South Korea’s two leading exhibitors CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema are adding steam to their launches into Vietnam, a market of increasing interest in the region.
CJ CGV this month opened their eighth and ninth multiplexes with Vietnam’s top Megastar chain which they acquired last year, while Lotte Cinema opened its fourth multiplex in Vietnam on Dec. 31.
This brings CGV’s total screen count to 69 and Lotte’s to 14. The latter company first launched into the Vietnam market in 2008 when it acquired Diamond Cinema Joint Venture Company (DMC). The company has so far opened cinemas in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang, and aims to have 18 theaters with 95 screens by 2015.
CGV entered the market later, in July 2011, but advanced at a faster pace by picking up the country’s leading exhibitor Megastar Media Company. With cinemas in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, the company plans to expand across the board to have 24 cinemas with 198 screens by 2016.
With an estimated population of over 90 million – almost twice that of South Korea’s, Vietnam has drawn the interest of Korea’s top two exhibitors. The market was an early adaptor of the Korean Wave, has a developing film industry and is seeing rapid urbanization with comparatively few cinemas.
Upon the opening of its latest cinemas this year, CGV also noted that “52% of the total population is under 25 years of age so that rapid growth in the future exhibition market is expected.”
CGV aims to make their Megastar cinemas flagships of the Korean Wave, where the CJ E&M affiliate plans to show six or more Korean films a year with special showcases and film festivals as well as supporting events.
Both the Lotte and CGV cinemas in Vietnam boast modern cinema-going experiences with 3D projection available as well.