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Zombie thriller '#Alive' survives pandemic

Yoo Ah-in in a scene from the film
Yoo Ah-in in a scene from the film "#Alive" / Courtesy of Lotte Entertainment

Film surpasses 1 million ticket sales

By Kwak Yeon-soo

New zombie-survival thriller "#Alive" has surpassed 1 million ticket sales within five days of its opening, becoming the first film to achieve such a feat since political comedy "Honest Candidate" in February.

The film debuted at No.1 upon its June 24 premiere, and posted the highest opening weekend box office sales in five months since the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Korean Film Council (KOFIC), "#Alive" drew over 200,000 moviegoers on its opening day. This marks the highest opening day score a film has enjoyed since political thriller "The Man Standing Next" sold 252,058 tickets on Jan. 22.

The box office record came despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has shown little sign of abating since the first case was reported here in January.

The KOFIC data showed that the film attracted 702,968 moviegoers over the June 26-28 period, followed distantly by "Innocence" with 98,176 and "Onward" with 87,795.

However, ticket reservations for "#Alive" have dropped significantly going into the second week. Its advance ticket sales fell to 30.4 percent as of Monday, down sharply from 60 percent last week.

"#Alive," starring Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye, follows two protagonists isolated in their apartments as a zombie apocalypse erupts outside.

Yoo plays Joon-woo, a game streamer and electronics geek, while Park plays Yu-bin, an individualist who likes hiking. The two very different characters employ their own methods and team up for survival when all contact with the outside world is cut off.

The success of "#Alive" comes as a result of the film industry's efforts to attract people back to cinemas with discounts. KOFIC distributed 6,000 won ($4.90) discount coupons for movie tickets (valid Thursday-Sunday each week) in June, as part of its measures to revive the industry now staggering from the impact of the pandemic.

The film industry has been struggling with a sharp drop in moviegoers for months due to concerns over COVID-19 infections. Daily box office admissions plunged to a record low of 15,000 in April, pushing film distributors to postpone their release dates.

To get moviegoers back to theaters, actors have been working hard on promotions, appearing on reality shows.

For the first time in his career, Yoo revealed his home and daily life by appearing on MBC's "I Live Alone," a popular observation reality show that offers a sneak peek into daily lives of celebrities who live alone.

Actors Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae, neither of whom have made frequent appearances on reality shows, plan to appear on MBC's "Omniscient Interfering View," a real-life based show that observes invited guests and their managers, and tvN's "Amazing Saturday," in which celebrities play various games in a studio.

Meanwhile, Gang Dong-won will appear on YouTube channels "Korean Englishman" and "MMTG" to share stories about his upcoming film "Peninsula."


Yoo Ah-in in a scene from the film
Yoo Ah-in in a scene from the film "#Alive" / Courtesy of Lotte Entertainment

Film surpasses 1 million ticket sales

By Kwak Yeon-soo

New zombie-survival thriller "#Alive" has surpassed 1 million ticket sales within five days of its opening, becoming the first film to achieve such a feat since political comedy "Honest Candidate" in February.

The film debuted at No.1 upon its June 24 premiere, and posted the highest opening weekend box office sales in five months since the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Korean Film Council (KOFIC), "#Alive" drew over 200,000 moviegoers on its opening day. This marks the highest opening day score a film has enjoyed since political thriller "The Man Standing Next" sold 252,058 tickets on Jan. 22.

The box office record came despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has shown little sign of abating since the first case was reported here in January.

The KOFIC data showed that the film attracted 702,968 moviegoers over the June 26-28 period, followed distantly by "Innocence" with 98,176 and "Onward" with 87,795.

However, ticket reservations for "#Alive" have dropped significantly going into the second week. Its advance ticket sales fell to 30.4 percent as of Monday, down sharply from 60 percent last week.

"#Alive," starring Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye, follows two protagonists isolated in their apartments as a zombie apocalypse erupts outside.

Yoo plays Joon-woo, a game streamer and electronics geek, while Park plays Yu-bin, an individualist who likes hiking. The two very different characters employ their own methods and team up for survival when all contact with the outside world is cut off.

The success of "#Alive" comes as a result of the film industry's efforts to attract people back to cinemas with discounts. KOFIC distributed 6,000 won ($4.90) discount coupons for movie tickets (valid Thursday-Sunday each week) in June, as part of its measures to revive the industry now staggering from the impact of the pandemic.

The film industry has been struggling with a sharp drop in moviegoers for months due to concerns over COVID-19 infections. Daily box office admissions plunged to a record low of 15,000 in April, pushing film distributors to postpone their release dates.

To get moviegoers back to theaters, actors have been working hard on promotions, appearing on reality shows.

For the first time in his career, Yoo revealed his home and daily life by appearing on MBC's "I Live Alone," a popular observation reality show that offers a sneak peek into daily lives of celebrities who live alone.

Actors Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae, neither of whom have made frequent appearances on reality shows, plan to appear on MBC's "Omniscient Interfering View," a real-life based show that observes invited guests and their managers, and tvN's "Amazing Saturday," in which celebrities play various games in a studio.

Meanwhile, Gang Dong-won will appear on YouTube channels "Korean Englishman" and "MMTG" to share stories about his upcoming film "Peninsula."


Kwak Yeon-soo yeons.kwak@koreatimes.co.kr


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