WB involvement with Japanese films

Jason Gray loaded_films at yahoo.co.jp
Sun Feb 4 00:30:06 EST 2007

I've mentioned this new development in Screen Int'l and it
basically comes down to Warner Entertainment Japan
president William Ireton. He's long been involved with WB
here and before that Toho-Towa (Toho's foreign film dist.


The Death Note series was the first in a new mandate to
get involved creatively with Japanese productions. The
franchise turned out to be WB's biggest release of the

Brave Story, on the other hand, was a Fuji TV/Gonzo
project that WB picked up for theatrical distribution.
Brave Story did manage to crack the Y1b watermark, but
with a $10m budget and high marketing costs it definitely
wasn't a hit compared to the other major animated releases
of the year. 

Ireton also helped with Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima"
project by coordinating interviews with veterans, Gen.
Kuribayashi's grandson etc.

With UIP Japan probably dissolving as it has in other
territories, it'll be interesting to see what other
Hollywood studios follow suit and start getting involved
creatively with Japanese films here. Though Ireton is a
special case since he's lived here for decades.

Jason Gray

--- KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu wrote:

> 			    KINEJAPAN Digest 2031
> Topics covered in this issue include:
>   1) Re: For the first time in 21 years...
> 	by Mark Nornes <amnornes at umich.edu>
> > Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2007 17:47:09 -0500
> From:Mark Nornes <amnornes at umich.edu>
> To:KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
> Subject:Re: For the first time in 21 years...
> On Feb 1, 2007, at 9:01 AM, Aaron Gerow wrote:
> > One other significant development is the
> appearance of Warner  
> > Brothers on the chart of Japanese film
> distributors, sporting major  
> > hits with the two Death Note films and Brave
> Heart. Can Hollywood  
> > be making up for its losses in the Japanese market
> by invading the  
> > market for Japanese films?
> Thanks, Aaron, for writing that post. It was very
> interesting. It  
> sparks a question, tho:
> Can anyone explain what's behind this? Warners has
> been distributing  
> in Japan for decades洋eaning they had an office in
> Tokyo that was  
> deeply involved in the marketing and translation of
> its films. I  
> don't know the details beyond that, but the
> situation Aaron describes  
> above suggests a shift of some sort or another.
> Anyone know?
> Markus

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