Showing posts with label punch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label punch. Show all posts

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (05/26-06/01, 2012)

The Taste of Money, which was presented late last week at the Cannes Film Festival, gets a big serving of reviews this week but Im Sang-soo may be eating some humble pie for a while.  A Screen Daily poll ranked his film as the least popular among the competition's 22 offerings.


(Seongyong's Private Place, May 31, 2012)

The Taste of Money

Friday, May 25, 2012

Punch (완득이, Wandeuki) 2011

On the surface Lee Han’s new feature may not seem like much as it treads well-worn territory such of the coming-of-age drama and the sports film.  Even as it unspools it doesn’t seem to break any new ground as we are introduced to a very familiar plot and a fairly typical coterie of characters.  What sets it apart is the skill in its staging.  Though a standard narrative, it is so well executed that it beckons you into its story with a gesture that, like from an old friend, is both welcoming and comforting.  Once you’re nestled into Punch’s world, which hardly takes a moment, subtle and sometimes surprising elements flutter into the film and the outwardly simplistic characters slowly become more fleshed out.  Though it takes some time to realize that you are watching a film that is much more complex than its easygoing exterior lets on.  Lee, who has previously made a name for himself with a series of well-crafted romance films such as Lover’s Concerto (2002), Almost Love (2006) and Love, First (2007), deftly and almost imperceptibly handles the narrative’s many cogs.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Udine Far East Film Festival Day V Report

Ongoing reports on the 14th Udine International Film Festival which Modern Korean Cinema will be covering onsite.

Yesterday was very much a Korea-centric day.  It began with a 5:30am wakeup so that I could log onto Skype for an interview at 6:00am with someone in Korea, but this had nothing to do with Udine.  After writing my Day IV Report I went to the festival centre to take in the second double bill of the 1970s Korean film retrospective.  Following that I had the chance to see one of last year’s biggest Korean hits, one I’d been aching to see.

The evening’s panel was on the ‘Darkest Decade’ retrospective and featured curator Darcy Paquet and noted Korean film director and scholar (currently professor at K’Arts) Kim Hong-joon.  The talk began with a short video by Kim where he discusses March of Fools, a 1975 Kil Ha-chong (director of the previous day’s Pollen) film that was unfortunately not available for the FEFF.  The talk was fascinating and both panelists drew on their extensive knowledge of Korean cinema and shared some choice anecdotes. I only wish it could have gone on longer!

I didn’t catch the next Korean film screening as I had already seen (and reviewed) it so I took my leave to go back to the hotel early since the last three nights had yielded less than 15 hours of sleep.

No retrospective films today but I’m hoping to catch Dangerously Excited (South Korea, 2012), which screened before I arrived, in the press library.  I'm also looking forward to the The Woodsman and the Rain (Japan, 2011).

Rainy Days
(South Korea, 1979)

First up was Rainy Days (aka Rainy Season) which is one of the last films that Yoo Hyun-mok ever made.  Yoo is rightly famous for directing Obaltan (aka Aimless Bullet, 1961), which, along with The Housemaid (1960), is considered one of the defining works of Korean cinema.  Rainy Days may not have the visceral impact of his previous classic, but then again Obaltan was made during a brief transition period in the early 60s during which censorship was very lax.  This film is borne out of different circumstances and a careful examination of it reveals how a clever director like Yoo is able to bend the limitations of studio filmmaking, in a heavily censored era, to his advantage.

The film is set in a small rural community during the Korean war and while ostensibly an anti-communist film I couldn’t help but think that he was also making a statement about the society and political atmosphere in contemporaneous Korea.  Fear of recrimination is a large part of the film but perhaps even more so is hypocrisy, which has actually been an overarching theme in all the films that have so far been screened in the retrospective. 

The film if beautifully made and these works continue to surprise me with the high degree of sophistication with regards to their film technique.  Another great film from Yoo Hyun-mok and I hope to see it again soon, as I must admit that I was a little (very) tired during the screening after my late night finish and early morning start!

Night Journey
(South Korea, 1977)

The first thing that struck me about Kim Soo-young’s Night Journey was its star Yun Jeong-hie, who picked up numerous international accolades for her exceptional performance in Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry (2010).  She made an enormous amount of films in the late 60s and 70s but of course precious few are available now.  I may even have been slightly uncomfortable seeing the woman who played the sweet grandmother in Poetry in such a lascivious role.

Kim’s film is a brief and focussed affair which examines the role of the independent, city-dwelling woman in Korean society circa the 1970s.  She plays a bank clerk having an affair with her supervisor but she is left sexually unsatisfied and even the hope of getting a husband out of the ongoing encounters is dashed as he finds the institution of marriage ‘lame’.

Hypocrisy rears its ugly head again as women are given the short shrift in Kim’s film as their changing role in society is ill-accepted by its patriarchs.  She may work in a bank but there is never a question that she could ever rise up to management.  She is referred to as an 'old maid' at work and thus is under pressure to get married because at this point in time, Korea offers no other recourse for a woman approaching middle age.

I loved how Kim’s film was short and to the point, it managed to say a lot in 76 minutes and I’m still going over it in my mind.

