Korean dramas and movies that became global hits

Not only achieving success domestically, the following Korean series and movies also went viral in the international market.

Korean productions have long been ranked among the top in Asia and are growing stronger in the global market. Many TV series and theatrical films produced in Korea have become global hits and are well-appreciated by both viewers and critics. Among them, the following 9 productions are the most outstanding. Everyone must have heard of or watched these series and movies.

The Heirs

Released in 2013, The Heirs was not only well-received, but the interesting details included in the drama also became a trend among international viewers. The most obvious evidence is that the dream catcher used by the characters in The Heirs used to be a popular item among international viewers and everyone was trying to own one in real life. Whether you enjoy watching The Heirs or not, the global influence of this drama is undeniably strong.

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My Love from the Star

After The Heirs, SBS continues to broadcast another famous drama in the international market, which is My Love from the Star, led by Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun. This can be considered the most legendary drama in the careers of both actors, with amazing achievements including high ratings, social media coverage, and media attraction. It is not an exaggeration to say that no one has not at least heard of My Love from the Star. The drama’s strong influence has helped make its details such as clothes or cosmetics used by the characters to be sold out quickly in real life. My Love from the Star is also the production that placed the foundation for the explosive growth of the fantasy genre in Korean dramas.

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Thanks to My Love from the Star, Kim Soo Hyun became the No.1 Hallyu superstar and one of the highest-paid actors in Korea. Jun Ji Hyun also had a drama comeback that couldn’t be more perfect after a 14-year hiatus. Not to mention, both actors also received many prestigious awards thanks to their roles in this drama. In 2014 when the drama was broadcast, there were barely any online streaming platforms like now, social media was not as prevalent as it is now, but this drama really became a massive hit when its popularity went beyond Korea and even Asia. From facebook to weibo, twitter…, even the top celebrities became fans of Do Min Joon and Chun Song Yi. My Love from the Star deserves to be one of the most iconic Korean dramas in the past decade.

Descendants of the Sun

Needless to say, the popularity of Kim Eun Sook’s work back when it was released in 2016 is indescribable. Before, during and even after the broadcast for a long time, the topics about Descendants of the Sun still get high engagements. The drama’s viewership rating or media coverage were also in the top, without any competitors. Almost every Asian media channel was focusing on reporting about this hit romance drama. 

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The drama’s soundtrack is also loved by the viewers and swept different music charts. Articles praising the drama, updating every detail were also seen everywhere. The soldier’s image has become much more beautiful in the eyes of the audience thanks to the drama. Descendants of the Sun also paved the way for other Korean military dramas to be born after.  


The series starring Joo Ji Hoon and Bae Doo Na is currently the Korean Netflix series with the highest score on IMDb. Kingdom, with a huge budget investment of more than 2 billion won per episode has made viewers satisfied in terms of both visuals and storylines.

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Kingdom’s great success has allowed the series to be renewed for another season and a special sidequel featuring a character of the drama to come out. Loyal fans of this zombie series are looking forward to season 3 being quickly produced and released as soon as possible.

Squid Game

Although it has been released for more than 2 weeks, the heat of ‘Squid Game‘ has not cooled down when it still holds the No.1 in the chart of trending movie position of Netflix in many other countries. Despite the controversy about the content or the details, the fact that this movie is a success and creates a huge buzz is a fact that has become clear.

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That has helped actors in the film such as Lee Jung Jae, Park Hae Soo, Jung Ho Yeon, Wi Ha Jun… increase their fame and be known more in the global market. ‘Squid Game’ is not only a hugely successful TV series in Korea, but it is also considered the most successful name that the Netflix platform has in its history.

Train To Busan

Director Yeon Sang Ho’s work has shown the international media that the Korean film industry can also produce zombie-related films while still moving viewers’ hearts by telling their brand stories. ‘Train To Busan‘ has become the most popular movie in Korea in the past decade.

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In the near future, this cult movie will be remade by Hollywood as a testament to its intense vitality outside of its home country of Korea. Netizens are also quite curious to see if the Hollywood remake can overcome the huge shadow of the original.


Looking at the pile of domestic and international awards that “Parasite” has won is enough to show how legendary this movie is for the Korean film industry in particular and the world film industry in general. The deeply satirical content, unexpected steering, and excellent acting of the cast have brought success beyond expectations for this film. What ‘Parasite’ has done further confirms the talent and important position of two typical faces, director Bong Joon Ho and actor Song Kang Ho.

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With ‘#Alive’, Korea has once again shown its potential in making quality survival and zombie films. Debuted during the complicated situation of the epidemic, ‘#Alive’ still achieved a stable revenue and earned more than 14.7 million USD in ticket sales in the domestic market.

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This movie also made a mark when it became the first Korean movie to reach No.1 on the global Netflix trending chart. If you have ever been enamored with ‘Train to Busan’, ‘#Alive’ will also satisfy you with the thrilling plot and convincing acting of the duo Park Shin Hye and Yoo Ah In.


Bringing the story of Korean immigrants living in the United States, the gentle, idyllic but still convincing storytelling has made ‘Minari’ become the most prominent Korean movie recently. With a production budget of 2 million USD, the film directed by Lee Isaac Chung has earned nearly 16 million USD in revenue and stormed at major film awards around the world.

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Thanks to ‘Minari’, the Korean cinema industry made history again when veteran actor Youn Yuh Jung became the first face of the land of kimchi to win an individual acting award at the Oscars. After “Parasite”, ‘Minari’ once again helped the Korean cinema industry prove its quality in the eyes of international friends.

Netizens firmly believe that in the coming years, Korean films will have many more works that resonate strongly with international media, thanks to their serious investment and increasing quality. Not just familiar romantic and love movies, but Korean movies have proven their potential and shown that they can do well in any genre. 

Source: DAN

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