While Netflix may have calculated how lucrative it is to fill the worldwide need for instant movie and TV gratification, the streaming service has yet to figure out how to get their movies into cinemas without controversy. The company’s ironclad day-and-date approach has seen almost every major movie chain in the United States refuse to work with them, as they believe having a movie stream at the same time it’s in theaters, doesn’t make economic sense. And its an issue that is following Netflix around the globe, and is flaring up again in South Korea, where their big summer release may not see in the inside of a multiplex.
Korea’s largest cinema chain CGV has announced they’re refusing to screen Bong Joon-Ho‘s “Okja,” unless Netflix agrees to push back the date when it will stream. “The simultaneous online and theater release goes against the order of the global film industry’s distribution structure,” CGV said in a statement (via The Korea Herald). “It not only destroys the ecosystem of the film industry, it is not in accord with fairness in regard to other film businesses and could cause severe confusion.”
CGV controls 39% of the screens in the country, and clearly, if they do block “Okja” it will have an impact. Their decision is also emboldening their colleagues to step up, with chains Lotte Cinema and Megabox also saying they’re considering withdrawing “Okja.” It looks like the next move belongs to Netflix, but if history is any measure, they are not easily swayed and will likely stick to their plans, theatrical release or not.
“Okja” arrives on June 28th.