Showbox closes Motion 101

Production arm to shut down after 20 months

Korea’s Showbox is closing its production shingle Motion101 at the end of the month after just 20 months.

The sudden decision has shocked the local industry. Only last month, Motion101 announced it was developing a dance movie with Park Jin-young’s JYP Entertainment that was to promote Korean Wave star Rain (aka Jeong Ji-hoon).

Sources at Motion101 offered no explanation for the decision.

The shingle was established in August 2006 by Showbox parent Mediaplex, at the time Korea’s largest movie conglom, to boost inhouse production.

Mediaplex provided 80% of the $2.6 million startup capital and teamed with stock market-listed IT company Innet, which put up the rest of the coin.

Since then, Motion101 has been developing $15 million sci-fi actioner “Fist,” from helmer Park Kwang-hyun (“Welcome to Dongmakgol”). But there have been internal disagreements within Mediaplex concerning support for the title.

The once-booming Korean film industry has been suffering of late. Last year, Mediaplex sold Megabox, Korea’s largest multiplex chain, to Australia’s Macquarrie.

Industry observers suggest that Motion101’s sudden closure may be a move by Mediaplex parent company Orion Group to cut its entertainment business losses.

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