Sanrio Establishes N. American Branch to Create Large-Scale Films, Animated Works

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Company aims to secure funding to create works to compete with Hollywood

Reito Hatoyama — chief operating officer of Sanrio, Inc. and managing director of Sanrio Company, Ltd. — revealed at an investor and earnings report meeting on Friday that Sanrio will establish an American branch, called Sanrio Pictures Entertainment, in June.

The new company will work to secure funding from outside of Japan to create large-scale animated works and films based on Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters. Sanrio Pictures Entertainment hopes to create animated works and films that will be able to compete with films made in Hollywood. The new company will also plan to make films based on characters from other companies.

Sanrio usually creates films and animated works in Japan with a budget of several hundred million yen (several million US dollars), but the new company plans to make works with a budget of around 20 billion yen (about US$164 million). The new company will also consolidate the film and animation operations.

Sanrio will also consider selling games and film-related goods.

The Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei reported earlier this month that Sanrio saw a net profit of just under 13 billion yen (about US$108 million) for the 2014 fiscal year, which ended on March 31. The newspaper noted that sales in the West were sluggish, but the company saw high profits in Asia.

Sources: Nikkei, Jiji Press (Link 2)

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