South Korean major CJ Entertainment & Media (CJ E&M) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Thai exhibitor Major Cineplex Group to form a production joint venture. The new venture plans to co-produce 10 films including investing in local productions, over the next three years. In addition, CJ will nurture Thai talent and expand its contacts in the Thai film industry.
CJ E&M, of which CJ Entertainment is the principal film subsidiary, is South Korea’s leading production investor and distributor and also owns CJ CGV cinema chain. Since 2000, CJ has sold and distributed around 290 Korea movies in Thailand. Major Cineplex is the largest cinema exhibitor in Thailand by screen count, currently operating 258 cinema screens across 32 locations.
Before the joint venture with Major Cineplex, CJ also entered a partnership with Thai studio Transformation Films to co-produce musical comedy Touch the Sky earlier this year.
Asia has always been CJ’s major target for business expansion. The joint venture enables CJ to enter the Thai film industry with a strong local partner, building on its partnership with Transformation. Aiming to position itself as Asia’s No.1 studio, CJ has been expanding aggressively with its 'One Source Multi Territory' strategy, using a single content source tailored to different markets.
CJ opened its first CGV-branded cinema multiplex back in 1998 in South Korea, becoming the leading cinema chain in the country. CGV Cinemas also operate in the US, China, Vietnam and Indonesia, and is also eyeing other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia. CJ CGV currently operates around 40 cinemas with over 300 screens in China.
With its 'One Source, Multi-Territory' strategy, CJ aims to use the same story to create localized content for different countries. As an example, CJ remade local Korean hit Miss Granny into a Chinese version, titled 20, Once Again!. And it is also working on a Vietnamese version (Sweet 20s). Unlike Hollywood-China co-productions, which are limited by cultural barriers, most Asian countries share a similar cultural background which means this project can also work well in China. Moreover, a project like this could make better use of production resources and maximize the profits flowing from the single source.