Start-up Korean studio, PrimeEntertainment, has signed a memorandum of understanding with leading exhibitorCJ CGV for a strategic partnership to collaborate on multiplexes.

At its launch at thebeginning of this year as an integrated producer-distributor-exhibitor, Primehad threatened to flex its real estate muscle by terminating CJ CGV leases onthe multiplex buildings it owned in hotspots such as Seoul's Gangbyun and Myungdong districts.

But now the company hasopted to fight with and not against the major exhibitor with equity investmentplans for these and other upcoming multiplexes to open in the ShindorimTechnomart and the Korean Wave-themed Hallyuwood complex among others.

CJ CGV will continue tomanage the cinemas while Prime will be guaranteed the right to use the cinemabuildings. The theatres will be re-christened CGV-Prime.

Prime Entertainment CEO BaekJong-jin said: "We have decided on a win-win strategy to maintain a closecooperative relationship with CGV's cinema management know-how and our realestate development section."

The company is currentlyhaving its first big hit with Song Hae-sung's death-row love story Maundy Thursday, which was topping thecharts until last week.

The two companies plan furthertalks to collaborate on content production and distribution in addition toexhibition.

As of last year, CJ CGVowned and/or had a controlling stake in almost 30% of screens in the nation,with Lotte Cinema and Megabox Mediaplex as competitors.

All three majors haveaffiliated film investment/distribution partners in CJ Entertainment, LotteEntertainment and Showbox Mediaplex respectively. Prime Entertainment is alsofollowing this integrated model with a focus on its in-house productions.