In the 1990s and 2000s, melodrama films such as “The Contact”, “The Letter”, “Christmas in August” and “A Moment to Remember” were popular among Korean moviegoers.
They were followed by âArchitecture 101â and âA Werewolf Boyâ in 2012. But in recent years, melodrama and romance films have exploded at the box office.
Yonhap News reported that among the 50 most viewed movies in Korea this year, “Because I Love You” and “One Day” were the only romance-themed films. These films sold less than 350,000 tickets each.
The films that have become popular in recent years have been crime, action, period, and male-centric thrillers including âRoaring Currentsâ, âVeteranâ and âThe Throneâ. This year, “A Taxi Driver” and “Confidential Assignment” dominated the box office.
With Korean TV series inundated with melodramas and romance, moviegoers are reluctant to watch these kinds of films.
âWhen we make a movie, we usually aim to attract over a million viewers. But for melodramas, such a success can hardly be expected even if it has a famous actor among its main cast,â said one. unidentified source of Korean film industry.
Films such as “Remember You” and “A Man and a Woman” failed at the box office with ticket sales of 430,000 and 200,000, respectively.
âSince there are so many melodramas on TV, I don’t want to pay to watch movie-like dramas,â said Lee Hyun-joo, 32-year-old movie buff.
Student Kim Myeong-seop said, “Because ticket prices have gone up a lot lately, I’m only going to see films worthy of treatment on the big screen these days. I can see melodramas at any time on TV, you know. “
âA major theme that has permeated Korean cinema in recent years is the gravity of the times. We have consumed so many political thrillers and historical films because the melodramas could not bear the brunt of the times,â said film critic Jeon Chan-il.