Going Gaga over acquisitions

Companies use detailed analyses to select pix

TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field.

Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics to companies with fewer financial reserves. These distribs also wield the clout to arrange for wider releases.

“We choose pictures based on a detailed analysis of the potential in the Japanese market, where the script, the director and the cast are main elements,” says Nick Marumo, Gaga’s prexy and chief operations officer. Gaga’s sophisticated data analyses and simulation systems (since April also available to outsiders), help buyers make more educated decisions.

Databases notwithstanding, no surefire rule exists in assessing the Japanese market potential for any film. If recent trends are anything to go by, war and action pics don’t do as well as dramas. Witness the enormous success of “I Am Sam” (Shochiku) last year and the recent breakout of “The Pianist” (Amuse Pictures), which surprised even industry insiders.

Some Japanese distributors are also public companies and under intense pressure to find hit product before their competition does. Electronics giant Toshiba recently acquired Amuse Pictures, only intensifying competition in the local presales market.

More Scene

  • Demi MooreComedy Central's Roast of Bruce

    Demi Moore Appears as Surprise Guest at Bruce Willis' Comedy Central Roast

    TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field. Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics […]

  • Outfest Filmmakers Get Political, Issue Call

    Outfest Filmmakers Get Political, Issue Call to Action on Opening Night

    TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field. Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics […]

  • Bob Woodruff Foundation Acquires Veterans Org

    Bob Woodruff Foundation Acquires Veterans Org Got Your 6

    TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field. Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics […]

  • Tiffany HaddishTiffany Haddish at the Hollywood

    Tiffany Haddish on Future Career Plans, Taking Advice From Tyler Perry, Melissa McCarthy

    TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field. Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics […]

  • Vince Gilligan Carolyn Strauss Paley Center

    'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan Suggests 'Maybe It's Time for Heroes Again' on TV

    TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field. Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics […]

  • Our Very Own Carlin McCullough

    Amanda Peet's New Play 'Our Very Own Carlin McCullough' Has a 'Game of Thrones' Connection

    TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field. Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics […]

  • Shirel Kozak, Billy Crystal, Marina Zenovich,

    Billy Crystal, Filmmakers Remember Robin Williams at 'Come Inside My Mind' Premiere

    TOKYO — Japan’s presale market for independent films remains mostly in the grip of the three major players — Gaga Communications, Asmik Ace Entertainment and Amuse Pictures, with Nippon Herald and Shochiku completing the field. Between them they distribute the bulk of the indie product from overseas with stronger B.O. potential, leaving smaller niche pics […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content