South Korean cinema platform provider RNR Inc. is seeking to spur innovation in the nation’s film distribution industry by offering a unique business model based on a bespoke theater experience under the brand name, “Monoplex.”
In a recent tech conference held in Seoul, its CEO, Ray Seok, stressed that the company’s theater business focuses on distributing content rather than operating large multiplex cinemas with multiple screens.
The core of this business model is the Monoplex, a type of theater where one can watch movies in a designated, personally optimized space. Owning just a single screen can make more profits as operational and maintenance costs are reduced drastically, he said.
“Like Airbnb, we are doing a theater business by using spaces owned by our partners without building our own theaters,” Seok said at the K.E.Y Platform conference held on April 28.
“We are transforming the traditional multiplex cinema business into a digital distribution business.”
According to Seok, film distribution costs have significantly decreased since the digital transformation began in the film industry in 2020.
“In the past, it took millions of won for film to copy itself and it was hard for a small cinema to distribute a film. Now there are no such limitations,” he said.
Adding to that, he also highlighted the inconvenience of theatergoers, citing dark and uncomfortable spaces.
“That’s why we have come up with a brand new vision of digital distribution that enables content distribution to any desired locations for users,” he said.
RNR allows its partners who own the space to offer screening services for the latest films. Currently, it operates 10 Monoplex theaters in Korea, including the DH Cinema at the DH Xi Gaepo, a landmark apartment complex in southern Seoul.
In the first half of this year, the company plans to launch new theaters for its corporate clients, including Hyundai Motor, Jeju Shinhwa World Marriott Resort and Homeplus.
“When a growing number of multiplex cinemas are closing, I think it’s meaningful to create a new business model for theater operators. By 2030, we aim to build at least 4,000 Monoplex locations,” Seok said.
Seok also introduced the company’s vision for the cine marketplace projects business, or CMP, which manages the intellectual property of movies based on the distribution network of Monoplex content and enables individual investors to invest in them through blockchain technology. Because the IP of budget films sometimes cannot be managed effectively, he said, the business could help them better manage this IP and monetize it.
“A film can generate profits for 70 years after its release, but during that time, maintenance costs surge while profits decline. We are seeking to help our clients monetize their profits from the very beginning, like a stock listing,” he added.