Magazine article Variety

CJ Entertainment Sets Global Pic Prod'n Plans

Magazine article Variety

CJ Entertainment Sets Global Pic Prod'n Plans

Article excerpt

CJ entertainment, long South Korea and Asia's leading movie conglomerate, has now set its sights on becoming a fully-fledged global film producer.

"The domestic [Korean] market has been highly saturated in recent years. Expanding overseas is no longer a choice but a necessity," said Jeong Tae-sung, CEO of CJ Entertainment, at a recent event in Seoul.

The company, which typically has a 30% share of the Korean distribution market, and is a sister company of leading exhibitor CJ-CGV, now aims to produce 20 films per year in 10 languages. That would be a greater volume than the number of Korean films it backs.

It also puts CJ within striking distance of the Hollywood studios, but Jeong foresees a production-led strategy, subtly different from the U.S. majors. For a start, budgets in the U.S. are likely to be capped at $35 million, though it invested some $40 million in "Snowpiercer."

"Our case is different. Hollywood studios have global distribution channels and entering foreign territory is easier for Hollywood films than for Korean films," said Jeong. "Our strength is creativity."

The blueprint for CJ's production outreach is its "Miss Granny" franchise. The comedy-drama has already been remade several times within Asia (including China, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam) each time with subtle cultural nuances. Now it is being remade for two separate audience segments in North America.

Tyler Perry Studios is handling an English-language version of the film, while 3Pas Studio will make a Spanish-language version for the Hispanic market and potentially for Latin America. …

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