Foreign film distributor closing down

Kyodo News

The Japanese office of United International Pictures will disband by the end of this year due to departures of major U.S. film studios from the London-based film distributor, UIP officials said Saturday.

United International Pictures Far East, based in Tokyo, has long dominated Japan’s foreign film market and chalked up some ¥40 billion in revenue in 1989.

But it is winding up its operations as three of the four major Hollywood studios, whose films UIP has distributed in theaters outside North America, have left or will leave the distributor soon, the officials said.

Cinema International Corp., UIP’s predecessor, was formed in 1970 by Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios. UIP adopted its current name in the early 1980s after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and United Artists joined in.