CJ, T-Joy form JV for distribution, investment

New company will be based in Japan, serve both markets

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BUSAN, South Korea -- Two major distributors representing Japan and Korea struck a deal to establish a joint investment-distribution company based in Japan, said Katharine Kim, the CEO of CJ Entertainment on Saturday at the Paradise Hotel.

Korea’s CJ Entertainment and Japan’s T-Joy, a theater giant and a member of the Toei Group, will set up a joint venture in Japan as early as April. The company will serve three main purposes: to produce Japanese films; to distribute Korean films in Japan; and to co-produce multinational films, which CJ has been particularly emphasizing in the recent years to meet the company’s ambition for global outreach.

“Through the joint venture, we hope to develop a synergistic effect by selecting competitive content from the two countries and using the distribution network and theater infrastructure of the two companies,” Kim said.

The Korean distributor saw the joint venture’s position becoming one of Japan’s major distributors, connecting Asia and Hollywood in the next five years. CJ will invest 60% and T-Joy 40% in the venture.

“It’s an honor for us to share the marketing expertise and unique content of CJ Entertainment through this opportunity,” said Yusuke Okada, T-Joy’s president, who was also present for the Saturday announcement. “I will do all I can to make the company qualify for Japan’s major distributor.”

T-Joy is a major multiplex chain that has 142 screens throughout Japan. CJ has previously collaborated with Japan on a number of coproduction projects including “Goo Goo, the Cat” and “Fish Story.”