Korean team to reel in foreign films

Hanwha, Daisy launch content fund

Korean conglom Hanwha has teamed with film trading company Daisy Entertainment to launch the leisure-to-chemicals giant’s second content fund.

The fund, which will invest 10 billion won ($10.2 million) over five years, will be the country’s first to focus on buying Korean rights to foreign movies.

Its first targets are 2929 Entertainment’s James Gray-helmed “We Own the Night” and Dimension Films’ “Superhero Movie,” to which Daisy has Korean rights.

Coin comes chiefly from two Hanwha subsids, ad agency Hancomm and Hanwha Venture Capital, plus Daisy and Hanaro Telecom.

Hanwha Group, one of the South Korea’s 10 largest congloms, is diversifying into communication and network service industries.

The first Hanwha cultural content fund was formed by Hancomm and seven other companies last year with $10.5 million.

Investing chiefly in Korean content, it bought rights to numerous slates including those of CJ Entertainment and Vantage Holdings. Pics included box office hit “The Chaser” and “Going by the Book.”

The second fund will invest 90% of its coin in rights to foreign films, while 10% will go to two Korean movies being developed by Hancomm, which has yet to unveil the projects.

“The film business should be capable of making profits, but these days the returns for Korean films are worse than foreign films,” Daisy prexy William Kim said. “This is a good opportunity to expand the market share for good foreign films in Korea.”

Daisy plans to use a quarter of the fund to co-invest in pics it is  buying while using the bulk of the capital to back titles being acquired by other distributors.

Hanaro Telecom, which was recently acquired by SK Telecom, gets exclusive rights to the movies for its IPTV service Hana TV.

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