SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — A Korean movie about a cabbie who took a German journalist to the center of the Gwangju pro-democracy uprising in 1980 became this year’s first film to attract more than 10 million moviegoers Sunday, its distributor said.
“A Taxi Driver,” released Aug. 2, became the 15th Korean movie and 19th movie of all time to cross the milestone in the Korean box office, the Showbox said. “Train to Busan,” which premiered July 20 last year, was the latest one to reach the achievement. The zombie flick sold 11,565,479 tickets.
“A Taxi Driver,” starring actor Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, hit the milestone on the 19th day since its opening, the same as “Train to Busan” did. “Roaring Currents,” the most-watched and highest grossing movie of all time in the country, recorded 10 million admissions in 12 days. Released in July 2014, the movie is about the country’s legendary naval war with Japan led by Korea military hero Admiral Yi Sun-shin.
Actor Song, who played the taxi driver, has just added one more film to his filmography that managed to pull off 10 million admissions, becoming the first Korean movie actor to do so. “The Host” in 2006 and “The Attorney” in 2013 topped 13,019,740 and 11,374,610 in admissions, respectively.
Directed by Jang Hoon, the film is inspired by the true story of the German journalist who, with the help of the cabbie in Seoul, sneaked into the southwestern city of Gwangju where the government cracked down on the democratic movement and reported the state’s brutality to the outside world.
On its sixth day of opening, the movie already retrieved the production cost of 15 billion won, or US$13 million, with ticket sales.
“I was under a lot of pressure making the historic episode into a film since so many people are still living with the brutal memories of the Gwangju uprising,” the director Jang said upon hearing the news. “I am so happy that I could connect with many people. I really thank many actors for their sincere acting and staff for their hard work.”