BY Joan MacDonald | Nov 13, 2013 02:32 PM EST
"Snowpiercer" has become the best-selling Korean movie ever released in France. It sold more than twice as many movie tickets as director Bong Joon Ho's previous film release in France, his monster movie hit, "The Host."
There are a few reasons that may favor this film's international success. Most of the film was shot in English and it marks the director's English-language debut. And the cast features several international stars. But it may also appeal to a French audience because the film's story is based on a French graphic novel.
"Bong Joon Ho already had a high level of recognition in France, where the movie's release has generated much critical acclaim," said a representative from CJ E&M, the film's overseas distributor. "Its success was also partly due to the favorable review from the French authors of the original comics."
The science fiction thriller is based on a French graphic novel called "Le Transperceneige," which was written by Jacques Loeb, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette.
Bong first read the graphic novel at a comic book store in Hongdae. Although he was supposed to be working on his film "The Host," he could not put the novel down. He knew that he had to make it into a film.
More than nine million people saw the film when it was shown in Korea this summer. It will be shown in Hong Kong this month and Japan in February,
"As it is off to a good start at the box office in France, the first country outside of Korea where it was released, we believe the movie will also fare well in other countries this winter," said the CJ E&M representative.
Bong Joon Ho and Kelly Masterson adapted the novel's story into a screenplay. The story also appealed to a diverse cast of international stars. The international cast includes Chris Evans, Song Kang Ho, Go Ah Sung, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer and Ed Harris.
The story of "Snowpiercer" is set in the future when experiments to stop global warming have inadvertently created a deadly ice age. The world's only survivors live on a train known as Snowpiercer that travels perpetually around the planet. A class system develops on the train with the wealthy and powerful riding up front and the poor relegated to the rear of the train. There's a revolt and the poor seize control of the train, upsetting the order of the haves and have nots.
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