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Three Korean films confirm April release, gear up to top local box office

By Kim Da-sol

Published : March 12, 2023 - 15:58

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“Rebound” (Barunson E&A) “Rebound” (Barunson E&A)

Three South Korean films will be released in April with the support of local multiplex theaters in an attempt to top local box offices currently dominated by foreign films such as Japanese animated films “Suzume” and “The First Slam Dunk.”

According to local multiplex theaters CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox, films “Rebound,” “Killing Romance” and “Dream” will open in April, along with sponsorships by multiplex theaters to revitalize local box offices, as April is normally considered the low season for cinemas here.

These films -- picked among films with production costs above 7 billion won ($5.3 million) -- will be offered part of the costs of marketing, promotion, distribution, digital projection and more.

First on the list is the sports comedy of filmmaker Jang Hang-jun and his wife and star writer, Kim Eun-hee, “Rebound,” which will hit local theaters on April 5.

Based on the real-life story of a basketball team at Busan Jungang high school in 2012, director Jang has moved the eight-day high school basketball competition event to the big screen.

Ahn Jae-hong, who has starred in various hit TV dramas and films, including TVN series “Reply 1988” (2015) and rom-com series “Melo is my Nature” (2019), appears as Yang-hyun, a former basketball player newly recruited to be the basketball coach at Busan Jungsang High School. Lee Shin-young, Jung Jin-woon, Kim Taek, Jung Geon-ju, Kim Min and Ahn Ji-ho star as Busan Joongang High School players.

The production team for 2017 hit film “The Outlaws” prepared for the film since 2013, and writer Kwon Sung-hui of Netflix hit series “Narco-Saints” (2022) as well as Kim Eun-hee of hit TV drama “Signal” (2016) and Netflix series “Kingdom” (2019) joined for the dramatic storyline.

Meanwhile, director Lee Won-seok’s romance thriller, “Killing Romance,” starring actors Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Ha-nee and Gong Myung, will be released on April 14.

“Extreme Job”(2019) star Lee Ha-nee is appearing as former actor Hwang Yeo-rae, who is known for her terrible acting skills and leaving the industry after marrying chaebol owner Jonathan (Lee Sun-kyun). Gong Myung appears as Yeo-rae’s neighbor, Kim Beom-woo, who has failed the test three times. Gong has also appeared in “Extreme Job” along with Lee.

“Killing Romance” has garnered the industry’s attention from the beginning for applying various setups of different genres to the film, including of musicals. The choreography was created by professional dancer Monika Shin from local dance crew Prowdmon.

Park Seo-joon from “Dream” (Plus M Entertainment) Park Seo-joon from “Dream” (Plus M Entertainment)

“Dream,” another sports comedy-drama film written and directed by Lee Byeong-heon, will hit local theaters on April 26.

Telling the story of a former soccer coach training a national team of unhoused people for the Homeless World Cup, actor Park Seo-joon appears as former soccer player Yoon Hong-dae who leads the homeless soccer team as a coach, and IU plays documentary film producer Lee So-min.

“Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area” (2022) actor Lee Hyun-woo stars as an ace soccer player, with Ko chang-seok as the team member who cheers everyone up.

According to local box offices, Japanese animated films have topped the chart over the weekend, mainly thanks to the strong fan base among anime lovers here.

On Saturday, “Suzume” recorded 305,356 ticket sales after its release on Wednesday last week, followed by “The First Slam Dunk,” which sold 44,049 tickets on the same day. South Korea noir flick “The Devil’s Deal,” by director Lee Won-tae drew 39,234 ticket sales to rank third.