×

H Collective and Rakuten Pact for Japanese Production and Distribution

Los Angeles-based film producer and distributor The H Collective has formed a two-part alliance with Japanese Internet services giant Rakuten. Together they intend to produce and distribute movies in Japan, the world’s third largest box office market.

Formed in 2017, the H Collective is headed by former Paramount executive Nic Crawley. Rakuten has services that range from e-commerce to fintech. It is also one of the largest video streamers in Europe.

Their Rakuten H Collective Studio is a joint venture that will handle in-house film production, financing, intellectual property management, and the production, and the sale of video content. It plans to be involved in creating music, comics, games and other goods based on the content of its films, and to sell advertising through product placement.

Additional projects to fall under Rakuten H Collective Studio include Aaron W. Sala’s horror thriller “The Beast,” which will be directed by Christine Crokos, and “The Remainders,” a two-handed revenge thriller written by Derek Kolstad (“John Wick”).

Rakuten and The H Collective also established Rakuten Distribution, a film distribution company that will primarily handle the Japanese releases of distribute films produced by The H Collective. “Brightburn,” starring Elizabeth Banks and produced by James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) will be its first title. The release will be supported by Toho-Towa in autumn 2019.

In May, Rakuten announced that it would be investing in both “Brightburn” and H Collective’s “xXx 4”. The pair hinted that they would establish the releasing operation.

The H Collective has also been active in courting China. It has signed two, separate three-picture pacts with Chinese streaming firm iQIYI. Titles covered by those deals include “xXx 4,” “The Beast,” and a currently untitled Manga project.

Under a four film per year distribution and marketing arrangement with Sony “Brightburn” was released in May this year. It scored $17.3 million in North America, and $32.4 million globally to date.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Ready or Not Movie

    'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race

    Three more contenders are joining what has lately been a hostile box office arena. Can anyone emerge from August victorious? Fox Searchlight’s “Ready or Not,” a black comedy about a diabolical game of hide-and-seek, will debut in 2,244 North American theaters on Wednesday. The low-budget film is expected to earn upwards of $6.5 million over [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

  • Alita: Battle Angel VFX

    How Previsualization Helps Create Pitches for Projects Like 'Alita: Battle Angel'

    Filmmakers are increasingly using previsualization, a now-standard technique for planning highly technical shots and sequences, as a tool for pitching a project to production companies, investors and studio executives — before a single full scene has actually been shot. More creatives are relying on the technique, dubbed “pitchvis,” to fashion a compelling and engaging presentation [...]

  • Theo Von arrives at the Global

    Chris Pratt's 'Ghost Draft' Adds Comedian Theo Von

    Comedian Theo Von has boarded the sci-fi thriller “Ghost Draft” starring Chris Pratt. “Lego Batman” filmmaker Chris McKay is directing Skydance and Paramount’s upcoming film, which stars “Handmaid’s Tale” star Yvonne Strahovski alongside Pratt. J.K. Simmons and “GLOW’s” Betty Gilpin are also in talks to join the pic. Written by Zach Dean and Bill Dubuque, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content