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South Korea’s ‘Be With You’ Heads for North American Release

Be With You,” a melodrama that opened on top of the South Korean box office Wednesday, will be released in the U.S. and U.K.

Rights to the film, which was directed by Lee Chang-hoon, were picked up by specialty distributor JBG, from South Korean film conglomerate Lotte Entertainment, for North America, the U.K. and Ireland.

The film is a remake of a 2004 Japanese film of the same title, about a woman who dies and leaves behind her son and husband. She then returns a year later, putting her fate as a spirit on the line for the sake of her earthly family.

Top Korean stars Son Ye-jin and So Ji Sub headline the picture. It also stars veteran actor Ko Chang-seok (“Secretly, Greatly”) and Kim Ji Jwan, a new child actor.

The film’s star power will help it launch in Asian territories. It will be released in Singapore on April 19 by Purple Plan, and in Vietnam on April 6. Movie Cloud will release it in Taiwan on March 30. Lotte also licensed the film to Sahamongkolfilm International for Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Viva Entertainment acquired it for the Philippines. Purple Plan also has rights in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The film got off to a good start in Korean theaters, with $805,000 from 112,000 admissions Wednesday. According to data from the Korean Film Council’s KOBIS tracking service, it played on 987 screens and enjoyed a 35% market share.

Production of the film was by Movie Rock, the company behind “Midnight Runners,” which was also released by Lotte. Spackman Entertainment, a Singapore-based mini conglomerate with multiple interests in the Korean entertainment scene, represents Son and So. It also put up $450,000 (KRW5 million) as a co-investor in the picture.

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