20th Century Fox to Reportedly Open Kazakhstan Office

The company sees potential in the Central Asian market

20th Century Fox will open an office in Kazakhstan, the third biggest market in the former Soviet Union after Russia and Ukraine.

The Kazakh office, based in the country's biggest city, Almaty, will start operating before the end of this year, Proficinema.ru reported. Ilyas Abayev will be Fox's manager for sales in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. He will be reporting to Tatyana Sedova, manager for exhibition in CIS countries at 20th Century Fox CIS.

"Our company is constantly developing, and we are stepping up our presence in CIS states," Vadim Smirnov, general director of 20th Century Fox CIS, was quoted as saying by Proficinema.ru. "We consider Central Asian countries and, especially, Kazakhstan, as a strategically important market, so we are launching expansion into that region."

According to Smirnov, Fox's office in Kazakhstan will allow local viewers to watch more top-quality foreign and Russian films that Fox distributes.

Last year, Fox movies grossed $7.8 million (251 million rubles) in Kazakhstan, which accounted for 4.6 percent of Fox releases' total gross in Russia and CIS states, except Ukraine.

In 2013, Kazakhstan's total box office rose 13 percent, or 10 percent in U.S. dollars, to $63.6 million (9.7 billion tenge), according to Nevafilm Research. The local box office that year was led by Iron Man 3, the year’s biggest theatrical hit in the country, followed by Despicable Me 2 and Fast & Furious 6.

Earlier this year, cinema technology giant RealD announced that it will install its 3D technology in seven cinemas in Kazakhstan in its first push into the region.