Which of the 7 Korean Films Will be a Box Office Hit This Summer? Production Costs and Break-Even Points Revealed

korean movie box office 2023
korean movie box office 2023
Credit: NEW, CJ ENM, Showbox, Lotte Entertainment

This summer, the competition among Korean films is more intense than ever. Four blockbuster movies and three mid-scale films are set to hit theaters in July and August, embarking on a fierce battle of promotions. Let’s take a look at the break-even points for these Korean films that have entered the summer market.

The first to step into the arena was the movie Smugglers, which premiered on the 26th of last month. Directed by the renowned Ryu Seung Wan, the film boasts an impressive cast including Kim Hye Soo, Yum Jung Ah, Jo In Sung, Park Jung Min, and Go Min Si. With a total production cost of 18 billion won ($14 million), the film will break even once it registers more than 4 million viewers. As of July 31st, it has recorded 1.9 million viewers, and it is expected to smoothly surpass 3 million viewers. However, the releases of The Moon and Ransomed on August 2nd are expected to add a twist to the competition.

The Moon is a sci-fi film directed by Kim Yong Hwa, known for the Along With the Gods series, and stars Do Kyung Soo, Sol Kyung Gu, and Kim Hee Ae. The film is highly anticipated for its realistic visuals built based on the accumulated technical expertise. As it takes place in outer space, it is the most expensive among this summer’s blockbusters. The production cost is 28 billion won ($21.8 million), and the movie will break even when it crosses 6 million viewers.

Ransomed, directed by Kim Sung Hoon and starring Ha Jung Woo and Ju Ji Hoon, is a film that focuses more on entertainment compared to Escape From Mogadishu and Bargaining. The production cost is 25 billion won ($19.4 million), and the film will break even once it registers more than 5 million viewers.

Concrete Utopia is the final film to join the Big 4 competition. Portraying a Korean-style disaster drama, it features Lee Byung Hun, Park Seo Joon, and Park Bo Young. The film received positive reactions from the media after its preview screening. The production cost is 22 billion won ($17.1 million), and the break-even point is at 4.1 million viewers.

korean movie box office 2023
Credit: ACE Maker Movieworks, Mindmark, Plus M Entertainment

On August 15th, two Korean films are set to be released simultaneously. Jung Woo Sung’s directorial debut film A Man of Reason and Kim Hee Sun’s comeback film HONEYSWEET are hitting the screens. A Man of Reason has a production cost of 8 billion won ($6.2 million) and a break-even point of 1.6 million viewers, while HONEYSWEET has a production cost of 6.5 billion won ($5 million) and a break-even point of 1.65 million viewers.

Finally, Target, starring Shin Hye Sun, has confirmed its release date for August 30th. Presented by the production company behind Door Lock, the film is expected to have a similar scale. Door Lock had a break-even point of 1.2 million viewers. Which of these movies will successfully recover their production costs?

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