‘Guard’ tops Korean box office

Local thriller bests 'Three Kingdoms'

SEOUL — While the pan-Asian blockbuster “Three Kingdoms” dominated many theaters across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, local thriller “The Guard Post” topped at the Korean box office last weekend. 

The Showbox release took a modest $2.5 million in four days on 413 screens, according to estimates. Helmed by Gong Soo-chang (“R-Point”), pic follows the deaths of 20 soldiers at a guard post in the DMZ. Cheon Ho-jin (“Crying Fist” “Blood Rain”) leads the ensemble cast that includes including Cho Hyeon-je (“Untold Scandal”) and Lee Yeong-hoon (“No Regrets”).

“Three Kingdoms” landed at No. 2 with 365,000 admissions, worth  $2.39 million, on 386 screens handled by SK Telecom, on behalf of Korean producer and investor Taewon Entertainment.

Two Hollywood films took the Nos. 3 and 5 slots. Jessica Alba starrer “Awake” cumed $ 2.66 million after its second weekend, while historical drama “The Other Boleyn Girl” has earned $3.59 million in three weeks to date.

“The Chaser,” the biggest hit of the year to date, is enjoying a strong box office run, with a $31.7 million cume, and it’s still on 276 screens. Industry observers are predicting that the film’s total admissions will soon  pass the 5 million ticket sales mark, worth $32.8 million.

Two other local films took lower places in the chart. “Do-Re-Mi,” a low- budget romantic comedy released by Cinema Service, opened at No. 6 with $500,000 from 189 screens.

Gangster action drama “Fate” ranked at No. 8 and took its cume to $5.41 million for distributor CJ Entertainment. Pic topped at the box office when it opened on March 20, with high expectations for the return of Korean Wave stars Song Seung-heon (TV series “Autumn Sonata”) and Kwon Sang-woo (“My Tutor Friend”). But it dropped over 40% in its second weekend, mainly due to poor word of mouth from disappointed critics and auds.

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