Monday, May 28, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (05/25-05/27)

The Men in Black Score Big After Long Absence

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Men in Black 3 (us) 5/24/12 47.50% 1,064,549 1,210,197 767
2 All About My Wife 5/17/12 24.50% 610,994 1,819,491 537
3 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 10.30% 260,686 6,741,216 367
4 The Taste of Money 5/17/12 7.80% 193,197 951,420 412
5 As One 5/3/12 3.20% 86,339 1,775,535 277
6 Snow White and the Huntsmen (us) 5/30/12 2.90% 71,840 71,840 284
7 Inazuma Eleven Go (jp) 5/24/12 1.50% 40,393 41,668 242
8 Machine Gun Preacher (us) 5/24/12 0.40% 10,771 17,847 140
9 Mirror Mirror (us) 5/3/12 0.40% 10,443 574,969 57
10 A Muse 4/25/12 0.20% 5,498 1,337,811 52

Another big Hollywood franchise entry took the crown this weekend as the Korean box office revved up to its fifth consecutive two million plus frame, as admissions stood at a strong 2.25.  This was well below last year's 2.65 but that was due to the enormous opening of Kung Fu Panda 2.  The domestic market share fell down again to 36% which, while not enormous, was certainly better than last year's 20%.

The third installment of the Men in Black franchise, coming a full decade after its predecessor, soared to a massive 1,064,549 weekend while capturing almost half of the frame's market share.  I was surprised to see such a big opening but it seems that even after a four year absence, Will Smith still has a lot of international box office clout.  However MIB 3 managed only a so-so opening in America which makes this result all the more surprising.

All About My Wife had another fantastic weekend even if it wasn't able to hold on to its title.  It had a fractional increase on its stellar opening as it recorded another 610,994 admissions.  It's a stone's throw away from two million and should soon cross Helpless' 2.4 total to become the year's fifth highest grossing local film.  Word of mouth is very strong so it could continue to play well though if it fell hard next weekend it wouldn't the first time this year.  That said the only release that could compete with it in the coming weeks is The Emperor's Concubine and that isn't opening until June 6th.

The Avengers dropped one spot but shed 60% as it added 260,686 to its total which is fast approaching seven million but won't go any further.  Transformers 3's chart-topping total from last year seems safe at the moment.

The Taste of Money, after a decent start, took a big hit with a 60% tumble for 193,197.  A fairly ominous sign for a film that has yet to cross the one million mark.  Also after bagging no awards at Cannes last night its fortunes are not likely to improve.  I foresee a quick exit from theaters at this point and two million is out of the question.

As One also tumbled around 60% for 86,339 and probably won't quite make it to the two million mark.  As more reviews come through on this pic it seems that it wound up being an overly sentimental affair and despite two big stars in Ha Ji-won and Bae Doo-na, audiences were reticent to give it a chance.

Snow White and the Huntsmen had a good opening in previews with 71,840 and it  should place well when it goes on general release next weekend.

Inazuma Eleven Go: The Movie is another Japanese anime that scored a midlevel opening with 40,393 for number seven.  Next on the chart was the new Gerald Butler action pic Machine Gun Preacher which had a disastrous start with 10,771.  Mirror Mirror continued to slide, shedding three quarters of its audience for 10,443.  After falling a similar amount, A Muse closed out the chart with 5,498.

Next week we'll see how well MIB 3 holds, if All About My Wife can stay strong and if the new Snow White film or incoming K-horror Don't Click will open big.  I'm guessing it will be a close battle for first place between the first two but I imagine the new Men in Black will remain first with roughly 650,000 while All About My Wife will stay just below with around 550,000.  Snow White may open to 400,000 while Don't Click could stumble with about 250,000.

Another new film will be Hong Sang-soo's latest In Another Country, which was also in competition at Cannes.  It will be a limited release but with the added French presence of Isabelle Huppert, this may become one of his biggest local hits, perhaps finishing its run north of 100,000 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 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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