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Kay Hwang • Cinewelcome
Korean Market


Copyright Cartoon, the European Association of Animation Film Cartoon Master Postdam, Germany, November 2005

Kay Hwang is now CEO of Cinewelcome, which is the VOD service leader in Korea. On this website, more than 1,800 feature films (including more than 300 episodes of kids animation series) are serviced through internet and mobile devices. She is also in charge of the investment in dramas, movies, animations and games through the funds she is managing.

When did you start producing feature films?

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I am a beginner as a producer. I have produced one animation feature and one live action.
I handle production and distribution of our films in Korea. We are servicing the Video On Demand through internet. This is very important because new media, new technologies are one of the main aspects of animation. Also I handle the investment funds for both animation and live action. Our first co-production project will start next April.

How is evolving the market of Korean animation?

Thanks to the government support in 1999 there were a lot of animation products. They began to be released from 2001. There were ten released between 2001 and 2005. There is a mix of 2D and 3D. Only ten were co-productions, with Japan and North Korea.

Theatrical Korean Animation:

Year Title Producer Director Type Co-production Budget 2001 The King Toonipark Choongyong Lee, Richard S Kim 2D 2.5 m 2001 Turtle Hero Hahnshin Corporation Dukho Ki 2D 2.5 m 2002 My Beatiful Girl, Mari Ciz Entertainment Sungkang Lee 3D / Flash 3.5 m 2003 Oseam MAGO21 Backup Sung 2D 2.5 m 2003 Wonderful Days Tin House Moonsang Kim 2D + 3D + Miniature 6.5 m 2003 Elysium Big Film Jaewoong Kwon 3D 5 m 2004 Pirte Mateo Dongwoo Animation Geunsik Song 3D 3.5 m 2004 Hammerboy Character plan Taeguen Ahn 2D 3 m 2004 New Royal Secret Commissioner Daewon Shumura George 2D + 3D Korea Japan 3 m 2005 Empress Chung Koaa Film Seul Nelson Shin 2D North Korea n.a. Theatrical Korean Animation admissions:

Title Producer Theatres Admissions The King Toonipark - 10,807 Turtle Hero Hahnshin Corporation - 7,580 My Beatiful Girl, Mari Ciz Entertainment 17 54,404 Oseam MAGO21 15 145,000 Wonderful Days Tin House 17 337,000 Elysium Big Film 2 4,400 Pirte Mateo Dongwoo Animation 5 125,000 Hammerboy Character plan 7 47,502 New Royal Secret Commissioner Daewon 25 56,709 Empress Chung Koaa Film Seul 62 50,000 The Korean animation market is very tough, especially for domestic and European animation. Little Mermaid was the first film I distributed in the Korean market. I did the marketing and the next year, we did Beauty and the Beast. So I got experience of distributing and marketing animation features at that time. But things changed. Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast gained 800,000 admissions, but between 1992-95, figures were not very good. Ten years later, US Blockbuster animations are a huge hit.

Theatrical Foreign Animation 2003

Release date Title origin Distributor in Korea Rating Admission Korea Theatres Jan 10 Treasure Planer USA Buena Vista All 235,724 21 Jan 17 Metropolis Japan Columbia All 3,291 3 April 25 Pinciess Mononoke Japan Buena Vista All 195,630 26 June 05 Finding Nemo USA Buena Vista All 1,286,412 43 July 11 Sinbad USA CJ Entertainment All 1,305,603 45 Aug 08 The cat return Japan Buena Vista All 531,544 32 Oct 03 Cow Boy Bebop Japan Columbia PG12 2,745 3 Dec 19 Crimson Pig Japan Buena Vista All 37,960 18 Dec 24 Looney Tunes USA Warner Bros. All 46,200 22 2004 was a very good year. There were 14 features released, 4 Japanese, 4 US, 3 European and one Hong Kong. Among them 2 Danish films and a French one.

Theatrical Foreign Animation 2004

Release date Title origin Distributor in Korea rating Admission Korea Theatres Jan 16 Brother Bear USA Buena Vista All 352,691 32 Jan 30 L’enfant qui voulait être un ours Denmark Film Bank All 24,339 3 Feb 13 El Cid Spain Aura Entertainment All 6,004 3 Feb 26 The Lizzie Mcguire USA Buena Vista All 442 1 April 09 La Planete Sauvage France Baekdudaigan All 10,306 3 April 30 Laputa Japan Daiwon All 49,052 5 June 18 Shrek 2 USA CJ Entertainment All 3,300,533 85 July 09 Millennium Actress Japan Movies Entertainment PG12 6,028 4 Aug 06 Home on the range USA Buena Vista All 14,396 1 Sep 03 My Life as Mcdull Hong Kong Sponge All 2,807 3 Oct 08 Ghost in the Shell 2 Japan Cinema Service PG12 31,444 21 Dec 15 The Incredibles USA Buena Vista All 1,263,447 60 Dec 23 The Olar Express USA Warner Bros. All 374,400 40 Dec 23 Howl’s Moving Castle Japan Cinema Service All 3,015,615 62 2005 saw the arrival of Madagascar, and Robots.

