Avengers: Infinity War taking over almost all theater screens in South Korea has prompted the nation's government to introduce a new law that will prevent a single feature film playing on more than 40% of their total number of cinema slots.
The latest superhero flick isn't just raking sales in North America, it's also making waves in other territories having already nabbed $380 million overseas, one of is South Korea. Infinity War's total haul took 95% of the country's total box office since its debut last Wednesday or $39.1 million in the last five days. This relegated Intention - a documentary about the 2014 Sewol ferry tragedy, to earning just 1% of the total box office or $309,000, while local thriller True Fiction, which opened in 429 screens the same day as the Marvel offering, pocketed $288,000 in the entirety of its run thus far.
In a report from Variety, legislators from South Korea are looking to introduce new laws with regard to the division of theater screenings in the country following Infinity War taking over 85% of screens nationwide, taking over 978 CGV screens, 773 from Lotte, and 577 from Megabox. This resulted in the epic blockbuster pocketing almost $40 million which included an impressive $6.5 million haul on its opening day alone. It has also set a new record regarding opening sales in the IMAX and 4DX formats. While it's good business for the cinema chains and Marvel, this has ignited a discussion regarding rules and regulations that aim to prevent such kind of screen dominance.
Lawmaker Cho Seung-rae from the ruling party explained that a brand new law that would regulate these things is currently under review. Once it's officially approved and executed, it will limit the cinema chains to devote a maximum of 40% of their screens to one film. “The revised laws on promotion of film and video that are currently pending at the national assembly restricts conglomerates-owned multiplexes from allocating more than 40% of their screening slots to the same film. At this point, legal, institutional measures for screen monopoly seem necessary,” he said.
With such a huge fan-base, it was a given that Avengers: Infinity War would take over the majority of screenings all over the world during its opening weekend. The Marvel brand has a massive presence in South Korea specifically considering that the country has been a popular destination for MCU's location shoots with both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther having shot parts there. Further, the fact that it was one of the pit stops of the film's global press tour should've been an indication that it would be a force at the South Korean box office. Whether or not the cinema chains were playing the movie in less than half of their screens, devoting the remaining percentage to other flicks, if people opt to see it, they'll still see it. The restriction will only cause a drop in box office sales and that would ultimately be bad for the business.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019