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OPINIONScreen Monopoly
The Chungdae Post | 승인 2016.12.17 09:10|(256호)

Agree

Choi Ha Jung + Freshman, Department of English Language and Literature

   Modern men are always racing against clock, so they are barely able to enjoy their hobbies. Because of this reality, the movie industry gets bigger. Also, more people are not satisfied with only watching passively, but are trying to understand films in their own way. And the issue of “Screen Monopoly” is one of the controversial topics that people would like to talk about. I am one who believes that screen monopoly is a natural phenomenon. Movie is a part of literature and of course it is an art. But movies these days are a part of an industry, which also has the characteristic of marketability. It is quite a simple principle - the same as that of the products we buy. If a brand gets popular, demand for it increases, and thus a bigger amount of the product will be produced and sold. It is never about ignoring the minority’s taste. But there is certainly a big problem if we see it merely as a “coercive monopoly”. People need to realize allocating relatively non-popular movies at the prime time of theaters is a loss for the audience, the distributor, and the theater, too. Birth of ten million-viewed films or blockbuster films, which required the investment of billions of dollars, is rare. We find them once a year or several years. If all those films were the only ones played in theaters, it might bring quite a problem in the movie industry. But even such movies will be ignored if they fall short of their expectations. Eventually, those films will show up in fewer theaters or, close down very soon. Don’t you think it just shows that all the phenomena are caused by the audiences’ choice? Because the audience wanted to watch, the supply has offered. As time goes by, Korean movies are getting an increasing number of viewers internationally. In the process of its growth, one important factor was the release of hugely successful films, including ‘Monster’ and ‘Myeongnyang’.  Of course, it is important to give opportunities to various movies. But we have to know the priority: what is more important. I think now, it is the time that we have to focus on developing our movie’s quality and advertise them internationally by giving them more chances to play in domestic theaters. With some reasons I have shown already, I want to say once more that “Screen Monopoly” is not only for the film companies’ profit, but also for us and our country.

Lee Eun Sol + Freshman, Department of English Language and Literature

  Monopoly and oligopoly of movie screens are natural phenomena in Korea, a capitalist country. After its colonial history and the following distribution of many financial assistances from other countries, monopoly and oligopoly have occurred and continued for a long period in an attempt to develop the country as fast as possible. This phenomenon has happened in many parts of Korea. According to the results that Market Structure has come up with through investigation during the Fair Trade Commission in 2013, there were 56 monopolies and oligopolies in cars, cell phones, sugar, beer, cigarettes, and semiconductors. The Korean economic market is operated by the market principle of a capitalist country, which is to pursue profits. Monopolies and oligopolies are caused by the companies’ natural economic activities that are geared towards achieving their goals, and are thus reasonable. So it is with the movie industry. Furthermore, the movies that occupy a lot of theaters do not always succeed. For example, ‘Asura : The City of Madness’ and ‘Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children’ were released on the same day, but ended up with opposite results. The former was distributed by CJ Entertainment, the biggest distributor in Korea, while the latter was distributed by the 20th Century Fox Korea, which is quite unknown to the public. Moreover, the former was shown at nearly three times more theaters than the latter. However, the recent number one in the Korean box office is the latter, as it has been attracting public attention. Comparing these two recent movies shows that the public chooses movies based on their preferences as well as on word of mouth, not on the number of theaters which show that particular movie. To sum it all up, the monopoly and oligopoly of screens are natural and should not be considered a problem just for taking up screen time at the bulk of theaters.

Disagree

Kim Seo Rim + Sophomore, School of Business

  When going to a theater, it is sometimes easy to choose movies that are playing at most multiplexes. What these films have in common is that they are owned by famous large distributors or filmmakers. Before the movie’s release, they conduct various expensive promotions. Through this exposure to the audience, they can take the advantageous position in the film industry. Moreover, CJ E&M’s movies are showing at the CGV theaters, and Lotte Entertainment’s movies are showing at the Lotte Cinemas. Because they own a lot of theaters, these enterprises attract more people than others. Here are several problems caused by this. First, the right to choice is violated. The audience has different tastes and wants to see movies of various genres. However, there is little opportunity for diverse films to be screened, especially independent and art films. Only a few theaters play such films, and the showing times are in the middle of the night or early in the morning, which limits the number of viewers. Thus, people have no choice but to choose mainstream movies. Second, the diversity of films decreases. Most of the top listed movies this year had spectacular actions or CG in order to stand out. To increase the number of viewers, one must make commercial movies. Therefore, to be successful in the box office, filmmakers make movies that are different from their original ideas. Thus, the diversity of films is declining. To solve these problems, other countries have announced policies to counteract screen monopoly. USA’s Paramount and France’s Screen Fair Share are trying to reduce this problem. Also, Korea is trying to improve as well by creating things such as the CGV Art House, movie theaters that play diverse films, and so on. I hope Korea makes a policy about screen monopoly like USA and France, so that we can enjoy a various selection.

Kim Yeong Tae + Sophomore, Department of English Language and Literature

  Recently in the movie industry, there have been film distributors who own a large number of theaters. This is a problem and even a failure on their part. For example, one of the biggest distributors, CJ Entertainment, owns CGV, which shows movies and sells beverage or snacks. Through this ownership, CJ has been criticized because many of their theaters showed only specific films and thus resulted in them monopolizing. These problems are a hurdle in the growth and development of the movie market. Let us observe the effects of this phenomenon more in detail. At first, when we choose a movie, the possibilities of choice become narrow. If only specific movies are allowed to be played at most of the theaters, other film makers do not have chances to show their work, and it makes it hard to find theaters in which their films are played. Thus, the audience only has a few choices for their entertainment. Second is that this alienates some producers. Financially poor distributors naturally get kicked out of the movie market. If small firms or producers disappear, there will be only one or two huge firms that will dominate the movie market. So, the competence in the market will be lost. This non-competence situation brings about monopoly. This will hinder the efficiency of this market. The last cause is that this does not create the ideal movie market. If the small firms or producers file for bankruptcy or break down, they will cease to produce altogether from that point onward. So, we lose the chance to be able to see many movies that would have been made otherwise. This poor range of choices will impede the development of the movie industry. Therefore we need to supervise and oversee the bad things in the movie market. The government should pass a bill to regulate this problem, and we, the audience, should know that there are more options besides the mainstream movies available in theaters.

 

The Chungdae Post  -

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