Haeundae-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea,
Back to the Theater! The Roundup, 1st 10-million Viewer Film in 3 Years!
1st Successful Record after the Pandemic, Marking TOP 5 Global Box Office Profits Beyond Korea
Finally in 3 years, the first '10-million viewer film' was born in the Korean theater district. On June 11th (Saturday), The Roundup (released on May 18th) surpassed 10-million viewers in total in 25 days of its release, announcing the happy '10-million viewer' news. Including Korean and foreign films released in Korea, the film became the 28th '10-million viewer film' in history and the 20th among Korean films. It is also the first '10-million viewer film' in 3 years since Director Bong Joonho's PARASITE, which won the Palme d'Or at the Festival de Cannes in May 2019. It is also meaningful in that The Roundup set the record of attracting '10-million viewers' for the first time since the COVID-19 Pandemic that swept the world in February 2020.
The Korean film industry, which produced '10-million viewer films' every year since 2012, reached its best year in 2019. As if celebrating the 100th anniversary of Korean film history, the good news continued from the beginning of the year. Extreme Job, which was released in January 2019, was a huge hit, winning 2nd place in the Korean movie box office rankings. In May, Director Bong Joonho's PARASITE won the Palme d'Or at Cannes for the first time in the history of Korean cinema, further enhancing the status of Korean films and even making it a great hit with '10-million viewers.' In 2019, 5 10-million viewer films appeared in total, including the foreign films Avengers: Endgame, Frozen 2, and Aladdin, recording 226,678,777 moviegoers. It is the best box office record after the Korean Film Council collected the total number of audiences through the integrated computer network in 2004. However, the following year, along with the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020, the Korean film industry faced its worst crisis. Tentpole films, whose production costs were more than 20 billion won, had to give up being screened in empty theaters. They had no choice but to release the films on the OTT platform or postpone their releases without any promise.
High Expectations for the Return of Summer Peak Season in 3 Years Since 2020
In May 2022, when the number of Korean moviegoers exceeded 14 million, the largest number in 28 months since January 2020 just before the Pandemic, a 'signal of recovery' was detected. Soon after, the rise of The Roundup with 10-million viewers served as a flare for the audiences to come back to the theater, who had avoided visiting the theater because of the Pandemic. In this mood, it is important to notice that The Roundup's box office hit record goes beyond the Hollywood blockbusters Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Jurassic World: Dominion by a large gap. It means Korean moviegoers have waited for Korean movies. With The Roundup becoming a '10-million viewer film,' the Korean film industry is increasingly looking forward to the 'summer peak season,' which has come back in 3 years.
The promising Korean films, which could not confirm their release dates in the theater even after exiting the long tunnel of the COVID-19, finally jumped at confirming their release dates in July and August. Director Choi Donghoon's new film in 7 years, Alienoid, has been set to be released on July 20, and Hansan: Emergence of the Dragon, the sequel to The Admiral: Roaring Currents, the most-watched and highest-grossing film of all time in Korea, is scheduled to be released in late July. In August, two Korean films invited to Cannes will be released one after another. Emergency Declaration, which was invited to the Out of Competition at Cannes 2021, has confirmed its release in August, and Director Lee Jungjae's directorial debut film Hunt, which was invited to the Midnight Screenings at Cannes 2022, will also be released in August. With the release of many Tentpole films, which have been waiting for the theater back to normal, the Korean film industry has high expectations for the 'summer peak season,' which has come back after a long time.
The Roundup, Priming Water for the Summer Peak in 2022?
Theater officials expect the symbolic number of '10 million' to be a sure signal of recovery for the moviegoers back to the theater. A multiplex official said, "Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic, it wasn't easy to be recorded as a '10-million viewer film.' In addition, the presence of a '10-million viewer film' in a theater has a positive effect on inviting more audiences to the theater for other films besides the film itself. We expect that the 10-million viewer mark of The Roundup will not only have the effect of establishing the series as a 'hit franchise' but also have a positive effect on the release of the films that were reluctant to premiere in theaters." The Roundup recorded more than KRW 105.1 billion in sales in Korea alone, ranking 9th in box office profits among all films released in Korea. It is the 23rd-largest record in terms of the number of audiences alone, but its box office profits rose to the top 10 due to the rise in movie ticket prices.
In addition, The Roundup is setting a box office record in the global market. Citing market research company Comscore data, the distributor ABO Entertainment said on the 12th that The Roundup earned USD 10.728 million (about KRW 13.73 billion) worldwide for 1 week from May 30 to June 5. This is the 5th-largest box office hit after Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and The Bad Guys. The Roundup has been pre-sold to 132 countries around the world and is currently being screened in overseas theaters such as Taiwan, Mongolia, the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Canada, Hong Kong, etc.