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Television hitmakers Kim Woo-bin, Lee Min-ho and Lee Seung-gi have expanded their sphere of influence by becoming major ticket sellers at the box office.

The three 20-something actors have long been TV’s favorite stars, and now they have proven that their popularity is not limited to the small screen.

Of the three, Lee Min-ho has made the biggest splash.

Director Yoo Ha’s “Gangnam 1970,” the first movie in which Lee Min-ho had a lead role, jumped straight to the top of the local box office and has been seen by 1.2 million audience members.

Although Lee Seung-gi’s “Love Forecast” and Kim’s “The Con Artists,” big-screen debuts for both actors, did not rise to the top of the box office rankings, the movies took in more than 1.6 million and 2.5 million viewers, respectively.

With their large fan bases contributing to their success, the three are expected to dominate the local movie industry, in which older actors held sway until recent years.

Their popularity abroad has also laid the groundwork for movie exports.

“Gangnam 1970” was sold across Asia even before it was released in the local market, while “The Con Artists” was exported to four Asian nations.

Lee Min-ho’s movie is scheduled for release across Asia within the next two months.

The producers of “The Con Artists” are already reviewing plans for a sequel, and are said to have received investment offers from a China-based company.

KPOP Herald

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K-pop trio JYJ claimed the No. 2 spot on Japan’s Oricon weekly chart with its Japanese single on Wednesday, the music site said.

JYJ’s first Japanese EP “Wake Me Tonight,” released on Jan. 21, sold 134,556 copies for the week of Jan. 19-25, according to Japan’s largest music chart.

The album shot to the No. 2 spot on the Oricon daily chart upon its release last week while topping Japan’s Tower Records and HMV 24 Hours chart as well.

JYJ has enjoyed the steadfast popularity in Japan despite what the group called obstacles that have deterred them from pursuing activities at home and abroad.

The trio and their fans have claimed that their former label SM Entertainment has wielded undue influence to hamper JYJ’s engagement in the K-pop scene.

They filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest agency to terminate their contracts and depart from then-quintet TVXQ.

The boys’ first Korean album “Just Us” nabbed the top slot on Tower Records’ monthly chart and No. 2 spot on the Oricon daily chart last year, though it was not officially released through a distributor in Japan.

KPOP Herald

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 The Korea Entertainment Management Association on Wednesday called on entertainer Clara to refrain from professional activities and warned of possible penalties.


“The issue is all the more serious because it concerns a sensitive issue of feeling sexually degraded, and it is having an effect on the public,” the organization said.

Clara is currently in a legal battle with her agency. She claims that the agency’s chairman made lewd suggestions, while the company argues that she continuously violated the contract.

Saying that she is a public figure at the center of a controversial law suit, the organization said that Clara should act responsibly.

Citing the organization’s earlier ruling on two exclusive contracts that Clara signed in 2012, the organization said it was very unfortunate that she continues to work while the issue is still outstanding.

According to the Korea Entertainment Management Association, Clara signed an agreement that she may face penalties if she causes similar problems in the future and that she forfeits the right to raise objections.

Clara, however, appears unfazed by the developments.

“What could get worse in this situation? We have nothing to say at present,” an associated of Clara was quoted as saying by a local news outlet.

“If there is an official response, it will be coming from the law firm (representing Clara). For the time being, Clara will conduct overseas projects including a film in Hong Kong.”


KPOP Herald

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K-pop boy band EXO’s official fan club surpassed 3 million members on Wednesday.

The fan club now has 3,003,949 members as of Wednesday morning.

EXO-L, the band’s first-ever official fan club, saw its membership growing at an unprecedented rate since its launch in August 2014.

The fan club’s name EXO-L is a shorter form of EXO-Love. The alphabet L comes between K and M, meaning EXO, composed of sub-units EXO-M and EXO-K, and their fans are one.

The immense popularity of the 10-member band prompted overseas fans to flock to the fan club site (exo-l.smtown.com), which led to its temporary shutdown.

Those seeking to gain membership to the fan club should go through an application process on EXO-L’s official website or mobile application.

Only the members can access EXO’s schedule of activities and can participate in some of the events, according to SM Entertainment.

Meanwhile, EXO will attend the upcoming Gaon Chart K-pop Awards along with other K-pop acts on Wednesday.

KPOP Herald

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It has been revealed that a Chinese report about a joint project between Big Bang′s G-Dragon and Justin Bieber being in the works is not true.

On January 27, YG Entertainment told Newsen, "The joint project between G-Dragon and Justin Bieber was something that was discussed in the past."

"It looks like the Chinese news outlet saw an old article and wrote it in present tense. A joint project between the two won′t be happening."

One Chinese portal site stated earlier in the day, quoting Billboard′s Twitter, that G-Dragon and Justin Bieber′s joint project has been completed, confusing fans.

G-Dragon, with the Big Bang members, started up their second consecutive five-dome concert, BIGBANG JAPAN DOME CONCERT 2015-2015 "X" in Japan for the first time for a foreign artist.

