Disney Plus Can’t Laugh Even At Casino Box Office
Disney Plus recorded the largest viewing time as of the first week of release among all Korean original contents with “Casino,” drawing a rising curve of subscriber inflow, but there is still a long way to go.
“Casino,” which drew attention with Choi Min-sik’s first drama comeback film in 25 years, director Kang Yoon-sung’s next film, and popular Son Seok-gu’s performance, ended season 2 on March 22 last year, starting with the release of season 1 in December. It was the best box office hit since Disney Plus introduced the original Korean series since it entered Korea in November 2021.
According to IGA Works’ data analysis solution Mobile Index, Disney Plus had 1,715,982 monthly active users (MAU) as of November 2022, the month before “Casino” was released. Netflix, which is at the top, had 10,918,772, Tving had 4,304,961, Wave had 4,199,649, Coupang Play had 3,497,203, and Disney Plus had a big gap and remained in fifth place. Considering Disney’s reputation as a world-loved giant IP, the number is insufficient. As native Disney Plus failed to catch up with native OTT, it was evaluated that it was not using its power in Korea.
Since entering the Korean market, Disney Plus has released eight works, including “Grid,” “Soundtrack #1,” “Kiss Six Sense,” “I’ll start a defense,” “Criminal Rock,” “Third Person Revenge,” and “Connect,” but it has not attracted attention. In this situation, the first Korean work “Casino,” which was successful for the first time, became a filial content for Disney Plus.
In fact, the number of Disney Plus app users has increased since “Casino” was aired. According to Mobile Index, Disney Plus’s MAU in December was 1,951,740, 2,166,446 in January this year, and 2,077,541 million in February, showing a clear effect of subscribers inflow.
Disney Plus seems to be celebrating the achievements of “Casino” by presenting it as a “hit jackpot.” For Disney Plus, only encouraging performance signs need to be compared to other OTT platforms. Based on mobile indexes, major OTT app MAUs in February were 11.55,536 on Netflix, 4,746,610, Coupang Play 4,014,887, and Wave 3,761,093. The reality is that Disney Plus still has not escaped the fifth place with 2.07 million people despite the success of “Casino.”
In particular, Netflix, which occupied the Korean OTT market, created box office hits around the world in “Squid Game” and “My School Now” with “The Glory,” which was released around the same time as “Casino.” After the release of Part 2, “The Glory” recorded 41305 hours of cumulative viewing, ranking sixth in Netflix TV (non-English) in history.
Disney Plus is following Netflix’s strategy to secure subscribers by investing in Korean content, but so far, the box office hit has been a “casino” work, and it is still not enough to catch up with other OTTs, let alone Netflix.
Disney Plus plans to continue the heat of “Casino” by unveiling its lineup in the first half of this year, including the drama “Detective Rock 2,” “Lace,” the entertainment show “The Zone: You Have to Hold Out,” and the documentary “Full Count,” but it is not as popular as other OTT competitors will showcase. However, officials say that the drama series of Kang Full’s original webtoon “Moving,” which aims to be released this year, will confirm Disney Plus’s status. Disney Plus cast Ryu Seung-ryong, Han Hyo-joo, Cho In-sung, Cha Tae-hyun, Ryu Seung-beom, Kim Sung-kyun, and Kim Hee-won in “Moving” and invested 50 billion won in production. Will Disney Plus be able to produce works worthy of its reputation this year.