Credit: ABO Entertainment

The fourth film in the Ma Dong Seok-starring crime action franchise, The Roundup: Punishment, remains the box office champion for 14 straight days. However, its dominance has sparked concerns.

According to the Korean Film Council on May 8th, the movie has accumulated a total of 8,718,703 viewers. This is five days faster than the 8 million breakthroughs achieved by Exhuma and The Roundup. However, this dominance has raised concerns about the impact on the diversity of films available to audiences and their ability to make choices.

>> ‘The Roundup: Punishment’ Shatters Box Office Records, Draws Over 4 Million in First Week

The movie surpassed 80% of the screen share immediately after its release on April 24th. The screen share is the proportion of a film’s screenings out of the total number of screenings at a cinema.

This situation has persisted for 14 days since its release. On May 7th, The Roundup: Punishment attracted 148,811 viewers a day on 2,575 screens nationwide. In comparison, the second place The Fall Guy was screened on 709 screens, the third place Abigail on 28 screens, the fourth place The Last 10 Years on 200 screens, and the fifth place Kung Fu Panda 4 on 403 screens across the country. This highlights the frequency with which The Roundup: Punishment is being screened in theaters.

The films most affected by this situation are small-scale art films and independent films. Small films with limited distribution and promotion resources are not given enough screening opportunities and therefore struggle to find an audience. However, there is also an argument that if theaters reduce the number of screenings for popular films, they will ultimately suffer losses.

Some argue that limiting screens to popular films may restrict audience choice, potentially leading to a homogenized film industry and a decline in overall film diversity.

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