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Korea’s Showbox to Co-Produce Neil Jordan’s ‘Widow’

Leading South Korean investor-distributor, Showbox is co-producing “The Widow,” Neil Jordan’s thriller film starring Chloe Moretz and Isabelle Huppert, alongside Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Ivanhoe Pictures.

“This co-production and investment [in “The Widow”] is a step beyond the partnership deal that Showbox signed with Ivanhoe Pictures in 2015,” said the Korean company in a statement. “This deal will help (Showbox’s) future expansion into production and investment in Hollywood.”

Set for a 2018 release, “The Widow” sees the story of a young woman who has a chance meeting with a mysterious widow who approaches her with malicious intentions. Jordan has credits including: “The Crying Game,” “The End of the Affair,” and “Interview With the Vampire.”

Showbox is also co-producing a romantic comedy, “Forever Holiday in Bali.” The film will be its first in Indonesia. Starring K-pop boy band MBLAQ’s Thunder, “Holiday” will be directed by Ody C. Harahap, who previously directed “Sweet 20,” CJ Entertainment’s Indonesian remake of Korean hit comedy “Miss Granny.” The movie follows a K-pop star who travels Bali with the help of an Indonesian college girl.

The company says it decided to co-produce and invest in the film as both the film’s genre (romantic comedy) and K-pop are enjoying popularity in Indonesia. As with Korea’s other film majors, CJ Entertainment and Lotte Cinema, Showbox plans to further expand its investment in local projects in Southeast Asia.

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“[We are] ambitious about taking abroad our know-how in developing hit contents. In order to do so, we have constantly put effort to secure stable amount of share in the global contents market. (…) Our ultimate goal is to become a global contents company that plans unique content packages and sets trend,” said Yoo Jeong-hun, CEO of Showbox.

Overseas expansion is seen as a necessity for the leading Korean film groups, which have expanded and dominate their domestic market. Both CJ and Lotte own cinemas in other parts of Asia and are adding production and distribution capacity to match. Korean market leader, CJ recently announced its own plans to become a global producer.

Showbox is responsible for this year’s biggest box office hit “A Taxi Driver,” which has scored over 12.2 million admissions and has a gross box office of $85.1 million. Starring Song Kang-ho and Germany’s Thomas Kretschmann, the film has also been selected as Korea’s foreign-language Oscar contender.

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