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Monday, April 30, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (04/27-04/29, 2012)

The Avengers Knocks Out the Competition

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 64.30% 1,342,576 1,636,182 963
2 A Muse 4/25/12 15.80% 389,797 553,807 519
3 Architecture 101 3/22/12 6.20% 157,166 3,622,800 316
4 The Scent 4/11/12 4.70% 115,110 1,090,057 296
5 Battleship (us) 4/11/12 3.50% 90,458 2,171,337 299
6 Crayon Shin-chan (jp) 4/26/12 3.20% 90,099 92,885 277
7 Untouchable (fr) 3/22/12 0.70% 17,742 1,688,300 108
8 Spring Snow 4/26/12 0.20% 6,330 11,238 117
9 The Hunger Games (us) 4/5/12 0.20% 4,615 604,809 67
10 Over My Dead Body 3/29/12 0.10% 3,626 982,185 42

Well summer has truly arrived as we have our first major blockbuster performance.  There was never really any doubt what would happen this weekend but the size of The Avengers' opening was very impressive nonetheless as it captured almost two thirds of the weekend box office.

Total admissions stood at an enormous 2.1 million which is among the biggest in the history of the market, it was also well over last year's 1.5 million when Thor (one of the many predecessors to The Avengers) opened.  The Korean box office share took a big hit as it shrunk to 27%, which was a bit lower than 2011's 36%, but it will likely bounce back next weekend.

The Avengers 1,342,576 opening is huge but not a patch on last year's Transformers 3's opening bow, which stood at over two million.  This early in the summer though it is a notable achievement and one must remember that The Avengers is not as popular or well known as in the United States.  Given the film's positive reaction (Twitter netizens have been raving abut it) it should continue to play well but it will face some competition for the top spot next weekend in the form of a much anticipated Korean film.  Though I wonder how much pent up demand was spent this past weekend.  The good news is that this is definitely one of the biggest Hollywood films of the year so local fare may have to face much worse during the rest of the season.

A Muse was the major opening Korean film this weekend and I've been wondering why they scheduled at the same time as such a gigantic Hollywood blockbuster.  It had a fairly good opening with 389,797 but I imagine it would have done better without the extra competition.  Awareness for this pic is high and though I have not yet read any reviews I imagine that it could play well throughout the rest of May.

Architecture 101 stayed at number three but did drop around 40%.  Its 157,166 frame is still very impressive given it is now in its sixth week.  It will need a little more to push past the four million mark but I have a feeling that it won't quite make it that far.

Despite its increase last weekend, The Scent retreated this tie around as it lost over 60% of its business.  It made 115,110 over the frame and has crossed the one million mark but will probably disappear from theatres very soon.

Battleship, after two big weekends, sank suddenly as it shed over 80% of its audience for 90,458 over the three days.  Clearly The Avengers was too much competition for it.  This also does not bode well for its stateside release.

The new Crayon Shin-chan anime film had an okay start with 90,099 while French hit Untouchable finally took a tumble as it lost most of its business, leaving it with 17,742.

Spring Snow, the other Korean film opening wide this weekend had a disastrous start this weekend as it attracted only 6,330 viewers.  I'm not surprised really as even for fans of family melodrama I can't see much appeal in this one.

The Hunger Games and Over My Dead Body were almost wiped out as they both lost over 90% for 4,615 and 3,626 respectively, the latter has likely missed its chance at getting past the one million mark.

Next week we'll see if The Avengers keeps its crown or hands it over to As One, the most anticipated Korean film of the year to date.  It has a chance but I think the band of superheroes will be taking a second victory lap.  I'm also curious to see if A Muse can improve on this week's performance.


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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