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Foreign-Language Oscar Nominee "The Throne" and "Maze Runner" Sequel "Scorch Trials" Gross Millions in South Korea's Weekend Box Office for Sept. 19-20

by Therese Agcopra / Sep 22, 2015 11:24 AM EDT
South Korean actor Song Kang Ho poses during a portrait session.

South Korean movie goers were treated to a cinematic feast as movies featuring historic and futuristic themes went head to head at the box office for Sept. 19-20.  Headlining the weekend box office tally is the period film "The Throne" followed by "Maze Runner" sequel "Scorch Trials" hot on its heels in second place.

"The Throne" secured a solid opening week as it took home 50.6 percent of the market share for the week as per data from the Korean Film Council's box office tracking service KOBIS, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Moreover, the film raked in $9.1 million on its debut weekend alone, and 1.81 million in terms of admission. These digits allowed "The Throne" to upset previous record holders "Ode to My Father", which garnered 1.52 million admissions in 2014, and "Masquerade" with 1.27 million admissions in 2012.

Top South Korean actor Song Kang Ho ("Snowpiercer") top bills "The Throne" as he takes on the role of King Yeongjo, ruler of 18th-century Joseon Dynasty who ordered the death of his own son. Actor Yoo Ah In is the tragic Crown Prince Sado, who dies imprisoned in a wooden rice chest for eight days in the middle of summer.

Variety reported on Sept. 2 that the film has been chosen by South Korea as its candidate for the foreign-language category in the prestigious Academy Awards.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter "The Throne" director Lee Joon Ik said, "The tale of Yeongjo and Sado has been told many times. It's about the throne and power, but it's also about a father and son." He continued, "There is no son without a father, and there is always a mother next to him. These relationships feed into a myriad of other relationships, and one will end up getting hurt. One tries to overcome these pains, and tragedy ensues when one cannot overcome them."

Taking second place in the South Korean box office is the book-to-film adaptation "Scorch Trials", part two of the hit young adult franchise "Maze Runner".

The Guardian reports Monday that South Korea was a key player in giving the movie a boost in terms of overseas income with $7.5 million on its opening week - the highest opening 20th Century Fox Korea has seen this year.

Adding to the movie's appeal is Korean-American movie Ki Hong Lee, who plays a vital role in the franchise as Minho.

The solid debuts of "The Throne" and "Scorch Trials" has left Marvel's witty superhero "Ant-Man" in third place. The action-comedy flick managed to stay atop the box office for the past two weeks. The movie has reportedly grossed $19.08 million with 2.7 million admissions.

Homegrown blockbusters "Veteran" (starring Yoo Ah In) and "The Assassination" (starring Jun Ji Hyun) are also keeping steady sails in the chart.

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