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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (05/18-05/20, 2012)

All About My Wife Takes First Place in Close Finish

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 All About My Wife 5/17/12 28.70% 593,341 778,430 561
2 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 28.70% 564,923 6,341,504 573
3 The Taste of Money 5/17/12 21.80% 444,859 568,327 641
4 As One 5/3/12 9.00% 200,091 1,619,089 387
5 Dark Shadows (us) 5/10/12 3.10% 66,722 549,733 270
6 Cold Light of Day (us) 5/17/12 2.20% 49,217 61,552 238
7 Mirror Mirror (us) 5/3/12 1.80% 40,355 557,229 164
8 Architecture 101 3/22/12 1.10% 23,916 4,078,012 124
9 The Lorax (us) 5/3/12 1.00% 23,262 290,162 134
10 A Muse 4/25/12 1.10% 22,065 1,319,085 160

It was an exciting few days at the box office as three different films have held the daily top spot since Thursday.  Im Sang-soo's latest The Taste of Money, which is also in competition at Cannes, took the top spot when it opened on Thursday before ceding to All About My Wife on Friday but then The Avengers came back to take Saturday before losing out to All About My Wife on Sunday.

A healthy 2.1 million tickets were sold during the frame but that was below last year's 2.4 which was mainly buoyed by the supercharged opening of the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean installment.  The good news for local cinema is that the domestic share bounced back in a big way as it soared all the way to 63%, last year by contrast managed 30%.

After strong previews last weekend, All About My Wife had a very strong opening that was only a shade below my prediction but it was enough to wrest the top spot away from The Avengers.  It's 593,341 admissions over the three days was evidence of a thirst for some solid light entertainment and this romcom seemed to fit the bill as it has been getting good reviews.  If word of mouth builds this could become a sizable summer hit.

The Avengers, after three weeks at number one finally let go of the title but its was close as it scored another 564,923 admissions which puts it well past the six million mark.  It should still have enough gas in the tank to get to seven but it did suffer a noticeable drop this weekend so it will likely continue to fall dow the chart.

The Taste of Money got off to a great start but lost a little bit of steam over the weekend, after which it wound up with 444,859.  It's a good start considering how busy a frame it was but it was about 200k short of Im's previous May opener The Housemaid (2010) which was also competing in Cannes.  Word of mouth seems generally positive but quite mixed and this may not see significant traction though if it were to win something in Cannes next week it would likely see a bump.

As One dropped two more spots as it saw its take roughly halved to 200,091.  Though it has been a significant disappointment it could still cross the two million mark which, while far from blockbuster status, would save it some face.

Dark Shadows, following a very poor opening, collapsed, losing 80% of its audience for a measly 66,722 for number five.  Henry Cavill thriller The Cold Light of Day sold a very poor 49,217 tickets as it debuted at number six.  At number seven, Mirror Mirror shed 70% for 40,355.

The three titles at the bottom of the chart were within two thousand tickets of each other as Architecture 101 led the way by adding at another 23,916 admissions to its massive total.  US animation The Lorax was cut in half as it made 23,262 while A Muse closed out the chart with 22,065.

The only big opening next weekend is Hollywood's Men In Black 3 but I can't really imagine that it is poised to do all that well.  That leads me to believe that All About My Wife will remain in first place and may even see an increase.  With a little luck The Taste of Money will over take The Avengers but even so it may still have to settle for third place.


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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