Lee Min-ho

Korean actor Lee Min-ho. [Starhaus Entertainment]

Which entertainment agencies made remarkable moves in the Korean entertainment scene this year? One of the biggest issues that dominated the management business was that persistent demand on Hallyu contents, especially on K-pop, allowed singer and actors to expand their boundaries to overseas market. In the contents producing industry, it has become a matter of common interest that abilities to create and produce more diversified contents as viewers and audiences have higher criteria. There were bigger examples of middle and small sized agencies to make strategic alliance or have merger and acquisitions for retaining stable profit system. In addition to those, private life of stars became more in danger thanks to the Internet, which make the “risk management ability” as the top priority of the management firm should have.

As a wrap-up and recap of this year 2013, TenAsia picked up eight entertainment agencies that impressed the industry and found out their performance, strength and weakness and searched their right direction to go (in alphabetical order).

 

This Year’s Performance

Starhaus Entertainment’s growth this year is summarized to prepare the stable steppingstone in the Chinese market. Although the drama didn’t hit air through broadcasting stations in China, his recent starrer and hit SBS series “The Inheritors” received great response in the country as much as in Korea. Through Youku.com, Chinese answer to YouTube, accumulated 700 million Chinese Internet users (by December 18 afternoon’s total) watched “The Inheritors” real-time, while Lee Min-ho secured the top spot on Shanghai’s media interest ranking search firm Vinkage for last six months as the first Korean actor to do so.

Also, Lee Min-ho was invited to the 2013 Baidu The Hottest Awards, held in Beijing as soon as “The Inheritors” wrapped up its air. The organizing committee of Baidu rated Lee as ‘the rank one star including Chinese stars’ and ‘top-tier star with skilled acting and great influence.’ What makes Lee’s outcome special is that he grabbed that much popualrity although he didn’t star in any Chinese drama. He became the good example of Hallyu stars since the main factors of his popularity is tight connection with overseas fans through Chinese Twitter Weibo, Facebook and fan meetings.

 

This Year’s Star

Actor Lee Min-ho proved his star quality in and out of Korea through “The Inheritors.” His stable character portray and deep acting skills in the TV series also make his potential broader. It was true that there were some amount of worry for him to come back to the school-set drama after “Boys over Flowers,” which shot Lee to stardom. However, being in the more clear comparison board, he showed off definite growth. Especially his fast growth in the Chinese market will play a role as the matchmaker for Hallyu to move to China from Japan.

 

Lee Min-ho

Korean actor Lee Min-ho. [Kim Youngjun]

What’s Next?

Lee Min-ho will star filming director Yoo Ha’s new movie “Gangnam Blues” next year. Industry insiders are showing huge interest in the movie since it is Lee’s first film after he shot to stardom. His choice also shows that Lee’s firm plan to broaden his competence as an actor to the wide channel based on existing star quality. Also, he still has plan to focus on the local market as he has done so far, despite of great popularity overseas.

Starting with upcoming Korean fan meet-and-greet scheduled next January, Lee will continue to connect with overseas fans through global tour, which includes China, Japan, Singapore and even South American region. Setting the goal to become an influential actor around the Great Asian region, Lee will broaden his boundaries to the Latin America and the third countries.

Year 2014 is also the important year for rookies of Starhaus Entertainment. Jung Seong-woo has been cast in JTBC’s “Noblewoman,” set to premiere next January, while Shin Dong-mi and Kwak SI-yang are each revving up to promote “Going to the Grave” (both translated titles) and filmmaker LeeSong Hee-il’s queer movie, respectively.

Reporter. Bae Sun-young sypova@tenasia.co.kr
Translator. Cory Lee
Editor. Cory Lee

Courtesy of Starhaus Entertainment, Kim Youngjun