A major Japanese deal for its top action title has crowned the return to market of Korea's Tube Entertainment.
Tube Entertainment has had a convoluted corporate history and returned to Cannes this year as a seller for the first time since regaining its independence from an on-off takeover by CJ Entertainment.
Its Speed-style underground action flick Tube is poised to be sold to a resuscitated Shochiku for a price comfortably into seven figures. The $5m picture directed by Baek Woon-hak was also sold to E Redgate for China, Nontanund for Thailand, PT Warna for Indonesia, Nobel & Partners for Scandinavia, Alpha Films for Brazil and for the US, Silver Night Train, a video and DVD releasing operation that works with Disney and 20th Century Fox. Cannes deals to date on the picture total some $2.5m.
On its $9m action adventure Natural City, which is still in post-production, Tube Entertainment has pre-sold Scandinavia to Nobel, Indonesia to Warna, Brazil to Alpha, Thailand to New World and Turkey to Medy Vizon.
'We are delighted at the response to both titles. It begins to justify our faith in the new corporate strategy,' said Catherine Park, Tube Entertainment's head of international business.
Tube Entertainment, recently received a $9m cash injection from venture capitalist Tube Investment through its Heung Bo subsidiary. The group had difficulties in spreading its risk and in 2002 sought a deal with CJ Entertainment, the powerful film arm of foodstuffs chaebol Cheil Jedang. After the latest refinancing CJ is relegated to being the second largest shareholder behind Tube Investments.
Tube Entertainment, which was responsible for Bad Guy and breakout hit The Road Home, is now seeking to expand its production finance, international sales and Korean distribution/service operations. It has distribution relationships with Icon and Mutual Entertainment.