|A poster for 'Spider-Man: No Way Home,' 'Matrix Resurrection' / Courtesy of Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Korea|
By Kwak Yeon-soo
The year-end holiday season has big films lined up for release, but the resurgence of COVID-19 cases is likely to continue to weigh on cinema operators. The government banned food and beverage consumption in cinemas again starting Dec. 1, a month after it had lifted such restrictions.
From "Spider-Man," starring Tom Holland, to another "Kingsman" spy comedy franchise, and the long-awaited "Matrix 4," there is plenty for film buffs to enjoy during this holiday season.
"Spider-Man: No Way Home" will open in Korea, Dec. 15, two days prior to its release in the U.S.
The film picks up at the point where Spider-Man's identity is exposed, and his superhero responsibilities come into conflict with his normal life as Peter Parker. He calls for Doctor Strange's help to restore his secret identity, but the magic spell breaks open the multiverse, releasing supervillains who have never before fought Spider-Man.
"The King's Man" will hit theaters on Dec. 22. Revolving around the origins of the very first Kingsman secret service organization, led by the Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes), the secret agents are on a mission to save the world from criminal masterminds who are plotting a war to wipe out millions.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss will do a reprise of their roles as Neo and Trinity in "The Matrix Resurrections," the long-awaited fourth film in the franchise. The new film follows Neo as he is reawakened into the Matrix, a simulation of human life created by machines.
|The posters for 'Kingmaker' and 'A Year-end Medley' / Courtesy of Megabox Plus M, CJ ENM, Tving|
A few homegrown films, which have been shelved for over a year due to the pandemic, will be getting their releases as well.
Political drama "Kingmaker," starring Lee Sun-kyun and Seol Kyung-gu, will hit theaters in December. It revolves around an opposition party politician, Kim Woon-beom (Seol), who teams up with "kingmaker" Seo Chang-dae (Lee), to run for the presidential election.
"A Year-end Medley," starring Han Ji-min and Lee Dong-wook, is also expected to premiere in December. The romantic drama film weaves together multiple stories of Korean celebrities who cross the lobby of the Hotel Emross in the middle of Seoul during Christmas.
The number of moviegoers reached 52 million from January to November, approximately one-fourth of the 204 million moviegoers counted during the same period of the pre-pandemic year, 2019.
Cinema operators anticipated that the government-led "Living with COVID-19" scheme would help the cinema afloat, but the recent virus resurgence has spawned new concerns over safety. Several actors, including Jung Woo-sung, Go Kyung-pyo and Kim Soo-ro, recently tested positive for COVID-19.