Sunday, August 26, 2012

KBO: Neighbors Tops Korea-Heavy Chart (08/24-08/26, 2012)

Neighbors Tops Korea-Heavy Chart

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Neighbors 8/22/12 31.10% 780,556 1,094,081 600
2 The Grand Heist 8/8/12 20.10% 537,099 4,106,828 515
3 The Thieves 7/25/12 19.80% 513,409 12,094,680 544
4 R2B: Return to Base 8/15/12 6.80% 182,718 1,059,543 331
5 Total Recall (us) 8/15/12 6.60% 172,453 1,111,574 321
6 Step Up 4 (us) 8/15/12 6.50% 164,872 672,959 269
7 Sammy's Adventures 2 (be) 8/1/12 2.60% 71,952 1,401,327 244
8 Animals United (ge) 8/8/12 1.10% 33,674 275,373 115
9 The Dark Knight Rises (us) 7/19/12 1.30% 29,475 6,359,420 81
10 Red Lights (us) 8/23/12 1.10% 29,341 38,204 197

The total admissions dropped below the 3 million mark for the first time in what seems line an eternity but 2.5 million admissions at the tail end of the summer season is still unheard of and was up over 20% from last year's figure. Even more encouraging was the fact that local films held the top 4 spots on this week's chart, taking a commanding 80% chunk of the box office, up from last year's 56%.

After four weeks at number 1, The Thieves ceded its crown to Neighbors, a well-marketed thriller that exceeded expectations with a hefty 780,556 admissions. The pic has had good early reviews and has already banked over a million since opening on Wednesday. Competition will remain fierce over the coming weeks but after the levity of recent hits, Neighbors seems to be just the right mix of star power and dark elements to usher in the fall.

The Grand Heist finally overtook The Thieves but it remained in second place with 537,099 admissions. It has now taken in over 4.1 million and after a relatively slight slide (35%), it seems poised to reach its next milestone within two weeks.

The Thieves may have fallen two spots but it still took in 513,409 in its fifth weekend and has now amassed over 12 million admissions to become the 3rd highest grossing Korean film of all time (4th overall). It will cross The King and the Clown (2005) during the week and will soon be knocking on the The Host's (2006) door to become the king Korean films. However, Avatar's 13.3 million total could still hold if The Thieves starts to drop very fast, which could happen.

Holding number 4 was the sophomore stint of the Rain-blockbuster R2B: Return to Base which slid an alarming 55% for 182,718. It has crawled over the 1 million barrier but seems certain to fall well short of the next one.

Closing out the top 5 was Total Recall which dropped an unsurprising 60% in its second spin on the charts. It earned 172,454 and has also passed the 1 million threshold.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is opening next week but my guess is that the Korean thriller The Traffickers will top the chart. It has been well-marketed and the buzz seems positive. However, Neighbors, with its similarly dark premise, may have sapped some demand for this kind of picture so it might be a tight race between the two for the top spot.


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 night (Korean Standard Time) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News and the Weekly Korean ReviewsReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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