South Korean feature Untold Scandal has become the first local film ever to draw one million viewers in its opening weekend. Released on October 2, the film has attracted 1.13 million admissions ($6m) nationwide in its first four days.
An adaptation of French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses which sets the action in 17th-century Korea, Untold Scandal has benefited from a sexy marketing campaign, strong word of mouth and the casting of popular stars including TV idol Bae Yong-jun (Winter Sonata).
With little competition at the box office, distributor CJ Entertainment was able to secure Korea's widest-ever local release on 270 screens, and the film also set a new local record by accounting for 84.4% of all advance ticket sales.
The third film by director E J-yong (Asako In Ruby Shoes), Untold Scandal has provided the strongest buzz among the new offerings at this week's Pusan International Film Festival for its colourful traditional mise-en-scene and smooth direction.
Production company B.O.M. Film Productions (also responsible for this year's $16m hit A Tale Of Two Sisters) estimates that Scandal may pass the year's top grossing title Memories Of Murder, which drew 5.1m admissions in late spring for a $27m gross.
Korea's current overall record holder for biggest opening weekend is the May 23 release of The Matrix Reloaded, which grossed 1.2m admissions nationwide in two days on 320 screens.