Celestial reaches for Apple
By Patrick Frater and Stephen Cremin
Thu, 09 August 2012, 10:25 AM (HKT)
Hong Kong's Celestial Pictures Ltd 天映娛樂有限公司 has become one of the first local film content owners to join the Apple's iTunes Store within Asia.
Celestial, which owns the 760-title library of Shaw Bros films, has kicked off with three titles: Behind the Yellow Line 緣份 (1984) (pictured), The 36th Chamber of Shaolin 少林三十六房 (1978) and Out of the Dark 回魂夜 (1995).
In July, Apple unveiled updated local versions of the virtual store with music and video content in Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Still notably absent from Apple's mix of territories with access to video content are China, India, Indonesia and South Korea. Movies had previously been made available in the local editions of the iTunes store in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
"This is an open-ended agreement with iTunes," said Celestial's director of distribution Gigi KO 高慧芝. "We have plans to debut 8-20 titles on a monthly basis."
In Hong Kong, the films can be licensed for 48-hours for HK$18 (US$2.30) or licensed indefinitely at HK$78 (US$10.00). They are currently not available in HD formats. The films are in Cantonese with English and traditional Chinese subtitles.
The three films became available on other regional stores later in the day, also in Cantonese and with traditional Chinese subtitles only, even on the Thailand store.
In Taiwan, rentals are at the significantly lower price of NT$40 (US$1.35), rising to S$3.98 (US$3.20) in Singapore. In both territories, the sales price is comparable to Hong Kong at NT$290 (US$9.70) and S$12.98 (US$10.40).
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