South Korean documentary My Love, Don’t Cross That River gave Hollywood a run for its money at the local box office this frame — two weeks after its original release. At No. 10 on Rentrak’s international chart this week, the heart-warming/tear-jerking film earned an estimated $4.7M this weekend to take its cume to $6.5M. By comparison, Interstellar, which has been leading the Korean box office for several weeks, took $3.2M this frame, and Exodus: Gods And Kings grossed $3.16M in its 2nd outing, per studio estimates. My Love, Don’t Cross That River was first released on November 27 and has become the most successful independent film of the year, according to the Korean Film Council (see subtitled trailer below). It has steadily climbed since its release, moving from a 6th place opening up to 1st. Its success has seen the screen count expand from an original 186 to 728, says the Korea Times.
Directed by Mo-Young Jin, it’s the story of a couple who have been married for 76 years. The helmer followed the pair, known as the “100-year-old lovebirds,” for 15 months after learning about them via a TV documentary. Fairy tale-like as characters, the husband is strong and the wife is full of charms. They sport traditional Korean clothing and still fall asleep hand-in-hand. As they sense death approaching, the film follows the last moments of their relationship.
My Love, Don’t Cross That River won the Audience Award at this year’s DMZ International Documentary Film Festival. While the film is unlikely to break blockbuster box office records, the Korean Film Council says it’s currently outpacing Old Partner, the 2009 documentary that eventually sold 2.93M tickets and is the biggest Korean indie of all time. Here’s the My Love, Don’t Cross That River trailer: