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Prime Entertainment Expands

2006/03/27 Source

Innotz / Prime Entertainment, a new player in the Korean film industry, just got bigger, after taking over the well-established production company Korea Entertainment. The latter is known for its commercial hits Mapado, The Art of Fighting, and My Tutor Friend. Innotz, a Korea Stock Exchange-listed subsidiary of the Prime Group, bought out 100% of Korea Entertainment's stocks for US$15 million.

Innotz, formerly a software-focused company, announced this year that it would launch a powerhouse called Prime Entertainment that would manage production, distribution, investment, talent management, and exhibition. It made news after its acquisition of art house production company LJ Films. The merger was made official on March 10th, with LJ Films CEO Lee Seung-jae now to head the production sector of Prime Entertainment. LEE was executive producer of films such as Sundance competitor The Peter Pan Formula and Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring. Through the merger Innotz also took possession of three talent management companies owned by LJ Films: Namu Actors, Byeol-moa Entertainment and Blue Dragon, which represent 50 popular actors including stars Song Kang-ho, Moon So-ri and Moon Geun-young.

Prime Entertainment will also utilize Innotz's real estate and construction businesses to gradually open and operate 25 theaters throughout Korea, including a much talked about 25-screen megaplex in Seoul which would rank as the country's largest. Prime Entertainment is currently investing in Im Kwon-taek's 100th film Cheon-nyunhak and Song Hae-seong's Our Happy Time starring Gang Dong-won, along with six other features which it also plans to distribute. The company will also invest heavily in TV and aggressively pursue overseas film projects such as the US$20 million U.S.-Korea biopic The Julia Project.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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