‘Whistle Blower’ blasts to No. 1 spot at box office

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‘Whistle Blower’ blasts to No. 1 spot at box office

Domestic films showed a strong performance over the weekend as Yim Soon-rye’s “Whistle Blower” and Kim Young-tak’s “Slow Video” took over the first and second slots at the box office, according to the Korean Film Council.

“Whistle Blower,” a fictional tale inspired by the infamous Hwang Woo-suk stem cell scandal, garnered 563,539 viewers over the weekend, making 4.5 billion won ($4.2 million).

As sensational and shocking as the real story behind the movie was, the filmmakers apparently tried to avoid controversy by focusing the plot more on the journalists who investigate the scientist. They zoom in on the media’s sense of duty to unveil the truth to the public, instead of the incident itself.

Falling behind by a thin margin, “Slow Video,” which stars Cha Tae-hyun, took in 546,873 ticket sales and earned 4.3 billion won over the weekend.

In the film, Cha plays Jang-boo, a character who is able to see things in slow motion. He seeks to win the heart of his first love, played by Nam Sang-mi.

In third place was mystery-thriller “The Maze Runner,” which fell two spots from No. 1 last week. The movie, based on novelist James Dashner’s young adult science fiction trilogy, attracted 333,990 moviegoers in its third week.

U.S.-made film “Annabelle,” the only horror film in the top 10, came in fourth with 327,704 ticket sales.

“Scarlet Innocence,” starring Korean heartthrob Jung Woo-sung and rising star Lee Som, debuted in fifth with 207,571 tickets sold.

The erotic thriller depicts a dangerous love game between literature professor Hak-kyu (Jung) and Deok-yi (Lee), an employee at a decaying amusement park in a small town.

Their fatal romance turns into grisly revenge when Hak-kyu abandons Deok-yi.

The synopsis is roughly based on the Korean folk tale “The Story of Simcheong.”

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jes@joongang.co.kr]
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