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Ko - production in Busan
  • HAN GONG-JU Crosses JISEUL Box Office Total
  • by Pierce Conran /  May 01, 2014
  • Hard-Hitting Indie on Impressive Run

    LEE Su-jin’s searing debut Han Gong-ju has been both a hit with critics and audiences as the film has become one of the most successful Korean independent films of all time. As of the evening of May 29th, the film had crossed the 160,000 viewer mark.
    Following its premiere and Citizen Reviewers’ Award and CGV MovieCollage Prize at the Busan International Film Festival, Han Gong-ju has gone on to win the top prizes at the Marrakesh, Rotterdam and Fribourg International Film Festivals, while also picking up three awards at the Deauville Asian Film Festival along the way.
    LEE’s film crossed the 100,000 viewer mark, an enormous benchmark for an independent production, in just nine days, which was quicker than the pace of recent indie favorites, such as Breathless (2008) 19 days and Bedevilled’s (2010) ten. The film also eclipsed the 144,000 total of Jiseul, which became the most successful Korean film to be released on less than 100 screens last year.
    Released on just over 200 screens, Han Gong-ju joins the ranks of the most widely exposed Korean independent films. Though word of mouth is strong, and daily attendance has remained flat since its opening two weeks ago despite a gradual erosion of screening times, the film is unlikely to cross the indie record holder Old Partner, the surprisingly successful documentary that reached three million admissions in 2009.
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