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Korea’s CJ E&M to Launch Turkish Production Unit

Variety logo Variety 5/30/2017 Sonia Kil

CJ E&M, South Korea’s largest entertainment conglomerate, will establish a Turkish unit to produce local content. The move follows the acquisition of Turkey’s largest cinema chain, Mars Entertainment, last year by CJ-CGV.

CJ says it is eyeing production, investment, distribution, and marketing of original content. It will start out by making Korea-Turkey film co-productions. The first one will be “Hot, Sweet & Sour,” an adaptation with Turkey’s BKM of CJ’s romantic drama “The Wedding Invitation,” which the Korean company co-produced in China in 2013. The company is also developing a Turkish-language remake of 2014 Korean hit “Miss Granny.”

“Turkey is one of the few countries in Asia, along with South Korea, Japan, and India, where the market share of homegrown films exceeds that of Hollywood releases. Its film market has a large growth potential,” CJ said in a statement.

“We also plan to expand our business into co-production, local distribution, and production of Turkish television series through this new unit,” said Lim Myung-kyun, head of global business at CJ Entertainment, CJ E&M’s film division.

“CJ E&M has now laid the groundwork to transplant its intellectual property, co-production capability, and distribution and marketing know-how in Turkey,” said Lim. “For Korean companies, careful consideration of [distribution] platforms is required before entering foreign markets.”

CJ-CGV now has cinemas in China, Hong Kong, the U.S., Vietnam, and Indonesia. CJ Entertainment is an active producer in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, the U.S., and Thailand. Five localized versions of “Granny” have been completed, with English and Spanish remakes currently under way in the U.S.

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