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SEOUL – Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer has, as of Tuesday, sold four million tickets after just a week in theaters, the shortest time span for a film to reach that level of admissions in South Korean box office history. This surpasses the record held by Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Iron Man 3, and local flicks Secretly, Greatly and The Thieves, which took eight days to break the four-million admissions mark.
“It’s particularly worth noting that the film attracted more audiences per day during its second week in theaters compared to the opening weekend, so we expect the film to continue selling tickets at a rapid rate,” said the film’s investor/distributor CJ Entertainment.
Snowpiercer’s ticket-selling power is largely due to people going to see the movie more than once. According to Maxmovie, the country’s largest film portal site, some 4 percent of users are going to theaters to see the film multiple times.
“Audiences tend to re-watch Bong Joon Ho’s films. The rate was 5.55 percent for Memories of Murder and 6.52 for The Host,” said a researcher from Maxmovie.
Bong is not new to breaking records in the Korean film industry, as Snowpiercer was sold to 167 countries, the most territories a Korean title was sold to prior to its release. Bong’s 2006 monster action film The Host remains the most-watched home-grown film of all time with 13 million admissions — more than a fourth of Korea’s then-population of 48 million.
The sci-fi film is set in a post-apocalyptic world, as the last remaining members of mankind struggle to survive on a Noah’s Ark-like train. Snowpiercer is the most expensive Korean film ever made with a budget of 43 billion won ($39.2 million). It stars Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans and Ed Harris, among other international stars.
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