By Jhoo Dong-chan
The share price of Studio Dragon nosedived nearly 10 percent Monday, the day after cable channel tvN's TV series "Arthdal Chronicles" premiered over the weekend.
A total of 54 billion won ($45.7 million) was invested in the production of the show, and Studio Dragon is its production company.
Despite its star-studded cast, including movie stars Jang Dong-dung and Song Joon-ki, and much anticipated cutting-edge computer-generated imagery, "Arthdal Chronicles" failed to meet not only viewers' but also investors' expectations.
According to the Korea Exchange, the share price of Studio Dragon closed at 66,900 won on the Monday, down 9.35 percent from the previous session. It was the firm's lowest figure over the year.
The share price of CJ ENM, its parent company, also dipped 2.4 percent on the day.
"It has been one of the most anticipated TV shows of the year with its star-studded cast and huge production budget," said Meritz Securities researcher Lee Hyo-jin said.
"However, these do not guarantee higher viewer ratings. We need to see further whether its ratings improve as the show continues."
Reflecting growing disappointment surrounding the TV show, Meritz Securities lowered its target share price of Studio Dragon to 95,000 won from 113,000 won per share.
eBest Securities researcher Kim Hyun-yong agreed.
"The setback will influence Studio Dragon's earnings this year as well as next year," he said. "We lowered our outlook about the firm by about 11 percent."
eBest Securities dropped Studio Dragon's target share price by 11.5 percent to 85,000 won per share.
Media industry observers said the disappointment was just too overwhelming.
"'Arthdal Chronicles creates an imaginary world. Entire scenes require complex CG effects. This is something Korean production has never attempted for a TV show before," said an industry insider who asked not to be named.
"There has been mixed expectations about the TV show. I believe the Studio Dragon's share price reflected the current growing disappointment.