Chungmuro/Film News
The Thieves breaks more records, climbs all-time charts
by | August 6, 2012 | 42 Comments

Turns out if you cast enough bandits in your movie, they’ll run away with the bank. New summer heist movie The Thieves has reported numbers for its second weekend, breaking another set of box office records in Korea. In Week 2 the film has sold nearly 7 million tickets — 6,884,220 admissions in total by Day 12 of the film’s release. The press is having a field day with the box-office-record-breaking movie, and why not? There’s nothing like a homegrown blockbuster to make you happy to do the math.

Over the weekend the film broke the 5-million-by-Day-10 record, a small club for some of the highest grossing films in Korea, both foreign and domestic (The Host previously held the record at 5.1 million at Day 10). But more interesting is the fact that it’s well on its way to topping the all-time box office charts for domestic films, if it keeps up this insane rate of growth.

In twelve days it reached 14th in all-time box office admissions for domestic releases, topping total gross ticket sales for movies like Shiri, Ajusshi, and The Good The Bad The Weird. Director Choi Dong-hun’s own Tazza held the 14th spot until this weekend, when his new film The Thieves broke it in just twelve days. Is it more or less consolation if it’s your own film beating out your other film?

It’s reportedly earning an estimated $39 million gross (for those of us counting in dollars), and seems poised to break into the 11-million ticket range where the top five all-time domestic films live (Silmido, Haeundae, Taegukgi, The King and the Clown, and of course at number one: The Host with 13 million +).

Is there a new top dog on the horizon? It’s still early, but things are looking up for Popeye and his merry band of thieves.

Via Hankook Ilbo, Hollywood Reporter

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42 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. zodd

    So… is the movie any good?

    • 1.1 acejihyo

      i feel like it’s the type of movie anyone could enjoy, just like with a part of their brain shut off.

    • 1.2 Kiara

      I havent seen it yet and probably will not be able to but I think that if you have seen Ocean 11 and liked it, there is a good chance that you might enjoy this movie.

    • 1.3 alua

      I found one review: http://kaist455.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/the-thieves-2012/

      on the Weekly Review round up over at Modern Korean Cinema (http://www.modernkoreancinema.com/p/weekly-review-round-ups.html). I imagine if you check back, more reviews will appear there soon.

    • 1.4 alua

      I found one review:

      http://kaist455.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/the-thieves-2012/

      on the Weekly Review round up over at Modern Korean Cinema (http://www.modernkoreancinema.com/p/weekly-review-round-ups.html). I imagine if you check back, more reviews will appear there soon.

    • 1.5 Dominique

      While flying back to San Francisco from Tokyo last week, I watched this movie on board. I was curious because I had heard that this movie was set to open very wide in theatres all across China.

      My verdict:

      Lousy knockoff of Ocean Twelve + Korean melo = The Thieves

      It was also too slow and too uneventful. At least, in the absence of scintillating dialogues or plots or eye candy actors/actresses, mindless Hollywood action movies still keep you entertained with non-stop action and/or sex. This movie gives you none of the above.

  2. Ivoire

    Thank You!

  3. zodd

    So how’s the movie? Any good?

    • 3.1 True2u

      i’m wondering the same thing, because it seems to be breaking a lot of records.

  4. UJ

    Wow!! I think i need to check out the movie!

  5. coffeevampire

    I can’t wait to see this movie.

  6. Lise

    I dont do hype unfortunately, never watched Avatar (or Lord of the ring!) might watch it for KSH though, kid’s going places with that talent ; )

    • 6.1 Ivoire

      Hi Lise,

      I tried to watch Avatar, twice, and I simply could not get into it. The colors were gorgeous but I couldn’t get into the movie. The characters felt like they were naked to me, and I didn’t particularly find that attractive (or what seemed to be their outfits).
      I have never seen the Lord of the Rings, and I don’t know if I would like it. All of that to say that I can relate (somewhat) to your comment about not doing hype. It might not always be to one’s liking.

      • 6.1.1 ladymoxie

        Hi Lise and Ivoire!

