'A Taxi Driver' races to top weekend box office
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By Shim Sun-ah
SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- "A Taxi Driver" about the 1980 Gwangju pro-democracy uprising dethroned the historical blockbuster "The Battleship Island" at the local box office on its debut weekend, data showed Monday.
The film starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann beat the previous one-week leader, selling a stunning 2.9 million tickets over the Aug. 4-6 weekend, according to figures from the Korean Film Council.
Released on Wednesday, it has amassed 4.36 million attendees around the country through Sunday.
This image released by Showbox is a promotional poster for "A Taxi Driver." (Yonhap)
Directed by Jang Hoon, the movie tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop, who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a big money offer and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the May 18 uprising.
"The Battleship Island" came in second with 692,301 admissions. It surpassed 6 million in total attendance Sunday, the 12th day of its run.
Based on the history of Japan's Hashima Island, better known as Battleship Island after its resemblance to a warship, during World War II, the film tells the story of hundreds of Korean forced laborers who risk their lives to escape.
The third and fourth places went to animated films, "Despicable Me 3" and "Detective Conan: Crimson Love Letter," due to the genre's popularity among students on their summer vacation. They sold 535,494 and 160,735 tickets, respectively.
Rounding out the top five was "Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan's World War II film, which added 150,454 to its domestic total of 2.593 million.