In the coming month or so it is expected to be difficult to see releases of big-budget Korean films as many of them have delayed their opening dates.
According to reports, no films with a budget of more than 10 billion won will open before April, as they delayed their release dates. While this is also partially due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Over the Seollal (lunar new year) holiday in the country, the number of moviegoers hit a new low, usually one of the busiest times of the year for movie theaters in Korea.
According to the Korean Film Council’s data, during the Seollal holidays from Jan 29. to Feb. 2 around 1.36 million people went to the movies. The figure is lower than the number of moviegoers over last year’s same holiday, which stood at around 1.53 million.
During the holidays, two of the Korean films that were created at a cost of more than 10 billion won — “Kingmaker” and “The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure” sold only around 480,000 and 880,000 tickets, respectively.
Director Han Jae-rim’s aviation disaster flick “Emergency Declaration,” which cost more than 24.5 billion won to produce, is yet to confirm its release date.
According to reports, the film had its world premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival in July and has been one of the most anticipated films in South Korea because of its star-studded cast, which includes Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun and Jeon Do-yeon.
The film’s release has been delayed several times since 2020 and most recently it was preparing to open in theaters in January. However, that plan was canceled as well.
Another Director Kim Han-min’s “Hansan: Rise of the Dragon” which was set to be released last summer, has still not confirmed a release date.
The new film from Kim centers around the legendary historical figure Adm. Yi Sun-sin (played by Park Hae-il) fighting the Great Battle of Hansan in 1592.
Director Yoon Jae-kyun musical film “Hero” has also not decided its release date yet. The film is a biopic of Ahn Jung-geun, a Korean independence fighter who assassinated Ito Hirobumi, the first Japanese Resident-General in Korea during the Japanese colonial period, in Harbin, China in 1909.