(South Korea, 2011)

Punch was Korea’s third most successful film last year which was a bit of a surprise but after seeing it, it quickly becomes clear why this film raked in so much cash: it’s a winner.  An exceptionally well-crafted studio fell-good hit, Punch has a lot going in its favor but its anchor is Kim Yun-seok, the formidable star of Tazza: The High Rollers (2006), The Chaser (2008), Running Turtle (2009), TheYellow Sea (2010) and this summer’s hotly anticipated The Thieves (2012).  Kim is a joy to watch on screen, he’s known for very intense roles but for me the common element that binds all his roles together is just how funny he is.  He’s extremely droll and his droopy eyes are able to convey such a range of emotion and I honestly don’t know how he does it.

Everyone had a great time with this and the whole theater was in stitches throughout most of the film.  Kim certainly plays his part but the supporting cast is also superb.  Anyone who had a chance to see Moby Dick (2011) earlier this week will have recognized Kim Sang-ho, the stout little actor with the bald head and frizzy hair who brightens up even the worst film, and he has been in some atrocious ones, such as last year’s woeful Champ.

Punch is a coming of age story about a resourceful but reserved young man who has grown up without a mother and in a poor and unconventional setting.  His teacher (played by Kim) lives next door and constantly harangues him, though it is obvious that he is affectionate towards him.  Themes of multi-culturalism, religion and acceptance abound in the narrative and while the going is often light and frothy, the subtext is clear and very well integrated.  This kind of a film, which inevitably takes detours into sentimentalism, is of the sort which often gets into trouble with suffocating melodrama and disingenuousness but director Lee Han has a firm command of the material and his film has a lot heart and it does pack a but of a punch.  Highly recommended for all-comers.

Penny Pinchers
(South Korea, 2011)

Previous MKC Review

Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Korean Cinema News (12/15-12/21, 2011)

The big news in Korea this week is the death of the leader of the North, Kim Jong-il.  Given that he was a known cinephile I have included a pair of pieces on North Korea.  Besides that there is a lot of news, CJ is making big advances with business deals left and right, the mind boggles at how big a studio it could become.  Some great trailers this week, especially for Howling, by Ha Yu and starring Song Kang-ho, as well as some great one sheets, I need a copy of the Choi Min-sik poster for Nameless Gangster!  Lots of other news, great interviews, and box office as usual.



Korean Film Punch Invited to Berlin Film Festival
Korean film Punch (Wandeukyi) by director Lee Han has been invited to next year's Berlin International Film Festival, the film's local distributor said Thursday.  The movie will be screened in the "Generation" section of the 62nd festival for featuring movies for younger children and teens, CJ Entertainment and Media Co. said.  It marks the second time a Korean film has been invited to the section following the 2006 movie Like a Virgin from director Lee Hae-yeong.   Punch is currently the third highest-grossing Korean film of the year.  (The Korea Times, December 15, 2011)

A Look Back at the Year's Breakout Films
In 2011, Korean films brought attention to the individuals and issues that have otherwise remained unaddressed, underrepresented, or simply unexplored.  While the questions posed by these films varied, provoking responses ranging from angry shock to laughter and sympathy, all called for a collective reconsideration of the social dynamics and relationships that can be found in Korean society today.  (, December 15, 2011)

Korean Mega War Movie Targets Pan-Asian Audience
Kang Je-gyu's new pan-Asian movie My Way premieres on Dec. 22.  Kang, who drew over 10 million spectators with the clunking history epic Taegukgi in 2004, is now hoping for Asia-wide success with the biggest budget and the most ambitious scale in many years.  The cast includes top stars from Korea, China and Japan, such as Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri and Fan Bingbing.  (The Chosun Ilbo, December 15, 2011)

Korean Film Week in Budapest
Considering the fact that Hungarian film distributors tend to release only one Korean movie a year, Hungarian viewers have two options to watch contemporary Korean films on the big screen:  the 'Titanic International Film Festival' and the annual 'Korean Film Week', both held in Budapest.  Supported by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korea Foundation and the Korean Film Council, this year the Embassy of the Republic of Korea has organized the Korean Film Week for the fourth time.  (The Korea Blog, December 15, 2011)

Secrets, Objects Sells to Hong Kong
Korean production company Film Front has announced that Secrets, Objects, directed by Lee Young-mi's film Secrets, Objects has been sold by Korean production company Film Front to Sundream Motion Pictures in Hong Kong. The romantic film features  Jang Seo-hee as a 40-year-old sociology professor preparing a dissertation on extramarital affairs and Jeong Seok-won, a 21-year-old student who enrolls in her seminar.  The film screened at the Moscow International Film Festival, Jeonju International Film Festival, and the Montreal World Film Festival this year. (KOBIZ, December 15, 2011)

The 6th London Korean Film Festival 2011

A great video summing up the highlights of the recent 6th London Korean Film Festival.  Watching the clip made me quite jealous of everyone at the event, one which I dearly would have liked to attend.  (, December 16, 2011)

