‘The Thieves’ steals Korean box office record

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Oct 3, 2012 - 19:36
  • Updated : Oct 3, 2012 - 19:37

Director Choe Dong-hoon’s box office smash hit “The Thieves” has now become the top-selling Korean movie of all time.

As of Tuesday, the movie featuring a star-studded cast set a box office record for Korean films by drawing in 13,020,393 movie goers to the theaters, stealing the top spot from director Bong Joon-ho’s 2006 sci-fi thriller “The Host.”

Official box office figures showed that the movie has earned approximately 93.6 billion won ($84 million), surpassing the previous admissions leader “The Host,” which earned about 78.5 billion won.

The film’s domestic success and strong box office numbers have received widespread international attention as well. “The Thieves,” set in Macau, was released on 32 screens in Hong Kong last month, making it the second-largest Hong Kong release for a Korean film following “Haeundae,” which was released on 36 screens.

The distribution rights to the film were sold all over Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Thailand and Vietnam. The movie also premiered in North America at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

“The Thieves” is an action-packed heist film about a team of Korean and Chinese thieves plotting to steal the “Tear of the Sun,” a $20 million diamond necklace that is kept guarded in a casino safe in Macau. It features some of Korea’s top actors and actresses such as Kim Yoon-seok, Kim Hye-soo, Kim Soo-hyun, Giana Jun and many others.

James Cameron’s Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar,” which attracted 13.6 million locals, still sits at the top in the country’s all-time box office sales that include non-domestic films.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)