“The Battleship Island” is a movie that centered people’s attention even before its release, due to its flashy cast of famous actors and interesting plot to look forward to. While it ranked number one in the box office, bringing an audience of 970,000 on the first day of its release, the movie is also receiving harsh criticism for its monopoly over cinema screens. Behind its amazing record lies the disturbing fact that the movie dominated 2027 screens out of the total 2728. The monopoly demonstrates the fundamental problem that it infringes on viewers’ rights to choose what to see and severely threatens the diversity of films.
In response to the criticism, the cinemas are claiming that it is the result of reflecting "the needs of the audience," by taking into account people's reservation rate and interest. In spite of their excuse, it went too far. Without question, the audience has the right to choose which movie to enjoy. In the case of "The Battleship Island," it is no different from a situation where the movie is already selected for people. On top of that, the movie cinema is one of the places that reflects culture. As one of the important aspects of culture is diversity, cinemas should also contribute to fostering diversity of culture. However, this does not happen in reality. In the Korean movie industry, production and distribution are mostly worked out through the same major companies. As a matter of fact, the distribution of running screens is not put in a fair way and an ugly portrait of this phenomenon is screen monopoly. Therefore, diversity films are having a harder time to be delivered to the public.
What is most crucial in this current state is the role of the audience. Whether it was their will or not, if they feel like having to follow the selection made by the forces of cinema capital, they should be critical about the issue. If they want to see not just fame-guaranteed stereotyped movies, but also have more chance to meet a diversity of movies, they should not hesitate to raise their voices to demand their needs. In order to fight back against the now prevalent monopoly, audiences should keep a close eye on the distribution and be concerned about this matter. It is time for the audience to stand up against it.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >