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Korea’s ‘Monstrum’ Scores Rare Sales Deal in China

South Korean creature movie, “Monstrum” was licensed for distribution in China. The move comes after two years in which Korean entertainment has been unwelcome in the Middle Kingdom.

The sale of the film, to Star Alliance Movies, was announced by sales agent Finecut. It also inked a deal with Singapore-based Clover Films for release of the film in Hong Kong and Macau.

Directed by Huh Jong-ho, “Monstrum” is said to be based on genuine records made during the Joseon Dynasty of a mysterious monster creature. The film will release in Korea from this week (Sept. 12) through Lotte Entertainment. Clover will release it in Hong Kong in October.

A de facto ban on Korean entertainment content took effect from mid-2016, as a result of political differences between China and Korea. The Chinese government was deeply concerned by Korea’s decision to allow American THAAD missile defense systems to be stationed on its territory.

The sudden freeze meant Korean TV shows and music acts were dropped by broadcasters and streaming companies, and films ceased to be imported for theatrical release. Co-productions were discouraged and some Korean post-production companies with offices in China repatriated staff.

Particularly hit was Lotte, which agreed to lease land to the Korean government for THAAD. Lotte sold its supermarket division in China, though it managed to hold on to its cinema chain.

“Monstrum” stars Kim Min-myung and Lee Hye-ri, with production by Taewon Entertainment. It was previously licensed to distributors in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, India, Indonesia, Malaysia & Brunei, North America, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K., and Vietnam.

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