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Megabox to screen a Netflix film

Oct 23,2019
Megabox will screen Netflix’s upcoming film “The King” starting today before the film is released on Netflix on Nov. 1, the theater chain announced on Tuesday.

The theater chain is the first of the three major movie theater companies in Korea to screen a Netflix-produced film. Until now, CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox have boycotted Netflix films due to the fact that they have shorter holdback periods compared to the conventional method of releasing films in theaters.

In the film industry, a holdback period is the amount of time it takes for a film to be transferred to other forms of distribution. Traditional films usually have a two-to-three week holdback period in which the theater chains hold the sole distribution rights before the films are circulated on other distribution forms, such as video on demand.

But some have criticized the theater chains for being averse to change.

Megabox seems to have opened doors for Netflix films after taking heed to such criticism.

“The local OTT (over-the-top) market is going through radical change while the competition grows more fierce,” an insider at Megabox said. “We made this decision to respond to the needs of our audiences who want to see OTT content with better screen and sound qualities.”

The theater chain is also deliberating whether to screen other Netflix films, such as “The Irishman,” set to be released on Netflix on Nov. 20, “Marriage Story” (Nov. 27) and “The Two Popes” (Dec. 11).

Meanwhile, “The King” which was screened at this year’s Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) stars Tomothee Chalamet as freewheeling prince Hal who gradually transforms into a King that must bear the burden of his chaotic country on his shoulders.

By Lee Jae-lim