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Monday, September 12, 2011

Korean Box Office Update (09/09-09/11, 2011)

This is the first edition of Modern Korean Cinema's Weekly B.O. Update and as such is in a trial phase and is subject to changes over the coming weeks. I know that there are other places which provide box office information and analysis for Korean cinema but I believe that I can bring a slightly different approach. I aim to be analytical and thorough as I examine the weekly returns, in addition, I will keep a tab which will collect all of these updates for easy reference.

Please let me know what you think of this new component of the site, I hope you find it useful!

Title Release Date   Weekend   Total

1 Marrying the Mafia IV 7/9/2011 601,363 806,376

2 Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon 10/8/2011 405,816 5,709,350
3 Mr. Popper's Penguins (us) 7/9/2011 170,400 193,738
4 Pained 7/9/2011 157,389 248,920

5 Rise of the Planet Apes (us) 17/8/2011 125,817 2,401,266
6 Champ 7/9/2011 113,622 161,549
7 Hindsight 31/8/2011 80,855 539,597

8 Columbiana (us) 31/8/2011 68,452 416,033

9 Final Destination 5 (us) 8/9/2011 65,119 87,176

10 Seafood (us) 8/9/2011 42,065 43,307

- Blind 10/8/2011 41,172 2,241,164
- Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild 27/7/2011 37,858 1,057,027
- The Day He Arrives 8/9/2011 8,017 10,964

After a strong start with last week's previews, the latest installment of the immensely popular Marrying the Mafia franchise unseated Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon, which has dominated at the top of the charts for four consecutive weekends. With just over 600,000 admissions over the weekend, Marrying the Mafia IV: Family Ordeal is poised to do solid business through the rest of September unless it succumbs to a strong case of sequelitis. The last entry in the series wound up with over 2.5 million ticket sales.

Arrow continues to do very well having added another 400,000 tickets to its haul this weekend (down just over 10%) which now stands at over 5.7 million. The question now is whether it can unseat Sunny as the best-selling Korean film of the year and Transformers 3 at the top of the yearly chart.

Song Kang-ho's latest Hindsight has crumbled after its so-so opening with a take of 80,000, down over 70%. It is unlikely to hit the  million mark at this point, surprising given the star's stellar pedigree.

Pained, which teams heartthrob Kwon Sang-woo with action director Kwak Kyung-taek had a modest opening with nearly 160,000 tickets sold. Reviews have been strong so this may pick up in coming weeks after positive word of mouth sets in.

Champ, the third platform Korean release of the week, starring Cha Tae-hyeon also had a light opening with just over 110,000 tickets sold. I just hope that this horse-themed sports drama is better than last year's woeful Grand Prix, which floundered at the box office.

Just outside of the top ten, Blind and Leafie, a Hen Into the Wild, nearing the end of their runs, added 41,000 and 37,000 respectively to their tallies to bring their cumulative grosses to 2.24 and 2.05 million.

Hong Sang-soo's latest, The Day He Arrives opened to 8,000 admissions despite positive buzz and a successful festival run which began at Cannes earlier this year. Sadly, this is roughly comparable to his previous films.

The Korean Box Office Update is a weekly feature which provides detailed analysis of film box office sales over the Friday to Sunday period in Korea. It appears every Monday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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