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2008 packed surprises

2008/12/11 Source

Data released by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) on December 2, revealed a number of modest budgeted films in the top five of most successful films in 2008. However, the list is lead by the big budget blockbuster "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" by Kim Jee-woon. The kimchi western attracted 7.03 million viewers, undoubtedly, partly due to the presence of the stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, and Jung Woo-sung.

Number two was 2008's biggest surprise, the sleeper hit "The Chaser". Na Hong-jin's low budget thriller mobilised 5 million Koreans. "The Chaser", its director NA, and its leading actors Kim Yun-seok and Ha Jung-woo also received much critical acclaim along with major awards.

Kang Woo-seok's "Public Enemy Returns" accumulated 4.2 million spectators. Sol Kyung-gu reprised his role in the third instalment, this time pursuing a criminal played by Jung Jae-young. Jang Jin delivered the screenplay of the third most popular film.

"Forever the Moment", became one of the rare blockbuster Korean sports films. The handball film is directed by Yim Soon-rye and her line-up includes Moon So-ri, Kim Jung-eun, and Uhm Tae-woong. The veteran women's team with Olympic ambitions scored 4 million tickets.

Historically themed films perform on average well in the Korean market. Kim Yoo-jin's "The Divine Weapon" reached 2008's fifth place by recording an attendance number of 3.75 million. "The Divine Weapon" is Jung Jae-young's second film in the top five. His and HAN Eun-jung's characters are crucial in the defence of the Joseon dynasty against invaders.

More small budget films performed impressively, in particular, Director Chang's horror film "Death Bell", and Jang Hoon's action drama "Rough Cut".

Yi Ch'ang-ho (KOFIC)

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