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Korean Films Strike Back

2007/08/05 Source

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

The staggering Korean film industry, with production levels plummeting and international sales down, glows with a ray of hope as two domestic blockbusters are shining through.

Comedian-turned-director Shim Hyung-rae's computer graphic venture "D-War" is drawing in a storm of audiences. Just four days since the dragon war movie was released Aug. 1, more than 2.2 million people have seen it across 690 screens, according to the film's distributor Showbox.

Such a fast and furious following is comparable to that of "The Host" last year, which drew a total of some 13 million audiences, said Showbox.

"If such an admissions rate continues, `D-War will draw three million people within its first week of screening, a record-breaking achievement", said the franchise.

"D-War" is awaiting Korea's first ever wide-release across some 1,700 screens in the United States, September. "D-War's" explosive success at the box office here has yet to be observed, but it is certainly a relief for the domestic film industry as one Korean film after the other is fairing well in theaters.

"May 18", a historical drama tracing the harrowing events of the 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement, is already drawing in streams.

Admissions for "May 18" surpassed three million in just eight days after its opening across 480 theaters July 25. This record is comparable to that of "Silmido" (2003) and "The King and the Clown" (2005), which drew similar numbers in 11 and 12 days, respectively.

The film is currently topping the local box office, smashing down big films like Bruce Willis' latest mega-action series "Live Free or Die Hard" ("Die Hard"), Steven Spielberg-produced robot movie "Transformers" and the world's favorite wizard story "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" ("Harry Potter 5").

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