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Toho Towa slate heavy on Universal

Distributor gets 'Gangster,' 'Elizabeth,' 'Mummy'

TOKYO — Distrib Toho Towa announced its 18 pic lineup for 2008-10 on Thursday, with most of the movies coming from Universal.

Prexy Hiro Matsuoka confirmed it will extend its contract with U by a year.

Toho Towa bowed its first Universal pic, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” in November after taking over from UIP Japan, which has since folded its corporate tent.

Among the seven Universal titles in the lineup for this year are “Charlie Wilson’s War,”  “American Gangster,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” and “Wanted.”

Included for 2009 and beyond are “Defiance,” “The Wolf Man,” “Knowing,” “Public Enemies” and “Nottingham.”

“It’s a tough environment for foreign film distribution in Japan,” Matsuoka said. “We don’t have a magic potion for improving this situation. All we can do is release each and every picture as best we can and work hard so we can fulfill the hopes and expectations that have been placed on us.”

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