SEOUL, Jan.25 (Korea Bizwire) – Although January is usually a busy time at movie theaters, this year is different, and cinema owners are not happy that customers are staying away.
Under these circumstances, it was revealed that the Financial Services Commission (FSC), a government organization that issues financial policies and oversees financial institutions, asked finance companies to purchase large quantities of movie tickets.
Unlike the music industry or publishing industry in which the government established policies to stop hoarding practices, the movie industry does not have any regulations to prevent the practice.
Lim Jong-ryul, the head of the FSC, participated in the VIP pre-screening of ‘A Melody to Remember’, which was held at Megabox COEX. He participated because the hero of the movie, Lim Si-wan is the honorary ambassador of FinTech for the FSC, and promotes the government’s financial innovations.
Lim Jong-ryul brought literally all of his staff to the screening, even the accredited journalists associated with the commission. In addition, a booth promoting FinTech was set up in the corner of the theater.
Those in academic circles, the financial industry, and non-governmental organizations all responded that the actions of the FSC crossed the line. The Financial Consumer Agency saw the act of the FSC pressuring other organizations to buy movie tickets as a clear case of wrongful use of authority, and authorities are discussing reporting the matter to the prosecution.
Usually, ticket reservations and the number of viewers at the time of a film’s launch are the key factors that determine the success of a movie.
The CGV Research Center revealed that if 100 people watch a movie after reserving tickets before the opening, a maximum of 1,003 people will watch the movie because of the information the first 100 people spread.
Also, the center commented that if the 100 people who reserved the tickets are VIPs, an additional 1,611 people would watch the movie. As a result, movie distributors think of VIP marketing as a very important element in movie promotion.
A total of 10 CEOs from the financial world participated in the screening of the movie ‘A Melody to Remember’ as VIPs.
However, when the VIPs are figures with power and authority, instead of those who are in the public eye and create gossip, it often leads to the hoarding of movie tickets.
Theater officials commented that the line between right and wrong is thin. “The movie industry thinks of hoarding as a marketing means, not realizing it is an illegal act. Hoarding misleads the public and lowers the credibility of the industry,” an industry representative said.
In 2013, the government set regulations on the hoarding of music files online, and restrictions related to hoarding books were also established in the same year.
If caught hoarding, a penalty of less than two years in jail or a fine of less than 20 million won is to be imposed. Also, those who report business that hoard are eligible for a cash reward.
However, there are no policies or regulations to stop hoarding in the movie industry.
Government officials commented that there were no cases that stood out in the movie industry regarding hoarding. As a result, no policies or regulations have been established to stop the practice. However, authorities are planning to look into the matter and take measures to solve the problem.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)