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(LEAD) 'Minari' eyes 1 mln attendees on Youn Yuh-jung's historic Oscar win

Movies 17:49 April 28, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with viewer records in Italy in last 5 paras; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- The number of combined moviegoers for "Minari" is expected to surpass 1 million in South Korea this weekend, boosted by supporting actress Youn Yuh-jung's historic Oscar victory, data showed Wednesday.

The U.S. drama film on the struggles of a first-generation Korean immigrant family in America sold 8,500 tickets on Tuesday, bringing its combined total to 952,000, according to the data from the Korean Film Council.

A digital poster of "Minari" at a movie theater in Seoul on April 27, 2021 (Yonhap)

Its box office ranking bumped up to second after the thriller "Recalled" with 14,000, up three notches from fifth place over the weekend.

The rebound came as Youn won Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 93rd Academy Awards on Monday (Korean time).

Taking on the role of an atypical, foulmouthed grandmother in "Minari," the 73-year-old actress became the first South Korean thespian to clinch an acting Oscar.

The Oscar boost is projected to help the film, released on March 3, become the third box office release to post more than 1 million attendees in the virus-hit South Korean film industry in 2021 this coming weekend.

There are only two movies that have achieved the milestone this year: the Disney-Pixar fantasy "Soul" and the Japanese animated film "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train."

"Minari," a semi-autobiographical film by Korean American writer and director Lee Isaac Chung, is about first-generation immigrants from Korea settling in rural Arkansas in the 1980s in pursuit of their own American dream.

It has been the talk of the town in the country as two South Korean actresses, Youn Yuh-jung and Han Yeri, participated in the project made by Korean American filmmakers, including director Chung and producer Christina Oh, who was nominated for the best picture Oscar as producer.

A "Minari" poster captured from the website of Italian movie distributor Academy Two (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"Minari" has also received a great response from Italians, as the European country's cinema exhibitors' association, or ANEC, said the film attracted 1,635 viewers from 25 theaters on Monday, the first day of its release in Italy.

On Tuesday, 1,670 tickets were sold across Italy, making "Minari" the only film to draw more than 1,000 viewers for the second consecutive day.

On Monday, a number of films, including two Italian films, were released in the country, but the number of viewers reached just 100 to 200 each.

"Minari" is expected to sell more tickets in the coming days, as the number of its theaters is to increase to 70 beginning Thursday.

Italy closed all movie theaters nationwide last October due to the coronavirus pandemic but selectively reopened some of them this week in regions considered at low risk of infection. On Monday, 112 screens in Italy attracted a total of 3,700 viewers.


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