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'V.I.P.' wins first weekend box office

Three homegrown films -- "V.I.P.", "A Taxi Driver" and "Midnight Runners" -- waged a neck-and-neck race for box office dominance sweeping the top three posts over the weekend, data showed Monday.

According to the computerized box office figures from the Korean Film Council, "V.I.P." topped the weekend chart by selling 598,717 tickets. Directed by Park Hoon-jung, the crime thriller starring Jang Dong-gun, Kim Myung-min, Lee Jong-suk and Park Hee-soon is expected to surpass the 1 million mark on Monday as it has drawn 940,359 viewers since its release last Wednesday.

The R-rated film is about a South Korean police detective who stubbornly tracks down a high-profile North Korea defector as the prime suspect of a serial murder case in South Korea, and South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials who try to hinder the investigation for their own agendas.

(Warner Bros. Korea)
(Warner Bros. Korea)
"A Taxi Driver" narrowly fell to second place after reining in the box office for three straight weekends with the historical drama selling 527,264 tickets.

Starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, the film is inspired by the true story of a German journalist who, with the help of a taxi driver in Seoul, sneaked into the southwestern city of Gwangju where the government was cracking down on the citizens' democratic movement in May 1980 and reported the brutality of the bloody crackdown to the outside world.

"Midnight Runners" was in close third adding 514,862 to its audience tally of some 4.8 million.

The comedy-action movie starring Park Seo-jun and Kang Ha-neul revolves around two cadets at Korean National Police University who are embroiled in a kidnapping case that they witness at midnight.

The Korean mystery-thriller "The Mimic" remained unchanged at the fourth post. It drew 240,791 views over the weekend.

Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster "War for the Planet of the Apes" fell two steps to No. 5 with 202,547 views. (Yonhap)