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Monday, December 5, 2011

Korean Box Office Update (12/2-12/4, 2011)

Weekend of December 2-4:

Title Release Date Weekend Total
1 Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (us) 11/30/11 482,384 775,522
2 Spellbound 12/1/11 420,806 487,861
3 SIU 11/24/11 201,264 838,983
4 Punch 10/20/11 150,737 5,046,804
5 Arthur Christmas (us) 11/25/11 144,574 367,274
6 Real Steel (us) 10/12/11 58,945 3,521,389
7 Moneyball (us) 11/17/11 39,267 602,465
8 Immortals (us) 11/10/11 27,951 1,322,363
9 50/50 (us) 11/24/11 17,663 100,940
10 You're My Pet 11/10/11 4,234 541,356
- Penny Pinchers 11/2/11 1,560 422,686
- The Houseguest and My Mother (1961) 10/27/11 1,543 1,985
- Perfect Partner 11/17/11 1,162 89,371
- Dancing Cat 10/20/11 937 7,150
- King of Pigs 11/17/11 774 17,526

Despite a huge new Hollywood release, Korean films remained very competitive this weekend, managing a 50% market share.  It was a big weekend with 1.56 million tickets sold which was better than last year's 1.25 when Petty Romance opened.  As Darcy Paquet noted in his biweekly box office evaluation for KOBIZ, Korean cinema will have to face off with a number of American tentpole releases in December but this is a very encouraging start to the holiday season.

The new Twilight opened in first place as was expected, the first non-Korean film to do so since October (Real Steel) and only the second since July (Harry Potter).  However its 482,384 opening was a little soft, certainly coming in below my expectations.  From here on out, this frontloaded pic should drop very fast.

Spellbound opened to a very healthy 420,806 this weekend giving Twilight a run for its money.  The multi-genre pic has been garnering some strong word of mouth and may play well throughout December if it can distinguish itself from the many new offerings that will become available.

Last week's one-time champ SIU fell two places, slowing about 40% to 201,264.  The buzz has not been fantastic surrounding the film and it will likely drop relatively quickly out of the top 10 though it will shoot well past the 1 or even 1.5 million admissions mark in the process.

Punch is finally starting to show some vulnerability as it dropped another two spots and lost nearly 50% of its business in the interim.  However its 150,737 take was enough to push it past the 5 million mark and get it to No. 3 on the yearly chart.  It remains to be seen whether it can cross the 6 million milestone, which may or may not be a bridge too far.

The next five spots were all held by Hollywood releases beginning with Arthur Christmas which held onto most of its opening as it added 144,574 to its total.  Real Steel finally saw a substantial drop but it has had a phenomenal run and the 58,945 tickets it sold brought it over 3.5 million admissions.  Brad Pitt's Moneyball dove 60% to 39,267 while Immortals fell 70% to 27,951 and 50/50 also shed 60% for 17,663.

At No. 10 was You're My Pet, which this week secured releases in China and Japan.  It made 4,234 this weekend for a 541,356 to date.

Outside of the Top 10:  Penny Pinchers added another 1,560 to its total; Shin Sang-ok's classic The Houseguest and My Mother (1961) sold 1,543 tickets in re-release; Perfect Partner fell hard to 1,162 and all but guaranteed it won't be crossing the 100,000 mark; Dancing Cat sold another 937 tickets; and King of Pigs added an additional 774 admissions.

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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