Curating and Marketing a Korean Film Collection
Introducing 10 acclaimed South Korean films to English-speaking audiences
Ongoing marketing research for an online retailer uncovers an underserved audience and an opportunity to successfully extend its publishing division’s home video offerings.
- An audience-tailored film collection — from title selection to on-disc content and marketing.
- Expanded North American audiences’ and critics’ perceptions about the genres and types of stories portrayed in modern South Korean films.
- Contributed toward the diversification of which genres and types of Korean film content have marketing and sales potential in Western and English-language regions.
It started by identifying a market opportunity
As marketing director at Right Stuf, Inc., I played a lead role in the development of 5 Points Pictures, a home video label that released 10 South Korean films during 2012 and 2013.
Trend-spotting work for Right Stuf’s online store indicated an increased fan interest in Asian live-action films and TV series, which kicked the project — and a distribution agreement with CJ Entertainment — into motion.
This work included:
- Initiating and conducting research that identified both an untapped audience (anime and Korean drama fans) and a market opportunity for English-subtitled, live-action Asian film content that wasn’t already available.
- Making recommendations regarding release formats and on-disc content.
(Special-edition releases with ample, translated on-disc video extras and liner notes distinguished the 5 Points releases from those of other labels.)
- Evaluating potential films and curating the 10-title lineup, based on film quality, pre-existing consumer demand, and North American market potential.
- Identifying and interacting with prospective audiences for the label — as a whole and on a film-by-film basis.
- Marketing and communications activities, including press releases, release announcements, trailer reveals, social media, and sales team support.
- Establishing relationships with key media and strategic partners.
- Developing and/or adapting promotional materials, including press releases, media kits, retailer kits, ads, trailers, website content, sell sheets, and promotional items.
- Developing and adapting on-disc liner notes for all but one of the acquired titles.
About the films and their impact
At the time of the label’s founding, most of the Asian movies released in North America were award-winners on the film festival circuit or fit squarely into the martial arts, horror, historical, or crime-thriller genres.
Each film in 5 Points Pictures’ catalog also had a degree of critical and popular acclaim.
That said, its lineup of offbeat romance, comedy, and drama offerings expanded North American audiences’ and critics’ awareness of the array of genres and stories that can be found in Korean films.
The niche success of 5 Points Pictures releases also played a part in diversifying the types of Korean films licensed for physical media and digital release in the U.S. and Canada.
Other home video publishers later acquired several of the films for video on demand, download to own, and online streaming.
Some titles went on to be licensed for English-language release in other regions or featured English subtitles on the Korean Blu-ray releases. (Note: South Korea and U.S./Canada share the same Blu-ray region.)
Korean films released on DVD by 5 Points Pictures
- Bleak Night
- Finding Mr. Destiny
- Going By the Book
- The Happy Life
- Penny Pinchers
- The Suicide Forecast
- Tazza: The High Rollers
Cover image credits:
Finding Mr. Destiny © 2010 CJ Entertainment Inc. Moss © 2010 CJ Entertainment Inc. Tazza: The High Rollers © 2006 CJ Entertainment Inc. and IM Pictures Corp. Bleak Night © 2010 Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA). Punch © 2011 CJ E&M Corporation. The Suicide Forecast © 2011 CJ Entertainment Inc. Going by the Book © 2007 CJ Entertainment Inc. Penny Pinchers © 2011 CJ E&M Corporation. Glove © 2010 CJ Entertainment Inc. The Happy Life © 2007 CJ Entertainment Inc.