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International Newsweek Covers Success Story of Korean Blockbusters

2004/04/28 Source

Next month's issue of the international edition of Newsweek will publish a five-page special cover story about the sensational boom of Korean blockbusters.
Under the head "Blockbuster Nation", Newsweek reported, "Orcs, elves and hobbits may rule Middle-earth, but they've proved no match for Korea's hunky heartthrobs".

"Korean leading men like Won Bin of 'Taegukgi' and Soel Gyeong-gu of 'Silmido' have brought side careers promoting Korean products all over Asia. Korean heartthrob Bae Yong Joon, star of a clever remake of 'Dangerous Liaisons' set in 18th-century Korea and called 'Untold Scandal,' is mobbed like a rock star all over Asia", Newsweek reported.

The subhead for this article was "How Seoul beat Hollywood, making Korea an Asian star", covered by two reporters, Mark Russell and George Wehrfritz. The two reporters cover the Hollywood remaking of Korean movies such as "My Sassy Girl", "Phone", and "A Tale of Two Sisters", Newsweek said, "Korea once looked to America for ideas, but now the reverse is also true".

In commenting about the Busan International Film Festival, Newsweek explained, "The Seoul government and industry leaders are working to position the Busan Film Festival as Cannes East, the festival where deals get gone, a one-stop venue where moviemakers can shop for financing, exports, even locations. In preparation for the next Pusan festival this fall, delegations from Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and all over Asia have been flocking to Seoul to study the Korean film renaissance".

Referring to a statement by a Korean filming staff member that "Theaters will cut movies [that open badly] almost immediately because there are so many other films waiting to run", Newsweek showed concern for the fast advancement of the Korean movie industry. "Seven in 10 films don't break even today. Marketing budgets have soared above US$1 million per film, more than triple the late-'90s average, as promoters push for Hollywood-style openings", Newsweek reported.

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