As director Yoon Sung Hyun’s new film Time to Hunt confirmed its exclusive release through Netflix, the possibility of a legal dispute with Contents Panda, who was in charge of overseas sales of the movie, has grown.
On March 23, Little Big Pictures, an investment distribution company of Time to Hunt, announced that after repeatedly pondering about the various ways to present the movie, they have decided to release the movie exclusively on Netflix with 29 languages in 190 countries, starting on April 10.
Then, Contents Panda, the company in charge of oversea sales of the movie, protested, saying, “They unilaterally breach a contract.” If the movie made a exclusively contract with Netflix, then overseas distributors who purchased the rights will not be able to distribute Time to Hunt.
Contents Panda told Sports Kyunghyang that Little Big Pictures announced the move to Netflix as an article at a time when the contract was not completed. “This kind of matter should be carried out in agreement with each other. Canceling contracts with overseas distributors is also a matter of credibility, so it is not something that can be handled arbitrarily,” an official from Contents Panda stated. “How can they just unilaterally breach a contract? They are just shifting the responsibility on us.” He also added that they are also preparing to take legal actions and the detailed decisions will be made after a meeting.
Time to Hunt is the first film directed by Yoon Sung Hyun in nine years, since Bleak Night. It is introduced as a movie that captures the breathtaking story of four friends planning a dangerous operation for a new life and their mystery chaser. Lee Je Hoon, Ahn Jae Hong, Choi Woo Shik, Park Jung Min and Park Hae Soo have starred in the film. Also, the movie was introduced in Berlin first, as it was invited to the 70th Berlinale Special Gala.
It was originally scheduled to be released on February 26, but as the concerns of coronavirus spread rapidly, the production company decided to postponed the premiere date. Since then, they have been keeping a close eye in the situation, but as the number of moviegoers per day dropped down to around 30,000, they have finally decided to go to Netflix.
The main reason behind Little Big Picture’s decision even when they fully expected a legal dispute is money. The net production cost for the movie was around 9 billion KRW (approx. 7,095,950 USD) and about 2.5 billion KRW (approx. 1,971,097 USD) went into P&A, so a total of 11.5 billion KRW (approx. 90,670,046 USD) was used in the production. The break-even point of the film audience is 3 million. Little Big Pictures estimated that it would cost about 1.3 billion KRW to 1.5 billion KRW (approx.1,024,971 USD to 1,182,658 USD) to execute additional P&A when the premiere date of the movie is changed. In that case, the break-even point for the theater audience will increase to 3.3 million.
Regarding this, Netflix have offered an amount that effectively meets the break-even point. Even though neither of them disclosed the actual amount, it is rumored that Netflix proposed about 12 billion KRW (approx. 94,444,958 USD). Also it is said that Netflix has been notified of the issue regarding the overseas copyrights. However, it is rumored that the company signed the exclusive contract on the grounds that the issue should be resolved between Little Big Pictures and Content Panda.