Go to contents


Hollywood blockbuster to be filmed in Korea

Posted March. 14, 2014 00:12,   


A sequel of the global box office hit "The Avengers" will feature “advanced Korea.”

Marvel, the U.S. production company, the Korean Film Commission and the Korea Tourism Organization have agreed to filming the movie titled "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" in Korea from March 30 to mid-April and will announce the memorandum of understanding and agreements at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul next Tuesday.

According to the agreement information that Dong-A Ilbo has obtained, various locations in Korea will be featured in the movie for about 20 minutes, a sixth of the two-hour movie. Soo Hyun, a Korean actress whose English name is Claudia Kim, takes the role of a genius scientist treating the Avengers team. She is a key person in cracking a case in the movie. The movie is known to describe Korea as an IT powerhouse.

The crew plan to shoot some footage of fights, road explosions and flying in major locations of Seoul and its vicinity, including Mapo Bridge, Cheongdam Bridge, Gangnam Station, Teheran Road, Yongsan and Sangam DMC. The cost estimate for the shooting during the agreed period will be about 10 billion won (about 9.4 million U.S. dollars), twice the amount of the average production cost for Korean commercial movies.

This decision to feature the positive images of Korea in a global blockbuster movie by a major film company is largely attributed to the “Location Incentive Project” initiated by the Korean Film Commission in 2011. Thanks to the project, foreign movies filming in Korea can receive maximum 30 percent of the costs as a refund. Korea’s elevated standing in the world movie market must also have played a role in the achievement. In 2012, Korea was the eighth largest movie market in the world, following the U.S., China, Japan, the U.K., France, India and Germany.

Nevertheless, there have been few movies that describe Korea as an advanced country. "Die Another Day" (2002), the 12th film in the James Bond series starring Pierce Brosnan, failed to appeal to the Korean audience by featuring the DMZ (demilitarized zone) turns into a battle field in flames. Among others are "The Bourne Legacy," an action thriller released in 2012, and "World War Z," a blockbuster launched last year, each of which features Gangnam Station and the U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek for a brief time.

"The Avengers 2" is expected to bring about great promotional effects for Korea once it is released in the summer of 2015, given the huge success of the first one. "The Avengers" earned about 1.52 billion dollars worldwide when it was launched in 2012. This is the third biggest earnings for a single movie in the history of movies, following "Avatar" (2.78 billion dollars) and "Titanic" (2.19 billion dollars). "The Avengers" is estimated to have drawn about 200 million moviegoers around the world. Like in many other countries, it caused a sensation in Korea, attracting about 7 million young moviegoers.

The cast of the sequel includes top actors and actresses in Hollywood, such as Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Evans as Captain America and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, just like the first one.

Seo Gyeong-deok, a professor of the College of General Education at Sungshin Women’s University and advisor to the Presidential Council on National Branding, said, “If a Hollywood blockbuster features Korea for 20 minutes, its promotional effect will exceed that from Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’… Its advertising impact is estimated to be at least over 5 trillion won (4.68 billion dollars).”