        I love movies, regardless of how they fare at the box office. I was actually looking forward to Avatar because I watched the anime with my kids and I love the story and the characters. Unfortunately, the movie sucked in a major way for me! Yes, the atmosphere was moody and the shots beautiful, but the characters were ALL broody I hated them! Plus, I felt the movie was miscast especially Katara.

        As for Lord of the Rings, I don’t know what it is about the movie series but I find all of them boring. I tried reading the book to get excited but the book gave me a headache.

        • 6.1.1.1 scarlett

          are you referring to james cameron’s avatar movie or the other avatar?

        • 6.1.1.2 Noelle

          Pretty positive they meant the Avatar with the giant blue kitties.

      • 6.1.2 ladymoxie

        Hi Lise and Ivoire!

        I love movies, regardless of how they fare at the box office. I was actually looking forward to Avatar because I watched the anime with my kids and I love the story and the characters. Unfortunately, the movie sucked in a major way for me! Yes, the atmosphere was moody and the shots beautiful, but the characters were ALL broody I hated them! Plus, I felt the movie was miscast especially Katara.

        As for Lord of the Rings, I don’t know what it is about the movie series but I find all of them boring. I tried reading the book to get excited but the book gave me a headache. Weird, because I love books and movies based on books but LOTR (all three movies of it) just puts me to sleep. Sorry to all the fans.

        • 6.1.2.1 DB5K

          *gasps*
          *shudders*
          *rocks to and fro*
          *moans, “say it isn’t so,”~~

          I LOVE the Lord of the Rings trilogy, both the movies and the novels. I can’t believe there are so many people here who don’t like them ;~;

          Avatar, I totally understand though. I also fell asleep both times I tried watching it ^^

          • 6.1.2.1.1 Shin Haido

            i love harry potter better. just mention hahahaha

    • 6.2 J

      All I can say about LOTR, it’s worth the hype and then some. A masterpiece of technical and storytelling crafts you cannot find in a good long while, but of course every review has told you that…

    • 6.3 Gabby

      The level of craft, technically as well as storytelling and acting-wise, displayed within the LOTR movies is something I wish more blockbusters aspired to.

      Avatar is just meh. A fun movie-going EXPERIENCE does not an excellent movie make. I’m so bummed Cameron’s doing a sequel. Avatar: The Last Airbender (the animated series, not its horrid live-action film adaptation) and its sequel, The Legend of Korra, on the other hand, are very much worth the hype.

      And I don’t know why but I have absolutely no desire to see this movie, The Thieves. Unless some pretty stellar reviews come out claiming that it’s something special and distinct from the Ocean movies, I’m just not interested in this derivative type of heist movie. ::goes to rewatch Rififi::

      • 6.3.1 bd

        Haven’t seen “Avatar”, but for a trilogy adapted from some pretty lengthy books, the LOTR films were really well done (and some of the best battle scenes to boot).

        But I can understand if some people aren’t into the whole swords and sorcerers thing (have yet to see the “Games of Thrones” series on HBO but hear it’s excellent).

        • 6.3.1.1 megels7719

          I was going to read the “games of thrones” books but then someone told me how the books ended and i just hate knowing the end of a book I’m thinking about reading…so i don’t think i’d want to put all the time into it…

          • 6.3.1.1.1 Meg08sep

            The Game of thrones is not just one book, but its the first part of a larger series- A song of ice and fire series. So if you know the end to the first book, don’t be disappointed because a lot has happened after that in the whole series, which on its own is an unfinished series(it is supposed to be a 7 book series, with only 5 books written and published yet, two books are yet to be written by GRRM)

  7. Sunmi

    I’ve been pretty much salivating for this movie since I heard about it months ago. This would be the perfect time to: A.) acquire free plane tickets to Korea B.) be able to 100% understand spoken Korean. FML.

    • 7.1 Ivoire

      Hi Sunmi, what does FML stand for, please? Thanks!

      • 7.1.1 LYing

        FML is short for “fuck my life”.

      • 7.1.2 Sunmi

        Exactly what LYing said. ^_^

  8. krthw

    If anyone can give me a link as to where I can watch this movie, I would be so thankful!

  9. krthw

    If anyone can give me a link as to where I can watch this movie, I would be so thankful!
    And on a side note, with such an A-list cast who wouldn’t watch this?

