Make your own free website on









The Best Selling Films of 1999 (through January 26)


    Domestic Films                   Tickets       Release      Weeks
1.  "Shiri"                        2,440,000        Feb 13        17
2.  "Attack on the Gas Station"      962,000        Oct 2         11
3.  "Tell Me Something"              740,000        Nov 13         6
4.  "Nowhere to Hide"                672,500        Jul 31         9
5.  "Happy End"                      563,000        Dec 11         6
6.  "Yonggary"                       500,000        Jul 17         6
7.  "Ghost in Love"                  420,000        Aug 14         5
8.  "Phantom the Submarine"          365,000        Jul 31         7
9.  "The Ring Virus"                 340,000        Jun 12         7
10. "City of the Rising Sun"         332,000        Jan 1          5

    Overall Figures                  Tickets       Release      Weeks
1.  "Shiri" (Korea)                2,440,000        Feb 13        17
2.  "The Mummy" (U.S.)             1,260,000        Jul 10         8
3.  "Attack on Gas Station" (Korea)  962,000        Oct 2         11
4.  "The Matrix" (U.S.)              910,000        May 15         9
5.  "Sixth Sense" (U.S.)             879,000        Sep 18         9
6.  "Tarzan" (U.S.)                  820,000        Jul 17         7
7.  "Star Wars: Episode One" (U.S.)  811,000        Jun 26         7
8.  "Tell Me Something" (Korea)      740,000        Nov 13         6
9.  "Toy Story 2" (U.S.)             694,000        Dec 18         6*
10. "Love Letter" (Japan)            692,000        Nov 20         8

Films in Korea are universally priced at 6000 won (~$5.00). The figures above represent the total number of tickets sold for each film in Seoul only. An asterisk indicates that the film is still playing in theaters.

The lack of a centralized ticketing system makes it extremely difficult to accurately determine box-office figures for any given film. The above figures are approximate; more precise statistics will become available at the end of the year.

Source: Cine21 Magazine weekly listings.



swiri.jpg (35152 bytes)Shiri

Director, Kang Jae-gyu  Actor Han Suk-kyu, Choi Min-shik, Song Kang-ho

 Shiri (pronounced "Shee-ree", alternate spelling: "Swiri") has drawn praise from a wide variety of sources. Members of the Korean national intelligence agency gave it a standing ovation for its detailed and accurate depiction of espionage operations. It has already received honors for best picture and best actor Choi Min-shik, for his portrayal of a North Korean agent) at domestic awards ceremonies. The making of the film has even been analyzed and offered up as a model for Korean businesses hoping to succeed in the new century.


myheart.jpg (32015 bytes)Harmonium in My Memory

Director Lee Young-jae Actors Lee Byung-heon, Jeon Do-yeon

The setting for this film is 1962, when a young teacher from Seoul takes his first job at a village school in Kangwon Province. At this time one of his older students begins to fall in love with him. She makes use of her daily journal assignments to comment on his teaching and ask him probing, curious questions. When she notices a romance developing between him and another teacher, she does her best to discredit her rival by harping on her age and stealing her shoes in class.


 leechuljin.jpg (25444 bytes)
The Spy

Director and screenwriter Jang Jin

Late at night, a North Korean spy washes onto the shores of Kangwon Province unseen and prepares for his initial assignment: to find and steal the genetically-engineered "Superpig", an animal developed by a team of South Korean biologists. Within hours, however, he falls victim to a group of thieves who steal his belongings and leave him stranded. As time goes on he realizes that his training did nothing to prepare him for the complex life he leads in the South.


ring.jpg (37569 bytes)The Ring Virus

Director Kim Dong-bin

With the help of a beleaguered neurologist who performed autopsies on the victims and pronounced their deaths to be supernatural, Sun-ju learns that the videotape was made by a psychic named Un-seo who had years earlier been thrown into a well. Sun-ju now stakes her survival on somehow contacting this young woman from the past.


nowhere.jpg (61478 bytes)Nowhere to Hide

Director  Lee Myung-sae  

There are several types of movement which propel this film: the physical movement of the actors (Lee reportedly spent time analyzing the movement in dance and World Cup soccer); the visual movement created by lines of composition within the frame; movement through time (the time for each major scene is faithfully printed for the viewer); movement towards resolution of the plot (a cat-and-mouse chase between a group of cops and a killer); and the movement inherent in Lee's editing, which removes small chunks of the original footage to create a muted, staccato-like propulsion (he makes frequent use of what I guess you would call a "jump-dissolve"). But in contrast to the scattered movement you see in a film such as Wong Kar-Wai's Chungking Express, the movement in this film is directed inward, as it guides us relentlessly to the final confrontation between the pursuer and the pursued.


juyuso.jpg (32772 bytes)Attack the Gas Station!

Director Kim Sang-jin

Four young thugs are bored one night, so they decide to rob a gas station, just for fun. When they find it has no money, however, they lock the employees up and stay there for the night, pumping gas. Once they get the hang of the equipment, the money starts to flow, and if customers give them any problems, they just take them hostage.