Monday, November 21, 2011
'Wandeugi' Punching Its Way to Box-Office Glory
It seems like Yoo Ah-in is fast becoming one of Korea's most valuable young actors as of late. His last year's drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal earned a rightful cult status. Now, his movie Wandeugi is climbing its way into box-office gold. The movie managed to earn top box-office five weeks in a row and quickly becoming one of the biggest hits this year.
Wandeugi is a story about a high school boy (played by Yoo Ah-in) with no point in life. He just wanders around picking fights with no other intention. His background could take a pity, as his father is a disabled man and his mother is a Filipino who was missing most of his life. His life was turned upside down when he met an odd-ball teacher named Dong-ju (played by Kim Yun-seok). The two end up having a strange yet heartwarming relationship as both characters learn to grow in their own way.
As a fan of Yoo Ah-in, I've been waiting for this project for a while. Unlike the other actor I like, he doesn't really like to pile his schedule with a lot of work. He usually does only one or two projects a year, much to my own dismay. But somehow this may actually be a good thing. First of all, his projects are top quality. Even though Sungkyunkwan Scandal lost its footing towards the end, he still gave such a charismatic performance that once bloomed a sickness called "georoh-ari". "Georoh" is his character's nickname, and "ari" is sick, like homesick or lovesick. As for Wandeugi, well, I can't really say much. I haven't watched it after all. But from what I've heard, Yoo Ah-in can hold his own opposite of heavy weight Kim Yun-seok. Which is a good thing. Instead of battling it out, it seems like the two actors worked together and made this movie the funny, heartwarming movie it is.
The movie premiered in October 20, 2011, which is exactly one month ago. In its first week, it already garnered more than 600,000 tickets. Fast forward five weeks later, the movie still held on to its first place spot with an amazing 4 million tickets sold. With this number, it can easily be placed in Korea's 50th top box office in history. Over the weeks, the movie sold in an average 800,000 tickets per week. It was strongest between the second until fourth week when it pulled in at least one million viewers a week. Even though the ticket sales were weaker in the fifth week, with around 400,000 tickets sold, it's still considered one of the strongest competitors in the Korean movie cinemas.
The ticket sales are so staggering, Yoo Ah-in even promised a gift to his fans if the movie can reach 5 million: a song through twitter. It might not be much, but for a man who almost exclusively write poems and philosophical thoughts in the social platform, it's seen as quite a treat for his fans. I personally think the movie has a great chance of gaining 5 million, and perhaps even more. It managed to stay strong for over a month now, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to get weaker any time soon.
If Wandeugi is still playing in December, it might play side by side with another awaited project, The Perfect Game which stars my other favorite, Jo Seung-woo. Too bad their movies won't go head to head in the best sense because if it did, I'll be out of my mind. Or even better yet if they play opposite of each other in a movie. Not sure how that will turn out; these two has almost opposite yet strangely similar image in the media. But if that does happen, I'll freak out in a much higher frequency than I've even been before. I mean, Yoo Ah-in and Jo Seung-woo in a movie is like my happy, happy dreams come true.