US-based FUNimation Entertainment has acquired three live-action titles produced by Japanese major Shochiku.

The titles include Yoji Yamada's Love And Honour, Hirokazu Kore-Eda's Hana and Haruki Kadokawa-produced Genghis Khan.

The deal signals FUNimation's further expansion into live-action Japanese features, as well as contents of a more serious nature.

Released in December of last year, samurai drama Love And Honour became a long-running hit, grossing $33.6m (Y4bn).

Released in March of this year, epic Genghis Khan managed to gross $11.8m, but fell well below expectations for the $25m film. Shochiku secured sales with over 50 countries at Berlin 's European Film Market.

Released in June 2006, Hana was the first period film for director Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Nobody Knows). The film had very small returns in Japan, but enjoyed screenings at Cannes, Toronto and Rotterdam.

In March of last year FUNimation also acquired rights to Shochiku's successful 2005 ninja romance Shinobi ($12.54m). Remake rights were picked up by Universal Pictures at the end of last month.

FUNimation also recently purchased North and Latin American rights to Fumihiko Sori's Vexille, which has been sold to 75 territories so far. Vexille had its world premiere yesterday at the Locarno International Film Festival (Aug 1-11). FUNimation intends to give the film a North American theatrical launch before its DVD release.

Set in the year 2067, Vexille is a 3D CGI sci-fi thriller about a US special forces team sent to infiltrate fortified Japan to investigate its development of high-tech robotics. Vexille is released in Japan on August 18.

FUNimation Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation that focusses on home video, broadcasting, internet and theatrical distribution of Japanese contents.