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China Welcomes OH! MY GRAN, 1st Korean Film to Receive Theatrical Release in 6 Years
- Writerby Pierce Conran
Na Moonhee Comedy-Drama Ranks 10th on Chinese Box Office Chart
The heart-warming family comedy Oh! My Gran (2020) became the first Korean film to be welcomed in Chinese theaters for six years after going on release there on December 3.
Veteran actress Na Moonhee, who was actually born in Beijing, stars in the film as an elderly woman who witnesses her young granddaughter’s hit-and-run accident but is unable to come forward as a material witness because of her Alzheimer’s.
The film was directed by Jung Sekyo and welcomed 350,000 viewers (USD 2.38 million) to cinemas when it was released in Korea in September last year. As of December 7, Oh! My Gran ranked in tenth place on the Chinese box office charts, having grossed USD 250,000 to date.
Korean content was enjoying a surge in popularity in the Chinese market several years ago, but the pipeline was suddenly shut off when the Chinese government objected to the installation of a THAAD U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, which was planned for 2016. The last Korean film to be granted a full release in China was Choi Donghoon’s period action-thriller Assassination in 2015, when it grossed USD 6.73 million in the market, a record for a Korean film in China.
Korean films returned to China in 2018 during the Beijing International Film Festival, when seven Korean films, including Hong Sangsoo’s The Day After (2017), were invited to screen there, but it took until this year for a Korean film to be granted a commercial theatrical release again.
The release of the film comes on the eve of next year’s 30th anniversary of official diplomatic ties between the two nations.