In 12 days, “Roaring Currents” becomes fastest ever film to hit 10 million viewers

Posted on : 2014-08-11 11:57 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Film about 16th century naval battle could become most viewed film in South Korean box office history
 in Seoul’s Yongsan district
in Seoul’s Yongsan district

By Yu Sun-hui, staff reporter

Roaring Currents became the fastest-ever South Korean film to draw 10 million viewers on Aug. 10.

The film, which dramatizes the events of Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s victory at the Battle of Myeongnyang in the late 16th century, reached the number just 12 days after hitting theaters.

CJ Entertainment, the film’s investor and distributor, shared the news on Aug. 10.

“As of eight o’clock this morning, Roaring Currents had a cumulative audience total of 10,226,042, meaning that it has passed the 10 million viewer mark,” the company said.

With this, Roaring Currents hit the mark fully nine days faster than the previous record-holder, The Host, which took 21 days to draw 10 million viewers in 2006. It also becomes the tenth domestic film to reach the 10 million-viewer threshold in South Korea, and the twelfth film overall.

It’s just the latest in a string of new records set by the film, which observers are already saying has “rewritten South Korean film history.” On Aug. 3, it became the fastest film to reach two million viewers; on Aug. 11, it broke the speed record for an audience of nine million. In addition to an all-time-high 680,000 viewers on opening day, it has broken the record for weekday attendance three times already, setting a new bar with over a million viewers in a single day.

The question now is whether Roaring Currents can past The Host (13,010,000 viewers in 2006) and Avatar (13,620,000 in 2009) to become South Korea’s biggest box office hit of all time. According to film industry observers, the recent numbers suggest it’s just a matter of time. Indeed, some are even predicting it could become the first to hit the 15 million viewer mark.

Roaring Currents has also been criticized for occupying 1,300 of South Korea’s 2,584 movie screens, with a marketing budget of 3 billion won.

Film critic and Myongji University professor Kim Young-jin said, “Along with its popularity, Roaring Currents’s monopolization of screens should be criticized for limiting viewers’ ability to choose from a diverse selection of films.”


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