The science fiction film 'Dragon Wars: D-War', made by South Korean comedian-turned-director Shim Hyeong-Rae opened at a total of 2,275 theaters in the U.S. on Sept. 14, receiving good response over the weekend from moviegoers but harsh reviews from critics.
According to box office data, D-War earned earned $1.55 million at the box office on its first day of showing in the United States Friday, trailing U.S box office hits "The Brave One" and "Mr. Woodcock," an online entertainment magazine said Sunday. This sales performance heads toward setting a new record in ticket sales by a South Korean movie overseas. Previously, Kim Ki-duk's "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring" earned $2.8 million over the six months it played in the U.S.
Local media, however, did not mince words about their opinion of the movie. The Hollywood Reporter gave high scores to D-War's computer graphics but called its humor shallow and its storyline weak. Variety also quipped that D-War seems to be targeting American moviegoers via special effects only, ignoring the importance of character building. It added that too much money was spent on what it called a cult movie.
In a review titled, "Who Needs Plot When You've Got Dragons?" The New York Times said that those missing old-time Japanese monster movies should "take heart" in the fact that D-Wars keeps the genre "quite alive." The review continued by summarizing the film as quaintly flawed: " The seams in effects and dialogue glare, but lend charm."
Responses from the general public were a little kinder to the film. In a poll of 255 moviegoers, D-War received a B grade on a scale from A to E.
Meanwhile, 'The Brave One' starring Jodie Foster ranked first [this weekend] in terms of [U.S.] ticket sales on Sept. 14 by earning $4.6 million, followed by Mr. Woodcock and 3:10 to Yuma with $2.8 million and $2.7 million, respectively. The comedy Superbad recorded $1.67 million in ticket sales this weekend.