’12.12: The Day’ dominates box office; surpasses 2 mln in attendance

November 27, 2023

A Korean historical film about a military coup in 1979 is rapidly gaining popularity, data showed Monday, revitalizing the local film industry that has been sluggish for some time.

According to computerized data from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), “12.12: The Day” topped the weekend box-office chart, drawing 1.49 million viewers from Friday to Sunday.

The movie surpassed 2 million in attendance Monday, the sixth day since its release, according to its local distributor, Plus M Entertainment.

It became the fastest movie to reach the milestone among all films released this year behind “The Roundup: No Way Out.” The Korean action comedy flick topped the 2 million mark on the fourth day of its release in June and later 10 million, a symbolic figure for success in a country with a population of around 50 million.

This photo provided by Plus M Entertainment shows a scene from "12.12: The Day." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This photo provided by Plus M Entertainment shows a scene from “12.12: The Day.” (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Based on favorable reviews from film critics and fans alike, “12.12: The Day” accounted for 79.1 percent of box-office sales during the Friday-Sunday period, indicating nearly eight out of every 10 moviegoers saw the film.

Coming in a distant second was “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” an American supernatural horror film seen by about 158,000 people. It was followed by “Arctic Justice,” an animated American film with about 35,000 in attendance.

Directed by Kim Sung-su, “12.12: The Day” recounts the heart-pounding nine hours of confrontation between Chun Doo-kwang, head of the Defense Security Command, who orchestrates a military coup to seize power on Dec. 12, 1979, and Capital Defense Cdr. Lee Tae-shin who risks everything to oppose the coup.

The movie is based on real events but incorporates fictional elements and characters.

Actors Hwang Jung-min and Jung Woo-sung play the two main roles.