Front Row Filmed Entertainment and Muvi Cinema team up for new joint venture

Front Row Arabia will distribute international and regional films across Saudi Arabia

Independent film distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment and Saudi chain Muvi Cinemas have signed a joint venture agreement to form Saudi-based distribution company Front Row Arabia.

The agreement focuses on theatrical distribution of Western, Arab and Japanese anime films across Saudi Arabia. The first official film to release in the country under the new agreement will be Liam Neeson's The Marksman on January 21.

Muvi Cinemas which currently operates 103 screens in 10 locations with plans to expand to more than 600 screens by 2025 in more cities.

Front Row acquires over 100 titles a year for the Middle East and North Africa, 45 of which are distributed theatrically in the region. Upcoming releases include Sia's Music, Gintama: The Final, The Father, Flag Day, The Card Counter, Seal Team, Ari Folman's Where Is Anne Frank? and Studio Ghibli's Earwig and the Witch among others.

“We have been monitoring Front Row’s activity for quite a while and their diversity, innovative business model and future plans are very much aligned with our vision which includes distribution of Hollywood, local language content and beyond. We cannot wait to start this venture together and contribute to the expansion of the entertainment sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Sultain Alhokair, chief executive of Muvi Cinemas, in a statement.

Gianluca Chakra, chief executive of Front Row Filmed Entertainment, added: “Saudi Arabia is the growing market of the region and we are happy to add another valuable piece to our distribution network through this joint venture with Muvi Cinemas. This will offer our current and future partners the most efficient and complete all-rights distribution set up in the Middle East.”