You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Coven of distribs

Seven companies to bring 'Blair' to Japan

TOKYO — The enormous success of “The Blair Witch Project” in the United States has made its run in Japan a team sport.

Seven companies will bring “Blair Witch” to Japan in a way that will increase its theater run from a small but undecided number of screens to 70 theaters and will raise the box office for the film by about ten- to fifteenfold from original estimates to a projected $10 million-$15 million.

The main partners for the film are upstart distributor the Klockworx along with TV network Television Tokyo Channel 12. Among the partners that joined the group after the surprise success of “Blair Witch” in the United States are major distributor Shochiku Co. along with movie house Asmik Ace Entertainment Inc. and publisher Kadokawa Shoten.

After the success in the United States, Summit pushed Klockworx to increase the run in Japan, which led to the large partnership.

Sold at Sundance

The Japanese rights were first purchased for the film in January by Klockworx, when acquisition agent Kana Koido fell in love with the movie after seeing it at the Sundance film festival.

The 3-year-old Klockworx along with TV Tokyo and department store Parco intended at first to show the movie at one arthouse theater in Tokyo and then take it to a handful of theaters nationwide.

However, after “Blair Witch” took the No. 2 slot in the U.S. box office rankings this summer, five distribution companies started calling Klockworx in order to team up with the small company for a wider theatrical release.

Shochiku was able to give the movie a slot at 70 theaters during the lucrative New Year’s holiday. Asmik Ace and Kadokawa have teamed up for some of the more successful movies at the Japanese box office over the past few years.

Other revenue avenues

“Blair Witch” will open Dec 23. Klockworx has video rights for the film and anticipates video sales of 100,000 units.

The partnership has allowed “Blair Witch” to increase its marketing budget and given Klockworx the unexpected luxury of a substantial TV ad campaign.

Among the partners, Kadokawa has published a Japanese version of a book on “Blair Witch” and has been promoting the movie heavily in its various entertainment magazines.

TV Tokyo, which has first purchase rights for a broadcast, is planning a special on the movie and is discounting five-second spot ads for “Blair Witch” in order to increase its exposure.

Klockworx has set up a Japanese Web site at http://www.bwp-jp.com and is hoping that this will be the first movie in Japan that gets a successful boost from an Internet marketing campaign.

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content