“We still have to wait and see”…’Alien+Human’ Despite favorable reviews, box office performance is poor, why?


(MHN Sports Reporter Jang Min-soo) A movie that started with both anticipation and anxiety, ‘Alien + Human’ Part 2. However, this time too, it is not easy to even break even, let alone hit the jackpot. Unlike the previous film, it is generally well-received, but why is it so difficult to attract audiences?

According to the Korean Film Council’s integrated computer network on the 19th, ‘aliens+humans’ Part 2 recorded a cumulative audience of 815,332 as of the 18th. It has maintained its first place at the box office since its release on the 10th, but the number of viewers on weekdays is around 40,000. It still doesn’t exceed 1 million viewers.

‘Alien+Human’ drew a final audience of 1.54 million. The pacing is not as good as part 1. Part 1, released in July 2022, started with 150,000 viewers on the first day and exceeded 1 million viewers on the 7th day of release.

Unlike the first part, which received many harsh reviews, the second part is receiving generally favorable reviews. Not only those involved in the movie but also most viewers said, “It’s fun,” “The structure is good,” and “It’s better than Part 1.” There are reactions such as:


Although favorable reviews do not always lead to box office success, in the case of genre films that are highly entertaining, it is generally proportional. From that perspective, ‘alien+human’ The poor performance of Part 2 is somewhat surprising.

What is the cause? First of all, of course, it was probably because it did not appeal to a large enough audience. But that alone is insufficient to explain it. Perhaps the fact that one story was divided into two parts and released ended up being a bad handshake.

There have been many works produced with the concept of sequels, but there are very few cases in which one continuous story has been released separately over a period of several years. Overseas, representative examples include ‘The Lord of the Rings’ About a series. It is even more difficult to find such examples among Korean films.

Previously, director Choi Dong-hoon revealed the reason for the split release, saying, “At the time of planning, the story was only about 2 hours and 10 to 20 minutes long, so there would be two parts,”and, “I decided this would be the best way.”

However, as it was an unprecedented attempt, it was impossible to predict what effect it would have on box office success. Distributor CJ ENM also expressed regret, saying, “There were some reactions saying, “It would have been better if it had been done as one,”but it was impossible to predict what the outcome would be at the time.”


From the audience’s perspective, it was difficult to choose part 1 without knowing when they would see part 2. The perception that Part 1 would only be an introduction to the entire story caused viewers who wanted completeness to hesitate, and the harsh reviews that came out during their hesitation likely led to them giving up watching. In the end, it can be seen that the entire plan entered into a vicious cycle from this point on.

There is no way that an audience who found part 1 uninteresting will watch part 2. If the audience has not seen Part 1 itself, it will not be easy to choose Part 2, which is the continuation of the story. Of course, you can watch part 1 in advance through the OTT platform, but it will already be covered in harsh reviews.

‘Alien + Human’ had a production cost of about 70 billion won for Parts 1 and 2 combined. The break-even point is approximately 7 million viewers per episode. Achieving the break-even point was virtually impossible. ‘Alien+Human’ Nevertheless, the team expects that it will achieve at least better results than the first part.

A public relations official said, “Part 1 was released during the peak summer season, and Part 2 was released in January. “There is a difference in the overall market pie itself,” he said. “It is still a bit difficult to judge compared to the first part because it is a situation that can last through winter vacation and Lunar New Year holidays.” Fortunately, the level of satisfaction is high based on word of mouth, so I expect it to last a little longer,” he said.


‘Alien+Human’ depicts the story of alien prisoners trapped in human bodies escaping from prison, and humans and gurus trying to protect the world from their threats. It is a science fiction fantasy action genre based on cartoon imagination.

There are many who hoped for the success of ‘Alien + Humans’ for the development of the science fiction and fantasy genres in the Korean film industry. This is due to concerns that the perception that “it doesn’t work in Korea” will hinder investment and hinder the spirit of challenge.

Additionally, one of the ways for theaters to survive against the growth of the OTT market is the growth of the science fiction and fantasy genres. It can be differentiated in that it can take advantage of the large screen. Considering many aspects, it is clear that ‘Alien + Human’ was a film that would have a significant impact on the Korean film industry.

‘Alien + Human’ received favorable reviews but failed to achieve success. Will it become an ill-fated masterpiece that will be re-evaluated in the future? Or will it be remembered as a failure that was driven by greed? In any case, I would like to give strong applause and support to Director Choi Dong-hoon’s challenging spirit and hard work.

Photo = Movie ‘Alien+Human’ posters and stills

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