‘The Intern’ leaps to the top of Korean box office

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‘The Intern’ leaps to the top of Korean box office

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“The Intern,” starring Robert De Niro, left, and Anne Hathaway, unexpectedly soared to first place at the Korean box office. Provided by the distributor

On the back of fast-spreading word-of-mouth popularity, “The Intern,” a feel-good comedy from acclaimed filmmaker Nancy Meyers, soared to first place in the Korean box office for the first weekend of October.

Going into its second week since opening Sept. 24 just before the Chuseok holiday, “The Intern,” handled by Warner Brothers Korea here, collected 532,784 ticket admissions over the weekend, making 4.4 billion won ($3.8 million). Its two-week total is 1.5 million tickets sold, which roughly translates to 11.7 billion won.

“The Intern” is a workplace comedy starring Anne Hathaway as a young, vibrant CEO of an e-commerce company and Robert De Niro as the intern Ben, who is assigned to work right under the CEO.

The unlikely pair doesn’t click well at first, mostly because Hathaway’s character Jules doesn’t approve of working with a senior. However, Ben’s wisdom collected throughout his 40 years as a devoted company worker makes him shine among his peers, and Jules starts to open up.

In the second place was Lee Joon-ik’s costume drama “The Throne,” which was nominated as this year’s Oscar contender for best foreign language film. It collected 492,528 ticket admissions.

Going into its third weekend in theaters, the film has been seen by 5.6 million moviegoers so far, amassing 43.8 billion won.

Packed with two competent actors from different generations - Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in - the historical film depicts the tragic tale of King Yeongjo and his ill-fated son, Crown Prince Sado.

CJ Entertainment’s detective comedy “The Accidental Detective” came in third, a step down from last week, attracting 472,538 moviegoers over the weekend and bringing its two-week total to 2 million ticket admissions.

Touting a nice chemistry between the two leading actors - Kwon Sang-woo and Sung Dong-il - this film directed by Kim Joung-hoon follows the story of a wannabe detective who accidently pairs up with a real cop to solve a mysterious serial killing case.

Hollywood blockbuster franchise “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” took fourth place with accumulated ticket sales of 2.6 million admissions.

“Veteran,” one of the most successful films of the year, still held fifth place with 82,678 tickets sold. Since it was released on Aug. 5, it has been watched by 13.3 million moviegoers, making 104.6 billion won.

It is now the third most-watched film in Korean cinematic history, surpassing Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” (2009), directed by James Cameron, and Choi Dong-hoon’s successful caper film “The Thieves” (2012).

Now, the top three spots are held by Kim Han-min’s period drama “Roaring Currents,” Yoon Je-kyun’s “Ode to My Father” and “Veteran,” all of which were distributed by CJ Entertainment, one of Korea’s major film financiers and distributors.

Meanwhile, Al Pacino’s music drama, “Danny Collins,” debuted in 10th place with 40,290 tickets sold.

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

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