In 2014, Big Bang celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Japanese debut with the five-dome tour, performing in the Nagoya Dome on November 15-16, the Osaka Kyocera Dome on November 20-23, the Fukuokay Yahoo Oku Dome on December 6-7, the Sapporo Dome on December 20, the Tokyo Dome on December 25-27, and the Osaka Kyocera Dome on Janaruy 16-18, visiting five cities with 15 concerts and 741,000 fans.

After completing the tour, G-Dragon told the fans, "Last year, we weren′t able to show new stages of Big Bang, so it′s very unfortunate, but we promise to return with a new album in the new year. We won′t make the waiting time go to waste, and the five Big Bang members will return, so we ask for your unchanging love and support."

MWAVE

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miss A′s Suzy will not be appearing in The Girl Who Sees Smells.

On January 28, Suzy′s agency told Newsen, "Suzy decided not to appear in SBS′ drama The Girl Who Sees Smells. miss A will be making a comeback in the early half of 2015 and it was difficult to fix schedules, so we respectfully declined [the offer]."

Set to air after Hyde, Jekyll, Me, The Girl Who Sees Smell is the new work of Lee Hee Kyung, who wrote Rooftop Prince and Yawang. If Suzy had taken the offer, it would have marked her return to dramas after two years since MBC′s Gu Family Book.

The Girl Who Sees Smells is about a man who lost his younger sister through a barcode murder case three years before and a woman who miraculously survived the same accident. Having worked with writer Lee Kyung in the past with Rooftop Prince, JYJ′s Park Yoo Chun is currently being considered for the male lead.


MWAVE

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f(x)’s Victoria has joined the Chinese version of Nunas Over Flowers.

On January 26, Victoria departed for Turkey in order to join Dragon TV’s Sisters Over Flowers, which is the Chinese version of the show Nunas Over Flowers. Victoria will be staying in Turkey for about a week to film the show.

An affiliate of SM Entertainment, Victoria’s agency, stated on January 28, “Victoria has been confirmed to appear in Sisters Over Flowers. Please anticipate new sides of Victoria presented through Sisters Over Flowers.”

Victoria has previously guested on the Chinese version of Grandpas Over Flowers.

Joining Sisters Over Flowers as the fixed member, Victoria will be showing her cute maknae image through the show.


MWAVE

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Lee Min Ho talked about his next project.

On January 27, the Chinese media outlet Sohu.com reported that Lee Min Ho visited Hong Kong for his fan meeting.

According to the report, Lee Min Ho departed for Hong Kong on January 26 in order to attend the fan meeting. It took him a considerable amount of time to leave the airport, being surrounded by the fans. He took about 20 seconds to thank the fans who waited for him at the airport for a long time.

Afterwards, Lee Min Ho attended the Hong Kong fan meeting on January 27, enjoying his time with about 300 fans. The actor gifted self-designed accessories to a number of randomly selected fans and presented various kinds of fan service, including taking selfies, giving hugs and more.

During the fan meeting, Lee Min Ho said, “The reason I can always work on a new project is all thanks to the fans. I wanted to thank all the fans through this opportunity.”

Lee Min Ho continued, “I think Gangnam 1970 will premiere in Hong Kong in March. I would like to present the movie first and if possible, would like to hold a concert. I would also like to return through various projects this year. I’m planning to return through a drama since I think many fans are waiting for a drama. I will greet you through as many projects as I can.”

As the final piece of director Yoo Ha’s Street Trilogy, Gangnam 1970 starring Lee Min Ho is a film about two men’s desire, loyalty and betrayal surrounding Gangnam when Seoul was going through development in 1970’s. It premiered in Korea on January 21 and has been topping the box office.

MWAVE

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B1A4 member Baro is looking into joining MBC′s new drama, Angry Mom.

On January 28, WM Entertainment told Newsen, "Baro received an offer from the Angry Mom staff. His appearance hasn′t been confirmed, and we′re currently considering it positively."

If Baro does join Angry Mom, he will return to acting after a year since SBS′ God′s Gift - 14 Days, which ended in April 2014. Baro was offered the role of a high school student.

Angry Mom won an excellance award at a scriptwriting contest in 2014. It is about a young mother with a rebellious past, who becomes a high school student once again to deal with problems in the Korean education system. Kim Yoo Jung has been confirmed, while Kim Hee Sung, Ji Hyun Woo, Oh Yoon Ha and more are still considering roles.

The drama is set to air in March following Kill Me, Heal Me.

MWAVE

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Chinese actress Tang Wei has sold a piece of real estate in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province near her husband Kim Tae-yong's house only four months after she bought it.

She starred in "Late Autumn" directed by Kim and they married in August last year.

According to the land registry, Tang sold the 485.9 sq.m plot in mid-November to a businessman for W1.25 billion, W100 million less than she paid for it.

Tang bought the land for W1.35 billion in July 2012 and registered as a foreign resident. Considering other costs such as registration fees and commissions, the sale left her over W200 million out of pocket.

The plot, in an area of swish townhouses, is currently empty. Tang's purchase generated a flurry of media speculation that the couple wanted to build a house and live there, which meant that the address became widely known.

A realtor said Tang apparently sold the land out of concern for her privacy.

Chosun Ilbo

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