Frozen 2. Frozen 2.

A South Korean civic group has lodged a complaint with local prosecutors against the Korean unit of the Walt Disney Company, claiming that the company violated the country’s antitrust act by screening Frozen 2 on over 88% of the country’s movie screens.

According to a news report by Korean news agency Yonhap, The Public Welfare Committee (PWC) believes that Disney’s behavior constitutes a monopoly over the country’s movie market and is demanding a government probe into their activities. Their complaint says in part:

On Nov. 23, Frozen 2 had an 88-percent share of all screens and 16,220 showings, breaking the record set by Avengers: Endgame in the number of showings in the history of the Korean cinema. This is a case of one business occupying more than 50 percent of the market and constitutes a violation of the antitrust law.…[Disney has] attempted to monopolize the screens and seek great profit in the short term, restricting the consumer’s right to choose.

Frozen 2 may simply be the tipping point in a long-running battle between South Korean filmmakers and the country’s film industry conglomerates. Last week, the Cineastes Council for Anti-Monopoly, a group that represents Korean filmmakers, released a statement that said, “The screen monopoly is not a one-off case. The government has to tackle the winner-take-all cinema market.”

Ninety-three percent of the movie screens in S. Korea are controlled by just three conglomerates — CJ Group, Lotte Group, and Megabox. In the case of CJ, they own the country’s largest film distributor in addition to being an exhibitor, a conflict of interest that creates an imbalance in the types of films screened in multiplexes.

A bill is currently pending in the Korean government that would restrict the percentage of any film shown in multiplexes to under 50 percent during the prime moviegoing hours of 1-11pm.

Frozen 2 has earned over $60 million in South Korea since its release, making it the third-largest market for the film at the moment, trailing only the United States and China.

A story in The Hollywood Reporter questions the PWC’s methodology for claiming Frozen 2 occupied over 88% of screens. Per THR:

The metric used by PWC, as well as other film industry bodies, to measure screen share uses the percentage of screens showing a specific film at least once in the given day. But the other organizations, including the state-run Korean Film Council (KOFIC), calculate screen share by taking the total number of times a certain film was shown and dividing it by the total number of times any film was shown on that day. Using KOFIC’s measure, the screen share — or percentage of showings — of Frozen 2 on Nov. 23 was 46.3 percent, not the 88 percent figure cited by PWC.

Either way you cut it, that’s a lot of Olaf for one country.

Animation news you can use
Support independent publishing

Your membership will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you. Support Cartoon Brew for as little as $1 a week — the process is fast and easy.

Become A Member   

Latest News from Cartoon Brew