Continuing its box office success Die Another Day opened to threatres across Korea on Monday, despite the best attempts of minority groups and the North Korean government.
Prior to the films release the North Korean Government slammed the film saying through the North Korean Central News Agency that the “U.S. should stop at once this dirty and cursed burlesque aimed to slander [North Korea] and insult the Korean nation”. The news agency was quoting the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland who is seemingly under the misapprehension that Bond is an American agent, or at least performing propaganda work for the CIA. The news agency further stated that Die Another Day was a “premeditated act of mocking at and insulting the Korean nation.”
At the same time in South Korea minority groups were calling for a boycott of the film. The groups contended that the film portrays South Korean soldiers as inferior to the United States Military, depicts South Korean as a Third World country.
Despite the complaints the film performed strongly after it’s release on Monday. It opened in 145 theatres, despite protests being held outside some of the larger threatres in Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, and Daegu. Advanced ticket sales stayed at a low 30% on Monday, however, rose to near 60% on Tuesday.
Twentieth Century Fox had brought forward scheduled preview screenings last week in a succesful attempt to stem protests. In a statement, the president of Fox Korea again reaffirmed the fact that Die Another Day portrays both North Korean hard-liners and pacifists.