Newfound power of dinosaurs“How can an herbivorous dinosaur raise chickens?” my son asked after watching “The Good Dinosaur.” He has a point, but this is just a movie. In fact, the premise of meteorites barely missing Earth 65 million years ago is fictitious. The dinosaurs did not go extinct and live on to farm and raise cows in the Disney-Pixar animation. The film was released in time for winter break, and most of the viewers were families. “The Good Dinosaur” is one of the top box-office hits along with “The Himalayas” and “Inside Men: The Original.” It is the power of dinosaurs as cultural content.
Hollywood has seen the potential of dinosaurs. The most notable hit is the “Jurassic Park” franchise, a series of films about cloned dinosaurs. The first movie made in 1993 was a great success, and the fourth installment, “Jurassic World,” became the fourth biggest international box office hit, earning about 20 trillion won ($16 billion). The success of the movie led to character products. The “Jurassic Park” ride is one of the most popular attractions in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. “The Good Dinosaur” also has related toys and picture books.
Culture is an industry and money these days, and dinosaurs are at the front line. Their gigantic size and formidable power immediately capture the attention. Recently, fossil evidence shows that carnivorous dinosaurs performed a mating ritual. It was discovered that male dinosaurs had danced to be selected by females. It is highly likely that animations, documentaries and dinosaur-related books will include dinosaur courtship.
This project was led by the University of Colorado and the Korean National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. It is enough motivation for Korea to explore its commercial possibilities. The United States was fast to calculate its financial impact. The University of Colorado estimates the online advertisement effect of the news to be 1.58 billion won. It is based on exposure to 2.22 billion readers of the story on the New York Times, Huffington Post and other media outlets over five days, from Jan. 7 to 11.
Korea is also paying attention to the cultural and economic value of dinosaurs. In July 2015, Dooly the Little Dinosaur Museum opened in Ssangmun-dong, Seoul. In April, the fourth Goseong International Dinosaur Expo (pictured) will be held. But aside from Dooly the Little Dinosaur, first created in 1983, there is no other character or icon. Korea has more than 100 dinosaur fossil sites including in Goseong County, South Gyeongsang, and Hwasun County, South Jeolla. Let’s put our hopes on the 3-D film “Dino King 2: the Dinosaur in the Korean Peninsula” to be released in Korea and China in August.
The author is a cultural news writer and an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 14, Page 31
by PARK JEONG-HO
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