South Korean cinemas refuse to show Netflix's Okja

Director Bong Joon-ho's native country

Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 07 June 2017 13:01 BST
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Louise Thomas

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Three of South Korea's largest exhibitors - CJ CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox - are shutting Netflix's Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal-starring Okja out of their theatres.

It's a blow for the streaming service, which has been hyping the film recently, and occurs in director Bong Joon-ho's home country.

The exhibitors are upset with the distribution model for the film and won't play it unless Netflix budges.

CGV, the largest of the three, said screening Okja in theatres would damage the "distribution order" in the film industry and called for a three-week holdback from VOD.

Okja - trailer

Lotte Cinema said it would only show it if it doesn't appear day-and-date on Netflix, or else at a later date as a re-release.

Megabit is also against the idea of simultaneous theatrical and VOD release and said it will "watch developments on the issue before reaching a final decision."

Many exhibitors around the world see Netflix feature films as an existential threat, disincentivising people from going to the cinema.

Okja was booed as soon as the Netflix logo came up at its Cannes premiere last month.

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