S. Korean film producers seek success in China

24 April 2013 10 h 10 min Comments Off

baibaihe

CJ Entertainment’s second South Korea-China joint-production film, A Wedding Invitation, was No. 1 at the Chinese box office in the first week of its release. The romance flick stars Eddie Peng and Bai Baihe.

(My Paper, Apr 23, 2013) CJ Entertainment’s latest Mandarin film topped the Chinese box office in the first week of its release, becoming the first South Korea-China joint-production film to gross 1 billion yuan (S$200 million) in the country.

A Wedding Invitation, directed by South Korean film-maker Oh Ki Hwan (Art Of Seduction, 2005), features Chinese stars Eddie Peng and Bai Baihe 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 feelings for each other, an unexpected misfortune occurs.

The film is the second South Korean-Chinese film co-produced by CJ, following its 2009 romantic comedy, Sophie’s Revenge, which starred Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and South Korean actor So Ji Sub.

“We were involved in every aspect of A Wedding Invitation, from the very initial marketing research and pre-production,” said CJ spokesman Woo Ram.

“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 favoured 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.

The South Korean government and movie-makers 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 United States and India. It rolled out 558 feature- length commercial films in 2011, generating 2.4 trillion won (S$2.7 billion) in revenue.

The state-run Korean Film Council has been supporting South Korean-Chinese joint productions, as they are relatively easier to distribute in China, compared to exclusively South Korean-made films.

A number of co-production movies have been released in China in recent years, including South Korean film-maker Hur Jin Ho’s two romance films, A Good Rain Knows (2009) and Dangerous Liaisons (2012), and South 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 next month to June. The film’s Japanese and North American release will take place later this year, it said.

No release date has been confirmed for Singapore.

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