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Ko - production in Busan
  • Merry Christmas Becomes First Investor and Distributor Backed by Chinese Capital
  • by Pierce Conran /  Jul 10, 2018
  • Huayi Brothers Stakes New Venture from Former Showbox CEO

    Merry Christmas, the first Korean film investor, and distributor to be backed by Chinese capital, will kick off operations this month. Headed by former Showbox CEO YOU Jeong-hun, the outfit is financed by the Chinese entertainment giant Huayi Brothers.

    YOU Jeong-hun stepped down from Showbox earlier this year after steering the company responsible for hits such as The Thieves (2012), Assassination (2015) and A Taxi Driver (2017) for the past ten years.

    CEO YOO has stated that Merry Christmas will employ a hybrid method production, which will combine series and film techniques, specifically by partnering film directors with TV series writers. The company expects to release five to six projects annually, the budgets of which will amount to somewhere between KRW 30-40 billion (USD 27-36 million). YOU offered an example, whereby a 10-episode serialized show could be released on television until its two-hour finale, which would be made available in theaters. Beyond local productions, YOU has also stated Merry Christmas’ intent to engage in global co-productions.

    It is not the first time for Huyai to invest directly into the Korean market, following their acquisitions of one-quarter of the talent management giant SM Entertainment. Other Chinese majors that have skin in the game in the Korean market include HUACE FILM&TV, owning a piece of Next Entertainment World and the Wanda Dalian Group, buying into the VR and production company (and soon to be the distributor) Dexter Studios.
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