The action film Deliver Us From Evil opened in Korea on Aug. 5, with a strong box office showing. The film sold almost 350,000 tickets on its opening day and proceeded to top the local box office for the next four days. According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) the film sold more than 500,000 tickets within the first four days, beating former top sellers Steel Rain2: Summit, starring Jung Woo-sung, and Peninsula, starring Gang Dong-won.
In Deliver Us From Evil, Hwang Jung-min plays In-man, a former black ops agent-turned-mercenary who travels to Thailand to investigate a kidnapping. He is pursued by Ray, a contract killer, played by Lee Jung-Jae. Because In-man killed his brother, Ray chases him to Thailand to exact his revenge. Tracking In-man involves a series of edge-of-the-seat car chases and gunfights.
Hwang, who previously starred in the 2015 film Veteran and the 2017 film Battleship Island and the 2018 film The Spy Gone North. Lee starred in the 2012 film The Thieves and the 2015 film Assassination, as well as the 2019 TV drama Chief of Staff. He also appeared in both popular Along With The Gods films. Deliver Us From Evil also stars Park Jung-min, who appeared in Tazza: One Eyed Jack, and Choi Hee-seo, who appeared in Anarchist from the Colony.
It’s not the first time Hwang and Lee have acted in a film together, as they both had roles in the 2013 gangster saga New World. Hwang has also been in a film with Park, as they both had roles in the film Svaha: The Sixth Finger.
The movie is directed by Hong Won-chan, who directed the thriller Office, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Hong also served as a screenwriter for a few film thrillers, including the 2009 film The Chaser and the 2012 film Confession of Murder.
The COVID19 pandemic emptied Korean theaters for much of the first quarter of 2020, with many films delaying their opening and some choosing to debut online. Box office sales began to revive with the June release of the zombie thriller #Alive, starring Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye, which sold over 200,000 tickets on its opening day.
Peninsula, director Yeon Sang-ho’s sequel to the successful zombie film Train to Busan, again opened with a strong showing, a 75% improvement on the opening day for #Alive. Peninsula, which debuted in July, became the first film to top the one million mark in ticket sales during the pandemic. Steel Rain2: Summit outperformed Peninsula in its first weekend.