South Korean comedy My Wife Is A Gangster opened to phenomenal returns during Korea's 5-day Chusok holiday, filling cinemas to 94% capacity for a nationwide gross of $7.6m, and setting a new record for being the first local release to reach one million admissions in 5 days.
Released by Korea Pictures, a new distribution company which struck gold earlier this year with the record-breaking Friend ($44m), My Wife Is A Gangster is the story of a female gang boss who reluctantly agrees to get married at the urgings of a terminally ill childhood friend.
Featuring a debut director in Cho Jin-gyu and mid-level stars Shin Eun-kyung (The Ring Virus) and Park Sang-myun, the film's success took many in the industry by surprise. Although largely panned by critics, the film showed increasingly heavy attendance as the week progressed.
The Chusok holiday, held during the lunar harvest, is traditionally a key weekend in Korea for major autumn releases. One Fine Spring Day, a Korean/Japanese/Hong Kong co-production, drew a nationwide $2.2 million for second place at the box-office, followed by Rush Hour 2, America's Sweethearts, and local release Musa: The Warrior.