'Mother' whips 'Terminator' in Korea

Local thriller beats Hollywood sci-fi for weekend title

SEOUL -- "Mother," the new thriller from "The Host" helmer Bong Joon-ho, beat "Terminator Salvation" and "Angels & Demons" at the Korean boxoffice over the weekend, attracting 1.4 million viewers since its Thursday opening.

"Mother," which opened on 756 screens after premiering at last month's Festival de Cannes, had been one of the year's most anticipated Korean films along with Park Chan-wook's new vampire flick "Thirst," which attracted 825,000 filmgoers in its first weekend in early May.

Bong's latest feature deals with the story of a mother (played by Kim Hye-ja) who is out to prove the innocence of a mentally challenged son faced with the murder charge of a local schoolgirl. With the murder mystery in a rural setting, audiences for "Mother" are naturally led to make the film's connection to "Memories of Murder," the director's 2003 hit based on a true story of a serial killer from the 1980s.

According to weekend boxoffice figures from the Korean Film Council, "Terminator," which has sold 2.8 million tickets since its May 21 opening, came in second, followed by "Demons."
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