Top 4 Korean movies of this summer, mixed results of joy and sorrow through word of mouth

As word-of-mouth influence grew on box office success, the victory or defeat of this year’s summer movie match has been decided.

The joy and sorrow of this year’s top 4 summer Korean films, which are the first to revive the cinema after the pandemic, were sharply mixed. As word-of-mouth influence grew on box office success, the victory or defeat of this year’s summer movie match has been decided.

In the cinema this summer, the first part of the movie “Alienoid” (director Choi Dong-hoon), “Hansan: Rising Dragon” (director Lee Han-min), “Emergency Declaration” (director Han Jae-rim), and “Hunt” (director Lee Jung-jae) captured the audience as the most anticipated movies of the season.

Word of mouth has determined the outcome of this four-way race. As the viewing form has changed throughout the pandemic, the existing box office formula of star directors and actors equals success was completely broken. As ticket prices have risen through the pandemic crisis, word of mouth now influences whether the audience watches the movie or not.

First of all, the first part of “Alienoid,” which first premiered in the theater on July 20th, was highly expected due to the name of star directors Choi Dong-hoon of “Tazza,” and actors Ryu Jun-yeol, Kim Tae-ri, Kim Woo-bin, and So Ji-seop.

The first part of “Alienoid” dreamed of becoming the “Korean version of the Avengers,” but the results were disastrous. This is because it received harsh criticism in the media and general previews even before its release. Public opinion about the movie has been alarming even before its release due to a series of harsh criticisms about the esoteric worldview and casting mistakes.

The first part of “Alienoid,” which failed to gain the public’s favor, barely exceeded 1.5 million cumulative audiences. Considering that the total production cost is 33 billion won and the break-even point is around 7 million audiences, this figure is far less than half. The first part of “Alienoid,” which did not exceed a quarter of the break-even point, was released on IPTV VOD service from August 23rd.

“Hansan: Rising Dragon” was then released on July 27th following the first part of “Alienoid.” It is the second movie of the “Lee Soon-shin Trilogy Project,” a follow-up to the movie “The Admiral: Roaring Currents,” which topped the Korean box office with 17 million viewers in 2014. Actor Park Hae-il played Lee Soon-shin following Choi Min-sik in “The Admiral: Roaring Currents,” alongside other trustworthy actors such as Byun Yo-han, Ahn Sung-ki, Son Hyun-joo, Kim Sung-kyu, Kim Hyang-kyun, Ok Taek-yeon, Gong Myung, Park Ji-hwan and Cho Jae-yoon.

Unlike the first part of “Alienoid,” “Hansan: Rising Dragon” started a viral hit with favorable reviews for its high-quality CG and grandeur, the visual of the Turtle Ship, and spectacular large-scale naval combat scenes in the media and general previews before its release. Accordingly, “”Hansan: Rising Dragon” has been a long-term box office hit with a cumulative audience of 6,847,385 based on the Korean Box-office Information System of the Korea Film Council on August 25th, naming it the best Korean movie this summer.

“Emergency Declaration,” which drew attention as the reunion of director Han Jae-rim of “The Face Reader” and actors Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, Jeon Do-yeon, Kim Nam-gil and Im Si-wan, was also held back due to word of mouth. “Emergency Declaration,” which was released on August 3rd, is adversely affected by word of mouth as public criticism rose over the over-repeated plot in the second half, which seriously influenced the audience’s choice. As a result, “Emergency Declaration” barely exceeded 2 million viewers, recording an underwhelming performance.

“Hunt” was released as a latecomer among the top 4 movies this summer on August 10th. It was actor Lee Jung-jae’s debut as a producer, and it became a hot topic even before production in that Lee Jung-jae and Jung Woo-sung worked together for the first time in 23 years since “There is no Sun.”

Lee Jung-jae and Jung Woo-sung’s enthusiastic promotional activities and reviews from the pre-release premiere have created positive synergy. “Hunt,” which went viral, topped the box office since its release, surpassing 3.35 million cumulative audiences as of August 25th.

As such, this summer’s four-way Korean film battle was clearly divided into joyful and sorrowful results due to word of mouth. The first part of “Alienoid” and “Emergency Declaration,” which simply stuck to the old box office formula and failed to consider the changed audience form, had to receive a disastrous report card.

Source: daum

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