Will New Online Korean Films and Series Increase the Popularity and Reach of Korean Cinema?

Over the last few years, South Korea has become one of the most significant players in the global film industry. Statista states that the East Asian country’s film sector is now in the top five globally, having grown its cinematic audience base through award-winning films such as Parasite, which topped $245 million in worldwide ticket sales. However, there is still scope to increase the popularity of Korean cinema.

Because of that, we’re going to look at three releases that have been picked up by streaming services that have the capabilities to expand the reach of Korean cinema.

Hyena 

Throughout 2020, numerous Korean series are being picked up for online release around the world, with Hyena being one of the most anticipated of the year. Written by Kim Yoo-Ri, the 16-episode show is a comedic romance that follows the life of Jung Geum Ja, who serves as a lawyer for the wealthiest members of society. The series’ main character is ruthless in her approach to pushing the boundaries of law and injustice, as she, like a hyena, enjoys the thrill of the chase.

Hyena, which has been released on Netflix platforms all across the globe, including the United Kingdom and the United States, is one of many up-and-coming releases that are striving to raise the profile of Korean cinema. Over the last decade, law-related shows have flourished in the US, with Suits, for example, being a prime example of the attraction among television viewers for lawyer-centered productions. While there are, of course, distinct differences between Hyena and Suits, the genre of the latest South Korean release is likely to appeal to the masses and bring further attention to the East Asian country’s entertainment industry.

The King: Eternal Monarch 

Aside from Hyena, The King: Eternal Monarch, is another of the most highly-anticipated Korean dramas that is set for release through online platforms. In March 2020, Netflix confirmed that it would be picking up the show and airing it around the world through its streaming service. The series promises to impress with Kim Go-eun, who now stars as Jung Tae-eul, previously featuring in one of the most popular Korean dramas in history, Goblin.

The 16-episode series seeks to capture the hearts of audiences by showcasing the growing romance between the show’s two main characters, despite their universal differences. Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun reunite here, with their on-screen chemistry one of the reasons why The King: Eternal Monarch is building anticipation among viewers. This K-drama undoubtedly has the potential to increase the popularity and reach of Korean cinema through its universe-dying love story that challenges social boundaries.

Time to Hunt 

Over the coming months, many Korean television shows are coming to streaming platforms such as Netflix. However, such platforms have also been able to pick up South Korean movies for release as they seek to increase the reach of the East Asian country’s film industry. Having abandoned their plans to theatrically release Time to Hunt, Berlin Gala Film turned to Netflix for their action thriller, which sees four friends plan a casino heist in their efforts to escape a dystopian city.

As demonstrated by films such as 21, Heist, Ocean’s Eleven, The Thieves, and many other titles, releases with casino settings have thrived in the worldwide movie industry, with the popularity of online casino gaming being one of the reasons why. Time to Hunt is well placed to take the popularity and reach of Korean cinema to new heights in a familiar setting too many, as vaster numbers of people now immerse themselves in casino-related content.

There’s Something for Everyone 

Hyena, The King: Eternal Monarch, and Time to Hunt each have the casts and storylines needed to increase global interest in the developments of Korean cinema. From action scenes to comedy and romance, there is something for everyone to enjoy as Korean producers look to the online streaming world to grow their audience base, instead of utilizing traditional cinematic approaches.

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Haps Staff
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