'Thirst' will sink fangs into U.S. in July

Film will hit Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York first

SEOUL -- "Thirst," Park Chan-wook's vampire flick and a recent Cannes jury prize winner, will be released in the U.S. on July 31, the film's North American distributor Focus Features said Wednesday.

The screenings start in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York and will gradually expand to include other states for a wider release.

"Very few films I've ever seen, going back to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo,' have that kind of feel of love and at the same time has horror and a terrifying philosophical exercise in thinking through the greatest extremes of what human emotions and human ambitions can lead to," said James Schamus, the CEO of Focus Features in an earlier announcement of the company's collaboration with CJ Entertainment in March, referring to Park's film.

Locally, the film, since opening in early May, has attracted 2.2 million spectators and was sold to 20 countries in Europe, Asia and South America.