Song Joong Ki has encountered a bumpy road in his career, with his latest film “Hopeless” failing to make a mark at the box office
Box Office Flop
Naver recently reported that “Hopeless,” which stars Song Joong Ki, has recorded an underwhelming performance and is likely to suffer financial losses. Despite his willingness to embrace a new character on screen, Song Joong Ki’s star power seems insufficient to attract audiences. These setbacks have left a dent in Song Joong Ki’s reputation, causing a slowdown in his career.
Released on October 11, “Hopeless” managed to draw in just 160,000 viewers in its opening week and had the lowest ticket reservation rate at 4.8%. In comparison, competitors like “Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman” (88%) and “30 Days” (93%) outperformed it significantly.
While “Hopeless” previously received accolades, such as an invitation to the Cannes Film Festival and praise from industry experts, Korean audiences found the film lacking a clear and compelling storyline, with some critics pointing to an excessively violent script and inconsistent character development.
In a candid interview promoting “Hopeless,” Song Joong Ki expressed his ambition to expand his career on the global stage. Despite numerous attempts at auditions, he acknowledged that they didn’t end well.
Song Joong Ki didn’t hesitate to accept his failure and emphasized that his goal is the global market. The actor said, “My ambition is to take acting challenges in many cultures and film industries in various places. So far, one of my attempts has succeeded. I even looked like a fool in the casting audition. However, this only motivates me to want to pursue that ambition.”
QQ analyzed that Song Joong Ki’s weakness is his young face and his acting without remarkable changes. In addition, his reputation is still not enough to attract more people to the cinemas for his films. Previously, Song Joong Ki already tasted failures with “The Battleship Island” (2017) and “Space Sweepers” (2021). These two films received big investments to be made into blockbusters, however, the result was below expectations.
QQ highlighted Song Joong Ki’s success in dramas but it was not enough to raise his position in the film industry. That’s why the actor developed a great desire to challenge movie acting and aim at big awards like the Blue Dragon, Baeksang, etc.
Image ruined due to controversies
Apart from his filmography without a breakthrough, Song Joong Ki even sparked controversies over his remarks regarding his private life and his inappropriate behaviors towards junior actors.
Specifically, the male actor once shared his concerns about marriage as it could disrupt his career and even result in unemployment. “Being a husband and a father means losing many job opportunities in the entertainment industry,” the male actor said in an interview.
Song Joong Ki’s comments were criticized for reflecting gender inequality because, in reality, male actors do not need to take long breaks to have children like female artists. His lack of sensitivity received public backlash.
Related hashtags related to Song Joong Ki and the interview became topics of discussion on Weibo. Many people felt that the Korean actor’s statement could make his wife and children sad.
Song Joong Ki later explained his statement: “I received this information late because I was in Italy after the baby was born. I never thought like that, but it was an interview in English. Later, I realized, ‘Oh, it might have been heard that way.’ Because my job affects many people, I think I should think carefully.” Song Joong Ki explained that the interview content was mistranslated and distorted.
However, Song Joong Ki’s reaction was slow and untimely in addressing the scandal, which left a bad impression on many viewers regarding the male actor.
Furthermore, Song Joong Ki has recently been involved in a controversy about “taking the center position”. In “Hopeless,” Hong Sa Bin plays the male lead, although he is less famous than Song Joong Ki. In many activities, Song Joong Ki automatically stands in the middle of the cast and director. Song Joong Ki’s behavior was seen as pressing down on his junior and trying to show off. Despite Song Joong Ki’s fans offering numerous explanations, his reputation was still affected.
According to QQ, Song Joong Ki’s reputation has been damaged since his divorce from actress Song Hye Kyo. Their tumultuous 21-month relationship shocked the public. While they did not publicly state the reasons for their separation, many fans of Song Hye Kyo criticized the male actor for being ungentlemanly and disrespectful to his ex-wife. Song Joong Ki’s constant praise of his new wife, Katy Louise Saunders, and defending her when she faced online attacks, did not sit well with many people. They compared his attitude while being with his new wife and his coldness towards Song Hye Kyo.
However, this is only a temporary situation. If Song Joong Ki continues to release high-quality works in the near future, he may be able to regain the affection from the public as he did before.