Director Of Film “#ALIVE” Praises Yoo Ah In And #ParkShinHye Over Their Performances
Director Jo Il Hyung of “#ALIVE” recently thanked the film’s stars Yoo Ah In and Park Shin Hye for their incredible acting and passion.
After premiering on June 24, “#ALIVE” has remained at the top of the box office for seven days straight and recorded over 1 million moviegoers in just five days.
In the film, Yoo Ah In and Park Shin Hye play two survivors who must learn to adapt in their dangerous city as they are trapped at home without access to cellular data, Wi-Fi, texting, or phone calls. Compared to the intense and powerful roles that Yoo Ah In has portrayed in the past, he appears as an average man full of fear in his tense situation. After receiving lots of love for her roles in numerous romantic comedies, Park Shin Hye also presents a new side of her acting as a fearless, determined, and resourceful character.
Jo Il Hyung praised their acting skills, emphasizing in particular “Yoo Ah In’s diverse expression of emotion and Park Shin Hye’s unexpected ability to break out of her typical image.” He explained, “These two aspects played the biggest roles in the basis for their casting.”
He continued, “For Yoo Ah In, I got goosebumps watching the range, flexibility, and depth of his acting in his previous work. Before I met him, I remember watching one of his scenes in ‘The Throne‘ on mute to focus solely on his subtle expressions.”
Regarding Park Shin Hye, the director said, “I thought her infinite potential and unexpectedness fit really well with Yoo Bin,” her character in “#ALIVE.” Jo Il Hyung explained, “I thought that Yoo Bin could really come to life as the role broke her typical image within romantic comedies. Park Shin Hye showcased that potential and depth in this film without a doubt.”
He shared, “Witnessing an identity that only exists on paper become a real person, into someone we know, is a very precious process. Especially with this film, the details that these two actors brought really perfected their characters of Joon Woo and Yoo Bin.”
Jo Il Hyung expanded, “Ah In brought details that made the main character more realistic, allowing him to mesh into the plot well, such as his outfits, tone of voice, gestures, and body language. Although it’s over a short period of time in the film, Park Shin Hye helped effectively demonstrate the growth of her character. In particular, after defensively confining herself, she finds hope watching Joon Woo and gradually transforms to begin actively taking action.”
Zombie Film ‘#Alive’ Revives Hope For Korea’s Movie Theaters
In 2019 South Korea’s total movie admissions reached a record number of 226.68 million tickets sold. The next year was projected to be even better. Then came COVID-19, prompting theatergoers worldwide to stay home and avoid crowds.
Unlike movie theaters in other parts of the world many South Korean cinemas did not shut their doors, even when ticket sales dropped dramatically. Given the low number of tickets sold, several films delayed their opening, while others chose to debut virtually. However, as Korea made progress in containing the spread of COVID-19, a few new films such as Intruder, Innocence, Me and Me and #Alive lined up in-theater release dates.
The thriller Intruder, released on June 4, saw a promising 289,000 admissions during its first four days. Innocence, released June 10, has since sold over 700,000 tickets, while Me and Me, released June 18, has sold almost 200,000.
#Alive was released on June 24 and within five days surpassed one million ticket sales. The film is doing so well, it has already been seen as a hopeful sign that the industry is poised for a comeback.
As the first film to break the one million ticket sales mark at the Korean box office since February, #Alive continues to dominate with an average market share of more than 70%. On July 1, the film was released on an average of 1,690 screens. As of that date, according to the Korean Film Council, the film had recorded total ticket admissions of 1,246,507, with gross box office revenue of $8.6 million.
Park Shin-hye plays a woman terrified of leaving[+]SPACKMAN ENTERTAINMENT
According to Yonhap News, #Alive reached the one million ticket sales mark faster than two other recent Korean releases, Honest Candidate and The Closet, which were the only films that surpassed one million tickets right before the spread of COVID-19. Produced by Zip Cinema, a subsidiary of Spackman Entertainment Group and Perspective Pictures, #Alive can be seen not only as a test case for the Korean film market but also hopefully for the global film industry, since it is one of the first commercially successful theatrical movies released amid the pandemic. Zip Cinema has a track record of producing commercially successful theatrical films, having consecutively produced 10 profitable movies since 2009.
Releasing #Alive amid a pandemic was a gamble, but it paid off.
“We believe the successful opening of #Alive demonstrates that demand still exists for theatrical viewing despite the various COVID precautions in place at the theaters,” said Kay Na, president of Spackman Entertainment. “It was a gamble for us to release #Alive in the current environment, but we didn’t want a finished product to go stale while we waited this out. Also, we felt that there was no guarantee that the situation would get any better if we waited longer to release.”
