Monday, October 24, 2011

Korean Box Office Update (10/21-10/23, 2011)

Weekend of October 21-23, 2011:

Title Release Date Weekend Total
1 Punch 10/20/11 461,290 584,528
2 Real Steel (us) 10/12/11 453,322 1,485,699
3 Always 10/20/11 268,422 372,552
4 The Client 9/29/11 115,135 2,256,985
5 The Three Musketeers (uk) 10/12/11 99,595 564,313
6 Silenced 9/22/11 80,528 4,544,968
7 Paranormal Activity 3 (us) 10/20/11 49,321 56,590
8 Hit 10/13/11 14,372 84,142
9 Major: Yujo No Winning Shot (jp) 10/20/11 7,085 8,251
10 War of the Arrows Director's Cut 5,256 6,290
- Couples       11/3/11 4,430 6,126
- War of the Arrows       8/10/11 3,810 7,451,344
- Fighting Spirit       10/6/11 2,558 209,104
- Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild       7/27/11 1,359 2,197,866

A Korean film reclaimed the top spot this weekend, but only by a very slim margin.  Once again business gained over last year's comparable frame, going up 50% to 1.59 million admissions.  The Korean market share also saw a healthy increase over last weekend, topping 60%, last year it was 50%.

The number one movie was Punch, which after getting good notices at the Busan International Film Festival and performing well in previews last weekend, opened to a solid 461,290.  Word of mouth will likely be strong, which means it could play well through November.  In recent years, Kim Yun-seok has turned into a massive force at the box office.  One of the few bankable stars remaining in Korea, his most recent features have all gone way past 2 million viewers: The Yellow Sea (2.42 million), Woochi (6.1 million), Running Turtle (3.05 million), and The Chaser (5.07 million). If Punch continues this trend, which it likely will, his streak is not likely to an end any time soon with the release of the much anticipated The Thieves just around the corner.

Coming a very close second this weekend was Real Steel in its sophomore frame with 453,322, down only 25%.  As around the rest of the world, the film seems to be playing well with families.  The Three Musketeers fell 64% for 99,595, it will likely fall far down the chart next weekend.  The only major Hollywood release was Paranormal Activity 3, which despite posting a franchise best opening in the US, opened to a small 49,321, about 30% of what the previous installment.  Major: Yujo No Winning Shot from Japan also opened low on the chart with 7,085.

Always seemed poised for a decent opening considering all the attention it received as BIFF's opening gala presentation and its promising previews last weekend but the negative buzz and critical savaging of the picture as already caught up to it.  It opened to a disappointing 268,422 and will likely exit the Top 10 swiftly.

The Client, which had been holding on to the number 2 spot for three weeks fell to number 4 with a 60% drop.  Its weekend haul of 115, 135 was enough for it clinch the last spot in the yearly top 10.  It may still have enough left in the tank to crawl up two more rungs and unseat Marrying the Mafia IV.

Silenced (aka The Crucible) took another big fall this weekend (67%) as the media attention it had been receiving has died down, it added 80, 528 to its total.  I wonder whether it could still move up to number 3 for the year by topping Detective K's total.

Hit came in at number 8 with 14,372 after seeing two thirds of its theater count slashed. Rounding out the top 10 was the director's cut of War of the Arrows which opened in select locations to 5,256.  The new cut may play wider depending on its performance but I think it is more likely to tour around different locations.

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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