Director Hwang Dong Hyuk’s “Miss Granny” will be the first Korean movie of 2014 to break through the 5 million audience barrier.
According to the Korean Film Council’s online movie ticket network, the total attendance for “Miss Granny” stood at 4.9 million as of February 7, only 18 days after being released on January 22. On February 7 itself, over 200,000 people caught the movie in theaters, meaning that it is highly likely that the movie will break the 5 million barrier on February 8.
“Miss Granny” is a comedy film about a 74-year-old granny, Oh Mal Soon (Na Moon Hee), who gets the chance to return to her twenty year old body. She changes her name to Oh Doo Ri (Shim Eun Kyung) and decides to make the most out of her youth.
“Miss Granny” is likely to dominate theaters in February, if theater-goers continue to show their support for the movie. The box-office success of “Miss Granny” brings to mind January 2013’s heartwarming comedy, “Miracle in Cell No. 7,” which attracted a total audience of 12.3 million.
The power to make audiences laugh and cry has been a tried and tested formula for box office success, as evidenced in “Miracle in Cell No. 7” and “Miss Granny.”
That the body transformation of a foul-mouthed grandmother back into her 20-something body will bring laughs is a given. Shim Eun Kyung’s portrayal of a young girl with an old soul has earned her rave reviews for her delightfully dry sense of humor. She also performed remakes of old songs, such as “If You Go to Los Angeles” with Rose Motel, as well as “White Butterfly” for the OST, with startling sensitivity beyond her age. The theme of sacrifice for the sake of one’s family is likely to make theater-goers slightly teary-eyed.
While “Miracle in Cell No. 7” brought in the laughs and tears, and not to forget the cute, with the father-daughter combination of Ryu Seung Ryong and Gal So Won, “Miss Granny” rests firmly upon the shoulders of Shim Eun Kyung. If “Miracle in Cell No. 7” earned considerable audience sympathy for the wrongful imprisonment of Ryu Seung Ryong’s mentally handicapped character, “Miss Granny” has won fans with its story about maternal sacrifice.
Both films have both received ardent support from the viewers in their 40s and 50s, which is a key factor in the box office success of “Miracle in Cell No. 7” and “Miss Granny.” The release of “Miss Granny” just before the Lunar New Year holidays certainly helped pull this group of viewers in.
However, “Miss Granny” still has a long way to go. While both films broke the 5 million audience barrier, we will have to keep an eye on this one to see how far it will go. Besides “The Laws of Pleasure,” which hit theaters on January 13 and has a slightly younger audience, “Miss Granny” does not face any major challengers.
“Miss Granny” is currently standing side by side with animated movie “Frozen,” and this has also helped to attract viewers who are looking for something different. It’ll be interesting to see how “Miss Granny” fares, and February will certainly be an important month for the movie.