Na admits the film’s box office success may be partly due to the genre. Zombie films are generally more enjoyable to watch in the theatre, with better sound and visual impact, but viewers can also currently relate to a film in which characters face an unexpected and frightening new reality.
#Alive is a film about a dangerous infection. The film’s main characters, played by Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye, are terrified to discover they the only non-infected humans living in an apartment building that is overwhelmed by zombies. They must survive in any way possible.
“As a film that revolves about isolation, survival, longing to meet others, escape and freedom, it becomes natural for people to closely relate #Alive to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Na.
An infection that transforms humans into zombies[+]SPACKMAN ENTERTAINMENT
The film’s stars also attract an enthusiastic audience. Yoo and Park are both popular actors, which helped boost the visibility and ratings of the film. Park is well known for her Korean TV drama roles, including You’re Beautiful and Memories of Alhambra, as well as her films The Royal Tailor and Miracle in Cell No. 7. Yoo, who is represented by a Spackman Media Group subsidiary, was the only Asian actor named to The Best Actors of 2018 list compiled by The New York Times NYT. U.S. viewers may know the actor from the films Burning and Default or his TV dramas Secret Affair and Chicago Typewriter.
Although the film raises hopes for an industry revival, a true comeback could take a while and the pandemic has already permanently altered the marketplace.
“The theatrical film industry globally has been devastated by the pandemic and the financial damage stems from all aspects of a movie project—i.e. production delays, release delays, significantly lower demand for film investments, etc.,” said Na. “This will certainly take many months—if not years—to fully recover.”
Restrictions imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19 are expected to accelerate a more rapid diversification of distribution channels to encourage more digital streaming on OTT or Cable TV platforms, which can reach a wider scope of viewers, especially across geographic borders. Will the popular pastime of going to movie theaters survive the pandemic?
“We believe that the theatrical experience is one of the favorite hobbies of people globally,” said Na. “The theatrical experience will always have a place in the hearts of movie consumers.”
The film’s international distribution will be handled by Lotte Entertainment.
#ParkShinHye Exquisite in Black and White Themed Spreads Promoting K-movie #Alive
It’s been wild in 2020 so far but some things are consistent. K-movie s are still being released and I can still expect the same beautiful and expected pictorials from stars promoting said movies. It’s a given that K-movies are willing to push the envelope in the actual content but never in the promotional materials. Case in point Park Shin Hye who is out and about drumming up interest for box office topping zombie movie #Alive and yet she looks like an office lady shooting a lovely pictorial. I’m still salty at how she was wasted and probably mislead in her last drama Memories of Alhambra and thrilled she gets this recognition for #Alive but I wish her pictorials were equally more “edgy” if you get my drift. She’s so pretty and capable of so much more, ugh I need K-ent to not fail its most successful child actress turned A-list start to date
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Korean zombie thriller “#Alive,” by director Cho Il-hyung, continues to be one of the most streamed movies on Netflix in many countries around the globe, currently standing at No. 2 in global Netflix movie rankings worldwide, according to streaming analytics firm FlixPatrol.
“#Alive,” starring Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye, is a story about two survivors trapped in an apartment complex during a zombie apocalypse. It was the first movie released since March to sell more than 1 million movie tickets in Korea when it came out in June, temporarily reviving the Korean cinema scene struck by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Released on Netflix on Sept. 8, the movie reached the top spot as the most streamed movie worldwide in just two days, according to Lotte Entertainment, ranking at the top of charts in 35 countries. It is the first Korean movie to place atop the Europe and US Netflix rankings.
Critics and foreign media have pointed out several factors that allowed the movie to succeed on the online platform, including viewers who could empathize with the characters’ predicament, as they themselves were going through similar isolation in their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While #Alive does not take place in a COVID-19 world, its way of featuring a lockdown situation eerily resembles the beginning stages of the global pandemic that began in March of 2020,” said online movie website Screen Rant.
Many critics said the movie was the best zombie flick Netflix had to offer that people had not yet seen.
Another factor that contributed to the global success of “#Alive” is that the film was subtitled in 31 languages, according to critics, allowing more access to people around the world. Most movies are available in less than 20 languages.
Also, there aren’t many characters to keep an eye on, with the story revolving around just the two main characters’ survival, which worked to its advantage.
“Who knew that zombie films could be as inventive and nerve-wracking as this, despite there not being a dozen characters with backstories to care about?” said the Strait Times of Singapore on the movie’s Netflix success.
“For his feature debut, the director Cho Il never takes his foot off the gas pedal: minimal exposition, no back stories, little dialogue, a plot that’s cut to the bone -- this is a fat-free but full-flavored treat,” said the New York Times.
On Monday, “#Alive” held the No. 1 spot on Netflix in Korea, Japan, Spain and Vietnam, among others.