‘Veteran’ dominates over Liberation Day holiday

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‘Veteran’ dominates over Liberation Day holiday


Ryoo Seung-wan’s action comedy “Veteran” stayed well on top, attracting 2.3 million moviegoers during the weekend, which included the three-day holiday marking the 70th anniversary of Korea’s Liberation Day.

At over 1,000 screens nationwide, the summer tent pole from CJ Entertainment made 18 billion won ($15 million), bringing its two-week total to 52 billion won.

The speed at which “Veteran” is gaining ticket sales is as fast as that of “Assassination,” which succeeded in garnering 10 million ticket sales, the first Korean film to do so this year.

“Assassination,” a historical action flick crafted by Choi Dong-hoon, also continued to shine at the local box office, after opening nationwide on July 22.

It was meaningful that the film hit the monumental 10 million admissions mark (roughly equal to 82 billion won) on a Liberation Day, which fell on Saturday, since the film is about a secret assassination scheme during the 1910-45 Japanese colonial era.

It is now the 10th most-watched film in Korean cinematic history. Its next goal is surpassing Bong Joon-ho’s “The Host” (2006), which holds ninth place with 10.9 million tickets sold.

Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible ? Rogue Nation” also stayed put over the weekend in third place, selling 469,252 tickets. It has earned 44 billion won so far in Korea.

Meanwhile, the much buzzed-about film “Memories of the Sword,” starring Lee Byung-hun and Jeon Do-yeon, took a disappointing sixth place with only 247,119 tickets sold, making 1.9 billion won.

Despite its ambitious attempt at the martial arts genre fueled by a slew of A-list actors such as Jeon, Lee and rising actress Kim Go-eun, Park Heung-sik’s latest film, which reportedly cost 10 billion won, had to settle for a low ranking.

Uhm Jeong-hwa’s romance drama “Wonderful Nightmare” debuted in fifth place with 256,199 ticket sales, while the low-budget dark fantasy film “Alice in Earnestland” from the Korean Academy of Film Arts debuted in 10th with 11,945 tickets sold.

A winner in the Korean competitive section of this year’s Jeonju International Film Festival, “Alice,” directed by Ahn Gook-jin, focuses on an unjust society where the most hardworking person can easily end up in the most miserable situation.

Singer-turned-actress Lee Jung-hyun excels at playing Su-nam, who becomes increasingly merciless after realizing that her hard work and kindness don’t help her achieve a decent life.

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