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Webcomic Series to the Big Screen by HWANG Hee-yun /  Apr 03, 2018
7 Highest-grossing Movies Based on Webcomic Series



In Korea, one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world regarding Internet access, people have been used to read comics on websites for a while. The early webcomic series, which were more visual than the recent ones, have been considered a good source of content for films from the beginning. KANG Full’s webcomic series are the most popular. As one of the first webtoonists, KANG Full drew a lot of attention when his works were first made into films, despite his early series being not very successful. Starring KO So-young, horror movie A.P.T (2006) attracted 644,893 moviegoers, while emotional melodrama Crush On You (2008) and Ba:Bo (2008) drew respectively only 730,343 and 974,554 moviegoers. Those results were quite disappointing in comparison of KANG Full's reputation for solid stories, quick development, and emotional codes.

However, films based on webtoons have spurred great growth since 2010. Low-budget film Late Blossom (2011) did well, attracting 1,645,126 moviegoers, and political drama 26 Years (2012) as well as thriller The Neighbors (2012) attracted about 2.5 to 3 million moviegoers each. Moss (2010) and Inside Men (2015) based on YOON Tae-ho’s webcomic series, as well as Secretly Greatly (2013) from CHOI Jong-hoon’s series were box office successes, marking an important step for webcomic series as an original content form in the film industry. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017), which ranks second in all-time box office in Korea, sparked the interest for webtoons once again. Although the latest webtoon-based releases such as The Chase (2017) and Cheese in the Trap were rather unsuccessful, the Korean film industry remains widely interested in popular webtoons.
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