Bandai Visual - Image Entertainment Announcement

Dec 6th 2005
IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT AND BANDAI VISUAL USA SIGN NORTH AMERICA DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT FOR JAPANESE ANIMATION PROGRAMMING

Image to Release “Limited Collector's Edition” Box Sets of Mamoru Oshii's Classic Japanese Animation Films Patlabor 1 and Patlabor 2

CHATSWORTH, Calif., December 6, 2005 – Image Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISK), a leading independent licensee, producer and distributor of home entertainment programming in North America, today announced the signing of a North America distribution agreement with Bandai Visual USA Inc., the newly established US subsidiary of renowned Japanese animation producer and distributor Bandai Visual Co.,Ltd

The initial terms of the distribution agreement call for Image to exclusively release both a newly remastered standard DVD version and a limited collector's edition box set for each of two of the most highly regarded Japanese animation (“anime”) films ever produced in the history of the genre, Patlabor: The Movie and Patlabor 2: The Movie. The street date for both versions of Patlabor: The Movie will be April 25, 2006 followed by both versions of Patlabor 2: The Movie in the summer of '06. Additional titles are currently being discussed between the parties and will be added to the distribution agreement by amendment.

Bandai Visual USA, based in Torrance, California, will oversee the production, creative design and manufacturing of the programming released under this agreement with Image handling all North America sales, marketing and distribution responsibilities. The films will be released in North America under a newly formed Bandai Visual label called HONNEAMISE, named after the 1987 animation film that Bandai Visual first produced.

Patlabor and Patlabor 2 are directed by Mamoru Oshii, who rose to prominence internationally with the production of his award winning Ghost in the Shell. Mr. Oshii's distinct cinematic style has proved influential to filmmakers all over the world, including Hollywood. Mr. Oshii's two most recent films, Avalon (2001) and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004), were selected to be shown in the main section of the Cannes Film Festival.

Bandai Visual USA is currently producing extra materials for the newly mastered DVD releases of Patlabor 1 and Patlabor 2. The limited collector's editions will include such items as exclusive package illustrations by Yutaka Izubuchi, remastered 5.1 channel audio, new English-dubbed audio tracks, a making of documentary, Japanese trailers and TV commercials, the complete 300-page original storyboard drawn by the director Mamoru Oshii with English translation, and a second book which includes a full collection of past interviews, articles, artwork and drawings. The final release details of the Patlabor films will be made available early next year.

Akio Maeda, chief executive officer of Bandai Visual USA, stated of Image, “Getting to know the people at Image, we are struck by how the two companies followed similar paths over the past twenty years. We feel there is a true kinship in our corporate cultures and we are looking forward to building a strong, long-term relationship with them.”

Mr. Maeda continued, “Image's sales and distribution strength in the marketplace provides Bandai Visual USA with all the elements necessary to achieve success in North America.”

Chief operating officer of Image Entertainment David Borshell said, “Bandai Visual is the recognized worldwide leader in the development and production of Japanese animation. Over the years they have built an impressive and sought-after catalog of high-profile animated films. This agreement further expands Image's diverse library of exclusive content and immediately gives us credibility at retail as a supplier of Japanese ‘anime’ programming.”

Mr. Borshell continued, “We're honored to have been selected by Bandai Visual USA as their North American distribution partner and will work very hard to ensure the success of this new venture.”

About Image Entertainment:

Image Entertainment, Inc. is a leading independent licensee, producer and distributor of home entertainment programming in North America, with approximately 3,000 exclusive DVD titles and over 200 exclusive CD titles in domestic release and approximately 300 programs internationally via sublicense agreements. For many of its titles, the Company has exclusive audio and broadcast rights and, through its subsidiary Egami Media, Inc., exclusive video on demand, streaming video and download rights. The Company is headquartered in Chatsworth, California, and has a domestic distribution facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information about Image Entertainment, Inc., please go to www.image-entertainment.com.

About Bandai Visual USA Inc.:

Bandai Visual USA Inc. was established in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Visual Co.,Ltd with a mission to facilitate stronger, more active involvement in positioning, marketing and distribution of Bandai Visual programs in North America. From its base in Torrance, California, Bandai Visual USA seeks to form new alliances and reinforce existing ties in an effort to strengthen Bandai Visual's international presence as a producer and content provider in the ever expanding and diversified specialty programs market.

About Bandai Visual Co.,Ltd:

Bandai Visual Co.,Ltd, founded in August 1983, is a Japanese company that develops, produces and distributes film, TV and home entertainment media. As a pioneer of the Japanese animation scene Bandai Visual has constantly held the top market share in the genre and continues to lead the market. Bandai Visual has also proven its expertise in creating and delivering quality home entertainment media packaging in Japan, preempting trends of the current DVD market relating to extras and bonus materials. Using such key strategies, Bandai Visual hopes to expand and emulate its success in North American and other international markets. Bandai Visual Co.,Ltd is listed on the 2nd Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information please refer to http://bandaivisual.co.jp/e/.

About Honneamise:
Honneamise (pronounced “Oh-Nay-A-Miss”) refers to a kingdom located in an imaginary planet similar to earth. That kingdom became the setting for the first-ever Bandai Group film production “Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise,” back in 1987. The production was the first foray into professional film making for a group of young, then-unknown creators eager to turn their dreams into reality. Not surprisingly, many of them have since gone on to become top creators in their chosen fields. “Wings of Honneamise” has been released worldwide and continues to be appreciated to this day as a groundbreaking symbol of excellence.

Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release may contain forward-looking statements which are based on the Company's current expectations, forecasts and assumptions. In some cases forward-looking statements may be identified by forward-looking words like "would," "intend," "hope," "will," "may," "should," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "continue," or similar words. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from the Company's expectations, forecasts and assumptions. These risks and uncertainties include risks and uncertainties not in the control of the Company, including, without limitation, the current economic climate and other risks and uncertainties, including those enumerated and described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which filings are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Unless otherwise required by law, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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