HONG KONG – Los Angeles-based specialty distributor Asia Releasing is to target the U.S.’s growing population of Vietnamese-Americans with a slate of Vietnamese movies.
The company has struck a deal with Galaxy Studio, Vietnam’s leading private-sector studio, to give North American releases to Galaxy’s future film productions. The company also has rights in Australia and New Zealand.
Asia Releasing is next month opening “Lady Assassin 3D” (Mỹ nhân kế, pictured) in Dallas and Houston, following a recent release of the hit actioner in the L.A. area.
Galaxy says it is keen to improve the overseas prospects of Vietnam-made movies and that it will co-operate with Asia Releasing by shortening the gap between domestic Vietnamese and overseas outings. “Lady Assassin” was released on Feb 1, 2013 in its home market and by Feb 17 had become the highest grossing Vietnamese film of all time with a cumulative B.O. of $2.49 million.
Securing short windows or even day-and-date overseas releases of Asian titles was an integral part of the business model proposed by Asia Releasing’s founder Milt Barlow at his two previous ventures. Speedy releases are intended to capitalize on marketing momentum and minimize latent piracy of Asian movies in the North American market.
Barlow, a former president and CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment, was co-founder of multi-national specialty distributor China Lion. He also heads Incubate, an Australia/New Zealand distributor of Asian films.
“Through this cooperation, Vietnamese films produced not only by Galaxy Studio but also by other production companies will have more opportunities to reach out to the world,” said Galaxy CEO Dinh Thi Thanh Huong in a statement.
“Vietnam is an emerging powerhouse of Asian cinema and Galaxy represents the very best from Vietnam,” said Barlow.
Upcoming Vietnamese films from Galaxy include “How to Fight in Six Inch Heels,” “Blood Heart” and “Battle of the Brides 2.”
The U.S. had a population of 1.5 million Vietnamese according to the 2010 Census.