CJ puts English on 'event' pics


South Korea's leading movie studio, CJ Entertainment, plans to begin showing its top films with English subtitles in Seoul.

About four to six "big event" films per year will be subtitled and shown at CJ's flagship CGV Yongsan theater in the heart of the nation's capital, the company said Monday.

CJ said the move reflects its commitment to reaching out to the international community and the growing foreign presence in Korea. Though there are no official figures, Korea may be home to as many as 1 million foreign residents.

The new subtitling program kicks off Jan. 31 with "A Man Who Was Superman," the story of a cynical reporter whose life is changed when she meets a man who thinks he is Superman.

"Superman" stars Gianna Jun (also known as Jun Ji-hyun), star of hits "My Sassy Girl" and "Il Mare," as well as the upcoming English-language action blockbuster "Blood: The Last Vampire."

CJ multiplex chain CGV is the largest exhibitor in Korea, with 442 screens in 55 locations.

Korean film exports plunged from a high of $76 million in 2005 to just $24 million in 2006 (2007 numbers are not yet available but were comparable to 2006).

With local films struggling at home, the Korean film industry is hungry for exports more than ever.