Avex Group film subisidary, Avex Entertainment, has launched an arthouse label PiX Inc, the company announced yesterday.

PiX will handle arthouse and other specialty titles that fall outside of Avex Entertainment's more mainstream contents.

Avex Entertainment formed the company with a capital outlay of Y60m ($536,000). Avex Entertainment COO Mio Sato will head PiX as CEO.

Avex stated that while the art house boom has passed in Japan, there's a well-established core audience and positive changes in distribution models. PiX will not only handle acquisition and distribution of theatrical releases but also broadband streaming, marketing and other aspects of contents delivery.

Recording giant Avex entered the feature film arena in 2005 and has invested in high-profile productions including Vexille and Genghis Khan. Avex also distributes foreign films in Japan such as recent release The Queen.

Most recently, Avex became a key investor in John Woo's in-production Red Cliff, the most expensive Asian film ever made and which features Avex-signed talent Shido Nakamura and Koyuki in supporting roles.