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Film on 'comfort women' tops box office in March

All Headlines 14:41 April 12, 2016

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean film depicting the lives of women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during World War II topped the monthly box office in March, but other Korean films fared poorly against the strength of non-Korean flicks, data showed Tuesday.

"Spirits' Homecoming" drew 2.21 million viewers, followed by "Zootopia" with 2.02 million, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" with 1.65 million, "Gods of Egypt" 920,000 and "London Has Fallen" 720,000, according to the March box-office figures released by the Korean Film Council.

Last month, Korean movie theaters earned 89.8 billion won (US$78.48 million), up 0.1 percent from March 2015. The total number of viewers, however, was down 0.5 percent to 11.26 million.

Korean and non-Korean films accounted for 36 percent and 64 percent of tickets sold, respectively.

Directed by Cho Jung-lae, "Spirits' Homecoming" follows 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 inspiration from a drawing titled "Burning Women," created by Kang Il-chul, one of the victims, during her therapy sessions based on testimonies from other 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.

"Spirits' Homecoming" has since opened in Los Angeles and Dallas theaters.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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