BURNING, Cannes! by HWANG Hee-yun / May 23, 2018
Box Office Results of Korean Films in Cannes
Korean films have begun to stand out at Cannes Film Festival since 2000. That year, legendary Korean filmmaker IM Kwon-
taek was selected in the competition section with his pansori drama Chunhyang (2000), the adaptation of the classic Korean folktale ‘Chunhyang’. In 2002, IM claimed the Best Director Prize for his work Chihwaseon (2002), the feature about the life and passion of nineteenth-century Korean painter JANG Seung-up. Since then, Korean auteur directors have frequently walked on the Cannes’ red carpet. PARK Chan-wook, who earned Cannes’ Grand Prix with Old Boy (2003) in 2004 and picked up the Jury Prize for Thirst (2009) in 2009, is one of the Festival's most appreciated director. On another hand, Hong Sangsoo attended Cannes Film Festival eight times and got three of his movies screened in the official competition: Woman Is The Future Of Man (2004), Tale of Cinema (2005) and In Another Country (2012). LEE Chang-dong was invited to Cannes with his new film BURNING, following the previous selection of Secret Sunshine (2007) and Poetry (2010). IM Sang-soo, who entered the competition section with The Housemaid (2010) and The Taste of Money (2012), is also, among Korean directors, a regular at Cannes.
How does the selection in Cannes’ Competition affect one’s Korean box office? Looking at domestic box office results of films selected in the Cannes’ Competition section in the past 15 years, the selection in competition does not seem to have had an expected great impact. However, award winners are doing well. PARK’s Old Boy, winner of the Grand Prix in 2004, garnered 3,269,000 in total viewers nationwide, while LEE’s Secret Sunshine, winner of the Best Actress Award, attracted 1,710,364 moviegoers. PARK’s Thirst and LEE’s Poetry sold 2,237,271 and 222,017 tickets, respectively. Although LEE’s latest film BURNING didn’t win prizes in the Cannes Competition’s section, it claimed the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) prize for best film. How well will the film do at the Korean box-office remains to be