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Thai movie firm forming JV to produce film for Chinese audiences
Publication Date : 07-08-2013
Thailand's leading film-production house GMM Tai Hub (GTH) plans to form a joint venture with Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Chow to co-produce a thriller catering to Chinese moviegoers in a key milestone for its overseas expansion.
Yongyooth Thongkongtoon, international sales executive at GTH, said one of his colleagues discussed the project with Chow several months ago. Chow will assign one of his film-production companies to work with GTH's production team led by Banjong Pisanthanakun, a famous filmmaker and screenwriter.
Banjong directed and wrote a number of popular movies, including the horror films Shutter in 2004 and Alone in 2007; the romantic comedy Hello Stranger in 2010; and this year's comedy-horror effort Pee Mak Phra Khanong, which has earned more than 1 billion baht (US$31 million) in revenue.
"The cost of the new film is estimated at around 15 million to 40 million yuan ($477,000 to $1.27 million).The deal is expected to be sealed in the next couple years," Yongyooth said.
This bid to penetrate mainland China is a milestone for GTH.
The company is also in talks on potential movie collaborations in South Korea and Singapore as part of its effort to grow regionally.
Yongyooth suggested that the upcoming integration of the economies of the 10 Asean countries within the next two years presented huge business opportunities for his company.
Currently, GTH has long-term business partners in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan. The company has also joined forces with leading cinema operators in Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.
However, Yongyooth insisted that making films to serve local demand remain the first priority for GTH, though overseas business is also important. Of total annual income, 20 per cent comes from overseas, mainly from content utilisation, merchandise business and film distribution.
To expand its content utilisation in line with merchandise business, the company has sealed a deal with Sentosa Resorts in Singapore to introduce "Sentosa Spooktacular ... Jointly Produced with GTH" to celebrate Halloween. GTH will create haunted houses under different themes inspired by Thai horror films such as Shutter, Pee Mak Phra Khanong, Body, Dorm and Coming Soon.
Sentosa Spooktacular is an annual event to attract tourists during Halloween. The haunted trails will take place on October 19, 25, 26 and 31 and November 1-2 at Fort Siloso on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa.
The whole project is earmarked at about $1 million. Yongyooth hopes that this event will bring in more revenue from content utilisation and merchandise business related to the movies.