DramaFever Inks Licensing Deals with Korean Film Distributors Showbox and Lotte (Exclusive)

"Very Ordinary Couple"

The streaming service has acquired exclusive U.S. rights to more than two dozen popular Korean movies.

DramaFever is expanding its film library after striking licensing deals with two of South Korea’s biggest film distributors, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. Through its new pacts with Showbox Mediaplex and Lotte Entertainment, the streaming service, which specializes in bringing foreign film and TV content to American audiences, has acquired U.S. rights to more than two dozen of Korea’s most popular recent movies.

As part of its DramaFever Movie Night series, every Saturday the company will premiere at least one new title on its site, the first time any of them have been made available on an American TV or digital network, and, for most of the films, the first time they have been shown in the U.S. DramaFever has exclusivity windows of three and six months for Showbox and Lotte titles, respectively. The rollout of the new acquisitions began Aug. 2 with 2013 romantic comedy Very Ordinary Couple. (DramaFever’s upcoming Saturday Movie Night schedule is below.)

The new deals signify a continued expansion of feature film offerings for the New York City-based company, which launched in 2009 as a digital destination for American fans of Korean TV programming to watch authorized, subtitled content. In July DramaFever struck a content partnership with film distributor Well Go USA, which added several major action, genre and indie hits from across Asia to the company’s library, including 2010’s highest grossing Korean movie The Man From Nowhere, Shaolin starring Hong Kong star Andy Lau and the 2011 Chinese revolutionary war epic 1911.

DramaFever, whose library now contains 700 titles and 14,000 episodes from broadcasters and studios throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America, has so far raised $12 million from a pool of investors that includes AMC Networks, Bertelsmann, NALA Investments, MK Capital, SoftBank Ventures and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. DramaFever also has deals to syndicate selections from its collection to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.

Upcoming DramaFever Movie Night premieres:

·      Aug. 2: Very Ordinary Couple

·      Aug. 9: Always (U.S. premiere)

·      Aug. 16: Architecture 101 (U.S. premiere)

·      Aug. 23: Code Name: Jackal (U.S. premiere)

·      Aug. 30: Detective K: Secret of Virtuous Widow

·      Sept. 6: Genome Hazard (U.S. premiere)

·      Sept. 13: Hot Young Bloods (U.S. premiere)

·      Sept. 20: Top Star (U.S. premiere)

·      Sept. 27: M (U.S. premiere)

·      Oct. 4: Love on Air (U.S. premiere)

·      Oct. 11: Once in a Summer

·      Oct. 18: Steal My Heart

·      Oct. 25: Lady Daddy (U.S. premiere)

·      Nov. 1: The Beast and the Beauty

·      Nov. 8: Two Faces of My Girlfriend (U.S. premiere)