July 03, 2023 11:45
"The Roundup: No Way Out" starring Ma Dong-seok has become the first Korean film this year to draw more than 10 million viewers.
According to the Korean Film Council, 10.1 million viewers watched the crime flick as of Saturday, just a month after it opened in theaters.
"Avatar: The Way of Water," which opened here in January, was the first film from any country to hit the milestone this year.
"The Roundup: No Way Out" is only the 30th movie to achieve that feat and the 21st Korean film to do so.
The previous installment in the franchise, which opened in theaters last year, was the first Korean movie released since the coronavirus pandemic to draw more than 10 million viewers.
According to cinema chain CGV, the first film of the series, "The Outlaws," appealed mostly to viewers in their 20s and 30s, but the proportion of viewers in their 40s and 50s rose to 35.5 percent in the second film and 37.9 percent in the latest sequel.
The proportion of male viewers also rose from 42.7 percent in the first film to 45 percent for the latest installment. Groups of three or more viewers accounted for 20.5 percent.
Seo Ji-myeong at CJ CGV said, "That means many families went to see the movie together."
The proportion of repeat viewers rose from 1.1 percent in the first film to 3.8 percent in the second, only to fall to three percent in the latest sequel. Some viewers felt the villain was bland in the latest installment, and the decline in dedicated fans meant "The Roundup: No Way Out" took seven more days to achieve the 10 million viewer mark than the previous installment.
Ma, who also produced "No Way Out," has now appeared in five films that drew more than 10 million viewers -- "Train to Busan" (2016), "Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds" (2017), "Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days" (2018) and "The Roundup" (2022).
"I began planning this movie eight years ago sitting in a small room wondering if it would be realistically possible," he said in a social media post on Saturday. "I thank you for the third miracle I was able to see with 'The Roundup: No Way Out.'"
The fourth installment is set for release next year, with Ma starring again as the brawny cop, this time on a mission to crack down on an illegal internet gambling ring. Kim Mu-yeol and Lee Dong-hwi join the cast as villains.
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