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Monster Film Feared to Hurt Domestic Industry

2006/08/22 Source

More than 11 million moviegoers saw The Host, just three weeks after it hit the silver screen.
But such stellar numbers are raising concerns as well.
Son Hee-kyung has more.

Roughly one in four Koreans has seen this movie.
The sci-fi production is the buzz about town as it dominates the box office and audiences with a rarely-seen subject: a monster.

SON HEE-KYUNG, REPORTER: "The success of the monster-flick The Host is good news for the domestic film industry because it raises hopes about more Korean blockbusters. But the downside is that it makes it harder on low budget, and independent films".

From that perspective, having two domestic blockbusters in one year is far from welcome.
The country's all-time box office king "The King and the Clown" assumed the throne early this year.
Critics say such monster flicks are depriving moviegoers of cinematic diversity, and attract too much attention to one film.

MOVIE CRITIC: "Instead of one film dominating theaters over a short period of time, it's better to have several movies attract three million to five million moviegoers each".The Host" is gaining nationwide interest, but is doing so at the cost of other domestic films".

Fears are growing that low-budget productions and independent films will not even get a chance to be shown to audiences as big-budget productions like The Host debuted at 620 screens nationwide, the largest ever.
The reality is many are flocking to see The Host, just because others have.

MOVIEGOER: "I came to see The Host because the majority of my friends have watched it. I felt left out because I didn't see it".

Critics warn this syndrome is abnormal, and will lead to an unbalanced culture.
But there's always two sides to a story.
The good news is a domestic film attracting 10 million moviegoers is no longer seen as a major phenomenon, but something that can happen once or twice a year.

FILM PRODUCER: "We hope the success of The Host will spawn more Korean blockbusters, and encourage directors to be more innovative".

The domestic film industry has received a major boost from The Host.
But critics say moviegoers should step out of their comfort zone and seek a wider range of movies from different genres, and that they say will broaden viewers' horizons.

Son Hee-kyung, Arirang News.

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