This first weekend in August is always a busy time in Korea and though this one was poised to post massive figures, few could have foreseen just how big it would be. Roughly 4.5 million tickets were sold this weekend, the first time the Fri-Sun frame has ever crossed the 4 million mark in Korea. By comparison, last year's powerful The Thieves-led frame brought in 3.69 million viewers. Even better news was a strong 80% (versus 58% in 2012) local market share, driven by a pair of huge new domestic hits.
|Title||Release Date||Market Share||Weekend||Total||Screens|
|2||The Terror Live||13/07/31||26.60%||1,195,345||1,836,450||742|
|4||The Smurfs 2 (us)||13/08/01||6.00%||293,892||437,937||478|
|5||Red 2 (us)||13/07/18||4.30%||194,454||2,756,415||381|
|7||The Wolverine (us)||13/07/25||1.20%||54,540||1,032,178||259|
|9||Doraemon: The Movie (jp)||13/07/25||0.30%||15,366||110,780||80|
|10||Pacific Rim (us)||13/07/11||0.50%||15,119||2,531,742||44|
Early reservations are down from 70% on Wednesday to 50% today so Snowpiercer won't stay flat this coming weekend, like previous Korean blockbusters have been known to do, but it seems in good shape for another massive haul. With $21 million banked already (mostly in distributor CJ's own theater chain CGV) and another $20 million in presales to foreign territories, Snowpiercer has almost recouped its $39.6 million budget, the highest in Korean film history. Looking ahead, a 7-8 million admissions total seems assured while 10 million is very much a possibility. However, while a lot of the word of mouth is strong, there are many people who were not keen on Bong's latest opus, which will likely prevent this from topping his own The Host, which scored 13 million admissions in 2006.
US animation Turbo had a stellar second weekend, benefitting from choice counter-programming, as it dipped only 10% and added 355,861 admissions to its haul, which is now almost over 1.4 million. At this point in its run, 2 million looks likely. At number four, The Smurfs 2 also got off to a decent start with 293,892 admissions over the frame.
After two big number one finishes, Red 2 suffered a big 70% drop against the incoming thrillers for only 194,454. However, with 2.76 million tickets banked, the Hollywood sequel has already far outstripped its predecessor. It was a similar story in the rest of the top 10 as the bottom 5 all experienced heavy drops as they were forced to cede their theaters to new blockbusters.
Snowpiercer and The Terror Live will have no trouble repeating at number one and two as the only major release next weekend is the animation Epic.
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 Reviews. Reviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site.
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