Ji Chang-wook benchmarks Kim Soo-hyun, Lee Min-ho over Asia

By Chung Joo-won
  • Published : May 2, 2014 - 11:54
  • Updated : May 2, 2014 - 11:55

Actor Ji Chang-wook [Glorious Entertainment]

Korean actor Ji Chang-wook is laying the groundwork for widening his presence in Asia, benchmarking the hallyu-star formula already demonstrated by Kim Soo-hyun and Lee Min-ho.

Whereas the Korean actor’s overseas activities have so far only included Japan, his agency seeks to present him to a broader audience throughout Asia, following his success on MBC TV show “Empress Ki.”

Ji’s popularity has been rising on the back of his role on “Empress Ki,” which drew up a stunning 28.7 percent viewer rating in the 51st and final episode on April 29. 

Ji Chang-wook plays Emperor Tahwan of Yuan dynasty in MBC TV show "Empress Ki."

In the second half this year, Ji will be visiting 10 Asian countries, including China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia, where MBC was authorized to air the drama. The visit is part of the drama’s overseas promotions.

Previously, Ji’s international activities were largely kept to Japan. He also starred in musicals “The Three Musketeers” and “The Days,” both staged there.

Ji Chang-wook performs in musical "The Days." [Glorious Entertainment]

Ji’s agency also has two fan meetings arranged, on May 17 at Yomiuri Hall in Tokyo and on June 7 at Theater Brava in Osaka.

Ji is noticeably taking after the star-making formula of globalized K-drama actors, with the best examples being Kim Soo-hyun and Lee Min-ho.

Kim Soo-hyun has become one of the most popular K-drama actors in Asia, following the huge successes of“Moon Embracing the Sun (2012)” and “My Love from the Star (2013-2014).”

Actor Kim Soo-hyun appears on fan meeting events in Shanghai and Taiwan in March. [Keyeast]

Lee Min-ho has also become a top K-drama icon globally after starring in “Boys over Flowers (2009)” and “The Heirs (2013).”

Actor Lee Min-ho attends fan meeting event "Fun Meet" in Manila, Philippines, on March 21. [Starhaus Entertainment]

The so-called K-drama star formula consists of the initial jackpot at home, the overseas sales of the screening rights, overseas tours and promotional events and local activities abroad.

Fast-growing social networking services have also contributed to the fast proliferation of their popularity outside Korea.

By Chung Joo-won (joowonc@heraldcorp.com)