Posted : 2013-06-10 16:14
Updated : 2013-06-10 16:14

'Secretly' success shows teen power at box office

"Secretly Greatly," an action-comedy starring teenage heartthrob Kim Soo-hyun, is on pace to become one of the highest grossing Korean movies ever, at least after its first week. / Korea Times

By Yun Suh-young

Filmmakers mostly tailor their products and marketing efforts to moviegoers in their 30s and 40s, who are considered the main sources of consumption in cultural products.

However, the massive success of "Secretly Greatly," an action-comedy starring heartthrob Kim Soo-hyun, raises the question whether the industry has been underestimated the economic power tied to teenagers in non-children's movies. While they might not often spend their own money to buy the tickets, they do have the talent to nag their parents until they do so.

"Secretly" is already one of the most successful works in a boom year for Korean films, topping the box office since its release last Wednesday and setting new audience records for the opening week.

The movie sold nearly half a million tickets on its first day and exceeded 3.4 million in just five days, representing a faster pace than any other Korean movie. The audience at theaters seems to be predominantly teenage girls and their parents.

According to a survey conducted by online ticket seller Max Movie, 45 percent of the over-30 customers who bought tickets for "Secretly" online said they are going because of their children. And more than 80 percent of them said their children were daughters. Many parents were also buying the tickets for their daughters but had no intention of sitting through "Secretly" with them. For most online purchases, it was the father who was typing in his credit card numbers.

To put it simply, the commercial power of "Secretly" relies on "daddy's girls" and their affection for Kim, a baby-faced television star who appears ubiquitously in television commercials and print advertisements.

"What can be seen from the survey is that young girls wield power as consumers with their ability to persuade their fathers to spend. This seems to be especially the case with Secretly because of the appearance of Kim Soo-hyun," said Kim Hyung-ho, an official at Max Movie.

"Secretly" is currently topping the charts on Internet portal Naver and Max Movie with 66 percent and 62 percent reservation rates, respectively.

The movie's success defies critics, whose reviews were underwhelming. According to Naver, half of the country's movie critics and journalists publishing on mainstream media outlets gave the movie low ratings. Predictably, the audience was much more forgiving, giving the movie 8 points out of 10.

The movie is about three North Korean spies who are dispatched to Korea on a mission to disguise themselves as a fool, a rock star wannabe and a high school student to monitor South Koreans and even their colleagues.

The three main male actors in the movie (Kim Soo-hyun, Park Ki-woong and Lee Hyun-woo) are all young, handsome with hunky physiques that may have made it worth watching for young female viewers, despite a few gruesome and violent fight scenes.

관련 한글 기사

은밀하게 위대하게 개봉5일 300만 돌파

김수현 주연의 영화 '은밀하게 위대하게'가 개봉 5일째 9일 오전 300만 관객을 넘어섰다고 이 영화 투자배급사인 쇼박스㈜미디어플렉스가 밝혔다.

    '은밀하게 위대하게'는 전날 전국 1천341개 상영관에서 82만522명을 추가해 개봉 4일만에 누적 관객수 277만5천616명을 기록한데 이어 개봉 5일째인 이날 오전 9시를 기준으로 300만명을 넘어섰다.

    이는 '아이언맨3'(262만5천256명), '다크 나이트 라이즈'(243만4천82명), '트랜스포머'(241만4천39명), '도둑들'(211만5천762명) 등 역대 개봉 영화 중 4일 동안 가장 많은 관객을 동원한 수치라고 쇼박스㈜미디어플렉스는 전했다. 

    지난 5일 개봉한 '은밀하게 위대하게'는 개봉 4일 만에 손익분기점인 220만명도 넘어섰다.

    영화는 개봉 첫날 49만8천284명을 동원한데 이어 개봉 36시간 만에 100만명을 돌파하는 등 연일 기록을 경신하며 흥행몰이 중이다.

  • 1. Korean language becomes college entrance exam subject in France
  • 2. Arrest warrant requested for Samsung chief in corruption scandal
  • 3. K-pop star Rain, top actress Kim Tae-hee to marry
  • 4. Court backs foreign worker fired for absence
  • 5. Health alerts issued as fine dust blankets Korean Peninsula
  • 6. LG launches AI-ready air conditioner
  • 7. 90% of entertainers in poverty
  • 8. Newcomer actors mature through 'Kim Bok-joo'
  • 9. Japan blasts S. Korea's plan for 'comfort women' statue on Dokdo
  • 10. Foreign affairs ministry slammed for poor handling of rape in Taiwan