The world’s leading internet streaming video service, Netflix announced on Wednesday that it has acquired three films from South Korea’s Next Entertainment World.
Done through Content Panda, NEW’s international business division, the deal includes Psychokinesis (염력), director Yeon Sang-ho’s highly anticipated follow-up to blockbuster thriller Train to Busan (부산행), Yang Woo-seok’s espionage thriller Steel Rain (강철비), and Kim Hong-sun’s thriller The Chase (반드시 잡는다).
Netflix has a close working relationship with NEW in South Korea. Netflix acquired global distribution rights (except for South Korea) for disaster thriller Pandora (판도라) from NEW, and NEW handled the theatrical distribution of Bong Joon-ho’s Netflix production Okja (옥자) in the country. The latest announcement is the biggest deal yet between the two companies.
“Following Pandora, the recent partnership was made possible as both Netflix and NEW agreed on great contents,” said Jae-Min Kim, Head of Overseas Sales at Contents Panda. “We plan to get a head start in the global markets by securing more competitive contents in the future.”
Netflix’s press release did not specify the release schedule of the three films, but it will likely follow the distribution pattern of Pandora, which was released on Netflix as a “Netflix Original” three months after its theatrical release in South Korea. While Netflix specifically stated that Pandora would not be made available on the service in South Korea, the company did not mention that exception for the three films in its latest announcement.
In South Korea, local films are generally available for video-on-demand services within weeks of their theatrical openings.
The Chase and Steel Rain are set for theatrical release on November 29th and December 20th, respectively. Psychokinesis is tentatively scheduled for a February 2018 theatrical release, in time for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Last week, Netflix also announced that it acquired distribution rights for Jang Hang-jun’s Forgotten (기억의 밤) from Kiwi Company.
Meanwhile, Netflix continues to expand its television operations in Japan and recently began delving into original Chinese-language television series production in Taiwan. It has not announced film acquisition in any other Asian territory.