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Ko - production in Busan
  • A TAXI DRIVER Fills Up 3rd Best Korean Opening of All Time
  • by Pierce Conran /  Aug 08, 2017
  • SONG Kang-ho Aims for 3rd 10 Million Hit

    August kicked off with the biggest weekend of the year at the Korean box office this year, with new local offering A Taxi Driver entering the record books on top of several major holdovers. Korean films made up 79% of the 4.62 million tickets sold.

    JANG Hun’s period Gwangju drama A Taxi Driver, starring SONG Kang-ho and Thomas Kretschmann, debuted to a formidable 2.93 million viewers (USD 21.39 million) over the weekend, which was the third best start (in terms of admissions) of all time, behind Roaring Currents (2014) and last year’s TRAIN TO BUSAN. Over its first five days, the film has brought in 4.36 million spectators (USD 30.71 million).

    Strong word of mouth indicates that the film is a virtual certainty to become the 15th Korean film to enter the ten million viewer club (19th overall). That would make it the third club entry for SONG, who previously reached the mark with The Attorney (2013 - 11.37 million) and The Host (2006 - 13.02 million). The only other leading actor to achieve that distinction is HWANG Jung-min.

    Slowing 73% in its second outing on the charts was RYOO Seung-wan’s mega-budget The Battleship Island. With another 692,000 tickets sold (USD 5.07 million), the film has now accumulated 6.08 million entries (USD 41.39 million), a large total, but disappointing given the film’s reported USD 22.5 million price tag. Following a record-breaking start, a lukewarm reception, combined with concerns of screen monopoly, sapped interest in the title.

    Down just 37% in its third weekend was Despicable Me 3, which filled another 535,000 seats (USD 3.68 million) for a strong 2.62 million spectator (USD 16.97 million) total. Japan’s Detective Conan: Crimson Love Letter came in at fourth in its debut with 161,000 viewers (USD 1.09 million) over the frame and 312,000 (USD 2.01 million) since its Wednesday opening.

    In fifth place was Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which fell 59% in its third weekend for another 150,000 entries (USD 1.33 million), giving the World War II film 2.59 million spectators (USD 19.94 million). That total is the third best international total for the film, behind the US and UK.
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