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[Movie 2012] Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King 광해:왕이된 남자 Masquerade

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August 29, 2017


The Faster, the Higher
The Time Taken by Surpassing 10 Million Viewers


by CHO Meanjune / KoBiz




The speed at which popular Korean films are passing the 10,000,000 viewer “blockbuster” mark has tripled. At least this is the case in a simple, parallel comparison of the time it took Silmido (2003), the first Korean film to accomplish the 10 million admissions feat, and A Taxi Driver, the 15th and most current film to do so. The amount of days needed for a film to become a blockbuster has gradually and steadily been decreasing over the past 15 years with a few, but notable deviations. The fastest to reach the over 10 million admissions mark is Roaring Currents (2014), becoming the highest grossing local film of all time with 17,615,039 moviegoers while CHOI Dong-hoon’s independent fighter action flick Assassination (2015) surpassed 10 million viewers on the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan on August 15th, 2015.


There is a close correlation between the time taken to exceed 10 million viewers and the number of screens. Masquerade (2012) and Miracle in Cell No.7 (2013), which had 810 and 787 screens respectively, took more than 30 days to surpass the milestone while The Thieves (2012), which was shown on 1,072 screens, managed the feat in only 22 days. The three Korean movies that surpassed the 10 million viewer mark within 20 days all started off with more than 1,500 screens. Among the 10 million viewer toppers, TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016) recorded the highest screen share with 1,788 screens.

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August 8, 2018


Yeo Jin-gu up to star in drama version of Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King


by girlfriday Dramabeans.com

Come on, let’s be real. You had me at Yeo Jin-gu (Reunited Worlds, Circle) playing a king. There’s a drama adaptation in the works at tvN for the hit movie Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King, also known internationally as Masquerade, and an offer is out to Yeo Jin-gu to headline in the dual role as King Gwanghae and the clown who will take his place on the throne.


The 2012 film by Choo Chang-min was a massive box office and critical success, and is still the ninth-highest grossing domestic film in Korea with over 12.3 million tickets sold. Lee Byung-heon starred in the eerie historical melodrama as a paranoid Gwanghae who knew that his opponents were trying to poison him, and tasks his trusted advisor to find a double who will act as his stand-in and protect him from assassination. They find a clown who is the spitting image of the king, and when an assassination attempt nearly takes the king’s life, the clown must assume the throne while the king recovers. The problem is that he might be a better king than the real king, and a man that the queen could actually love.




Obviously the drama adaptation plans to age down Gwanghae and the clown if Yeo Jin-gu is up to play the lead. He’s already played this specific king in the film Warriors of the Dawn, but that version of Gwanghae was idealistic and heroic, while this one will be shrewd and twisted. The clown is really the heart of this story, as the commoner with a natural warmth who breathes life into the previously cold and frightening palace. His character is described as a survivor who was abandoned as a child and became a traveling clown, and he’ll come to enjoy his time masquerading as a king.


The drama will feature a love triangle between the king, the clown, and the queen, and is about a love that transcends class and the law. I’m sure it’ll draw comparisons to Ruler–Master of the Mask, but hopefully the associations end at the prince and pauper premise, because that drama was disappointing in so many ways. This one has a successful film as its backbone, so it already has a leg up. Directing will be PD Kim Hee-won of Warm and Cozy, Dazzling Temptation, and Money Flower.


Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King is being planned for a January 2019 broadcast on tvN.


Via IS Plus, Xports News



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November 3, 2018


Big Movies Saturate Korean Cinemas Over Holiday, Damaging the Box Office


By SONIA KIL  Variety.com

The outlook for South Korea’s film box office business is decidedly guarded. Over Chuseok holiday period, overall sales increased but business ended up being a zero-sum game.

According to the Korean Film Council’s report, box office managed to sell almost 32% more tickets in September, compared to the same month a year ago. That’s partly because of the holiday, which fell in October in 2017.


