Experts recognize “The Roundup: No Way Out” starring Ma Dong Seok to be a hope for Korean cinema.
According to Osen, the Korean movie industry is raising complaints about difficulties in attracting moviegoers. With the availability of OTT contents, it is said that the audience does not spend as much effort as before into going to the cinema.
Recently, more and more Korean movies are hitting the theaters but did not have the magnetic qualities to retain viewers. “Rebound” is a movie based on a real-life story of a high-school basketball team at Busan Jungang High School. The team only has 6 members to play for the national competition tournament in 2012. The movie does not have A-list stars.
On the contrary, “Dream” is another sports drama starring two well-known names, Park Seo Joon and IU. It is penned and directed by Lee Byeong Heon. The story is about Yoon Hong Dae (Park Seo Joon) who receives disciplinary probation and is tasked with the responsibility to lead a team of amateurs to the Homeless World Cup.
“Killing Romance” is about Hwang Yeo Rae (Honey Lee), a popular actress who is ridiculed for her poor acting skills. She travels to an island in South Pacific where she meets a wealthy businessman Johnathan Na (Lee Sun Kyung). They get married and she announces retirement from acting.
While ranging in the level of popularity of the cast and diverse in appeal, none of those dramas managed to receive a break-even revenue, disappointing fans and critics alike.
According to the statistics cited by Osen, in the series of works that came out in the first quarter of this year, only “The Point Men” was able to mobilize more than 1 million viewers and reached a total of 1.72 million. However, in the period after the Lunar New Year, the figure was still relatively low compared to the same quarter from previous years.
Moreover, the movie also starred a high-profile actor Hyun Bin. The movie was directed by Yim Soon Rye and was based on a Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan in 2007 and the subsequent rescue mission.
With such a bleak view, “The Roundup: No Way Out” is the only hope for Korean movies. It is the third installment of the “Roundup” series directed by Kang Yoon Sung that started in 2017. The previous two installments were major box-office hits, building anticipation for the next in the franchise.
The third part continues the story of detective Ma Seok Do (Ma Dong Seok), who transfers to Gwangsu University in Seoul to capture Joo Seong Cheol (Lee Jun Hyeok), the mastermind behind a meth crime and Ricky (Aoki Miunetaka), another villain. To add to the hype, the cast also gathers a stellar lineup including Lee Jun Hyuk, Aoki Munetaka, Lee Beom Soo, Kim Min Jae, Lee Ji Hoon, Jeon Seok Ho, and Ko Kyu Pil.
In a Batman-like confrontation between good and evil, “The Roundup: No Way Out” will be a favorite in the future. The two previous installments only allowed viewers from 15 and above to watch the movie. They also garnered 6.88 million viewers and 10 million for Part 1 and Part 2 of the franchise, respectively. The series becomes the ninth most-watched movie series in Korea with the third highest revenue in history.
With a narrowing industry and limiting human resources, “The Roundup” is hoped to shine amid stagnant projects and pushed-back movie releases. The movie will be released in theaters on May 31st and is packed with action saga that cannot be missed.