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Hit movies revisit audiences as musicals

2007/06/18 | 672 views | Permalink | Source

Creating a new catch phrase "moviecal boom" in the country's entertainment industry, a number of musicals based on hit movies will be staged in the coming months. Smash-hit Korean movies, including "200 Pounds Beauty", "Singles", "Love So Divine", "My Love My Bride" and "The Parade of the Youth", are a few examples among many moviecals already announced for a rebirth on stage. The moviecal boom doesn't stop there. Older hit movies like "The Gingko Bed" (1995), which starred Han Suk-kyu and Shim Hye-jin, "The Harmonium in My Memory" (1999), featuring Lee Byung-hun and Jeon Do-yeon, winner of this year's Canne Film Festival, and internationally acclaimed director Im Kwon-taek's "The General's Son (1990)" are also to be staged next year.

Among a number of moviecals, the musical adaptation of the movie "200 Pounds Beauty", is already grabbing media attention in and out of the country. The movie based on a transformation story of an extremely fat singer produced an impressive box-office result last year, selling 6.62 million tickets. The number surpassed the Korean Wave hit "Shiri" (6.21 million admissions) to secure the No. 8 slot in the country's top movie rankings in terms of total ticket sales. The question is now being asked whether the musical version of the movie will make a huge success like the movie did.

Shownote, a local musical production company which is to produce the musical adaptation of "200 Pounds Beauty", said they are quite confident of the success of the musical because the movie has a refined story and amazing songs that already have grabbed the eyes and ears of Korean fans.

"We decided to stage the musical version of '200 Pounds Beauty' because not only was it a surprising hit across the nation, but also its story and songs are quite suitable to a musical", said Lee Ga-young, publicist of the production company. "The musical version will have a taste and style different from the movie. And it is scheduled to be staged late next year".

Although media attention is much focused on moviecals, however, ticket sales demonstrate low public interest for moviecals.

A musical version of "Singles", which features singer-turned-actor Lee Hyun-woo-I, and the musical "Innocent Steps", also starring Eugene (Eugene), a former member of popular girl group S.E.S., have received media attention because the two both have the story of the hit movies and versatile celebrities to make the musical known to the audience.

However, ticket sales haven't been that good.

According to Interpark, one of the major online shopping malls, "Singles" marked 23rd and "Innocent Steps" 46th in sales ranking.

The producer of the musical said musical sales can't be the same as movies.

"I thought I was the filmmaker who was thinking about making musicals based on the movie. And I thought it would be easier to stage the musical version of the movie because I was the one who made the movie. However, I was wrong. Making a musical was a different story", said Choi Soon-sik, president of Culturecap Media, in an interview with a local magazine.

Culturecap media is a production company that produced both the movie and musical versions of "Innocent Steps".

"The success of the movie has little to do with the musical. The ticket price for the musical costs much more than buying movie tickets. In other words, there should be a clear reason to lure audiences to the theater rather than just depending on the popularity of the title", said Choi.

By Cho Chung-un

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