Comedy 'Twenty' tops Korean box office

Comedy 'Twenty' tops Korean box office
From left: Kang Ha-neul, Kim Woo-bin and Lee Jun-ho star in comedy flick “Twenty.”

Local comedy flick "Twenty" was the most popular film at the theatres over the weekend, stimulating the sluggish Korean box office dominated by Hollywood movies.

"Twenty," directed by Lee Byung-hun and starring heartthrobs Kim Woo-bin, Lee Jun-ho and Kang Ha-neul, nabbed the top spot by garnering more than 1 million viewers since it premiered Wednesday.

As of Monday, the film attracted 1,136,866 viewers and earned 8.74 billion won (S$10.8 million), according to the official box-office tracker Korean Film Council. During the weekend of March 27-29, the film accounted for 48.3 per cent of total box office sales, while last week's topper "Whiplash" accounted for 14.9 per cent, sliding to the second spot.

The coming-of-age film centres on three close friends who all turn 20 years old. Chi-ho (Kim Woo-bin) is jobless and has no goals in life, other than sleeping with as many women as possible. Dong-woo (Lee Jun-ho) dreams of becoming a comic artist, but due to his family's financial problems, he might have to give it up. Kyung-jae (Kang Ha-neul) is the epitome of an awkward bubbly college freshman who is smart in the classroom, but not so much when it comes to relationships.

Even with an ordinary plot the film's light nature and humorous dialogues, peppered with a trio of exceptionally entertaining male characters attributed to the box office success, pundits agree.

This is due to the skillful wordplay of the helmer Lee, who is well known for his screenplays in many hit comedies including "Scandal Makers" (2008) and "Sunny" (2011).

British spy-thriller "Kingsman: The Secret Service" arrived at third place, taking 12.9 per cent of the weekend sales. As of its seventh weekend in theatres, the film attracted 5.69 million viewers, becoming the biggest foreign R-rated seller in in Korean cinema history.

Dystopian thriller "Insurgent," a sequel to the "Divergent" series, opened in fourth place with 8.4 per cent of sales. Disney's "Cinderella," meanwhile, rounded up the top five with 8 per cent of sales.

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