Love Letter approaches US$5m Korean B.O.

Stephen Cremin asianfilmlibrary
Tue Dec 7 11:24:06 EST 1999

While the latest "official" statistics on Iwai Shunji's "Love Letter" 
acknowledge 300,000 admissions in Seoul on its first 12/13 days on release, 
Fortissimo say that nationwide admissions on its third week is now just 
approaching 1,000,000 admissions.  With Korean ticket prices at W6500, that 
puts it at very close to US$5m.  Does this make it the most commercially 
successfully Japanese film in Asia (outside Japan)?  I think "Shall we 
Dance" took in the region of US$7.5m in the States ... and of course "Ring" 
took US$3.4 million in Hong Kong.  (Admission price in HK is approximately 
50% higher than in Korea.)

A review of "Love Letter" in The Korea Times earlier this week pointed out 
that 100 illegal video copies were sold in the theatre PRIOR to the 
screening the critic attended.  Meanwhile Korean production company Shin 
Cine have asked for a police investigation to curtail illegal domestic 
distribution of their film "Lies" which has so far been twice denied a 
certificate by the Korean Media Ratings Board.

Stephen Cremin

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