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'The King and the Clown,” Unexpected Blockbuster Updated: 2006-01-18 12:00:00 KST

'The King and the Clown,” Unexpected Blockbuster
We turn your attention to the Korean movie industry, where a local production is topping the box office charts, week after week.
The movie, "The King and the Clown", is an unexpected winner, beating out big budget Hollywood films like King Kong, as well as some much-anticipated Korean blockbusters.
Lee Jung-hwa reports.

It's an unexpected box office hit.
Three weeks into its opening and more than five million moviegoers have seen "The King and the Clown."
Set in the Chosun Dynasty, two clowns arrive at the royal palace to perform for one of Korea's most notorious tyrants, King Yeonsan.
The film focuses on his relationship with the two clowns, Jang Seng and Gong Gil.
When the movie opened in late December, it was up against some seemingly tough local competition, including "The Typhoon" and "Blue Swallow."
These two big-budget movies at nearly 20 million U.S. dollars and 12 million dollars, respectively, were expected to be blockbusters with top stars and plenty of special effects.
But "The King and the Clown", made for a little more than four million dollars, is beating them at the box office.
So where did they go wrong?

KWAK YOUNG-JIN, MOVIE CRITIC: "Did they predict the demands of the audience and the trend correctly? Is the story interesting and charming enough? These could be the questions to ask."

Movie critics say "The King and the Clown" is attracting cross-generational movie goers.
The young are interested in the unconventional relationship portrayed, while older generations say they enjoy watching the traditional acts like tightrope dancing.
The popularity of "The King and the Clown" shows that the Korean film audience is evolving.
As the movie market grows, critics say the audience is becoming more discerning and is not just relying on big name stars when deciding what to watch.
"The King and the Clown" for now seems to be the audience's choice, with at least six million Koreans expected to see the film.

Lee Jung-hwa, Arirang News.
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