Cha Seung-won-Kwang-soo disaster film ‘Sinkhole’ sets opening day record

Published August 12, 2021, 10:58 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Scenes from “Sinkhole” (KOFIC / Showbox) 

“Sinkhole,” the disaster comedy film starring Cha Seung-won, Kim Sung-kyun, former “Running Man” star Lee Kwang-soo and Kim Hye-jun, has set an opening day record for a Korean film this year.

According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), which tracks box office receipts, “Sinkhole” sold 147,304 tickets and earned $1.17 million on opening day on Aug. 11, pushing topnotcher “Escape from Mogadishu” down to second place, which had 57,821 in total admissions for the day. 

“Sinkhole” garnered the best opening day record for a Korean film in 2021, edging out “Escape from Mogadishu,” which attracted 126,672 people when it opened last July 28. 

With the feat, “Sinkhole” placed third in first-day attendance records among all movies released in Korea this year behind “Fast & Furious 9” with 400,372 on May 19 and “Black Widow” with 196,233 on July 7. 

“Sinkhole” tells the story of a villa in Mapo District, which plunges 500 meters into a sinkhole. Dong-won (played by Kim Sung-hyun) and his family have a new house and he invited guests for a housewarming party. A giant sinkhole swallows up the house and people who became trapped must find a way out. 

Lee Kwang-soo plays the role of Kim Seung-hyun who attends the housewarming party. 

“I’ve never really given thought to sinkholes before, but I found the concept to be refreshing. And I wanted to challenge myself with this type of film with this type of exceptional material. You never know when this kind of film will be created again,” he said, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily. 

He denied that he left “Running Man” to focus on his acting career, saying, “I’ve been on ‘Running Man’ for 11 years and the show became the reason why I was able to become better known to the public. 

“I know I’m often thought of as almost a comedian, but I don’t think that side of me will be forgotten because I left the show, nor do I want it to be forgotten. I love comedy, and I love variety shows, and of course, there may be some who think this side of me distracts them from seeing me as a character in a film, but I believe that more people see me as this next-door neighbor guy who happens to be funny too. Instead of trying to change that perception, I think, if I do the best I can in situations that I face, more people will view me positively,” he added. 

He left “Running Man” because of an injury he suffered in a car accident last year. He revealed that “I’m scheduled to undergo surgery next month to take out the metal support inside my leg. Before, I’d been neglecting my rehabilitation, but I’m definitely going to put more effort into taking care of my leg.”