Magazine article Variety

Prod'n Glut, Dwindling Profits Put Squeeze on Indie Players

Magazine article Variety

Prod'n Glut, Dwindling Profits Put Squeeze on Indie Players

Article excerpt

SEOUL

2007 has been something different for Korea's indie distributors - and not in a good way.

The first quarter has seen overall admissions down 12% from 2006 (which was a banner year), and the Hollywood majors' strong summer lineup has set many indies running for cover. One exception is Cinema Service, seen to have a particularly strong lineup of local films.

Drama "The Son" went out opposite "Spider-Man 3," Lee Chang-dong's "Secret Sunshine" will open opposite "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," and high-profile period drama "Hwang Jinyi" goes out together with "Shrek the Third."

Meanwhile, the whole economics of producing and releasing local films in Korea has been called into question, due to overproduction and dwinding profits.

With intense pressure from investors to reduce costs, many distributors of local films have started a campaign to lower P&A expenditures. This is being realized partly through a reduction in what is deemed unnecessary marketing (advance press conferences, VIP screenings), and partly through striking fewer prints and encouraging longer runs in theaters. …

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