Monday, May 27, 2013

Korean Box Office: Furious 6 First with Franchise Best Opening (05/24-05/26, 2013)

Summer's heating with yet another Hollywood tentpole platforming. However, business dipped significantly to 1.83 million admissions, down from last year's 2.24 million. The local market share was also down to 30%.

TitleRelease DateMarket ShareWeekendTotalScreens
1Furious 6 (us)13/05/2234.10%625,056817,741656
3The Great Gatsby (us)13/05/1612.50%232,6931,047,453427
4Iron Man 3 (us)13/04/2511.20%217,2448,819,028431
5The Croods (us)13/05/166.90%140,022556,854492
6Boomerang Family13/05/092.70%51,5291,100,429273
7Star Trek: Into Darkness (us)13/05/302.70%48,52764,304283
8Happiness for Sale13/05/162.10%44,722302,282235
9Before Midnight (us)13/05/222.40%44,18468,561275
10Born to Sing13/05/010.50%10,148957,66087

The Fast and the Furious franchise hasn't had a history of big business in Korea but just as it has in America and around the world, its returns have steadily risen with each new installment. Fast 5 debuted with 480k and now Furious 6 has posted a series best 625,056. Though with the previous entry topping out at just over 1.6 million, this latest summer romp probably won't get much further than the two million mark.

Holding steady at number two with an encouraging 20% decline was the Uhm Jeong-hwa kidnap thriller Montage from distributor N.E.W. The pic took 452,488 in its sophomore frame as it edges towards 1.5 million. Two million is well within reach at this point but more competition could seriously hurts its prospects going forward.

Also repeating in its chart position was Cannes opener The Great Gatsby with 232,693, though it did so despite a +55% decline. Nevertheless it was enough to crack one million though no more milestones are likely to come its way.

Falling three spots to number four was Iron Man 3 after a three week reign at the top. It scored another 217,244 admissions following a hefty 70% fall. It was bound to dip this weekend but considering its screening count was slashed by 40%, I wonder if local distributors conspired to keep it from hitting the 10 million mark. The film is set to hit nine million in the coming days but the big benchmark is now firmly out of reach.

Rounding out the top five was US animation The Croods as it eased +55% for 140,022.

Next week will see the release of Star Drek: Into Darkness (I erroneously reported it would be out two week ago in a previous KBO update). Its predecessor opened with a tepid 300k before barely edging out one million so this one is a bit of a wild card. It will certainly be bigger but it will need a lot more juice to make an impact, as things stand it may grab 500k. Also opening is the Will-Jaden Smith sci-fi After Earth. There's not much buzz surrounding this but Will Smith is a big international star and he recently visited Korea for a press junket. It could edge out Star Trek with about 600k.

Also opening in limited release is the wonderful Korean indie Sleepless Night, though its prospects are sadly slim...


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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