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'The Throne' Rules The Box Office And Seeks An Oscar

BY Julie Jones | Sep 18, 2015 10:51 AM EDT


"The Throne" ruled the box office in Korea during its opening days and has been submitted for an Oscar nomination.

The film, which stars Song Kang Ho, Yoo Ah In and Moon Geun Young, showed strong sales on its first day, Sept. 17, selling 223,395 tickets. That placed the film first before "Maze Runner: The Scorch Triles, which sold 118,005 tickets and "Veteran," the previous box office smash, which sold 25,568 tickets.

Early in September, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) submitted the film as a candidate for best foreign-language film in next year's Academy Awards. It's the second time that the director Lee Joon Ik has been nominated and it is his second historical film submission.

His previous nomination was "The King and the Clown," starring Lee Jun Ki and Kam Woo Sung.

"This is my second chance to possibly win an Oscar nomination after "The King and The Clown," and I hope for good results. It would be something meaningful to share with my cast and crew members," the director told the American entertainment publication, The Hollywood Reporter.

The story of the film is hardly new to Korean viewers. It's the story of King Yeongjo, played by Song Kang Ho, and his son Crown Prince Sado, played by Yoo Ah In.

History suggests that the king suffered from a mental illness as he was accused of murdering and raping many in the palace. The King could not execute the prince, but he had to end the violence, so he locked him in a rice chest during a hot summer so he would suffocate.

"The tale of Yeongjo and Sado has been told many times. It's about the throne and power, but it's also about a father and son," Lee told the Hollywood Reporter. "There is no son without a father, and there is always a mother next to him. These relationships feed into a myriad of other relationships, and one will end up getting hurt. One tries to overcome these pains, and tragedy ensues when one cannot overcome them."

A Korean film has yet to receive a foreign-language Oscar nomination.

"Despite 'The Throne' being a historical feature, it received high praise by the committee as the direction was truly sophisticated so that even foreign audiences would not find the story difficult to understand," said a KOFIC statement.

The Oscar nominations will be announced in January 2016.

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