Indie distributor Filmrise has acquired North American rights to the edge-of-your-seat Korean zombie thriller Seoul Station. Here is the Korean trailer:
Directed by Sang-ho Yeon (The King of Pigs, The Fake), the highly entertaining and socially aware Seoul Station is considered a prequel to Yeon’s live-action horror film Train to Busan, a breakout hit in South Korea that is currently the country’s highest-grossing film of 2016, with over $73 million in box office. When Seoul Station opens next week in Korea, it should benefit from the wave of publicity surrounding Busan.
Yeon’s success in Korea, however, doesn’t guarantee that Seoul Station will translate to North American audiences. That fact is known by its distributor Filmrise, which released the Chinese live-action/animation blockbuster Monster Hunt in the United States last January. Despite having grossed over $380 million in China, Monster Hunt pulled in less than $33,000 here in the States and the film barely lasted more than a week in theaters.
Seoul Station is an ultra-low budget animated feature, made for well under a million dollars, but the filmmaking is so skillful that it feels like a much higher budget production. After our viewing at Annecy, we said it was “as entertaining as anything that comes out of Hollywood and willfully expands feature animation content in new directions.”
While visibility for the film isn’t high in North America, it has one big factor working in its favor: most people who see the film have enjoyed it. And another hopeful sign for its chances in North America: last week at Fantasia, a major genre film festival in Montreal, Seoul Station picked up the audience award for best animated feature.
Filmrise hasn’t announced a release date yet, but is planning the North American release for both theaters and VOD.