The deal further underlines CJ’s strategy of pan-Asian expansion.
“Touch the Sky” (aka “Tae Kob Fah Cha-lui 2015”) is a contemporary light drama aimed at teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15-23. It is a remake of 1988 hit “Odd Couple” (aka “Cha-lui”) about two young Thai men who dream of becoming singers in Bangkok. The new version transposes the entire story to South Korea where the majority of the location shootings took place.
The cast is headed by popular young Thai actors including Nachat “Nicky” Juntapan, Mek “Jessi” Mekwattana, and Nichkhun Horvejkul, a Thai member of K-pop boyband 2PM.
The two companies are investing THB60 million ($1.83 million) they said at a presentation in Bangkok on Monday. The film is expected to get a theatrical release in Thailand in mid April, in time for Thai new year celebrations (Songkran).
“The local film industry has not been very successful and is quite slow. [To revitalize], we saw a need to partner up with a foreign company with potential,” said Sangar Chatchairungruang, CEO of Transformation Film. The company is looking to “Touch the Sky” to generate at least THB100 million ($3.05 million), said Chatchairungruang.
“We hope this partnership will lead to a long-term relationship […] We see potential in Thai film-makers, and many Thai films have been recognized internationally. With our strong distribution network in China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and the US, this would be a good chance for Thai films to be seen more overseas,” said Jeong Tae-sung, CEO for CJ’s film division, according to Thai press reports.
CJ Entertainment has expanded to developing parts of Asia including China and Southeast Asia. Its CJ-CGV chain is the biggest in Vietnam, while its Blitz circuit is the second largest in Indonesia. Last week it emerged that CJ-CGV had become the tenth largest exhibitor in China. Production activities have usually followed.
“20, Once Again,” a remake of last year’s Korean hit “Miss Granny” was co-produced by CJ and was last week’s number one film in China. Its co-production “Let Hoi Decide” recently became Vietnam’s highest grossing local film.