Sunday, April 15, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (04/13-04/15, 2012)

Battleship Sinks the Competition

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Battleship (us) 4/11/12 41.80% 673,952 1,195,202 734
2 Architecture 101 3/22/12 15.90% 254,381 2,917,429 450
3 The Scent 4/11/12 15.60% 242,544 396,547 348
4 Untouchable (fr) 3/22/12 5.20% 84,418 1,502,292 242
5 Hunger Games (us) 4/5/12 4.30% 69,271 504,807 323
6 Over My Dead Body 3/29/12 4.20% 67,258 880,154 268
7 Titanic 3D (us) 2/20/98 5.70% 56,092 269,254 159
8 Beauty and the Beast (us) 7/4/92 3.80% 44,552 96,480 220
9 Doomsday Book 4/11/12 1.90% 31,564 73,836 236
10 Wrath of the Titans (us) 3/29/12 0.60% 10,086 883,711 114

The summer season got off to an early start this year as Battleship opened in most global territories, except for the United States.  Things over there kick off in early May with The Avengers and perhaps since Battleship will be playing in its wake when it opens two weeks later, the studio felt it should get a head start in the increasingly relevant international markets.  As such, business was up about 60% year-on-year with 1.6 million tickets sold versus just shy of a million in 2011.  Hollywood competition forced the domestic market share down to 38% which was down significantly from last year's 67%.

Battleship shot into first place with 673,952 and has already accumulated nearly 1.2 million admissions since it opened on Election Day, a holiday in Korea.  While certainly a strong figure it doesn't come close to some of the bigger openings of the past 12 months and will need to battle poor reviews to become a bonafide blockbuster.

In its fourth weekend, local hit Architecture 101 finally dropped a rank as it lost about 45% of its business for a 254,381 frame.  This probably means it has enjoyed the best part of its run and will start to make its exit from theaters in the coming weeks.  Currently it's a stone's throw from the three million mark and may go as far as 3.5.

The major new Korean release of the week was the thriller The Scent, starring Park Hee-soon and Park Si-yeon, which had a so-so start with 242,544.  The only thing that will save it now is very positive word of mouth but I have yet to hear anything about it and more than likely it will fade quickly.

French feelgood hit Untouchable dropped one more spot but lost over 60% of its steam for an 84,418 weekend.  In the meantime it has crossed the 1.5 million admissions mark which is a remarkable feat for a continental European film.

Hunger Games crumbled after its poor opening, sliding three spots and 75% for a lousy 69,271.  Its haul stands at just over half a million admissions and it will disappear fast.

Over My Dead Body lost two thirds of its business as it added 67,258 admissions to its total which could still reach the one million mark.  It will be close but next week's dearth of new openings could give it its chance.

At number seven, the 3D rerelease of Titanic added 56,092 to its bounty while the Disney rerelease of The Beauty and the Beast managed 44,552 in its opening weekend.

The anticipated Kim Jee-woon and Lim Pil-sung directed omnibus Doomsday Book garnered a less than impressive 31,564 during its debut but this should come as no surprise.  Short collections never make a the box office, actually this is a pretty good result in light of that fact.

Rounding out the chart was Wrath of the Titans third weekend where it eked out a minuscule 10,086 after a gargantuan 95% drop.

I'm curious to see what will happen next weekend as there does not seem to be any new wide releases.  Battleship stands a very strong chance of staying in number one but Architecture 101, which is a proven hit, also has a good shot of reclaiming the top spot.  Business will be down overall so holdovers will have a chance to see better returns but this is all just the calm before the storm as summer will really take off on April 26 when both the Hollywood The Avengers and Korean A Muse (Eungyo) see the light of day.


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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