Sunday, February 12, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (02/10-02/12, 2012)

Nameless Gangster Takes Another Victory Lap

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Nameless Gangster 2/2/12 40.80% 828,585 2,484,742 712
2 Dancing Queen 1/18/12 13.10% 282,560 3,200,481 426
3 Unbowed 1/18/12 12.00% 256,866 3,096,123 378
4 Legends of Valhalla: Thor 2/9/12 9.50% 198,414 208,842 382
5 Tarbosaurus 3D 1/26/12 6.80% 116,742 803,255 263
6 Papa 2/1/12 4.70% 107,868 478,378 314
7 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 6/26/99 4.10% 59,278 69,038 200
8 War Horse 2/9/12 2.40% 53,558 64,780 226
9 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2/9/12 2.10% 44,042 55,784 186
10 Happy Feet 2 2/2/12 1.60% 35,368 159,957 202

This past weekend was another exceptionally strong frame for local films as combined they took nearly 80% of the market share, up from 50% a year ago.  Total admissions came in at just over two million which was a 25% increase on last year's comparable weekend.

Once again leading the charge was Nameless Gangster which barely dropped from its gigantic opening to record a 828,585 weekend which already puts it within inches of the 2.5 million mark.   While it will likely lose a significant amount of business next weekend it's already a big success and will surely cross a few more landmarks during its run.

Dancing Queen moved up to number 2 this weekend with 282,560 which represented a tiny 15% drop.   It is now well over the three million mark and could cross four before finishing its impressive run.  It's going quite steady for the moment and should still remain competitive throughout the rest of the month.

Unbowed dropped to number 3 with a 40% drop that left it with 256,866.  It has now also crossed the three million admissions mark and could vie for the next milestone but this could prove to be a difficult obstacle to overcome.   The film has had an extraordinary run but with so much else crowding the theaters interested does seem to have waned so it will probably begin to wind up its run shortly.

Foreign animation Legends of Valhalla: Thor opened with a decent 198,414 but is unlikely to stay this high on the chart for long.  Considering how many children's films have opened recently this seems like a good start.

Tarbosaurus 3D lost about half its business this weekend as it garnered another 116,742 admissions but it has now crossed the one million mark.  This seems like a decent total for this kind of a film but I have no idea how much it cost or what its break-even point may be.  In any case it has been a difficult period for animation lately with so many crowding the marquee.

Papa dropped a spot to number 6 in its sophomore weekend as it halved its take to 107,868.  Not an impressive run but with so many quality offerings on offer its easy to see why a film with a slight and slightly perplexing premise could get lost in the mix.   One million admissions is probably not on the cards.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace occupied the number 7 spot as it came out on rerelease with 59,278.  At number 8 was Spielberg's new offering War Horse which sold 53,558 tickets.   Meanwhile, the phenomenal Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy failed to attract many viewers as it attracted 44,042 viewers for number 9.   Last Happy Feet 2 dropped like a stone after an abismal opening as it wound up with a paltry 35,368 admissions.

All eyes will be on the Ha Yu directed and Song Kang-ho starring Howling as it opens wide next weekend.   Reviews have been excellent and anticipation is high but I wonder how the strong performance of the top three local films will affect its opening bow.


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 Sunday evening or 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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