Tsunami blockbuster Haeundae has taken the South Korean box office by storm clocking up 5 million admissions from 712 screens in less than two weeks.

JK Youn’s disaster film, which stars Sol Kyung-gu and Ha Ji-won and was released on July 22, has won audiences over with its mix of colourful local characters and drama.

CJ Entertainment, the film’s co-producer and distributor, believe the film has long-term potential as exit polls show that families, including teenagers and seniors, make up 40% of the audience, as opposed to the usual summer fare tends attract the 20 year old to 30 year old market.

CJ’s director of international marketing and PR, Jessica Kim, said: “Word of mouth for Haeundae is so strong that it’s been bringing in 300,000 admissions even on weekdays, and we expect the trend to continue for a while.”

Although the Korean Film Council’s weekend gross figures are not due out until Tuesday (Aug 4), Haeundae is topping the charts with newly released Showbox action film Take Off and Pixar animation Up trailing in its wake.

Haeundae is only the second film in 2009 after Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen to pass the 5 million admissions mark. Released June 24, the robot movie is still in the top 10, with about 7.4 million admissions to date.

Sold to multiple territories including the UK (Optimum) and Germany (Splendid), Haeundae is set to open in mainland China at the end of August.

This coming weekend, the hit film will go up against Paramount’s G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra, featuring local star Lee Byung-hun in a supporting role.