CJ CGV, Megabox, Lotte Cinema to continue offering support to movie theaters

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CJ CGV, Megabox, Lotte Cinema to continue offering support to movie theaters

A multiplex in Seoul in late 2020, relatively empty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. [YONHAP]

A multiplex in Seoul in late 2020, relatively empty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. [YONHAP]

 
Korea’s three largest multiplex chains – CJ CGV, Megabox and Lotte Cinema – will continue to provide financial support to cinema branches that screen new films in March, according to the association of the three franchises on Thursday.  
 
The financial aid program, which was proposed in January and went into effect this month, aims to incentivize the screening of new films.
 
The movie theater chains will provide its directly managed branches with an incentive of 1000 won ($0.9) per audience member, the same amount as February. While non-directly managed branches are receiving 500 won per audience member this month, they will be excluded from the program starting March due to growing financial pressure.  
 
“Movie theaters are suffering great losses and financial difficulty due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Lee Chang-moo, head of the association of the three multiplexes, “but we decided to extend the financial aid program because there needs to be new releases for the movie industry to survive.” Lee also hoped that more promising Korean films set release dates as soon as possible, to “normalize the Korean film industry.”
 
Korean movies such as “New Year Blues” and “I” were able to be released in theaters during the Lunar New Holidays with the help of the program, as well as foreign film “Monster Hunter” (2020). “Mission Possible,” “Black Light,” and “Go Back” also set dates for their theatrical releases in February.
 
The aid applies to both Korean and foreign films, up to two weeks after their release. The incentive, based on the total audience during those two weeks, will be paid collectively along with additional financial support.  
 
Korea also loosened its social distancing measures for movie theaters on Monday, allowing the audience members to sit side by side. The relaxation of Covid-19 measures along with this financial aid program are expected to encourage new movies to hit local theaters.  
 
BY HALEY YANG   [yang.hyunjoo@joongang.co.kr]
 
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