Eight Chinese films to be released in S.Korea in 2021, sign of increased cultural communication
Published: Apr 12, 2021 08:18 PM
A Writer’s Odyssey photo:VCG

A Writer’s Odyssey photo:VCG

A total of eight Chinese films will release in South Korea in 2021. Such a big number of Chinese films can be seen as a sign of an increased cultural communication between China and South Korea, but the previous dominance of the “Korean Wave” in the Chinese entertainment market will not happen again due to the improved Chinese film market, Chinese observers said on Monday.

The eight Chinese films are fantasy action-adventure film A Writer’s Odyssey, comedy Coffee or Tea, crime action films Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch and Guilt by Design, drama films Lost and Love and Getting Home, fantasy film The Enchanting Phantom, and romance film You Are the Apple of My Eye.

“The main reason that a group of Chinese films are being released in South Korea is mainly because 2021 is the China-Korea Cultural Exchange Year,” Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Monday.

China’s CCTV and South Korea’s public television network KBS signed an agreement on February 22 to cooperate in various aspects of the cultural industry, according to CCTV.

However, Xiao pointed out that with the booming development of the Chinese film and television market, China can be no longer solely import Korean culture. “The ‘Korean Wave’ will not regain its hegemony in the Chinese idol market like five years ago. The success of Better Days in South Korea is a good example that shows how the Chinese film industry has improved,” said Xiao.

Chinese romantic crime film Better Days was released in South Korea in July 2020. It grossed 405 million won ($360,000) and earned a high score of 9.46/10 on South Korean website Naver, according to reports.

Some insiders noted that the release of the eight Chinese films, which were produced over the past 10 years, is very meaningful as they will allow South Korean audiences to see the progress of Chinese films over the past decade.

While eight Chinese films will be released in South Korea in 2021, the opposite is not holding true for Chinese-South Korean romantic-fantasy film Catman, starring South Korean actor and singer Oh Se-hun. The film was initially announced to premiere in the Chinese mainland on March 14, but was later withdrawn from Chinese ticketing platform without an explanation. 

Five among the eight films have already been released in South Korea so far, while the remaining three will be screened before the end of April. 

Some Chinese film experts predict the box-office winner will be A Writer’s Odyssey, as its advanced visual effects reflect the strength of China’s film industry. The film’s box office and reputation in China and South Korea will give South Korean audiences a new standard for judging blockbusters made in China. 

A Writer’s Odyssey hit Chinese theaters during the Chinese New Year, going on to earn 1.03 billion yuan ($158 million) in China, according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan.

“The China-Korea Cultural Exchange Year is a good opportunity to carry out more in-depth content cooperation on a more equal basis of cooperation, and will lead to more interactions in cultural exchanges,” a film critic and teacher at the Beijing Film Academy told the Global Times on Monday.
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