South Korea: Steven Spielberg’s latest big production “Transformers” premiered today in South Korean theatres, after notching up the country’s highest online ticket bookings of any movie this year.
According to distributor CJ Entertainment, the action movie which features vehicles that transform into warring robots will initially show on 530 screens nationwide, rising to around 700 by the weekend.
South Korea was the first country in the world to screen the film in general release, showing as early as 8:20 a.m at a theatre in central Seoul.
The film has also been shown in advance at special screenings to reporters and members of movie industry associations, and was being screened lin the United States at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
“The graphics were just awesome, truly the best science fiction movie I’ve ever seen,” Oh Kyung-chul, a 21-year-old student, said after watching a morning show in Seoul. “I hope they come out with sequels. I will definitely go to watch them.”
Based on the 1980s toys and cartoon series of the same name, “Transformers” centres on two robot factions: Decepticons, which strive to dominate the universe; and Autobots, which believe in peaceful coexistence with humans.
In the movie, a high-school boy teams up with the Autobots to save the world from the Decepticons. The director Michael Bay, has also directed action movies “Armageddon” and “The Rock” and is produced by Spielberg.
No other movie has had such strong pre-screening bookings in South Korea this year. Figures for the total number of reserved tickets were not immediately available. “Movies that do well in South Korea tend to do well in other parts of Asia,” Kim said, attributing the trend in part to the growing popularity of South Korean movies, TV dramas and music across the region.
“A movie’s popularity in Asia seems to be affected by its popularity in South Korea,” she said. “In that sense, South Korea has emerged as an important movie market in Asia in recent years.” The movie will be released elsewhere in Asia later this week, Kim said. Its US release is scheduled for July 4.