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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Int'l Box Office: Fahrenheit 9/11 passes $100m

Int'l Box Office: Fahrenheit 9/11 passes $100m
Robert Mitchell in London 27 October 2004

Albeit off  the chart, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 became the first documentary to achieve $100m from international markets during last week. The film added $392,745 over the weekend with Japan and recent launch territory Hong Kong currently providing the highest numbers. The film has taken $100.8m and may get some boost still from next week’s US Presidential election.

Japan's Gaga bought by Usen Corp.

Courtesy of one of the investors:

Japan's Gaga bought by Usen Corp.
Mark Schilling in Tokyo 28 October 2004 04:00

Japan’s Usen Corp. has announced the purchase of Gaga Communications, a leading independent film distributor.

Usen, a major supplier of broadband services in Japan, plans to acquire a 57.6% stake, amounting to $94.3m (Y10 billion) and operate Gaga as a subsidiary. It will invest the funds in two share issues that Gaga is planning for the latter part of December 2004 and the first part of January 2005.

Also, Tatsumi Yoda, the honorary chairman of Avex Group Holdings will invest $28.3m (Y3 billion) in new Gaga shares, taking a 17.3% stake and becoming the company’s second-largest shareholder. Gaga will thus gain a total of $122.6m (Y13 billion) in new investment, while issuing a total of 15,330,000 new shares.

For the fiscal year ending September 2004 Gaga recorded a loss of $141.5m (Y15 billion) on its consolidated earnings, compared with a loss of $74m (Y7.9 billion) for the previous period. Among the causes for the poor results were rising acquisition and P&A costs as well as declining TV sales.

Founded in 1964, Usen boasts the largest share of the Japanese cable broadcasting market. In 2001 it became the first in the world to offer a commercial Internet access service via optical fibre cable. It has capital and business ties with Sony Communications Network Corporation, supplying the cable infrastructure for Sony’s So-net Internet provider service, and SKY Perfect Communications, a cable and satellite broadcaster.

Founded in 1986 by entrepreneur Tetsu Fujimura, Gaga has since became a major film distributor, handling everything from Asian art films to Hollywood A product, including Chicago, Kill Bill, Hannibal, End Of Days and The Green Mile.