Bong Joon-ho’s thriller Mother has beaten Park Chan-wook’s Thirst to become the biggest opener of the year in South Korea.

According to the Korean Film Council, the film has racked up 1.03 million admissions since it opened on Thursday May 28.

As Bong’s previous thrillers, Memories Of Murder and The Host, both broke local box office records – the latter taking a whopping 13 million admissions – Mother was already one of the most anticipated Korean films of the year along with Thirst.

After recent buzz from Cannes, where it screened in Un Certain Regard, local anticipation reached fever pitch and CJ Entertainment opened the film on 756 screens.

Despite the seven-day national mourning period leading up the funeral of late ex-president Roh Moo-hyun on Friday, the film clocked up over 200,000 admissions on its first day (Thursday) and took more than 800,000 admissions on the following days.

Also rated ‘18 and over’ and distributed by CJ Entertainment (on 633 screens), Park Chan-wook’s Cannes competition film Thirst took 170,000 admissions on its first day and 820,558 in its first four days. The film made it over the 1 million admissions mark on the fifth day of its run, which included two public holidays and a weekend.

Mother was followed by Terminator Salvation, distributed by Lotte Entertainment, with 627,037 admissions; Angels & Demons (SPRI BVI) with 135,797; My Girlfriend Is An Agent (Lotte) with 111,981, Coraline (UPI) with 44,472, and Castaway On The Moon (Cinema Service) with 41,763.

Preliminary box office rankings are according to admissions numbers, with definitive Top Ten gross figures announced Tuesdays in’s Global Box Office category.