Black Panther Goes to South Korea

Superman was my favorite superhero movie when I was a child in South Korea. Imitating superman, I would often tie a big blanket around my neck like his cape and jump from the second floor to the ground. I was a kid and believed that I could fly like him, but I had to stop trying to fly after a harsh scolding from my mom. As a grown man, I still like Superman, but my favorite superhero movie has changed to Marvel Studio’s Black Panther.

South Korean Film Market Worldwide 

Korea’s importance in the world film market is rising. A lot of world movie stars are visiting South Korea for promotions. Even Marvel’s Deadpool 2 movie’s world premiere was held in South Korea, and according to Statista, Korea is the 4th leading box office markets worldwide in 2017.

Leading box office markets worldwide in 2017, by revenue (In billion U.S. dollars)

Wakanda and Busan

As many people know, Wakanda is a fictional country and home to the superhero Black Panther. Busan is a South Korean port city. The city is also known for hosting Asia’s biggest film festival. I remember I was so happy when I heard that Busan was chosen as a filming site of Black Panther last year because I am a big fan of Marvel’s superhero movies. I know that many Koreans were very happy and proud to see Busan in a large-scale, global film. Director Ryan Coogler explained why he chose Busan as the film site of an intense car chasing scene. He said that “Because the action scene took place at night, there had to be a great night view and I also wanted to show a traditional side of the region. We were in need of a unique, different film site.” However, I believe Marvel chose Busan because of the large size of the Korean movie market.

Black Panther statue in Busan

How Much Did Black Panther Make in South Korea?

The movie earned massive success in Korea. It took in $25.3m during opening week, which is more than any other country outside the U.S. There are many reasons for the success of the movie in Korea but I believe that the main reason is filming in Busan boosted anticipation for the movie in South Korea. Also, Korean people praised the main actress Lupita Nyongo’s Korean-language skills that she showed. Overall, Black Panther made $42.3m in Korea, and it is the 3rd largest earning after China and U.K worldwide.

Box Office for Black Panther (2018)

Expect to See More Superheroes in South Korea

Black Panther is not the first Marvel movie filming in South Korea.  Avengers: Age of Ultron also filmed in Seoul a few years ago. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Marvel honcho Kevin Feige has told South Korean media that he plans for one of the studio’s tentpoles to descend on the country for another shoot in 2019.” I cannot wait to see more superhero in South Korea.

Wakanda Forever!

Written by: Semyung Kim