Monday, June 24, 2013

Korean Box Office: World War Z Scares Up Huge Opening (06/21-06/23, 2013)

A blockbuster came in stronger than expected this weekend, lifting the box office to a powerful 2.35 million admissions over the frame, a 50% jump over last year. Meanwhile, the news was not so great on the domestic front, as the market share shot down from 64% to 23%, as new titles continue to flounder in the marketplace.

TitleRelease DateMarket ShareWeekendTotalScreens
1World War Z (us)13/06/2055.60%1,303,6751,546,717962
2Secretly Greatly13/06/0520.30%504,9976,176,193641
3Man of Steel (us)13/06/1315.30%347,2761,899,613610
4The Call (us)13/06/201.60%37,77551,246240
5The Great Bear (dn)13/06/201.20%32,61134,130191
7Star Trek: Into Darkness (us)13/05/301.30%30,7511,555,933140
8The Croods (us)13/05/160.90%25,260898,002137
9A Puppet13/06/200.70%15,44321,432134
10Before Midnight (us)13/05/220.30%6,417176,46133

Scaring up a huge 1,303,675 admissions was the big budget zombie film Word War Z, starring Brad Pitt. That's a bigger opening than Man of Steel and more than anyone was expecting. Pitt is part of select group of Hollywood stars who can draw big crowds overseas. Word of mouth seems to be good and this may continue to deliver some strong sales.

Webcomic hit Secretly Greatly had another big drop, this time down 52% for 504,997. Its already banked over 6 million admissions but won't stay around much longer. Its youth audience came in force to help it break records on the back of the popularity of it source and its trio of stars, particularly Kim Soo-hyun.

After a strong debut, Superman reboot Man of Steel had a catastrophic fall from grace as it lost two thirds of its steam for 347,276. Last week I said it would make it over 3 million but that seems impossible now. 2.5 million admissions is the furthest it will get at this point. Word of mouth is mixed on the film but audiences just seem to have moved on to the next big thing with World War Z.

With the top three films accounting to over 90% of the marketplace, it was slim pickings for everyone else. Especially for the other new films on the chart which included a pair of K-horrors.

Doctor and A Puppet drew 32,389 and 15,443 respectively, each abysmal figures. Reviews and visibility were weak but their theater counts were also very low. Neither was supported by a major studio and with the added insult of being programmed against each other (not to mention the biggest zombie movie of all time), they weren't even given a chance. Them canceling themselves out leaves the road clear for next week's Killer Toon, which is getting the full support of CJ Entertainment's marketing heft and will likely get prime booking across CJ's CGV theaters.

Looking to next week, plenty of ad dollars (or wons) have been thrown at Roland Emmerich's White House Down but it looks a little too US-centric to catch on fire here. Killer Toon could also put up a fight but I doubt it will chart very high. Amongst the misses, World War Z may reign supreme again.


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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