Walt Disney Company is facing complaints for violation of South Korea's antitrust act after it monopolised local screens during and after the opening day of "Frozen 2."
South Korea's domestic movie industry is not happy with how Disney monopolised movie theatres with the release of "Frozen 2." The Public Welfare Committee, in its complaint filed with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office on Sunday, revealed that Disney breached the country's monopoly laws by showing the film to 88 percent of local screens two days after it opened on Nov. 23. It reportedly also played in theatres 16,220 times during opening day alone.
Disney allegedly aimed to earn more profits in a short span of time and in so doing, limited viewers' choices and broke the antitrust law. The suing committee called it "a case of one business occupying more than 50 percent of the market and constitutes a violation of the antitrust law."
Moreover, "Frozen 2" stole the limelight from local media. It knocked off director Chung Ji-young's "Black Money" at the top spot of the box office. He has since suggested that Hollywood films should be shown in fewer screens for a long period of time in South Korea so as not to monopolise the domestic movie industry.
Likewise, a group of filmmakers who call themselves the Cineastes Council for Anti-Monopoly has urged the government to tackle the issue aggressively.
"The screen monopoly is not a one-off case. The government has to tackle the winner-take-all cinema market," the group said, as quoted by The Telegraph.
South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism is looking into imposing a cap on the share of screens that a film can occupy. Multiplex cinema owners have reportedly voiced concerns against a quota system and reasoned that they should meet the demands of the viewing public instead.
"Frozen 2" has earned $61.2 million in Korea on its opening day alone. It is the third-largest global market following North America ($287.6 million) and China ($90.5 million). Over eight million South Koreans have seen the film including the 2.15 million that saw it open in theaters. The Disney film has now earned $742 million and is seemingly following in the success of its predecessor which earned $1.29 billion worldwide.