SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean content provider CJ E&M has announced plans to release more than a dozen local movies in the international market every year by 2020, a bold move to focus on emerging markets with the South Korean movie industry reaching its saturation point.
Jung Tae-seong, the head of movie division at CJ E&M, one of the largest content companies in Asia, announced an ambitious vision on Wednesday at a press conference held at the Plaza Hotel Seoul, revealing the company’s intention to have its movie business focus on the international market, becoming a global movie production studio with plans to make films in over 10 different languages.
Last year, CJ E&M filmed nine movies in foreign countries, while the company on average distributes and invests in 10 to 15 films per year at home.
However, Jung’s announcement signals a shift in the content giant’s direction towards the emerging markets around the world, as the size of the movie industry at home has remained at around two trillion won for years.
South Koreans on average go to the cinema over four times a year, which is among the highest level in the world.
In addition to market saturation, the population of South Korean moviegoers in their 20s and 30s, who make up the biggest part of the target demographic, is decreasing, with the country facing an aging population.
As a result of the combination of the shrinking target demographic and market saturation, CJ E&M has struggled in recent years, dipping into the red during the last quarter of 2016.
After having spent a slightly better first quarter this year, the company again posted a deficit of 1.6 billion won during the second quarter, as many of the films CJ E&M was involved in failed to reach the break-even point.
“The success of CJ &M’s efforts to branch out into foreign markets will be a good measure of whether or not the South Korean movie industry can enjoy its second coming,” said Jung, who has been leading CJ E&M’s movie division since 2012.
Jung also argued that the South Korean movie industry should bank on the creativity of the South Korean film industry, which he believes will generate more opportunities to South Korean content creators.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)