Shochiku-owned movie channel Satellite Theatre has made its first major acquisition, purchasing all broadcasting rights to hit South Korean actioner Shiri, which has grossed $15m (Y1.6bn) at the Japanese box office.
Channels such as Satellite Theatre which broadcast on communications satellites usually rely on their parent companies, including majors such as Toho and Toei, to supply the bulk of their schedules. However, a lack of product has driven them to them to other sources. Channels such as Wowow, which transmit from broadcast satellites, use their much larger subscriber bases to finance film acquisitions.
Released by Cine Quanon and Amuse in January, Shiri quickly set a new record for the highest-earning Korean film in Japan. Satellite Theatre, which acquired Japanese broadcasting rights for five years, plans to premiere the film this December.
Launched in 1992 by the Shochiku Group, Satellite Theatre moved into the black in the first half of the 1999 financial year and recorded sales of Y4.6bn ($42.3m) for the year in total.
In addition to acquisitions, Satellite Theatre began investing in feature film production last year, backing a total of ten titles. This year it plans to increase that number to twelve.