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Film on 'comfort women' tops box office for second weekend

All Headlines 12:32 March 07, 2016

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- A film depicting the lives of women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during World War II topped the local box office for the second weekend, data showed Monday.

"Spirits' Homecoming" attracted 600,903 viewers over the March 4-6 weekend at 861 screens across the country, bringing the accumulated total to more than 2.6 million, according to a ticket sales tally from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

Directed by Cho Jung-lae, the movie tells the painful stories of the women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the war. Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, suffered from the atrocity. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910-45. The movie took its cinematic motives from "Burning Women," a drawing by Kang Il-chul, one of the victims, created during her therapy sessions and is based on testimonies from the victims.

Despite budget shortages and other initial difficulties, the film was completed 14 years after production began with the support and donations of more than 75,000 people.

The fantasy adventure film "Gods of Egypt," a Hollywood film inspired by Egyptian mythology that relies on the power of CGI, came in second with 442,387 viewers.

Next was "Zootopia," an animated Disney film, which collected 296,354 moviegoers during the same period. This brought the film's accumulated total to 1.89 million.

American blockbuster "Deadpool" ranked No. 4, seen by 171,633 people over the weekend. The superhero film based on American comic books published by Marvel Comics has already surpassed 3 million in attendance.

Starring Ryan Reynolds, it features the journey of a foul-mouthed former Special Forces agent who gains special powers and physical prowess after he was disfigured and transformed into Deadpool.

"Dongju: The Portrait of A Poet" based on the real lives of renowned poet Yoon Dong-ju and his cousin, Korean independence activist Song Mong-gyu, during the colonial era, came in fifth place with 112,763.

The Korean film is expected to break 1 million this week, with its accumulated number of viewers at 922,462.

Directed by Lee Joon-ik of "The Throne" (2014) and "King and the Clown" (2005), the period drama has already met its break-even point to fully cover production costs of around 500 million won (US$405,613).

sshim@yna.co.kr
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