SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean action thriller "Time to Hunt" will be released exclusively through U.S. media giant Netflix next month without a theatrical release, the film's distributor said Monday.
"We are happy to announce that we've decided to open the long-awaited 'Time to Hunt' in 190 countries through Netflix," Little Big Pictures said in an e-mailed statement. "We made the decision to show our film to more people in the midst of the lingering spread of coronavirus."
The film will be available on Netflix with subtitles in 29 languages from April 10, it said.
It is the first Korean film to be shown on Netflix without a run in theaters.
"Time to Hunt," directed by Yoon Sung-hyun, was originally scheduled to hit local screens on Feb. 26. It had been in the media spotlight due to the reunion of the lead actors from "Bleak Night," Lee Je-hoon and Park Jung-min, and the presence of "Parasite" star Choi Woo-shik.
It premiered in the Berlinale Special section of this year's Berlin International Film Festival last month.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, its release has been put off indefinitely and its distributor chose to bring it to Netflix.
The South Korean box office has been on a sharp decline in ticket sales, with the number of moviegoers falling to a 15-year low in February. About 50 homegrown and foreign films have rescheduled their release plans this spring.
On the other hand, Contents Panda, the local marketing firm dealing with the overseas sales of "Time to Hunt," said it will take legal action against the distributor's unilateral decision.
The film has been sold to 30 foreign countries so far.
"Little Big Pictures unilaterally notified us of the cancellation of contract on overseas sales," said Contents Panda. "We will take legal steps."
Little Big Pictures said it has asked for the understanding of foreign distributors after it reached an agreement with Netflix.
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