Young Korean actors rise as big-screen heavyweights

Young Korean actors rise as big-screen heavyweights
South Korean actor Lee Min-ho.

Television hitmakers Kim Woo-bin, Lee Min-ho and Lee Seung-gi have expanded their sphere of influence by becoming major ticket sellers at the box office.

The three 20-something actors have long been TV's favourite stars, and now they have proven that their popularity is not limited to the small screen.

Of the three, Lee Min-ho has made the biggest splash.

Director Yoo Ha's "Gangnam 1970," the first movie in which Lee Min-ho had a lead role, jumped straight to the top of the local box office and has been seen by 1.2 million audience members.

Although Lee Seung-gi's "Love Forecast" and Kim's "The Con Artists," big-screen debuts for both actors, did not rise to the top of the box office rankings, the movies took in more than 1.6 million and 2.5 million viewers, respectively.

With their large fan bases contributing to their success, the three are expected to dominate the local movie industry, in which older actors held sway until recent years.

Their popularity abroad has also laid the groundwork for movie exports.

"Gangnam 1970" was sold across Asia even before it was released in the local market, while "The Con Artists" was exported to four Asian nations.

Lee Min-ho's movie is scheduled for release across Asia within the next two months.

The producers of "The Con Artists" are already reviewing plans for a sequel, and are said to have received investment offers from a China-based company.

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