Korean film label Motion 101 closing


SEOUL -- One of South Korea's most ambitious attempts to create a new film production label has ended before it even began.

Motion 101 is expected to close its doors by the end of the month. It was formed in the summer with backing from Mediaplex, one of Korea's largest movie companies and the owner of distribution company Showbox and operator of the Megabox multiplex chain.

But sources said a rethink in corporate strategy has led Mediaplex to pull the plug on Motion 101 and the films it had in the works.

The fledgling shingle could close its doors April 30, according to one source.

No one at Motion 101 or Mediaplex would comment, citing the sensitivity of the move and the fact that Mediaplex has not finalized all the details of the closure. But Motion 101 flagship title

"Fist," a $15 million science-fiction tale directed by Park Kwang-hyun, is now on hold.
Showbox remains an investor in "Fist," but producers are looking for additional financing.

The closing of Motion 101 has re-ignited speculation that Mediaplex parent company, the conglomerate Orion Group, is looking to divest itself of its entertainment divisions after another rough year in the industry.

In July, Mediaplex sold its Megabox theater chain to a consortium led by Australian banking group Macquarie for 145.5 billion won ($149.2 million). At the time, Mediaplex executives said the move was made in part to raise funds for Motion 101.