North Korea-themed film 'Steel Rain' tops weekend box office

Jung Woo-sung in ‘Steel Rain’
Jung Woo-sung in ‘Steel Rain’ KOFIC

"Steel Rain," a North Korea-themed film starring Jung Woo-sung and Kwak Do-won, topped the weekend box office in South Korea.

The film, which opened on December 14, earned $10.47 million and sold 1.37 million tickets with a market share of 54.78 percent from December 15 to 17 to claim first place, dislodging last week's winner "The Swindlers," which fell to sixth place based on data from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

"Steel Rain" tells the story of former North Korean agent Uhm Cheol-woo, played by Jung Woo-sung, who escapes to South Korea and meets Kwak Chel-woo, head of the presidential office's security office. The two work together to prevent a Korean war, according to KOFIC.

To date, "Steel Rain" has earned $12.15 million with a total admission of 1.62 million.

Placing second in the weekend box office is "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" with $4.28 million and 522,833 tickets sold to bring its total haul to $51.8 million and 639,064 in total admission since December 14.

"Pororo, Dinosaur Island Adventure" is third with $1.26 million in revenue and 178,058 tickets sold followed by "Mary and The Witch's Flower," $692,312 and 98,718; "Forgotten," $631,206 and 84,839; "The Swindlers," $587,608 and 78,048; "Rilurilu Fairlu" Movie Edition, $256,872 an 35,669; "Tulip Fever," $174,540 and 22,409; "Murder on the Orient Express," $121,213 and 16,079; and "Loving Vincent," $90,340 and 11,765.

In an interview, Jung Woo-sung declared that he "never considered North Korea the enemy" despite that North and South Korea have been at odds for decades.

"We (South Koreans) have always hoped for a reunification. I'm worried about the regime's exploitation of its people, as it is virtually a feudal state that has relied on a dynastic succession," he said. For the film, he studied North Korean dialect by watching documentaries, the report added.