by Chris MaGee
It always seems to me that Shochiku is always trying to land itself the kind of huge blockbuster picture that a studio like Toho just seems to come up with effortlessly. Granted Shochiku released "Departures (Okuribito)" last year, a film that took festivals and awards ceremonies by storm, but now it looks like Shochiku may have another hit on their hands.
Back in August we told you about how the 2006 cell phone novel "Akai Ito (Red Thread)" was not only being turned into a feature film by Shochiku and "Densha Otoko" director Shosuke Murakami, but that it would also premiere as a television drama on Fuji TV. Since those two properties were simultaneously released on December 20th they've both been doing a booming business, with Murakami's film repeatedly holding its own in the top ten at the Japanese box office. Seeing that they've got the much sought after hit they've been looking for Shochiku now plans to release its story of a girl's first love and teen tribulations to five other East Asian countries. Starting with a premiere in Hong Kong in March "Akai Ito" will then wind its way through Macao, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. No word yet on when or if the film will show up in North America.
Thanks to Variety Asia Online for this story.