Showbox expands to North America, Indonesia

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : Oct 25, 2017 - 16:23
  • Updated : Oct 25, 2017 - 16:23

Korean film distributor and producer Showbox is branching out into the North American and Indonesian markets.

Showbox will be co-producing and investing in the Hollywood thriller “The Widow” and the Indonesian rom-com “Forever Holiday in Bali,” the company announced Wednesday.

Through direct investment in the films, Showbox also aims to gain footing as a global content investment company, it said.

“The Widow,” a thriller featuring a young woman living in New York named Frances, and her chance encounter with the mysterious widow Greta.

Chloe Moretz and Isabelle Huppert have been cast in the roles of Frances and Greta, respectively. Irish director-screenwriter Neil Jordan, winner of the Academy Award for best original screenplay for “The Crying Game” in 1992, is currently filming “The Widow” around Dublin, Ireland. 

Chloe Moretz (left) and Isabelle Huppert will star in “The Widow,” co-produced by Showbox. (Showbox)

Showbox is co-producing ”The Widow“ with Hollywood-based Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Hong Kong-based film finance company Ivanhoe Pictures. The two latter companies launched the joint entertainment venture SK Global in March.

In Asia, Showbox stepped into the Chinese market in 2015 by forming a partnership with entertainment company Huayi Brothers.

“Forever Holiday in Bali” centers on a K-pop idol star who meets an Indonesian university student and travels to Bali with her.

The film will be helmed by Ody C. Harahap, who directed “Sweet 20,” this year’s Indonesian remake of the hit Korean film “Miss Granny.” K-pop group MBLAQ member Thunder, whose real name is Park Sang-hyun, will star as the male lead. The film is set to hit theaters in Indonesia early next year.

“We’ve showcased a lot of hits in Korea. We have a big desire to try unfolding Showbox’s content planning capabilities abroad,” said Showbox CEO Yoo Jung-hoon Tuesday. “We’ve consistently worked to occupy a steady portion in the global content industry.”

If the former global partnerships had been the first step, the upcoming co-production and investment mark an official stab at the global content industry, he said. “Our ultimate goal is to become a global content company that creates differentiated content packages and leads trends.”

Domestically, Showbox produced and will be distributing “The Swindlers,” starring Hyun Bin and Yoo Ji-tae, set to hit theaters in November.

Korean film giant CJ Entertainment, involved in production, investment and distribution, has also been aggressively expanding abroad.

The company has kicked off the Japanese, Vietnamese and American productions of the hit 2011 film “Sunny,” a story of high school friendship, it announced Wednesday.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)