Monday, May 20, 2013

Korean Box Office: Iron Man 3 Makes It 4 During Crowded Weekend (05/17-05/19, 2013)

Business was strong again during the mid-May holiday weekend but local fare still found itself at a loss to match Hollywood's stream of tentpoles. Total business came in at 2.56 million admissions, up from 2.07 last year. Meanwhile the local market share was at 40%, down from 62% a year ago.

TitleRelease DateMarket ShareWeekendTotalScreens
1Iron Man 3 (us)13/04/2527.20%696,3108,469,571633
3The Great Gatsby (us)13/05/1620.90%525,255618,988561
4The Croods (us)13/05/1611.50%305,467392,164524
5Boomerang Family13/05/099.40%241,899986,516373
6Happiness for Sale13/05/166.50%180,705222,178382
7Born to Sing13/05/012.10%58,390930,713184
8The Angel's Share (uk)13/05/160.10%3,4534,54221
9Crayon Shin-Chan (jp)13/04/250.10%2,795217,13718
10Rust and Bone (fr)13/05/020.10%2,50125,66726

2013 - Montage (Main Poster).jpgIron Man 3 slowed another 35% but still managed to clinch its fourth, and what will likely be its final, top spot finish with 696,310 admissions. The blockbuster extravaganza has now accumulated just shy of 8.5 million admission, making it second to only Avatar's 13.4 million for Hollywood films on the peninsula. 10 million is certainly possible at this point, a figure no one would have predicted last month, but with direct competition next week it will likely take a steep fall that may prevent it from hitting the mark.

Opening at number two was the N.E.W (Next Entertainment World) thriller Montage with 556,161. Starring popular actress Uhm Jeong-hwa, the child kidnap-themed film looks to hit the same chord as many before it, including 2011's Children... and Memories of Murder (2003). In fact co-star Kim Sang-kyun seems to be reprising his role as a frustrated detective from the latter. Reviews have been decent and given the film's content it may continue to do well but it'll be a battle in a crowded field.

2013 - Happiness for Sale (Second Poster).jpgThe Great Gatsby opened at number three with 525,255. A solid result for a film based on a property that has little to no pull in Korea. Its glitziness and the presence of DiCaprio were likely the biggest factors for its success. That said I wouldn't be surprised if it suffered a big drop next week.

Following solid previews, US animation The Croods had a decent opening with 305,467. Given its stellar performance around the world, it should stay strong over the coming weeks.

Local dramedy Boomerang Family was unable to capitalize on its wide opening as it slid 45% for 241,899. Its just shy of one million now but won't go much further than 1.5 when all is said and done.

Meanwhile Lotte comedyHappiness for Sale, a new vehicle for Petty Romance (2010) and My Scary Girl (2006) star Choi Gang-hee,  had a poor opening with only 180,705 admissions. Unless significant word of mouth kicks in, it will likely exit theaters quickly.

Next week should find a new film at the top as Fast & Furious 6 should end Iron Man 3's reign. Previously, Fast Five opened with 480,000 and eventually the fourth installment in the franchise and I imagine we will see another big rise here. 750,000 or more is not out of the question. Before Midnight will also be opening and may attract a modest crowd as well.


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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