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CJ ENM anticipated to hit jackpot with ‘Decision to Leave,’ ‘Broker’: experts

May 30, 2022 - 16:06 By Song Seung-hyun
A scene from “Decision to Leave” (CJ ENM)

CJ ENM is likely to hit the box office jackpot as an investment distributor of two films -- “Decision to Leave” and “Broker” -- which won major titles at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, film critics said.

Park Chan-wook won best director for “Decision to Leave” and Song Kang-ho won best actor for “Broker” at Cannes on Saturday.

Some local film critics predicted that CJ ENM could sell as many tickets as it did pre-pandemic in 2019 with the two films.

“Since I have not seen the film yet it is hard to predict, but ‘Broker’ has Song Kang-ho and many strong points as a commercial film so I expect to be successful (at the box office),” film critic Jung Ji-wook said.

Culture critic Ha Jae-keun was a bit more cautious but believed the films would have a good start.

“The recent trend has been that just because films won some awards at a big film festival, does not automatically mean the films can attract moviegoers. I think success will depend on actual moviegoers’ reviews,” Ha said. “But since the two films got a lot of attention from the media, it will help attract audiences in the beginning.”

CJ ENM will release “Broker“ on June 8 and release “Decision to Leave” three weeks later, on June 29.

So far, three films in which CJ ENM has invested and holds distributions rights to have won at the Cannes Film Festival, including Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2019.

“Parasite,” which was released after winning the Palme d’Or, sold 10.31 million tickets.

Sales at CJ ENM’s film business increased by 63.8 percent to 349.3 billion won ($281.65 million) and its operating profit reached 43.6 billion won.

A scene from “Broker” (CJ ENM)

Meanwhile, the two films -- “Decision to Leave” and “Broker” -- have been performing well in the global film market.

“Decision to Leave” has been sold to 192 countries, which is close to the record held by “Parasite,” which was sold to 205 countries. “Broker” has been sold to 171 countries.

Park’s new movie centers on a polite and honest police officer named Hye-jun (Park Hye-il). Hye-jun looks into a suspicious death that occurred on a mountain and comes to suspect the dead man’s wife, the mysterious Seo-rae (Tang Wei). At the same time, Hye-jun becomes attracted to her.

“Broker” features a cast of famous Korean actors, including Song, Bae Doo-na, Gang Dong-won and IU, and centers around the relationships formed through a “baby box,” a box installed at churches or institutions where desperate parents can leave their newborns anonymously.