Thieves steals a march on competition
By Patrick Frater and Stephen Cremin
Fri, 27 July 2012, 20:46 PM (HKT)
The Thieves 도둑들, an all-star South Korean casino heist movie, has run away with the box office jewels on its theatrical opening this week. The film crossed ￦6 billion (US$5.27 million) after two days on release including limited previews.
The film achieved sales of 436,628 tickets on its opening day, Wednesday (25 July), giving it one of the country's biggest openings of all time with takings of ￦3.01 billion (US$2.65 million) in a single day.
Distributor Showbox/Mediaplex Inc 쇼박스 미디어플렉스 claimed it was the biggest ever opening day beating monster movie The Host 괴물 (2006). Other sources put The Thieves second, behind The Host's 449,500 figure.
Thieves marks the first significant South Korean role for superstar Gianna JUN 전지현 | 全智賢 (pictured) since the box office flops Blood: The Last Vampire (2009) and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 雪花秘扇 (2011).
The 135-minute film features a gang of South Korean thieves who team up with a Hong Kong crew to steal a diamond necklace from a heavily-guarded casino safe in Macau. As the cops close in, old betrayals — and misunderstandings — resurface.
The film is directed by CHOI Dong-hoon 최동훈 | 崔東勳, a former assistant director of IM Sang-soo 임상수 | 林常樹, who previously directed the similarly themed The Big Swindle 범죄의 재구성 (2003) and Tazza: The High Rollers 타짜 (2006).
The strong opening puts Thieves ahead of The Dark Knight Rises, released on 19 July, and local film Deranged 연가시. Released on 5 July, Deranged is forecast by its distributor CJ Entertainment Inc ＣＪ엔터테인먼트 to pass 5 million admissions.
Showbox forecast that Thieves would pass 1 million admissions today, its third day of release and the 59th anniversary of the armistice between the two Koreas. By Thursday evening, it had secured 862,641 admissions nationwide.
Good, basic thrill ride that could have had much more dramatic depth.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Fortune-cookie chinoiserie undercuts the novel's plus points.
A characterful cast and multiple twists keep the criminal capers entertaining.
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