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'Duelist' Sells Japanese Rights for $5 Million

2005/02/16 Source

Domestic film "Duelist", currently being filmed by director Lee Myung-se, sold its Japanese distribution rights to the film importer Comstock at $5 million (5.1 billion won), the highest ever export price of South Korean movies, according to its investor, Korea Pictures.

"We have agreed to get a prepaid amount, then we will get a certain ratio from the box office earnings", an official of the firm said.

The film features rising stars Gang Dong-won and Ha Ji-won with an estimated production cost of 8 billion won ($7.8 million). The film is expected to be released in August.

The previous record price for distribution rights was $3.2 million, set by "A Bittersweet Life", starring Lee Byung-hun, which will be released this year.

"Duelist", a period piece that takes place in the Choson era, deals with a confrontation between a secret faction plotting treason and the police.

Comstock reportedly plans to release the film in Japan at the same time with Korea this summer. The Japanese filmmaker imported another South Korean film, "A Tale of Two Sisters", in 2003.

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