Kofic’s box office tracking service Kobis showed that the number of admissions in local theaters was up about 4 million to 16.81 million in September, with revenues up by 42% to $127 million. The number of admissions for homegrown titles grew by 5.78 million to 11.76 million, with revenues increased by 113.6% to $88.23 million.


Big homegrown films release during the holiday week in all likelihood contributed to the hike. Over the past few years, the Chuseok holiday season has grown to one of the peak seasons for the South Korean box office, especially for domestic fare. In 2012, the Lee Byung-hun-starring costume drama “Masquerade” led the Chuseok box office and crossed the 10 million admissions mark. Afterward, tentpole films such as “The Face Reader” (2013), “The Throne” (2015), “The Age of Shadows” (2016) and “The Outlaws” (2017) were released during the holiday period and became hits. The only Chuseok release that did not manage to sell 5 million tickets was “Tazza — The Hidden Card” in 2015.


Entertainment, Lotte Cultureworks, Megabox and Next Entertainment World released mega-budget titles involving high-profile casts during the period, including “Monstrum,” “The Negotiation”, “Fengshui” and “The Great Battle.” Apart from “Monstrum,” which opened in theaters a week ahead of the Chuseok season, “Negotiation,” “Fengshui” and “Great Battle” all opened on the same day (Sept. 19).


Such a release pattern is seen as one of the major reasons for the zero-sum game. The four films cost almost twice the average budget for local productions. Big budget means a higher break-even point. Among the four titles, however, only “Great Battle” managed to make profit at the box office.




“Monstrum” kicked off the race. The period monster actioner opened Sept. 12 and ended up grossing $5.34 million from 723,000 admissions. CJ Entertainment’s “Negotiation” centers on a story of a negotiator from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s crisis negotiating team and an arms dealer who kidnaps two Koreans hostages. The film is known to have been made with a budget of $8.8 million. It finished its theatrical run with $14.88 million box office gross from 1.96 million admissions.


Another costume drama, Megabox’s “Fengshui,” cost some $10.5 million, but has only grossed $15.64 million from 2.08 million admissions and has been pushed out of the top 10 chart at the box office. Made with $19.25 million, Next Entertainment World’s “Great Battle” was the most expensive film of the season. According to Next Entertainment World, “Great Battle” crossed the breakeven point as of Oct. 22. It has grossed $40.49 million from 5.43 million admissions.


“Although ‘Great Battle’ has won the holiday battle, its triumph was not an overwhelming victory,” a local exhibitor told Variety on the condition of anonymity. “Too many big-budget films were released all together. In order to make profit at the box office, films like ‘Monstrum,’ ‘Negotiation’ and ‘Fengshui’ had to sell more than 3 million tickets, but the market cannot afford multiple big movies in the same season.”


The reason behind such excessive competition is simple: there are too many films with budgets over $9 million. The return on investment by Korean commercial films has been in the black since 2012. In 2016, the average rate of return was as high as 17.6%, but almost entirely owing to big-budget films — and 80% of those big films made a profit, with an average rate of return of 40.9%, whereas films made with budgets less than $4.38 million made negative earnings.


As a result, in 2017, the number of big-budget films grew from five to eight, and, in parallel, their average production budget increased from $11 million to $12.87 million. Their average rate of return was about 39.3%. This means that films such as “Monstrum,” “Negotiation,” “Fengshui” and “Great Battle” were not only supposed to reach the break-even point, but also make up for the loss, or low profit, from smaller films this year. However, since all four films were released on the same weekend they failed to do so.


“Another problem is that many tentpole films tend to stick to the formula for hit films from the past,” the source told Variety. “Since ‘King and the Clown’ and ‘Masquerade,’ costume dramas with a star cast and a light touch of comedy have been prevalent among the big holiday films, and audience might be getting tired of many similar films dominating cinema screens.”



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Running a tribute to MASQUERADE from MR.SUNSHINE (2018)


Hoping for happiness at the end of the road.. 



