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[HanCinema's News] The Unexpected Failure of "The King's Letters"


Song Kang-ho has long been considered a major box office draw in South Korea. Only a few months ago he had the leading actor credit on the ten million viewer hit "Parasite".

Last year's "Drug King", a low performing film by Song Kang-ho's standards, managed 1.8 million viewers at the box office. But "The King's Letters" is currently set to only make half that amount, having failed to reach number one in its first weekend and now completely pushed aside by "The Divine Fury" and "Exit - Movie".

Controversy over the alleged plagiarism did the movie no favors. It was unclear whether "The King's Letters" would be allowed to screen in theaters at all until shortly before its scheduled release. Poor communication by the distribution company over this issue immediately put "The King's Letters" at a disadvantage. But negative response by viewers to the movie's depressing tone firmly prevented a possible rebound.

This has created a discouraging situation for Megabox Plus M, which had been expecting at least a 3.5 million viewer response to "The King's Letters". Similarly anemic response to the Kim Nam-gil headlined "The Odd Family: Zombie On Sale" and "Long Live the King" from "The Outlaws" director Kang Yoon-Sung has further weakened the company's position. "Beasts Clawing at Straws" with Jung Woo-sung remains their last major hope for the year.

Written by William Schwartz

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