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Ko - production in Busan
  • Records Fall as KUNDO Revives Korean Film Industry
  • by Pierce Conran /  Jul 25, 2014
  • Strong Opening Offsets Disappointing Summer for Local Films
    The highly anticipated period action Kundo: Age of the Rampant opened big on Wednesday, giving the local industry a much needed boost following a series of disappointments and an absence of major hits in the marketplace. Creating a new opening day record in the process, the blockbuster scored a big 551,278 admissions on its first day, capturing 74.7% of the market, marginally eclipsing the record set by Transformers 3 in 2011. After two days in theaters, the new film has already accrued 983,857 viewers and is poised to generate significant sales over the weekend.
    While overall figures have seen marginal gains since last year, Hollywood has reaped the spoils to Korea’s disadvantage, as a steady trickle of tinseltown tentpoles each caught fire at the box office. Though many of the commercial Korean films to open this year have been well-received, a number of them fell in the noir category and became hard to distinguish from each other, resulting in audience fatigue.
    Kundo: Age of the Rampant is the fourth collaboration between actor HA Jung-woo and director YOON Jong-bin, following 2012’s Nameless Gangster. The film also features star GANG Dong-won in his first role following his mandatory 21-month military service. Also starring in the film, which features HA as a member of Robin Hood-like band of thieves that go up against a villainous sword-wielding prince played by GANG, are MA Dong-seok, CHO Jin-woong, LEE Kyeong-yeong and LEE Sung-min.
    The film kicked off the late summer season that attracts the largest crowds of the year and is typically favorable to local fare. However, Kundo will have its work cut out for it as it faces off against competing period blockbusters Roaring Currents and The Pirates in the coming weeks, not to mention Haemoo in mid-August.
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