April 17, 2023 11:42
"Suzume" has beat "The First Slam Dunk" to become the top-grossing Japanese animation in Korea.
"Suzume" by Makoto Shinkai drew 4.48 million viewers in about a month since its release on March 8, surpassing the record of 4.47 million held by "The First Slam Dunk" by Takehiko Inoue, which was released on Jan. 4.
That in turn beat the previous record set by Shinkai's romantic fantasy "Your Name," which drew 3.82 million viewers in 2017.
"Suzume" tells the story of a high school girl who encounters a mysterious young man and teams up with him to try to prevent disasters.
Its success seems to be largely due to devoted fans rather than casual viewers. According to cinema chain CGV, 16 percent of "Suzume" audience were repeat viewers.
Shinkai has legions of Korean fans thanks to the critical and commercial successes of works including "The Garden of Words" and "Weathering with You."
After visiting Korea early last month, Shinkai plans to come to Korea again on April 27 to show his gratitude.
"The First Slam Dunk" and "Suzume" were the only films to surpass 4 million viewers here so far this year.
Movie critic Yoon Sung-eun said, "Korean movies have been unable to catch up with the changing tastes of viewers who have grown used to streaming. As ticket prices rise, you can no longer pull audiences with tired formulas."
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