Theatrical Foreign Animation 2005

Release date Title origin Distributor in Korea rating Admission Korea Theatres Jan 07 Shark Tale USA CJ Entertainment All 925,154 72 April 28 The Raccoon War Japan Daiwon All 21,061 1 July 14 Madagascar USA CJ Entertainment All 1,620,031 109 July 21 Shark Boy USA Sony All 39,943 15 July 28 Robots USA 20th Century Fox All 826,100 61 Aug 04 Steam Boy Japan Daiwon All 15,485 3 Aug 05 Valiant UK Buena Vista All 37,994 26 Sep 30 The Sponge Bob Movie USA UIP Korea All 60,000 6 Theatrical European Animation 2001 - 2005

Release date Title origin Distributor in Korea Rating Admission Korea Theatres 30.12.05 Kirikou France Buena Vista All 1,691 - 05.05.01 Pince & Princess France Baekdudaigan All 69,557 - 31.05.02 Shrerix Switzerland Feel in All 230 4 26.07.02 I’m a fish Denmark Sinabro All 17,483 13 30.01.04 L’anfant qui voulait être un ours Denmark Filmbank All 24,339 3 13.02.04 La Planete Sauvage France Baekdudaigan PG12 10,306 3 05.08.05 Valiant UK Buena Vista All 37,994 26 The Japanese animations were introduced form 1996. The Pusan international festival was the gateway for the Japanese films to Korea.

Who are the key players in Korea?

There are three major local distributors in Korea. CGI Entertainment is the right arm of Dreamworks, they have more than 50% of the market share. Most European films are arthouse. So they are in small theatres with small admissions. In 2000-2001, numbers could be incorrect because we only had computerized checking from 2003. When I did Wonderful Days (1997) there was no multiplexes. Most moviegoers were in their twenties and there were very few theatres. But video market was very big.

Admissions 2000 - 2004

Year Korean Movies MS Foreign Movies MS Millions Euros 2000 120.9 34.90% 225.1 65.10% 276.8 2001 260.9 49.80% 262.8 50.20% 419 2002 306.8 48.50% 325.9 51.50% 506.2 2003 382.3 53.30% 334.8 46.70% 537.7 2004 504.8 59.40% 345.0 40.60% 679.8 N° of theatres

Year Theatres Screens 2000 344 818 2001 309 977 2002 280 1,132 2003 302 1,451 2004 385 1,695 From 2000-2005, the market changed. The box office is more than three times in 2004 than in 2000. And Korean movies have more than 50% of the market share. Things are changing fast and growing thanks to the multiplex. The screens have doubled. Average price of a ticket is 5,6 euros.

Korean Box Office 2004

Title Origin Distributor Admissions The Passion of the Christ USA 20th Century Fox 2,532,700 Shrek 2 USA Cj Entertainment 3,300,533 Spiderman USA Columbia 2,367,704 Harry Potter USA/UK Warner 2,532,000 The Phantom of the Opera UK Cj Entertainment 2,006,880 Howl’s Moving Castle Japan Cinema Service 3,015,615 Chronicles of Maljuk Gori Korea Cj Entertainment 3,115,767 TaeGukGi Korea Korea Pictures 11,746,135 My Little Bride Korea Culture Cap 3,149,500 Ghost House Korea Cinema service 2,890,000 My Brother Korea Cj Entertainment 2,479,585 Eraser of my memories Korea Cj Entertainment 2,565,078 How big is the video market?

In 2004 there have been 11 million admissions in Korean movies. This has affected the video and TV market. Ten years ago, theatre had 30% but now the video takes less than 30%. The cost to the video shop is 18-20 euros and the rental cost is 1-2 euros. In DVD, the US blockbuster takes a lot but for Korean films they go to the theatre. Sell-through is less than 10%.

2004 Top VHS Top 10

Rank Title Publisher Origin N of sales 1 TaeGukGi KD Media Korea 53,003 2 Silmido Cinema Service Korea 52,000 3 Hwang San Bul Cinema Service Korea 44,342 4 Terminator 3 Cinema Service USA 41,200 5 Lord of the Ring Cinema Service USA 40,638 6 Scandal CJ Korea 40,500 7 Old Boy Star Max Korea 40,000 8 Shrek 2 CJ USA 39,000 9 Pirates of the Caribbean Walt Disney USA 39,000 10 Matrix Revolutions Warner Bros. USA 36,600 2004 Top DVD Top 10

Rank Title Publisher Origin N of sales 1 Lord of the Ring Spectrum DVD USA 130,000 2 Harry Potter Warner Bros. USA/UK 91,000 3 TaeGukGi KD Korea 65,000 4 Matrix Revolutions Warner Bros. USA 62,000 5 Kill Bill Spectrum USA 61,000 6 Troy Warner Bros. USA 47,000 7 Silmido Cinema Service Korea 41,000 8 The Day After Tomorrow 20th Century Fox USA 40,000 9 Spiderman II Columbia USA 40,000 10 The League of Extraordinary Gentelman 20th Century Fox USA 33,000 The major distributors have the theatres and the cable channels but not the video companies. There are 3 kinds of distributors, producer based, finance based and new media based. Korea telecom is the biggest telecommunications company in Korea and K is the mobile leader. They are starting the content business from this year. There main interest is animation, games and movies. So with the raising of a new big fund, everyone expects changes in the industry, a restructuring.
The government has aid for animation and digital projects. The amount is not big. Usually they invest less than 30% of the total project. You can have three or four funded together.

What are the co-production chances for Europeans?

Most of the producers are looking for co-productions. There are co-productions right now in TV series. Now we believe that we cannot do it alone and we have to work with other people.
There is a new phenomenon in Korea right now: the delocalisation. We give some work to China (the in-betweens for example). Some of the work can be recognised as a part of the co-production. Korea is keen to link up more with China and it will be very strong, especially in 2D.

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