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Classic, all-time popular movies fill low season at theaters

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A scene from film
A scene from film "Avatar" (2009), which will be re-released, Sept. 21, as a digitally remastered edition / Korea Times file

By Kim Rahn

The time between Chuseok holiday and winter vacation is usually low season in the local theater industry, because blockbusters are not released until the Christmas and the New Year holiday season begins.

To fill the low season, theater chains this year have opted for re-releases of "classic, all-time popular" movies, with more than 10 Korean and foreign films being slated for such re-screenings.

On Wednesday, the digitally remastered version of "Avatar" (2009) will hit theaters.

The movie has already proven its appeal to Korean moviegoers, setting the box office record at the time of its first release with 13.3 million ticket sales. It brought in an additional 148,000 audience members when re-released as a special edition in 2010, and about 36,200 when the first version was re-issued in 2018.

Its re-release this time is also partially aimed at introducing the film to young theatergoers ahead of the release of its sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water," in December, because many people in their teens and 20s haven't seen the original.

The remastered version, to be presented in 3D, will be available only for two weeks.

On Oct. 5, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" (2021) is returning after less than a year since its first release, in the "More Fun Stuff" version with 11 minutes of deleted scenes.

The film was a huge hit last year, surpassing 7.5 million ticket sales, the highest figure in Korea's box office at the time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new version topped the U.S. box office on Labor Day weekend in early September.

A poster of the digitally remastered version of
A poster of the digitally remastered version of "The Young Man," actor Lee Jung-jae's big screen debut film / Courtesy of Studio Bonanza
"The Young Man" (1994), the silver screen debut film of actor Lee Jung-jae, who has now risen to global stardom along with the popularity of the Netflix series "Squid Game" and his Emmy Award win, will be re-released in a digitally remastered version this month.

Its re-release had been planned to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its director Bae Chang-ho's debut, but public attention to it has grown following Lee's Outstanding Lead Actor win at the Primetime Emmy Awards last week.

"The Young Man" has never been available on other platforms such as over-the-top services, so it is a very rare chance to see the "rookie Lee" who won best newcomer actor awards at numerous local awards at the time.

One of the theater chains, Megabox, is offering several special projects. In one of them, six classic films from Warner Brothers will be issued one by one for three months. They are: "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), "Blade Runner: Final Cut" (1982), "Casablanca" (1942), "V for Vendetta" (2005), "The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen" (1973), and "The Bodyguard" (1992).

Another three films ― "1917" (2019), "La La Land" (2016) and the Japanese animation "Galaxy Express 999" (1979) ― will also be offered on Megabox's special Dolby Cinema screens.


Kim Rahn rahnita@koreatimes.co.kr


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