tazza: High Rollers” and “The Good, the Bad, the Weird.”

The amount of capital behind the venture was not released but CJ Entertainment will invest 60% with T-Joy kicking in 40%.

They aim to be among the top five distributors in Japan within five years.

“We have pulled in digital projection faster than any other theater chains in Japan to challenge the rapidly changing multiplex business. We’re aiming at expanding our business in the Asian market, focusing on content including international co-production,” said T-Joy exec Yoda Naoshi.

For CJ Entertainment, the joint venture will be a bridgehead into the Japanese film market, bulwarking its ambition to become the Asia’s No. 1 film studio.

“We have built a good partnership by distributing our line-up in Japan,” said CJ Entertainment CEO Katherine Kim, adding that the new venture would benefit from dynamic Korean films and Japan’s stable distribution network.

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