Kind of exciting to see that there are now new top dogs in town, for both Korean movies and music.
In movies, Thieves has shot past The Host to become the top-grossing movie Korean of all time. According to KOBIS, Thieves now has made 90.9 billion won ($80.4 million) from 12.6 million admissions. That puts Thieves well ahead of The Host‘s 79.3 billion won ($70.1 million), although still behind its 13 million admissions.
In music, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is now the biggest Youtube success for any Korean song, topping 94 million views. As it had just 73 million a few days ago, I guess it will probably keep rising for a while. (UPDATE: I woke up this morning to see it at 99 million views. Most likely will top 100 million before the end of the day. Kind of amazing how, once something goes viral, it just keeps going).
The previous leader was Girls Generation’s “Gee,” which has about 84 million views.
Of course, what does 94 million Youtube views really mean? It’s impressive, but the significance is not so clear-cut (nothing really is these days, I guess). Psy has been No. 1 on Apple’s music video chart for quite a few days, as well as Billboard’s Social Media chart. But the song is just No. 31 on Apple’s iTunes singles chart, No. 72 on Billboard’s digital singles chart and it isn’t on Billboard’s Hot 100 at all.
(Although his album is No. 2 on Billboard’s World album chart and No. 24 on the Heatseekers album chart).
But, even if Psy isn’t the second-coming of Michael Jackson (or even LMFAO), the “Gangnam Style” phenomenon is still a pretty spiffy achievement. Good for him. Between this song, Girls Generation on Letterman, Wondergirls on Nickelodeon, etc., K-pop has gotten the West’s attention. And, more importantly, K-pop artists have mostly done so on their own terms, not following the advice of Western A&R guys or other consultants.
Anyhow, regardless of what happens next with Psy and Kpop, I vow never to let this happen to me: