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Black House Reclaims Box Office

2007/06/24 Source

With Korea's summer horror season now in full swing, a local film reclaimed the nation's number one box office spot after 8 weeks of Hollywood dominance. "Black House", directed by SIN Te-ra, debuted on June 21st and took 377,195 admissions over the June 22-24th weekend, beating out the previous week's champion, Ocean's Thirteen, according to the official KOBIS report. The only other local release was US – Korea co-production, "Never Forever", directed by Gina Kim, which took 9th place in a limited release.

Showing on 353 screens, "Black House", is the first local hit of the summer, and the second Korean horror, following "Evil Twin", in a slew of horrors to come, providing audiences a chilling reprieve from the heat. It also departs from familiar horror conventions of ghosts from the past, this time mixing horror with mystery in the tale of a spate of unsolved murders and an insurance agent who suspects one of his clients may be a psychopath.

Director SIN debuted with "Brainwave", a low-budget science-fiction thriller, which had a limited release last summer. "Black House" is his sophomore feature, and is based on a Japanese novel by Yűsuke Kishi, a master of the horror genre. It stars one of Korea's most familiar faces, Hwang Jung-min ("You are my Sunshine", "Bloody Tie") in his horror debut. The film is a co-production between CJ Entertainment and Japan's Kadokawa Pictures.

Overall market share for domestic film is 47.7% thus far this year, down from an over 60% average for 2006. The top grossing local hit is CJ's Voice of a Murderer which net US$22 million. Korea's film industry feels some trepidation over Hollywood's summer slate which includes the upcoming release of blockbuster Transformers on June 28th.

Nigel D'Sa(KOFIC)

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