South Korea Complaint Filed Over Monopoly of Disney’s ‘Frozen 2’

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On Sunday, the Public Welfare Committee (PWC), an NGO (non-governmental organization) based in Seoul, Korea, filed a complaint with South Korea’s Central District Prosecutors’ Office against the Walt Disney Company alleging that Frozen 2 occupied 88 percent of local screens on its opening day, which is reportedly a violation of Korea’s anti-monopoly laws.

The claim states that Frozen 2 violated the country’s antitrust act by showing on 88 percent of the screens across the country.

As of the publication of this story, Frozen 2 has earned $61.2 million in Korea. That amount brings Korea in as the film’s third-largest market worldwide behind North America ($287.6 million) and China ($90.5 million).

The PWC contends that Disney’s wide release of the film falls under a clause that defines any individual or company with over 50 percent of market share as a ‘market-dominant enterprise.’ Disney has ‘attempted to monopolize the screens and seek great profit in the short term, restricting the consumer’s right to choose,’ PWC’s complaint said.

National Assembly Representative Woo Sang-ho of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea floated a bill that states the percentage of any film being shown at any multiplex theater cannot surpass 50 percent during prime moviegoing hours, defined as between 1 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Korea’s large multiplex owners are reportedly opposed to the bill which is said to be pending for debate in their government. There is still some confusion within the Korean film industry regarding the methods used for the calculation of screen share use.

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 November 23 was 46.3 percent, not the 88 percent figure cited by PWC.

 

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