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[HanCinema's News] First New Major South Korean Box Office Releases Since COVID-19 Crowd Around June

2020/05/26

The South Korean box office has been devoid of new releases ever since February, with "Beasts Clawing at Straws" being the last major one. "Innocence" was once set to break this dead zone with a planned May 27th release, but even this was pushed back to June 11th following a COVID-19 resurgence centered around nightclubs. Now "Intruder" will be first up on June 4th- provided there are no more delays.

This is the current reality of the South Korean box office, with endless days and a laggard performance. But in typical chicken-and-egg fashion it's difficult to tell at this point where COVID-19 is the real culprit or just the aggressive dearth of new movies. Daily box office totals hover in the twenty to thirty thousand, dominated by foreign releases from a few years ago. Many of these movies weren't even popular back when they were new.

"Intruder" hopes to break that trend with its mystery thriller themed story around a woman, played by Song Ji-hyo, who infiltrates a household claiming to be a long lost family member. It's based on the bestselling novel of the same title and rights have been sold to twenty-five countries. "Innocence" features a similar tone, centering around an apparent murder and starring Shin Hye-sun in the leading role.

June 18th is the opening day for "Me and Me", yet another mystery thriller that is the directorial debut for actor Jung Jin-young. It is only with the social media themed zombie movie "#ALIVE" that the market will transition to more traditional summer fare later in the month. June 25th is the obvious date of release for "#ALIVE", but laggard returns from the first three major openers could push the project further back. At present it's only projected for a June release.

Written by William Schwartz

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