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Cannes kudo boosts South Korea

Actress award impacts box office, stock market

SEOUL — The Cannes Film Festival’s presentation of its actress award to Jeon Do-yeon for her role in “Secret Sunshine” has electrified South Korea, with immediate results expected at the box office as well as on the stock market.

News of the award has prompted a media blitz, with Jeon’s acceptance speech headlining local news programs and President Roh Moo-hyun sending a congratulatory message to the 34-year-old actress.

Nod is only the second acting prize for a Korean thesp at a top-tier international festival. Kang Su-yeon won at Venice in 1987 for her performance in Im Kwon-taek’s “Surrogate Mother.”

Meanwhile, online reservation sites have reported a surge of interest in “Secret Sunshine” in the 24 hours since the award.

Released on May 23, “Sunshine” originally opened at No. 2 with a so-so $2.4 million in its first five days, compared with $19.6 million for “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” However, reservation site Maxmovie reported that Monday reservations jumped from 11.3% to 31.6% of overall sales.

Meanwhile, stock in Jeon’s talent management company iHQ rose 8.89% Monday to close at 5,400 won ($5.82) per share.

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