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Dragon FIlm 'D-War' Still Rules Box Office

2007/08/13 Source

By Lee Hwan-hee
Staff Reporter

Shim Hyung-rae's monster film "D-War" is still the top box office draw as it enters the third week of its release. According to the Korean Box Office Information System (Open the link), which is overseen by the Korean Film Council, "D-War", for the weekend of Aug. 10-12, sold 1,143,676 tickets, outselling the second place film "May 18" by nearly twice the number of tickets.

The controversy regarding the merit of the film, where both the supporters and the detractors occupy opposing extremes, apparently has not hurt the film's popularity. Professor Jin Jung-gwon of Chung-Ang University, a prominent cultural critic, called the film "beneath criticism" on the MBC program 100-Minute Discussion that aired Aug. 10, attributing its success to the ad campaigns. Various online communities launched a vigorous defense of the film against criticisms from what they see as the critical establishment out of step with the public.

Since their release, "D-War" and "May 18", about the Gwangju uprising, have sold nearly 10 million tickets combined, with "D-War" selling just over 5 million tickets and "May 18" selling nearly 4.5 million. "D-War" is on track to match last year's "The Host", which sold 13 million tickets during its 9-week run, and remains the highest-grossing Korean film of all time. According to the figures released by the Korean Film Council, the estimated budget for "D-War" is at least 32 million U.S. Dollars, which excludes several additional production investments, about three times that of "The Host".

The new release, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer", came in at third position mustering 227,690 tickets, with domestic thriller "Wide Awake", and the Disney animated film "Ratatouille" rounding out the top five.

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