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'The Roundup: Punishment' breaks all-time ticket reservation record for Korean films: distributor

By Yonhap

Published : April 24, 2024 - 11:30

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Actor Don Lee as Ma Seok-do in Actor Don Lee as Ma Seok-do in "The Roundup: Punishment" (ABO Entertainment)

"The Roundup: Punishment" set a ticket reservation record for Korean films of all time on its opening day, Wednesday, its distributor said, signaling a robust start for the highly anticipated film.

The latest installment in "The Roundup" crime-action franchise starring Ma Dong-seok amassed over 830,000 presold tickets at theaters nationwide, accounting for a whopping 95.5 percent of all box-office ticket reservations as of 8 a.m., ABO Entertainment said, citing figures from the Korean Film Council.

The flick shattered the franchise's previous reservation record of 640,000 set by its predecessor, "The Roundup: No Way Out" (2023). It also bested the all-time record for Korean films previously held by "Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days" (2018) with 646,000, according to the distributor.

"Punishment" revolves around rugged cop Ma Seok-do (played by Ma Dong-seok) as he pursues a ruthless global drug kingpin, Baek Chang-ki (Kim Moo-yeol), and a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Chang Dong-cheol (Lee Dong-hwi), who employs illegal online casinos for money laundering.

Expectations for the film's box office success are high, given the immense success of the franchise's previous three installments. "The Outlaws," the first installment, attracted 6.88 million viewers in 2017, while the subsequent installments, "The Roundup" and "The Roundup: No Way Out," each drew more than 10 million moviegoers in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

The break-even point for "Punishment" stands at approximately 3.5 million admissions. Industry insiders predict that, if the current momentum continues, the film could easily reach the 10 million mark past the break-even point.

In addition to taking on the lead role, Ma, also known as Don Lee, served as a planner, screenwriter and producer of the film project.

The movie was helmed by Heo Myeong-haeng, who previously worked as a martial arts choreographer on the first three installments. (Yonhap)