Director Kim Tae-yong’s film “Late Autumn” made 25 million yuan (about $4 million) in ticket sales, a record for a Korean film in its first week of release, just three days after its Chinese release last week, according to the movie’s Korean distributor CJ Entertainment.
Co-starring popular Korean actor Hyun Bin and Chinese actress Tang Wei, the film is a remake of Korean director Lee Man-hee’s 1966 drama of the same title. It was released in local theaters last year and Tang won the best actress prize for her role at Korea’s PaekSang Arts Awards, becoming the first foreign actress to win the honor.
A scene from director Kim Tae-yong’s film “Late Autumn.” (CJ Entertainment)
Previously, comedian-turned-filmmaker Shim Hyung-rae’s 2007 fantasy action film “D-War” and the 2011 3-D monster flick “Sector 7” starring actress Ha Ji-won were among the few successful Korean film exports to China.
The two movies each brought in some 30 million yuan in screenings in China. According to CJ Entertainment, experts in China expect “Late Autumn” to exceed the sales of the two films very soon.
“Comedies and action films have been doing well in China in recent years,” CJ Entertainment said in a statement. ‘Late Autumn’ is a romance drama and it’s meaningful that a foreign film in a non-action genre has made a hit in China.”
The plot of the film develops as Chinese-American prisoner Anna (Tang Wei), who murdered her husband seven years ago, is released from jail for three days to attend her mother’s funeral in Seattle. On her way to Seattle, she runs into Korean gigolo Hoon (Hyun Bin) and ends up spending the next 72 hours with him. The film was shot in Seattle, and almost every line of the script is performed in English.
“There’s this perception that serious foreign-language films cannot draw audiences overseas,” Lee Joo-ik, director of the film’s production house Boram Entertainment, said during the Beijing premiere of the film last week. “It (‘Late Autumn’) made me realize good movies can transcend national boundaries.”
By Claire Lee (email@example.com