Korean Horror Movie “Phone” a Hit in Italy

      May 21, 2004 16:24

      A Scene from “Phone”
      Director Ahn Byung-ki’s second horror movie was released in 235 Italian cinemas on May 14 and has advanced to second place on the Italian box office list in the first week.

      This is the first time that a Korean movie has become a hit in Italy where Hollywood movies are strongly popular. “Phone” has earned US$662,000 (about W770 million) over the three days of the weekend.

      “Van Helsing” took first place, followed by “Monster,” “Honey,” “Taking Lives,” “Kill Bill Vol. 2”-- all Hollywood films, except “Phone.”

      “Phone” in which actress Ha Ji-won played the leading role is an unusual horror movie that combines a cell phone gone evil with a murder case involving a young girl and her older patron. The film was released in Korea in July 2002 and was a big hit. Its remake rights were sold to the U.S.

      Thanks to the success of “Phone,” Ahn’s next work, “Bunsin Saba,” has gotten attention and a contract was concluded at the Cannes Film Festival Market to export the movie to Italy for $200,000.

      Miro Vision, the overseas sales agency of “Bunsin Saba,” said that the movie was sold to Italy at the highest price, defeating other Korean films exported to Italy. And also, it is unusual that the buyer decided to purchase the movie only after watching the
      promotion tape, even though the movie is not completed.

      “Bunsin Saba” stars actress Kim Kyu-ri, Lee Se-eun and Lee You-ri and depicts bullied high school girls who call out a ghost that leads to an enormous curse. The movie will be released in Korea in July.

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