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Ko - production in Busan
  • A Prosecutor at No. 1, and a Soldier at No. 10
  • by KIM Hyun-jung /  Jun 20, 2016
  • Top 10 Korean Movies in the First Half of 2016

    Half the year 2016 has gone, and it was not such a satisfying time for Korean cinema.

    As of June 18th, the winner of the number one place in the Korean box office is A Violent Prosecutor, having attracted 9.7 million viewers. However, in the top 10 list, only 5 of them are Korean, including A Violent Prosecutor, THE WAILING, The Handmaiden, Spirits’ Homecoming and The Himalayas. Even though you expand it to the top 20, you will only find 9 Korean films in the list. Among them, THE WAILING and The Handmaiden are still running in theater and therefore still have a chance to go higher in the chart, beating out some of the foreign films currently ahead of them.



    The most impressive domestic films in the top 10 box office in the first half of 2016 would be Spirits’ Homecoming and DONGJU; The Portrait of A Poet. Reviving the painful memory of Japanese Occupation, both films were produced with a low budget and released in a small size, but finally made to the 4th and 5th places respectively in the domestic box office, which made great news. If you add A Melody to Remember at the 10th place, a film set during the Korean War, you may say that the modern history of Korea was strong in the box office in the first half of the year.


    In addition, the present aspect of Korean society has been also a strong theme in the first half of the year. A Violent Prosecutor and Inside Men: The Original either parodied or attacked the power dynamics of Korea; and Phantom Detective, although the time setting is not clear, is often referred to as a metaphor of power in Korean society. 


    In addition, as if representing the numerous climbing lovers in Korea, The Himalayas, a mountain film, is at the 5th place in the domestic box office, and Time Renegades of KWAK Jae-yong, who has returned to the screen with a fantasy-melodrama, is at the 8th place.

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