Korean film producers seek success in China

22 April 2013 / 3 years 6 months ago

Eddie Peng and Bai Bah-he stars in CJ Entertainment's Korea-China joint romance film A Wedding Invitation.Source: The Korea Herald/Asia News NetworkCJ Entertainment's latest Chinese-language film topped the Chinese box office in the first week of its release, becoming the first-ever Korea-China joint production film to gross 1 billion yuan ($162 billion) in the country."A Wedding Invitation," directed by Korean filmmaker Oh Ki-hwan ("Last Present," 2001, "Art of Seduction," 2005), features Chinese stars Eddie Peng and Bai Bah-he as the leads. It tells the story of two former lovers who run into each other after being separated for five years. When they finally discover they still have genuine feelings for each other, an unexpected misfortune occurs.The film is the second Korean-Chinese film coproduced by local powerhouse CJ Entertainment, following its 2009 romantic comedy "Sophie's Revenge."The 2009 film starred Chinese actress Zhang Zi-yi and Korean actor So Ji-sub, and had topped the box office in China in its first weekend after the release."We were involved in every aspect of 'A Wedding Invitation' from the very initial marketing research and preproduction," said Woo Ram from CJ Entertainment. "So in a genuine sense, we could say that 'A Wedding Invitation' is the first, film we fully produced for the Chinese market."According to the producers, romantic comedy has been a favourable genre for Chinese moviegoers for many years. "A Wedding Invitation," however, stays away from the rom-com genre. CJ said it wanted to develop a "romance genre" that "follows Korean style" for the movie, while China Film Group, one of the biggest film distributors in China, is in charge of its distribution.As a result, the film sounds rather like a tearjerker reminiscent of director Oh's 2001 work "Last Present," a heart-wrenching tale of a dying wife and her husband, and other tragic romance movies and TV drama series in the early 2000s in Korea ? such as Lee Jeong-wook's 2003 film "Scent of Chrysanthemums" and 2003 SBS TV show "Stairway to Heaven."The Korean government and moviemakers have been making efforts to break into the ever-booming Chinese film market. In 2010, China became the world's third-largest maker of movies after the US and India. It rolled out 558 feature-length commercial films in 2011, generating 2.4 trillion won ($2.1 billion) in revenue. The state-run Korean Film Council has been supporting Korean-Chinese joint productions, as they are relatively easier to distribute in China compared to exclusively Korean-made films.A number of coproduction, movies have released in China in recent years, including Korean filmmaker Hur Jin-ho's two romance films "A Good Rain Knows" (2009) and "Dangerous Liaisons" (2012), and Korean director Ahn Byeong-ki's 2012 horror "Bunshinsaba."CJ said it is planning to release "A Wedding Invitation" in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand from May to June. The film's Japanese and North American release will also take place later this year, it said.

k-pop, Mandopop
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