SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) – Tving, an online video streaming platform run by South Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM, has become a new option for South Korean films looking for on-demand releases after a slow theatrical airing amid the year-long pandemic.
Over the past year, the Korean film industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, has had to adapt its traditional theatrical release strategies to either direct video-on-demand (VOD) or hybrid versions. cinema and digital.
Many big-name blockbusters have chosen the first title in collaboration with the American streaming giant Netflix, which has seen a sharp increase in the number of subscribers in the country in recent years.
“Time to Hunt,” an action thriller movie directed by Yoon Sung-hyun, was the first Korean film to air direct on Netflix last year.
Since then, several other Korean films, including the sci-fi blockbuster “Space Sweepers” and the action thriller “Night in Paradise,” have made it straight to Netflix without a theatrical release.
In 2021, Tving opened up another way for Korean film studios and distributors to release their films in theaters and digital streaming at the same time.
The sci-fi action blockbuster “Seobok”, produced and distributed by CJ ENM, was released simultaneously in theaters and via Tving in April.
It was one of the most anticipated blockbusters in South Korea since last year due to its subject matter of the first human clone and its starring of two Korean favorites, Gong Yoo and Park Bo-gum.
After months of delays due to the lengthy COVID-19 pandemic, the expensive title with a budget of 16 billion won (US $ 14.2 million) became the first Korean film released by a major film company in take the two-track approach.
The number of people who saw “Seobok” in theaters reached 385,000 during its 18 days of theatrical release from April 15 to May 2. It became the second most viewed local film in 2021, following the action comedy “Mission: Possible”. which was seen by 444,000 spectators.
On Tving, the film was at the top of the popular movie charts for its first two weeks, according to CJ ENM.
The upcoming drama film “Happy New Year”, starring Han Ji-min and Lee Dong-wook, will also follow in the footsteps of “Seobok”.
In addition, the historical drama “The Book of Fish” will be released exclusively on Tving on May 20, three weeks after it made paid VOD services available on the Internet and Internet Protocol TVs on April 28.
The black-and-white film about an elite bureaucrat and scholar named Yak-jeon and his young friend Chang-dae has drawn 336,000 viewers since its theatrical release on March 31.