Film about ‘comfort women’ tops daily box office

February 25, 2016
South Korean moviegoers buy tickets for "Spirits' Homecoming" at a local cinema in Seoul on Feb. 24, 2016. (Yonhap)

South Korean moviegoers buy tickets for “Spirits’ Homecoming” at a local cinema in Seoul on Feb. 24, 2016. (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — A local movie that depicts the difficult life of Koreans forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II snatched the top spot at the box office on Wednesday, data showed.

“Spirits’ Homecoming,” shown in 507 theaters and cinemas on its opening day nationwide, attracted 153,783 moviegoers, beating American superhero film “Deadpool,” which garnered 138,057 viewers, according to Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

Its surprise performance was not entirely unexpected as it had enjoyed high pre-sale reservation rates in the run-up to the opening.

Based on the testimonies of the so-called “comfort women,” who were forced into sexual servitude at Japanese military brothels, the movie took its cinematic motives from “Burning Women,” a drawing by Kang Il-chul, one of the victims, during her therapy sessions.

Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were forced to work in the front-line brothels during the war. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910-45.