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Monday, August 20, 2012

KBO: The Thieves Takes 4th Victory Lap (08/17-08/19, 2012)

The Thieves Takes 4th Victory Lap

TitleRelease DateMarket ShareWeekendTotalScreens
1The Thieves7/25/1226.80%835,29911,127,705621
2The Grand Heist8/8/1225.80%823,7963,178,770582
3Total Recall (us)8/15/1214.10%432,185782,718448
4R2B: Return to Base8/14/1212.60%394,774726,844540
5Step Up 4 (us)8/15/126.80%201,256371,553281
6Sammy's Adventures 2 (be)8/1/124.60%146,0021,290,233296
7I Am a King8/8/122.50%82,214723,960222
8The Dark Knight Rises (us)7/19/122.50%72,0946,293,588182
9Ice Age 4 (us)7/25/121.70%57,5161,591,314167
10Animals United (gr)8/8/121.30%43,965225,967131

As we near the end of the summer season, the box office take is still enormous. Once again the local market cracked the 3 million ticket market, coming in at 3.1, while the market share powered to a dominant 70%. Both of these figures compared favorably to last year's already impressive mid-August frame which had 2.7 million and 58%.

For the 4th straight weekend, The Thieves was crowned king of the box office as it scored another 835,299. The big difference now is that it has become only the 7th film in history to crack the 10 million viewer mark at the Korean box office. It has already crossed Silmido (2003) to take over the number 6 slot and should overtake Haeundae (2009) before next weekend and a week from now may well have jumped over Taegukgi (2004) and The King and the Clown (2005) to occupy no. 3 on the all time chart. That would leave it with Korean king The Host (2006) and overall champ Avatar (2009). While not guaranteed it should pass both of those within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Coming in a strong number 2 after a very slight 15% slide was the period comedy The Grand Heist which pulled in another 823,796 as it crossed the 3 million mark. While completely overshadowed by The Thieves, these are some very impressive numbers. 4 million looks certain and it stands a great shot of crossing the 5 million barrier as well.

Hollywood remake Total Recall had a decent start with 432,185, with less and less US fare to choose from, viewers were not spoilt for choice. The Rain-starring blockbuster R2B: Return to Base had a disastrous start with only 394,774. Given the 10 billion won budget, this looks to be a bomb. Word of mouth won't save it either, so far it's been close to toxic. Step Up 4 rolled out wide for 201,256 to round out the Top 5.

The only release next week with any chance of cracking the top 3 is the local ensemble thriller Neighbors which has had an effective marketing campaign. People seem curious so it should perform reasonably well but there is a lot of local competition at the moment.


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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