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Sony Pictures Resumes Direct Distribution in Korea

Jan 18, 2017
  • Writer by KIM Hyung-seok
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Returns to Korean Film Industry with SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

Sony Pictures once ended its direct movie distribution business in Korea in November 2014, but has restarted the business in 2017. Their first film will be Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is expected to be released in July this year.

Sony Pictures has resumed its distribution business in Korea even though it passed over the distribution of its movies to UPI, because it realized the importance of Korean film market again. A lot of Hollywood direct distributors entered Korean film market in the early 1990s after UIP started its direct distribution business in the late 1980s and they were booming for a long time. However, they gradually suffered as Korean films’ market share had increased in the 2000s. 

In the end, Sony Pictures founded Sony Pictures Releasing Buena Vista Film with Walt Disney Company in December 2006. Because market shares of two distributors decreased, they built co-distribution system to survive in the market. However, this cooperation was disbanded when Sony Pictures pulled out of Korea in 2014, and since then Walt Disney Company keeps doing well in the theatrical distribution market in Korea. 

UPI’s acting distribution business for Sony Pictures will be done with Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival which is due to be released in February. Meanwhile, it has not yet been fixed which film will be next to Spider-Man: Homecoming.
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