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Monday, November 7, 2011

Korean Box Office Update (11/04-11/06, 2011)

Weekend of November 4-6, 2011:

Title Release Date Weekend Total
1 Punch 10/20/11 574,631 2,465,751
2 Real Steel (us) 10/12/11 245,537 2,499,600
3 Couples 11/2/11 144,623 189,965
4 In Time (us) 10/27/11 87,109 406,663
5 Always 10/20/11 60,106 894,813
6 Mr. Idol 11/3/11 33,391 48,780
7 The Help (us) 11/3/11 33,181 49,556
8 The Kick 11/3/11 20,865 27,101
9 Guzaarish (India) 11/3/11 18,851 30,894
10 Johnny English Reborn (uk) 11/2/11 17,277 20,362
- Penny Pinchers     11/10/11 9,475 10,175
- Teacher and the Devils       10/27/11 3,579 12,535
- The Crucible        9/22/11 3,561 4,662,753
- The Client       9/29/11 2,880 2,389,540
- A Reason to Live 10/27/11 2,573 55,583


Business remained strong this weekend with 1.28 million admissions, another year-on-year increase, and a 65% market share for Korean films.  Punch is once again the big news this week as it has topped the chart for a third consecutive week.  Even more impressive is that after last week's big increase over its opening weekend, it doesn't seem to have lost any business this time around.  Its 574,631 take lifted its total to 2,465,751 which is already good enough for no. 8 on the yearly chart.  Word of mouth is very strong for this pic and it may well have a lot more milestones in store.

Real Steel same in at no. 2 for the third straight week with 245,537, which is down about a third from last week.  It has performed very strongly over the past month and looks set to cross 3 million in the coming weeks which should land it on the combined top 10 for the year.

Couples went wide this week on nearly 400 screens but only mustered a so-so 144,623.  With Punch dominating the way it is, Couples will likely take a big drop next week and disappear from marquees soon after.

Always dropped by two thirds for 60,106 and has now accumulated 894,813 to date.  The 1 million mark is tantalizingly close but may be a fraction too far out of reach.  While not a bad number for a romance film, this performance will likely be seen as a bit disappointing given the saturated marketing surrounding it, especially as it opened the recent new-look Busan International Film Festival.  Bad reviews and poor word of mouth are what sunk it in the end.

Mr. Idol, which has had one of the more aggressive marketing campaigns of the season, opening with an embarrassing 33,391, that's a little less than 100 tickets per screen for its first weekend.  As enormous as K-Pop is (at home and abroad), it has yet to be successfully mined for a feature film.  Execs may be scratching their heads at the poor performance of what seemed like a surefire hit but in Korea you can't beat bad reviews, no matter how big your fan base is.

The Kick, which has generated a lot of buzz and press coverage as the first Thai-Korean marital arts production, also got off to a poor start with 20,865, unless these are previews which, at 154 screens, may well be the case.

Three other movies opened this weekend from across the world, The Help (USA) with 33,181, Guzaarish (India) with 18,851, and Johnny English Reborn (UK) with 17,277.  These are all mediocre hauls but none of these pictures could have been expected to perform well in Korea.

Penny Pinchers had its previews this weekend and will go wide later this week but its 9,475 start does not bode particularly well.  I imagine it will open somewhere in the middle of the chart.  The big question is if Punch can continue its extraordinary run!



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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