The Korean documentary film "Old Partner"
(directed by Lee Chung-ryul) has topped 100,000 in ticket sales thanks to word-of-mouth advertising. It's a record commercial success for a domestic independent film.
Distributor Indiestory says the film opened Jan. 15 in only seven theaters nationwide. It is now being screened in 38 and has been watched by 100,366 people in 19 days as of Monday.
The highest grossing Korean independent film to date is the 2007 documentary "Our School" by director Kim Myeong-joon
, which attracted 55,000 moviegoers. Including community center and school screenings, the film was watched by 90,000 to 100,000 Koreans.
is the story of a nearly 80 year old farmer, his wife and their 40 year old cow, their life companion of 30 years. Their real life story talks about aging, death and parting.
The heartwarming retrospective view of the old man and his cow's life story has earned critical acclaim and positive audience response. Eight more theaters will screen the film from this weekend.
Indiestory attributed the success to word-of-mouth advertising through the media and viewers, a storyline appealing to all ages and the lack of any other Korean film with a similar concept.
An Indiestory official said, "People usually come alone to watch independent films but friends, families and couples are coming together to watch "Old Partner"
. Early viewers spread the word and the timing of the opening was also good".