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Good Sequels

Posted November. 09, 2006 07:09,   


Most popular movies this year are expected to generate sequels. It is evidence that Korean films also have “brand” power. It is a phenomenon caused by sequels that were more popular than the sequels. The key to success is to continue with the sequel but differentiate it by adding new material.

Turning the Success of a Sequel into a Brand-

Sixty-five million viewers crowded to the theaters for “The War of Flower,” where at the end of the movie Goni (Cho Seung-woo) picks up the phone at a foreign casino phone booth, giving rise to speculations of a sequel. Yoon Sang-o of Sidus FNH said, “It was originally a scene where Hwa-ran (Lee Soo-kyung) picks up the phone when Goni calls, but it was cut during the editing process, and it does not indicate a sequel,” but added, “We have not reached the final decision, but we may produce a sequel with the topic of poker,” announcing his intention to turn “The War of Flower” into a brand.

Having passed the 13 million viewer mark and set to open in the U.S. theaters, “The Host” will be followed by a sequel. Choi Young-bae of Chungeoram Productions said, “If we produce a sequel, we would like to make it with our own technology, which is why we are meeting with domestic computer graphic companies, and we may make a short film that is five to 10 minutes long.” He said that if complete transformation of material while only leaving the essence intact is not achieved, it is better not to make the movie at all.

With the sequel more popular than the original, the production company Cinema Zenith is working on three scenarios for “My Boss, My Teacher” (6.1 million viewers). It will still be a gangster comedy, but the movie will deviate from the school setting. CEO Seo Jung said, “We will shoot the third episode late next year, and we are also thinking of the fourth episode.”

Box-office Risk Low but Some Attraction Should Be Added -

Many sequels are in production. Currently in production in Yeonggwang, South Jeolla province, “Mapado 2” is a story of Lee Moon-sik looking for the first love of a rich entrepreneur, who visits the island Mapado and experiences various incidents with the “grannies” there. The story combines the fairy tale of Cinderella and the novel “Shower” and the place and characters are the same. But “My Tutor Friend 2” is a twist from the sequel. This time a male college student (Park Gi-woong) teaches Korean to a Korean Japanese exchange student (Lee Chung-a). Seven scenario writers were involved in producing 18 scenario versions, and one was picked among them. Slightly less popular than its sequel, the “My Wife is a Gangster” series set the Hong Kong star Shu Qi as its main character in the third episode, and advertises the movie as, “This time it’s a Hong Kong sister.”

The sequel production boom indicates that the Korean film has established a firm basis as a profitable industry. The strength of Korean movies was especially evident after 2000, which is why sequels are more popular these days. Jung Geum-ja, marketing director of MK Pictures Inc. stated, “The popularity of the original is the basis of success for the sequel, and because the audience has higher expectations, there is less of a risk in the marketing perspective.”

But film critic Jeon Chan-il said “Sequels are not products of ideas, but of production, and it’s hard to laud them for it,” and added, “If they do not have that plus alpha amount of effort, they will be shunned by the public.” He added that “Godfather 2” or “Terminator 2” was better than the original, but the quality deteriorated from the third episode.