Gong Yoo, Park Bogum’s movie ‘Seobok’ pulled out from theaters in Korea

Published May 10, 2021, 1:13 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

“Seobok,” the sci-fi movie starring Korean stars Gong Yoo and Park Bogum, has been pulled out from theaters in South Korea and can now only be watched on an over-the-top (OTT) platform.

The film was released simultaneously in theaters and on OTT platform TVING owned by CJ ENM, which produced “Seobok” along with TPS Co.

“Seobok” opened in Korea on April 15 and topped the box office with 45,153 in total admissions and gross of $363,586, based on tally by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

It maintained its No. 1 position at the box office for six straight days from April 15 to 20 until it was dislodged by “Recalled” starring Seo Ye-ji and Kim Kang-woo.

“Seobok” was shown in theaters for 18 days from April 15 to May 2 and sold 385,296 tickets and earned $3.25 million before its pullout.

The movie was produced with a budget of 16.5 billion won (about $14.7 million) and it tells the story of Gi-heon (played by Gong Yoo), a former intelligence agent suffering from terminal illness, who is tasked to transport Seobok (Park Bogum), the first human clone, to safety. The two face dangerous situations as forces try to take Seobok.

According to an SBS report, “Seobok” is expected to become the biggest failure of the Korean film industry in 2021.

Based on its budget, its break-even point is 3.2 million people but it only managed to draw 380,000, the May 4 news report stated.

Only three films which premiered this year in Korea managed to reach at least one million audience. They are the Disney Pixar film “Soul,” which now has more than 2 million in total admissions, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie-Mugen Train” (1.96 million) and the Oscar-nominated “Minari” (1.08 million).

“Seobok” was sold to 56 countries and regions including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. As of May 10, “Seobok” is the sixth biggest top-grossing film in Korea in 2021 based on the KOFIC tally.