Korean all-time box office champion "The Host"
is set to open in China on 250 screens. Beijing recently approved the film in a deliberation process that began last September. The film will be the widest release thus far granted to a Korean film and will open in early March under the title "The Host"
of the Han River.
The story of a ravenous monster – spawned from chemicals dumped by the US army into Seoul's central river – is expected to be a big draw among Chinese audiences seeking an effects heavy thriller produced outside of Hollywood, with its uniquely Korean narrative.
Huaxia, the film's Chinese distributor, intends to invite director Bong Joon-ho
to the premiere. China's censor board recommended only minor cuts and the film is to receive a PG-12 rating for families.
is most likely to be imported on a flat-fee rather than revenue-sharing basis, as China's strict annual quota allows for only 20 foreign films with the lucrative percentage-based deal. Other Korean films expected to be signed on for release this year include CJ Entertainment's "The Restless
" and Show East's "Innocent Steps
The Host was released in Japan, France, and the UK, where it failed to meet box office expectations, but has done well in smaller Asian territories. Magnolia Pictures plans to release it in the US in March.
Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)