The summer season has been dominated by Hollywood blockbusters, but a wide collection of Korean films are lining up for a release during the Chuseok holiday in September.
The holiday, which will effectively last from September 22 to 26, is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year at the local box office. With many big hits having been launched during Chuseok in past years, attention is focusing on which of this year's films may have the potential to break out.
Local distributors CJ Entertainment, Lotte Entertainment, Showbox, and Cinema Service have each lined up a film for release, while Hollywood branch office Fox will also distribute one Korean title.
CJ's selection is "The Happy Life"
by director Lee Joon-ik
, who has acquired star status in Korea after box office smash "The King and the Clown
" and word-of-mouth hit "Radio Star"
in 2006. His latest film follows four middle aged men who decide to put together a rock band. Lotte Entertainment, meanwhile, will release "My Father"
, starring popular actor/model Daniel Henney
as a Korean adoptee who comes from the U.S. to Korea and tries to track down his birth father.
Cinema Service will turn to director Kim Sang-jin
, responsible for legendary hit films "Attack the Gas Station!
", "Kick the Moon
" and "Jail Breakers - No. 815
". His newest comedy "Mission Possible: Kidnapping Granny K
" stars veteran actress Na Moon-hee
as a woman who gives her kidnappers a lot more than they bargained for. Showbox, for its part, will release the romantic comedy "2 Faces of My Girlfriend
" ("Du Eolgul-ui Yeochin" original Korean title) starring the talented Bong Tae-gyu
and singer/actress Jung Ryeo-won
Lastly, 20th Century Fox has picked up a Korean film to distribute on a fee basis. "The Mafia, The Salesman
" ("Sangsabuilche", original Korean title) is the third film in the highly successful series of comedies that began with "My Boss, My Hero
" (2001) and continued last year with "My Boss, My Teacher
". With an entirely new cast including Lee Sung-jae
and Park Sang-myun
, but the same basic setting, the film will hope to tap into viewers' old enthusiasm for the gangster comedy genre.