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CJ ENM Acquires 4 Major Production Companies in 2020, Including Park Chanwook’s Moho Film

Jan 27, 2022
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
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BLAAD Studio, MMakers and Million Volt also Brought in Under CJ Banner

 

 

Extreme Job (2019)

 

Top Korean film studio CJ ENM bolstered its production line by acquiring majority stakes in a number of major production companies last year. The studio bought controlling interests in companies such as Director Park Chanwook’s Moho Film, BLAAD Studio, a new outfit led by director Kim Yonghwa, MMakers, a group set up by director Kang Jegyu, Kim Hyunseok, Lee Byoungheon and Cho Euiseok, and the animation company Million Volt, run by director Maeng Joogong.

 

As revealed by the local newspaper Hankook Ilbo, CJ ENM valued each company at around KRW 50 billion (USD 41.76 million), meaning that each company received a minimum of KRW 25 billion (USD 20.88 million) in capital. Industry sources also revealed that CJ ENM recently acquired another unnamed film company run by a director known for having reached over the vaunted 10 million viewer mark at the Korean box office.

 

CJ ENM plans to set up a large production company that will oversee a production pipeline fed by these acquired companies. Hit TV producer Na Youngseok (Hospital Playlist) is expected to join this new entity.

 

Moho Film has been responsible for the majority of Director Park’s celebrated output, while it also produced other projects, such as Lee Kyoungmi’s debut film Crush and Blush (2008) and Bong Joonho’s Snowpiercer (2013). Moho’s next film is Park’s latest project Decision to Leave.

 

Kim Yonghwa is known for forming the hit VFX and production company Dexter Studios, but while he still remains involved with Dexter, he also set up BLAAD Studio, which is responsible for his next film, the SF-drama The Moon (literal title).

 

MMakers was formed last by four of the industry’s biggest hitmakers - Kang Jegyu (TaeGukGi: Brotherhood of War, 2004), Kim Hyunsuk (I Can Speak, 2017), Lee Byoungheon (Extreme Job, 2019) and Cho Uiseok (Master, 2016).

 

These deals are among several similar purchases by major Korean entertainment companies, as studios seek to guarantee a steady stream of quality content as the local content market heats up. Rival company JTBC Studios has also made similar plays, having purchased companies such as Anthology, run by Director Kim Jeewoon and global star Song Kangho.

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