Crossover Cinema: An Evolving Form of Cinema

Crossover cinema is a complex term to define, because of the many factors which differentiate it from other forms of cinema. Khorana (2013) defines crossover cinema as “an emerging form of cinema that crosses cultural borders at the stage of conceptualization and production”.  As an emerging form of cinema, the question remains: How does crossover cinema affect audiences and the content being produced?

In order to fully comprehend the emerging form of cinema that is Crossover cinema, it is essential to identify the factors or characteristics that define or differentiate it from other forms of cinema. The 2014 South Korean/North American film “Snowpiercer” directed by Bong Joon-ho demonstrates clear characteristics of crossover film. The film, which is entirely set on a train in a post-apocalyptic world, was shot principally in the Czech Republic and was co-produced by South Korean company “Moho films” and by North American company “RADiUS-TWC”, which is run by The Weistein Company. These production elements alone demonstrate the cross-cultural nature of the film. However, multicultural productions don’t solely define a film as crossover cinema. The elements of the content also have to be considered.


The film “Snowpiercer” principally revolves around a train which contains all that is left of humanity, after a failed attempt to counter-act global warming. At the tail-end of the train are the lower classes, whilst the higher-classes, capitalist people belong to the front. The film contains many universal, political allegories and ideas that are hyperboles to the current global situation, particularly the situations of Iran and Gaza. These are the sorts of contexts or themes that differentiate crosscultural cinema to other forms.

So how did “Snowpiercer”, as a cross-cultural film, affect audiences? The film was very well received by critics globally, and according to Box Office Mojo the film grossed $86,581,701 worldwide and is the 12th Highest Grossing Film in South Korea. The film received a limited release in the U.S., before gaining a mainstream release due to critical acclaim. The film made a total of $4, 526,345, which demonstrates that U.S. audiences have not yet fully accepted the form of crossover cinema, despite the previous success of the 2008 UK/Indian film “Slumdog Millionaire”. I hope, as a filmgoer, that crossover film will continue to emerge and increase its success globally.


Khorana, S. 2013, “Crossover cinema: a conceptual and genealogical overview”, Research Online, pp. 1-18

Olsen, M. 2014, “Summer sci-fi: an up-to-minute reflection of our transnational world”, L.A. Times, July 21, viewed 18 September 2014



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