Song Joong Ki wins the big battle in South Korean cinemas for audiences

South Korean actor Song Joong Ki speaks during a press event for their new movie The Battleship Island in Seoul, on June 15, 2017.
South Korean actor Song Joong Ki speaks during a press event for their new movie The Battleship Island in Seoul, on June 15, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

SEOUL - Song Joong Ki's wartime movie Battleship Island has won the battle at the South Korean box office. It crossed the four-million-audience line on Sunday, becoming the fastest film to do so this year.

The movie looks at the plight of Koreans forced to work in coal mines on Japan's Hashima Island during World War II.

The film made a roaring start last Wednesday when 970,516 tickets were sold - a record for a movie on its first day in Korean cinemas.

But some critics said Battleship Island's success was linked to the fact that it was shown on 2,027 screens, or 87 per cent of the country's total, on the opening day.

Its distributor counter-attacked that the use of screens "is decided by each individual theatre".

The movie opens in Singapore on Aug 17.