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Netflix film brings moviegoers back to non-multiplex theaters

Netflix film brings moviegoers back to non-multiplex theaters

Posted June. 30, 2017 07:29,   

Updated June. 30, 2017 07:47

On Thursday when Okja was released, the electronic board of Daehan Movie Theater in downtown Seoul indicated that all tickets were sold out.

The 48.9-million-dollar Netflix original film directed by Korean director Bong Joon-ho was screened at 84 non-multiplex theaters (108 screens) in Korea due to the boycott by three multiplexes – CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox. As a result, small and mid-sized theaters, which were losing popularity, seem to be happy. “The number of audiences has more than doubled,” said a source from Cinecube, which also released the Netflix movie. “Given the nature of the theater, we had regular customers who want to see art films but now we expect the movie would attract a wider spectrum of audiences.”

Non-multiplex theaters are enjoying a rare popularity, while some complain about this. Koh Young-jae, head of the Association of Korean Independent Films and Videos, posted on a social media, saying, “Okja will attract people’s attention for more than a month, which means a shorter screening time for independent films which are about to be released.” A source from a film producer also said, “It remains to be seen whether other Netflix films will be released this way but our concern is that it would take way the few remaining movie theaters for independent and art movies.”

Sun-Hee Jang sun10@donga.com