Movieweek Selects Top 15 Box Office Draws Among Korea Actors

The Korean acting industry is much like Hollywood in that its biggest movie stars rarely return to the small screen once they have transitioned successfully to a movie career. Viewers watching Korean dramas may think certain actors or actresses must be household names in Korea, it’s actually the movie stars that get all the respect and acclaim over there. October’s issue of Movieweek magazine polled movie production companies and investors as well as movie distributors to ask which stars had the most box office clout.

Below are the fifteen movie stars that are the most bankable according to the people who cut the checks, so to speak. Is anyone surprised to see Jeon Do Yeon and Won Bin on the list? What upsets me is the 2-1 actor to actress ratio, but that’s how the gender preferences still roll these days. The list is not ranked, but I think it’s safe to say Song Kang Ho is the undisputed top dog, and well deserved. The man is an extraordinary actor.

The group above consists of:

Song Kang Ho: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Memories of Murder, The Host, The Good, The Bad, The Weird, Thirst, Secret Reunion, Blue Salt.

Kim Yoon Seok: The Happy Life, The Chaser, Wandeuki

Kang Dong Won: Duelist, Jeon Woo Chi, Secret Reunion,

Won Bin: Taekgukgi, Mother, The Man From Nowhere

Jo In Sung: The Classic, Dirty Carnival, A Frozen Flower

The group above consists of:

Park Hae Il: Jealousy, Memories of Murder, Arrow The Ultimate Weapon,

Sol Kyung Gu (his wife is actress Song Yoon Ah): Public Enemy, Haeundae

So Ji Sub: Rough Cut, Sophie’s Revenge, Always

Ha Jung Woo: Take Off, The Chaser, The Yellow Sea, Love Fiction

Lee Byung Heon: Joint Security Area, A Bittersweet Life, The Good, The Bad, The Weird, I Come With the Rain

Jeon Do Yeon: Secret Sunshine, The Untold Scandal, The Housemaid

Ha Ji Won: 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant, Duelist, Haeundae, Sector 7

Son Ye Jin: The Classic, A Moment to Remember, My Wife Got Married, White Night

Gong Hyo Jin: Crush & Blush, Sisters on the Road, Volcano High, Love Fiction

Kim Ha Neul: My Tutor Friend, 7th Level Civil Servant, Blind, You’re My Pet

So there you have it. This list is completely subjective and really just a bunch of movie producers and their colleagues getting together to shoot the breeze on which actors are the most bankable in the industry. It does afford a better understanding of what the movie industry looks for in it’s leads than the small screen. More heavy duty acting chops, less looks.

[Credit: Movieweek magazine]


Movieweek Selects Top 15 Box Office Draws Among Korea Actors — 16 Comments

  1. wow…..never Watch any gong hyo jin movies listed above.
    guess i should make movie-list-to watch for this weekend
    thanks for the info miss K

  2. Thanks Ms Koala for the info. 🙂 This spreads the knowledge for those who mostly watch only kdramas. I am missing KDW. I think that the same is true also in the greater part of the mandarin speaking world (china/hk mostly) too in that once you have a successful movie career, you don’t tend to go back to the small screen.

  3. It’s funny just yesterday I read an article that was talking about how movie actors/actresses e.g. Zooey Deschanel, Mario Bello etc in Hollywood are going back to drama world as its less stressful and the money is good.

    • So true. There a good number of hollywood stars who’ve gone back to television. It’s a lot more fluid these days. Those in comedy try out their own network sitcoms. The heavyweights in drama usually do acclaimed cable dramas or HBOesque mini series or original programing. There’s some good stuff out there. Half the time these days, TV, especially cable programing is more interesting and varied than the movies out in the theaters. I can’t even remember the last time I went to the movies…

  4. I only recognize a few of these, and that’s because I’m a drama watcher, haha. I was kinda surprised a while back to hear that Son Ye Jin is a highly-regarded actress, because to me at that point, she was just the lead in the disappointing Personal Taste. Totally agree with Ha Ji Won and Gong Hyo Jin too, and Jeon Do Yeon of course is the Cannes queen. Hm, I should watch more movies. They’re a totally different ballgame than dramas, aren’t they? I mean, I thought Frozen Flower was just like your average stiff sageuk, and when I actually tried it I was like…(0.0).

  5. Hah, I knew my man would make an appearance. Although some of my classmates and I were talking about actors we liked, and when I mentioned him they were like “Who? I’ve never even heard of those dramas..” And then I was saddened to find out they were solely drama-watchers and were missing out on all the good movies (and movie actors) that are out there.

    But then I was grateful that I didn’t have to fight anyone for my KDW, so it’s all good in the end. 😛

    And Song Kang-ho is all kinds of badass. He’s definitely my favourite after KDW.

  6. Song Kang Ho is my all time favorite Korean actor. The man can do comedy, drama and action to perfection. Also I like the fact that his eyes are different from one another (in shape that is, Jang Geun Seuk has two different eyes too).

    Jeon Do Yeon is a fantastic actor too. She is also very comfortable with nude scenes but you know that her well deserved popularity and critical acclaim is not related to that. The woman has a well deserved Cannes award too!

  7. oh so happy that JIS made it ( CJ Ent you know what to do). And, Crush and Blush I almost forgot that little gem of a movie.

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