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[Korean Box Office] ‘A Taxi Driver’ speeds past 10 million ticket sales

Aug 22,2017
The third installment of the highly anticipated “Planet of the Apes” franchise was not strong enough to outrun two local movies, “A Taxi Driver” and “Midnight Runners,” at this weekend’s box office.

Jang Hun-directed “A Taxi Driver,” starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, sold 950,000 tickets over the weekend at 1,033 screens, bringing its total ticket sales to 10.4 million. The film, about the Gwangju pro-democracy uprising in 1980, became the first movie in Korea this year to hit the 10 million mark, and has raked in a total of 81.8 billion won ($73 million).

Released on Aug. 2, the film became the 15th Korean movie and 19th movie of all time to cross the milestone, according to its distributor Showbox. It also became Song’s third movie to have pulled off 10 million admissions after “The Host” (2006) and “The Attorney” (2013).

Action comedy “Midnight Runners,” starring Park Seo-jun and Kang Ha-neul, maintained the second spot in its second week by selling 850,000 admissions at 918 screens. The movie, revolving around two students from the Korean National Police University who take down criminals, has sold a total of 3.9 million tickets as of Sunday.

“War for the Planet of the Apes,” which wraps up the franchise came in third in its debut weekend with 683,000 tickets sold. Since its release on Aug. 15, the third film in the trilogy has sold an accumulated 1.54 million admissions.

At fourth was local horror movie “The Mimic.” Directed by “Hide and Seek” (2013) director Huh Jung, the movie sold 511,000 tickets from Friday to Sunday.

“Annabelle: Creation” dropped two spots from last weekend to round out the top five. The movie sold 252,000 tickets to add on to a total of 1.75 million.

Meanwhile a new documentary from Choi Seung-ho, a producer at independent internet news provider Newstapa who was dismissed from MBC in 2012, managed to reach the seventh spot, selling 48,000 tickets in its debut weekend. Titled “Criminal Conspiracy,” the film tracks down the previous administrations’ manipulation of Korea’s public broadcasting companies.

The documentary is Choi’s third after “Seven Year-Journalism without Journalist” (2016) and “Spy Nation” (2016).

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]