Korean cinemas hold back non-subsidiary films


A recent report released by the government revealed that the nation’s major multiplex chains, including CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema, have been discriminating against movies that are not produced by their subsidiaries.

According to the report released by the state-run Korean Film Council, theaters are required to open tickets for all the films they screen at least a week before the release. Industry heads agreed to cooperate on the matter by signing the “Declaration of Cooperative Growth for Korean Film” in July, along with the film division of the Culture Ministry.

CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema, however, did not follow up on the agreement. Tickets for a total of 293 films produced by small film houses did not open until six or fewer days before the release date at the two multiplex chains, said the report. The two chains screened a total of 546 films produced by small film houses.

Tickets for a total of five films were only available for purchase on the day of the release at CJ CGV, while the same happened for 17 films at Lotte Cinema.

Meanwhile, the two chains have been opening tickets early for the films produced by their subsidiaries, Lotte Entertainment and CJ E&M, in an attempt to draw more viewers. Tickets for movies produced by CJ E&M opened at an average of 14 days ahead of their releases, while tickets for Lotte Entertainment films opened at an average of 13 days prior to their release at Lotte Cinema.