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Thanks to the highlight & English translation by mistymorning at LBH soompi ~


December 20, 2018


Exhibition: Creating faces in movie - extensive records of Korean Movie make-up by Cho Taehee


Source: Interview365


Movie make up artist exhibition, who's specialized for historical movies. He did make-up and hair for the movie Gwanghae and Fortress. Exhibition "Exhibition: Creating faces in movie - extensive records of Korean Movie make-up by make-up artist Cho Taehee" will be held in Dec 29th 2018 to Apr 23rd, 2019 in Ara Art Center in Insadong, Seoul.


This exhibition will show concept drawings, special wigs and mustaches, accessories and other high quality make up techniques, in the movies he worked on starting with the movie "Gwanghae"(2012), The Fatal Encounter(2014), The Throne(2015), The Fortress(2017), Park Yul(2017), The Great Battle(2018), total of 15 movies and main characters in those movies. 


From Cho's instagram, the exhibition poster.






Dragon hairpin used in the movie Gwanghae





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Screen Drawing Make-Up

December 29th 2018 ~ April 23rd , 2019 

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January 7, 2019


tvN begins 2019 with period drama 'The Crowned Clown' 



Actors Yeo Jin-goo, left, and Lee Se-young, pose during a press conference for tvN's new period drama "The Crowned Clown" at Imperial Palace Seoul, Thursday. / Courtesy of CJ ENM


By Park Jin-hai The Korea Times


Popular cable network, tvN, ran hit period dramas "Mr. Sunshine" and "100 Days My Prince" last year, so viewers were pleased when the network unveiled its drama lineups this year with its newest period drama "The Crowned Clown."


The much anticipated drama, starring Yeo Jin-goo and Lee Se-young, is an adaptation of the popular 2012 film "Masquerade" which attracted over 12 million moviegoers. 


Set in the middle of the Joseon era, when upheaval and power struggles surrounding the throne reached a high, the drama, premiered on Monday, tells the story of Yi Heon, played by Yeo, the king who brings a clown that looks identical to him and puts him on the throne to escape those who try to kill him. 


The 21-year-old Yeo plays the double role of the King Yi Heon and the clown Ha-seon, which was formerly performed by veteran actor Lee Byung-hun in the award-winning original movie who gave an impressive performance portraying the bizarre King Gwanghae and the humble clown. 


Yeo, despite accepting that viewers' comparison to original film is unavoidable, says his depiction of the king and the clown will be different from that of Lee by a large margin.


"Unlike the movie, I tried to widen the gap in acting the two men to their extremes. Also, drama version includes melodrama that was unseen in its original. It has romance between the two men and the queen So Woon," said the actor during a press conference at Imperial Palace, Seoul, Thursday. 


Actress Lee, on the role of the queen, says "Apart from settings, I would say a lot of things are different from the original. Lead characters' ages have become younger and I worked hard on creating a romantic chemistry with the two men." 


Upping the expectation of drama fans is that tvN's new drama is the latest from director Kim Hee-won, who was highly praised for her skills in her 2017 directorial debut drama "Money Flower." It is her first drama with tvN, after leaving MBC. 


Kim previously said he had some reservations for the period drama genre since it is required to "create something new out of blank" compared with modern-set dramas, but decided to challenge the genre because she really liked the characters' coming-of-age and dreaming for better world story plot. 


"Although some settings in the first two episodes may overlap with the original film, after incidents that incur the clown-made-to-king wanting to become a real king, the rest of the story will be very different," said the director. "If my previous work was more critical and cynical to the world, I would say my new drama is a warm story. It includes characters who want to change the world on their own will and in doing so, create new human relationships and that will be distinctive point of this drama." 


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Source: movieface_korea


Newspaper articles on the 'Screen Drawing Make-up' exhibition (The Korea Times, The Hankyoreh, MBN Star interview)






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