  10. 10 hyukkie

    well, apart from it being a good movie, perhaps there are a lot of girls rushing to see it hoping that they can watch it while riding on KSH’s back… http://www.allkpop.com/2012/07/kim-soo-hyun-strikes-a-silly-deal-with-the-thieves-audience

    • 10.1 Sunmi

      Double FML. Are you serious? I’d give almost anything to ride on that man’s back. And I mean that in the most non-perverted way possible…I think.

  11. 11 Lady Seoul

    That’s awesomely insane! Congrats my man Kim Soo Hyun!! That is funny, beating out your own film. It just show how good you are in your field!!

  12. 12 asianromance

    Jeon ji hyun looks amazing in that pic!

    • 12.1 bd

      Still peeves me that she got hitched.

  13. 13 cherkell

    Chukahaeyo! Good for them — more box office receipts means that we have a better chance of seeing this flick appear in the States soon!! ::fingers crossed::

    Maybe another reason for the high turnout is because it’s been BLOODY SCORCHING HOT in SK (36º C!!) the past few weeks. Nothin’ like heading to the theatres to cool yourself down… although seeing KSH on a large screen in front of me would do nothing of the kind!! :D

  14. 14 HK

    I will probably watch this once its out as bad-ass good looking thieves are always worth a watch!

  15. 15 VBS

    I saw this the week it opened in Seoul and the only way I could was to go to an out of the way movie theater cuz all the tickets were sold out elsewhere unless you wanted to sit on the first row and count nose hairs throughout the movie. I must admit, for a Korean movie it’s pretty decent. When people first compared it to oceans eleven it was only cuz of the heist. This band of thieves are pretty different. Some plot lines were predictable and you could see it coming a mile away, but there were some surprises that made you sit up and take notice. Overall it’s a really great movie so there is no way anyone will hate this. The plus side is the ending makes it seem like this story could continue in a sequel. Who knows maybe they will make another one if this fares well and becomes a hit. One extra juicy tidbit of plot info about KSH- that kiss with Jeon Ji Hyun lived up to all the hype and those few seconds alone merit watching this twice, but he has another kiss scene most people want to forget about which was LOL hilarious. Maybe cuz KSH told people Thieves is worth watching twice, they listened. some of us feel like we need to cuz there are like a gazillion different languages in this film so unless you are fluent in all of them, for some scenes you have to do some guesswork. I only understood spoken Korean and couldn’t read the subtitles so I need to rewatch this when it comes out with with subs.

  16. 16 kookicookie

    so saw the trailer and I immediately thought of oceans 11, 12 and 13…sounds very similar…am I right (to anyone who has watched this subbed or not)

  17. 17 DB5K

    Ocean’s 11 was a good movie (though I can’t say the same for Ocean’s 12 or 13), and I have a feeling The Thieves will also be a good movie. At first I thought it might not be worth the hype, but JB says it was directed by Choi Dong Hun. I enjoyed Tazza, so here’s to hoping The Thieves will be even better~~

  18. 18 SKS

    I actually watched this on my trip to Korea (it was a family reunion of sorts). It was…alright. The ocean’s 11 comparisons are apt because that’s essentially what they’re trying to do, with their own twist. And twist on twist on twist…. Basically, at the end, they were trying too hard and it got too complicated (and too crazy-to-be-believable) for its own good. I will say that the acting was solid, and KSH is shirtless, and ~Gianna~ Jun is fabulous (and ridiculous).

    One more thing: the movie is over two hours long, and it feels long, which isn’t a good thing. :T

  19. 19 1984 in a Brave New World

    Just came back from seeing the movie. I surprisingly liked it and understand why it’s such a smash hit here in Korea (and not just because it’s an A-list cast…plenty of Korean movies with comparable names on the roster flunked). The only drawback for me was that it was difficult to keep track of all the names and characters and, as someone else mentioned, the languages–Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Japanese.

    Without giving away any spoilers I’ll just say this. This is a classically Korean film in that it bends genres. I went in expecting to see a Korean version of Ocean’s Eleven and realised halfway through that I was in fact watching a revenge thriller with a healthy dose of 1980s Hong Kong action film noir.

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