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Monday, January 28, 2013

KBO: Miracle in Cell No.7 Dominates the Chart (01/25-01/27, 2012)

Miracle in Cell No.7 Dominates the Chart

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Miracle in Cell No.7 13/01/23 42.00% 1,238,809 1,628,475 769
2 Man on the Edge 13/01/09 16.50% 482,961 3,469,054 542
3 Pororo: The Racing Adventure 13/01/23 10.30% 296,695 342,773 451
4 Hotel Transylvania (us) 13/01/17 5.70% 179,874 707,925 357
5 Les Miserables (uk/us) 12/19/12 5.40% 156,426 5,629,952 344
6 Jack Reacher (us) 13/01/17 4.00% 116,100 727,261 320
7 The Impossible (sp/us) 13/01/17 3.20% 97,402 559,576 242
8 Life of Pie (us) 13/01/09 4.60% 86,099 1,480,176 155
9 The Tower 12/25/12 2.80% 83,963 5,133,494 261
10 Conan: the Movie (jp) 13/01/24 2.50% 82,108 102,059 139

This past wekend, a new release lifted an already strong marketplace as almost 3 million tickets were sold during the chilly frame. More impressive still was the 72% market share which was in line with last year's figure when Unbowed and Dancing Queen occupied the top spot.

Dominant in its debut was the prison-set comedy melodrama Miracle in Cell No.7 which brought in a very impressiv 1,238,809 spectators. The film's success is proof that popular co-star Ryoo Seung-ryong (All About My Wife, Masquerade) is now a massive box office draw in his own right. Rather than an assist, this time he can take full credit for opening a film on a such a wide scale. While big local competition is on the way next week this film should continue to put up some strong numbers going forward.

If it were any other animated film, 296,695 admissions would be seen as a decent opening but for Pororo: The Racing Adventure, the 3D big screen debut of the exceedingly popular Korean children's animation character Pororo the Penguin, it seems decidedly lacklustre. The hit franchise seems to have stumbled with its movie adaptation which cost a hefty $7 million, a sum it will likely not recoup in Korea. However, the film is also playing on 6,000 screens in Korea though its fate remains to be seen.

Hotel Transylvania saw its take almost halved, unsurprising given the debut of Pororo, as it staked another 179,874. 1 million admissions is within reach at this point but is not a guarantee.

Rounding out the top 5 was Les Miserables as it receded 40% for 156,426. Though it is nearing the very end of its run, it may yet cross the 6 million mark.

Further down the chart was The Tower which crossed the 5 million mark midweek and added another 83,963 admissions to its strong total. This will likely be its last charting position as many of its theaters will likely be handed over to net week's big release.

We've already had two big local hits in 2013, not to mention the bulk of another's performance, but now comes the time for the first truly big film of the year in the form of the $10 million blockbuster spy thriller The Berlin File from action guru Ryoo Seung-wan. With strong reviews, spectacular set pieces and an A-list cast in the form of Ha Jung-woo, Jeon Ji-hyeon, Han Suk-kyoo and Ryoo Seung-beom, it has all the elements for success. However, they probably were not anticipating the enormous success of Miracle in Cell No. 7. While the films do target very different demographics, the sheer size of Miracle's popularity may well affect The Berlin File's opening bow. It should still steal the top spot but it might be closer than expected.


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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