‘The Thieves’ steals top spot in box office history
“The Thieves” has become the most popular Korean movie of all time, beating the previous record set by the 2006 movie “The Host,” the latest box-office sensation’s distributor said Tuesday.
The movie by director Choe Dong-hoon had drawn 13,020,393 local moviegoers as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, breaking the previous top audience record of 13,019,740 set by “The Host,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, Showbox said.
After opening on July 25, the film about 10 Korean and Chinese thieves plotting to steal a diamond in Macao has demonstrated explosive ticket power, topping the 5-million mark in 10 days and the 10 million barrier in 22 days.
In ticket sales, “The Thieves” recorded about 93.56 billion won ($84 million), followed by “The Host” with 78.5 billion won and “Haeundae,” another Korean film, with 81.9 billion won, according to official box-office figures by the Korean Film Council.
Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” (2009) sits on top of local box-office sales with 13.62 million viewers.
Meanwhile, the Korean historical film “Gwanghae: the Man Who Became the King” reigns at the local box office, breaking the 5-million mark in attendance numbers, officials said Monday.
The movie, directed by Choo Chang-min and starring top actor Lee Byung-hun, drew 5.23 million viewers as of Monday, 18 days after its release, according to the Korean Film Commission.
Actor Lee plays dual roles as King Gwanghae, the 15th ruler of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), and the humble acrobat Ha-sun, who stands in for the monarch when he faces the threat of assassination attempts. Gwanghae, who was deposed in a coup, is known as one of the more unfortunate figures in Korean history.
This became the second local movie to draw more than 5 million viewers this year.