SONY PICTURES Studio has set up its own film distribution unit called “Sony Pictures Entertainment” for Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore after splitting from Walt Disney Studios.
“We have enjoyed our mutual relationship for 20 years since 1997 when we joined hands to establish a joint venture to distribute and market theatrical motion pictures in this market,” said Rachot Dhiraputra, managing director of Sony Pictures Entertainment Thailand.
“However, the theatrical market in Thailand has rapidly expanded over the past five years. While each of the studios has benefited from the market’s growth, it also means that the opportunity prompted each of us to inject more film titles into the market.
“It started to challenge the company – how one team can cope with so many different approaches in terms of marketing and distribution.
“While both parties continued to be treasured with 20 years of marriage, it came to a point where both studios agreed to part for the greater good,” he said. “We are not new to this theatrical business,” he said.
After 20 years with Sony Pictures becoming one of the key players in the market, the company has seen so many opportunities left for a film distributor to explore or help grow Thai cinemas.
“There is a lot of room for expansion particularly in provincial markets in Thailand, and we have witnessed more footprints with both key exhibition partners (Major Cineplex and SF Cinemas) tapping into that playground over the past three years.
“As a film distributor, we will continue to support their growth as much as we can because it will enhance the market cap of the theatrical business in this market,” he said.
Despite the recession, and ongoing challenges, such as piracy and Internet penetration, the company believes cinema-going is still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment for Thais.
“The Thai people go to see movies not just for fun, but it is part of their lifestyle.
“As long as both distributors and exhibitors can join forces to find the right path to engage with today’s moviegoer, then the film business should not only survive, but also sustain our growth into the future,” he said.
This year, various kinds of movies have been launched by the company to entertain Thai movie fans.
“Spiderman Homecoming” was the big first blockbuster for Sony Pictures in the beginning of July and generated huge income of Bt265 million, the highest of the Spiderman franchise.
It also broke the big rating rated movie called “2012”, and is going to be the highest income-earner of all time for Sony Pictures.
2017 is deemed as the first year for conducting business to support its strategy for marketing and distributing the works of its parent in the US.
Sony Pictures Thailand has targeted box-office sales of over Bt800 million with 19 quality movies.