In its second week, with screenings now sharply reduced, "The Divine Fury" has only managed about 1.5 million box office admissions. This is a far cry from the surprise 2017 hit "Midnight Runners", also from writer/director Kim Joo-hwan and starring Park Seo-joon in the leading role. That buddy cop film managed over 5.5 million admissions.
The result is a definite disappointment to investors in "The Divine Fury" who had put up twelve million dollars to finance the film under the assumption that the star combination would at least be a modest success. 3.5 million admissions would have been necessary to break even on the project straight away. Now the film will instead have to pin its hopes on secondary distribution models and the international market.
Even if the film does break even, the relative failure has hurt a lot of hopes about the possibility of turning "The Divine Fury"'s supernatural backstory into a franchise. Park Seo-joon had expressed such pride in the project he thought it could compete with Marvel superhero films. For now Park Seo-joon will just have to focus on his upcoming drama "Itaewon Class" while writer/director Kim Joo-hwan starts in on "Puppy".
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] "The Divine Fury" Fails to Recapture the Park Seo-joon Magic of "Midnight Runners""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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