SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land has once again proved the love that Koreans have for musical films, with over 2 million tickets sold as of Tuesday afternoon; that is 16 days faster than Begin Again, which was the last musical film to attract more than 2 million moviegoers (3.43 million in total).
La La Land has topped the local box office charts since its release on December 7, outranking competitors from Korea and overseas. The film stumbled a bit last weekend, falling down to fourth, behind Korean nuclear disaster film Pandora and animation film Sing, but it managed to step back up to reclaim second spot since this Monday.
Chazelle’s film has proven to be particularly popular in Korea compared to other countries outside of the United States that are screening the picture.
According to Box Office Mojo, La La Land has so far grossed $17.7 million in 13 countries outside the U.S., including $13.7 million from South Korea, which is also significant compared to the film’s worldwide gross of $34.8 million so far.
Director Chazelle is well known among Korean moviegoers, at least among those who watched his 2014 hit Whiplash – another music-driven film that attracted almost 1.6 million spectators here, also setting the highest total gross ($11.42 million) among all movie markets outside the U.S.
Musical drama films, or movies centered around musical elements, have been wildly successful in Korea, often driven by their soundtracks. Examples of such films include Les Misérables ($38.98 million), Begin Again ($25.87 million), and Sing Street ($2.85 million).
“Amid the country’s disorderly state of affairs, La La Land triggers a nostalgia of that ‘romance lost’,” said local critic Yoon Sung-eun. “It portrays the elegance of classic Hollywood films, yet with a much realistic ending.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)