You cannot go out on the street, take a walk through the main artery of the city and not find two or three posters of Frozen II. Disney’s latest animated film has raised $ 738 million after its second week in theaters, has broken new records on Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, thus beating The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and it does not seem that, at the moment, it is going to stop the flood. However, the film’s premiere has not been as well received in South Korea, where an NGO has activated legal mechanisms to denounce Disney for its monopolistic behavior.
The image last weekend in theaters in Seoul is representative of the reasons for the accusation: 88% of the box office was taken by Frozen II. Disney’s business expansion beyond the US and European markets is overwhelming. The NGO Public Welfare Committee (PWC), based in the South Korean capital, processed an administrative complaint for the government authorities to investigate a possible case of monopolistic conduct, since it held more than 50% of the market share for a few days, something that , supposedly, it should be illegal, but there is no final judgment or jurisprudence that certifies this.
“Disney has attacked the consumer, restricting their right to decide,” the NGO explained in a statement. “Normally the theater operators have power over film distributors, but when Disney enters the story changes. We suspect that the company asked to secure a percentage of the screens for its new film,” the letter continues.
Despite the harshness of the accusations, the country’s legislation does not agree on what to consider illegal conduct, beyond what may be more or less ethical. Probably this complaint will not go ahead (and even if it were to come out it would not be more than small change for the multinational), but it can set a precedent for local authorities to establish new decrees in order to close the screen quota of foreign products, since they endanger the success of national products, which have infinitely fewer possibilities of investing in promotional campaigns.
The premiere of Frozen II is just a reflection of the marketing power of large production companies. The story of Anna, Kristof, Olaf, Sven and Elsa, despite its childish tone, good intentions and technical quality, is surrounded by a dark halo for the South Korean consortium of anti-trust filmmakers, which urges the government to act, and not precisely to reduce the presence of foreign films – any work will always be welcome wherever it comes from – but to give independent filmmakers greater visibility and funding. Something that, incidentally, is missed everywhere.