The movie titled “Operation Chromite,” at noon on August 4, hit the 4 million viewer mark. The “Operation Chromite,” is an action blockbuster war film that depicts the stories of hidden heroes who sacrificed everything to make the Operation Chromite succeed, the operation which changed the history amid the probability of success of only 5000:1. The operation is commonly known as the Incheon Landing Operation. Hitting 1 million viewers in the first three days, 2 million in 5 days, and 6 million in 6 days after its release, the “Operation Chromite” it surpassed the remarkable 4 million viewer mark at 12 O’clock on August 4, the 9th day of its showing.
The film became a box office hit just as fast as the movie “Veteran” in 2015 (total 13,414,009 viewers), which hit the 10 million viewer mark after being released during the summer peak season, gaining the same number of viewers on its 9th day of showing, and attracted viewers even faster than the day 12 records of the movies “The Attorney” in 2013 (total 11,374,610 viewers) and the “Miracle in Cell No. 7” in 2012 (total 12,811,206 viewers). Such remarkable performance demonstrates the big success of the movie “Operation Chromite.” Moreover, the movie ranked number 1 in the Korean box office amid the powerful domestic and foreign new-releases such as “Suicide Squad” and “The Last Princess,” continuing to be on the fast track.
Meanwhile, some point out that such success is a result of taking a full benefit of “ideological conflicts.” There are strong ideological debates about the movie “Operation Chromite” which was released on July 27. Ironically, such “ideological conflict” is displaying a positive influence in the success of the film. In particular, the opposition parties set a counter fire by going to view the movie “The Last Princess” after the leadership of the ruling Saenuri Party went for a group viewing of the movie “Operation Chromite.” The movie “The Last Princess” is about the story of the last princess of the Korean Empire, who longed for her country after taken to Japan by force at the young age of 13.
The movie “Operation Chromite” is being constantly compared to the movies “Ode to My Father” in 2014 (directed by Yoon Je-kyoon), and “Northern Limit Line” in 2015 (directed by Kim Hak-soon), which are previously categorized as patriotic movies. However, as in the case of the film “Operation Chromite,” for the “ideological conflict” to come to the fore is just unprecedented. The viewers who felt resistance to the biased evaluation rather went to theaters to watch the movie “Operation Chromite,” and the dispute is directly affecting the success of the film as a result. Again to the surprise, according to the findings on an investigation carried out by CGV, the major class of the audiences revealed to be in their 20s despite the predictions, which said the movie will garner overwhelming support by the middle-aged class.
Although the ideological conflict acted as a success key-word, the production team of the movie “Operation Chromite” rather expressed their concerns; the veracity they put into the movie being thought to be just as a trick. Jung Tae-won, the representative of Taewon Entertainment or the production company of the “Operation Chromite” said that “(He) just wanted to let the people know and honor the hard work of the heroes,” adding, “There was no other intentions; the passion and veracity of all the staffs are sincere.” He emphasized, “Please do not just denigrate (our sincereness) into a political indication.”
On the other hand, some analyze the success of “Operation Chromite,” with the ideological arguments aside, is strictly following the commercial logics; it is just another proof of the marketing strategy of “patriotism appeal” and “patriotism marketing” being successful for the summer season action blockbuster war movies, following the successive cases of the movies “Roaring Currents” in 2014 and “Northern Limit Line” in 2015. Kim Hyung-suk, a movie critic said, “It is possible that similar movies might be released one after another every year, since it is analyzed that at least 4~5 million viewers will watch an action blockbuster war movies with patriotic code.”