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Ko - production in Busan
  • BONG Joon-ho’s SNOWPIERCER Finally Unveiled
  • by TAE Sang-joon /  Jul 23, 2013
  • The Biggest & Hottest Blockbuster of Summer 2013 Had Press Premiere
     

    A premiere of Snowpiercer was held for the press to finally unveil the most highly anticipated blockbuster of this summer. Snowpiercer is a multinational project directed by BONG Joon-ho, who previously made The Host and Memories of Murder. Produced by PARK Chan-wook’s Moho Films and Opus Pictures, the film stars big-name Hollywood actors such as Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and John Hurt and Korean actors such as SONG Kang-ho and KO Ah-sung. The production budget for Snowpiercer reached KRW 40 billion (USD 39.2 million), the highest-ever in the history of Korean films. The press premier of the film was held at Wangsimni CGV in Seoul with the participation of director BONG and actors SONG and KO during the afternoon of July 22nd.
     
    Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer is a sci-fi thriller set in a future world where everything has been frozen for 17 years. Humans failed to curb climate change by spreading CW-7, the only solution to global warming. Thus, the Earth has entered a new ice age and the only place where life can exist is a running train. Fed up with their miserable lives in the slum-like tail section of the train, young leader Curtis and his fellow passengers charge towards the head section where the absolute authority resides only to face an unexpected reality.
     
    “I am still a little nervous but I feel relieved now as I think the film is now completed,” said director BONG who spent seven years on the project. “After reading the original graphic novel, I began to plan the project with director PARK Chan-wook. It took three years to produce the film. I feel as if chronic cancer cells inside my body were all killed.” 
     

    The film is getting somewhat mixed reviews: Favorable ones describe Snowpiercer as “unique” and “powerful”, praising its profound “darkness” while there are critical comments on it for being a little too abstract, or the original story was too much to be made into a film. Despite these mixed reviews, Korean audiences are taking a strong interest in Snowpiercer, one of the most talked-about films in 2013. Snowpiercer topped the reserved ticket sales standings even ten days away from its official release for the public.
     
    According to the integrated ticket sales network of the Korean Film Council on July 22nd, Snowpiercer topped the chart with a share of 19.3%, defeating RED 2 and Mr. Go. It is the first time that a movie ten days away from its public release topped the chart since the introduction of the network. “We started reserved ticket sales at 65 theaters and 99 screens for Snowpiercer,” said a spokesperson at CJ E&M which invests and distributes the film. “Snowpiercer topped the chart by beating current blockbusters now playing such as RED 2, Mr. Go and Cold Eyes which secured over 700 screens on average. Most of the reservations converge on the opening day. This evinces that audiences have high expectations for Snowpiercer.”
    In addition, Snowpiercer presold to 167 countries such as North America, France, the U.K., Japan, Eastern Europe, Australia, South America and Scandinavia thanks only to a ten-minute highlight video. Therefore, Snowpiercer already compensated for about a half of its production cost (US$20 million). 
     
    The world premier of Snowpiercer will be held in Korea on August 1st after director BONG takes part in a premiere event with leading actors such as Evans and Swinton on July 29th. In North America, Snowpiercer will be distributed through on wide release by the Weinstein Company, one of the major distributors in the U.S.
     
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