Scary Shaw deal for Celestial, ET channel

Shaw's slate to target the horror channels in Europe

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HONG KONG -- Celestial Pictures on Tuesday announced a licensing deal for a package that includes about a dozen Shaw Brothers classic films to ET Movie Channel of Taiwan's Eastern Multimedia Group, Celestial Pictures executive vp Terry Mak told The Hollywood Reporter.

It marks the third channel on which Celestial's Shaw classics would be broadcast in Taiwan, after the movie channels of Videoland Television Network and Chinese movies.

Celestial, the subsidiary of Malaysia's Astro All Asia Networks that owns the rights to the 700-title library of Shaw Brothers Mandarin films, has also renewed its two-year deal of more than 100 titles with Malaysia's NTV7.

"The ratings of the Shaw classic program, called 'Hong Retro,' has doubled over the past two years," Mak said. "In this economic climate, these deals are like water in a desert."

Celestial is going to change its sales strategy in time for the upcoming MIPTV, Mak said, switching its focus from Shaw Brothers kung fu classics to pushing Shaw's horror slate to target the horror channels in Europe.

"American and European horror films tend to be more gory and bloody, but the Shaw horror relied more on atmosphere, so the European audience might find them refreshing," Mak said.

The titles highlighted include "The Ghost Story" and "Hex."