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D-War Wreaks Havoc at Home

2007/08/07 Source

Showbox blockbuster "D-War" was unleashed Wednesday August 1st on 530 screens, taking in 417,000 admissions which makes it the biggest Wednesday opening on local record. The English-language but Korean produced film went on to capture 2.95 million ticket sales by the close of Sunday, surpassing the year's previous opening week record-holder Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and just falling short of the all-time record of 3.17 million set by last year's Showbox release, "The Host".

"D-War" continued a local box-office spike initiated with last week's top box office opener, CJ Entertainment's "May 18", based on the real-life tragic events of the 1980 Gwangju Massacre. Both titles, along with Korean horror "Epitaph", which opened in the number 5 spot, took 78% of the total box office, ending three months of Hollywood dominance.

The effects-heavy "D-War", in which giant serpents and dragons invade Los Angeles, opened on 530 screens but that number expanded to 689 by Sunday. It was the dream-project of comedian-turned-director, Shim Hyung-rae, whose previous monster-outing was "Yonggary" (1999).

The English-language blockbuster is officially budgeted at US$33 million, making it the most expensive Korean film ever produced. Even so, the actual budget is rumored at more than US$75 million, when costs to develop homegrown CGI technology at SHIM's Younggu Art Studio are included.

"D-War" is slated for a US nationwide release on Sept. 14th under the title Dragon Wars. With plans to release it on between 1500 - 1700 screens, it will be the widest release of a Korean film in the US market in history.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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