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Image Inks Deal With Bandai

5 Dec, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Image Entertainment inked an exclusive U.S. distribution agreement with Bandai Visual U.S.A., the North American unit of Tokyo parent Bandai Visual Co. Ltd.

Terms of the DVD deal were not available immediately, including schedule of titles, price points and release dates. It is also not clear if Chatsworth, Calif.-based Image also would distribute Bandai's extensive anime catalog via digital subsidiary Egami Media.

Bandai is among the top five anime DVD suppliers as far as titles released (62 in 2005), according to The DVD Release Report.

Founded in 1983, Bandai's catalog includes ground-breaking Japanese anime films, including The Wings of Honneamise, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Jin-Roh, Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, Cowboy Bepop: The Movie and Steamboy.

The company's portfolio also includes acclaimed live-action features Hana-Bi (1997), Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (2003) and Nobody Knows (2004).

Separately, digital subsidiary Egami signed a two-year agreement with BroadRelay, a Philadelphia-based media company catering to ethnic and non-English speaking U.S. residents. Under terms of the deal, Egami will make available its library to SIVOO, BroadRelay's pending Spanish-language pay-per-view movie channel. Initial Egami fare includes films by Luis Buñuel and the “Latinologues” series from Rick Najera.

In addition, Image signed a deal with urban brand VIBE magazine to produce and distribute up to three VIBE-branded music CDs per month beginning next year.

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