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Major Korean theatre chains refuse to screen ‘Okja’

PUBLISHED : June 16, 2017 - 14:18

UPDATED : June 16, 2017 - 14:18

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[THE INVESTOR] Megabox has decided not to show internationally acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon-ho‘s Netflix film “Okja” following the steps of two other major cinema chains, movie industry sources said on June 16.

“We reached the conclusion after much discussion that it‘s hard to accept a plan to simultaneously release the movie on Netflix and in movie theaters,” a Megabox official said. “We informed Next Entertainment World of our final position,” it said, referring to the movie’s local distributor.

With the latest decision, the international action film was confirmed to be released only in non-multiplex theaters June 29. In South Korea, three major multi-screen chains -- CJ CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox -- dominate more than 90 percent of box-office ticket sales.

As of June 15, a total of 66 smaller theaters around the country have decided to screen the movie, and the number will continue to rise till the release day, according to NEW.

The debate first surfaced during the 70th Cannes Film Festival last month where “Okja” was one of the two Netflix titles competing in Cannes for the first time, along with Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories.” But after a strong protest from French movie theaters, Cannes changed its rules to exclude films without a commitment for a French theatrical release from next year.

By Alex Lee and newswires (alexlee@heraldcorp.com)

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