John Hurt to Star in Bong Joon-ho's Snow Piercer
Up until now the only confirmed player in Bong Joon-ho's much anticipated global production Snow Piercer has been Song Kang-ho, though it is said that he will only play a small part.  In a recent interview acclaimed and veteran thespian John Hurt has confirmed that he will be joining the production for three months starting in March of next year.  (Gothamist, December 15, 2011)

Chicago Tribune Names Poetry Film of the Year
The accolades keep on rolling in for Poetry.  On Dec. 18, As the Chicago Tribune counted down its 10 best movies of the year on December 18th, Lee Chang-dong's Poetry wound up No. 1, ahead of Moneyball and French movie Copie Conforme, was deemed the best.  The Korean movie singled out by the paper’s movie critic is a tale about an elderly woman who strives to write poetry despite Alzheimer’s and the hardships of the life around her.  The film has also won the award for the best screenplay at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  (Joong Ang Daily, December 20, 2011)

KAFA Partners With CJ E&M and CJ CGV
The Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) has renewed its partnership with leading entertainment media company CJ E&M and its affiliate exhibition company CJ CGV.  In an academic-industry partnership deal signed yesterday (Dec. 14) at the Academy, the three entities agreed to work together to cultivate filmmaking talent that could become the future center of the film industry.  (KOBIZ, December 19, 2011)

Sector 7 Hits Box Office Record in China
Sci-fi thriller Sector 7 is officially the highest grossing Korean film in China, according to South Korean investor/distributor CJ Entertainment.  Released Dec. 6 on approximately 4,000 screens, the sea creature feature took in CNY20 million (US$3.1 million) by Dec. 14.  (KOBIZ, December 20, 2011)

Young North Korean Defectors Produce Short Film in Seoul
A group of young North Korean defectors, aiming to show young South Koreans that they are the same, recently completed shooting a short film in Seoul, said a film producer at With Culture who helped them make the movie.  Choi Ji-hoon met the North Korean defectors in their late teens to early 20s at a film class for students at Durihana International School as part of the company’s volunteering work.  (The Korea Herald, December 14, 2011)

London Korean Film Festival Round-up and Ryu Seung-wan’s The Unjust
London Korea Links runs down the 2011 London Korean Film Festival and especially the work of Ryu Seung-wan.  Ryu has had several of his films released in the UK on DVD, but he is not as well-known to the viewing public as the likes of Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho.  (London Korea Links, December 21, 2011)

New images have been revealed for Song Kang-ho's new film Howling.  The directed by Ha Yu (A Dirty Carnival, 2006; Once Upon a Time in High School, 2004) is a thriller involving spontaneous combustion, excited?  So am I.  (Twitch, December 20, 2011)

The Front Line to Compete at Int'l Film Fest in Palm Springs
The Front Line which has won a flurry of domestic awards and is the Korean pic for the Oscars has been invited to compete at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) next month, according to its official website on Tuesday.  The Front Line will be up against a number of other international pictures for the FIPRESCI award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 7th annual PSIFF from January 5 to 16 next year.  (, December 20, 2011)

Kim Jong-il: The Cinephile Despot
One of the more surprising facts about Kim Jong-il was his love of cinema. He reportedly owned more than 20,000 videos and DVDs and counted Elizabeth Taylor among his favourite actresses.  "The cinema occupies an important place in the overall development of art and literature. As such it is a powerful ideological weapon for the revolution and construction."  So wrote Kim Jong-il in his 1987 essay The Cinema and Directing.  (BBC, December 19, 2011)

North Korea was no cinematic powerhouse. Though exact numbers are unknown, Variety estimates the annual cinema production of the area was seven to 10 features in the 1970s and 1980s, only four or five in the 1990s, and a mere trickle after 2000.  In the past few years, however, there have been a number of documentaries by outsiders about life behind the Kimchi Curtain, as well as Hollywood and South Korean thrillers about North Korea as a terror state.  (The Globe and Mail, December 20, 2011)

Gov’t is Key to Cinemas’ Success
Film experts from South Korea and the United Kingdom said government support was a key to the success of their cinema industries in an international seminar held Friday in Phu Yen.  The event was part of the 17th Vietnam Film Festival currently taking place in the central province which opened on Thursday evening with the attendance of nearly 1,000 local film professionals.  (, December 18, 2011)

In an interesting piece of synchronicity it appears that Mia Wasikowska may be moving from Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook's English language debut Stoker to Spike Lee's remake of Park's breakout film.  Twitch has learned that Wasikowska has been offered the role of Marie, the female lead of the gritty thriller.  The role was previously offered to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara.  (Twitch, December 16, 2011)

Route One Films Enters $110 Million Korean Entertainment Partnership
Route One Films has entered into a $110 million film and television fund partnership with the South Korean government, CJ E&M, Lotte Entertainment and Sovik Venture Capial to form the Sovik Global Contents Investment Fund – the largest entertainment fund in Korean history.  (The Hollywood Reporter, December 15, 2011)

Song Hye-kyo to Star in Woo’s Film
Popular actress Song Hye-kyo will star in celebrated Chinese director John Woo’s upcoming epic love story film Love and Let Love, according to her local agency.  Song, who recently won the first film award of her acting career for her role as the grieving filmmaker in this year’s somber drama A Reason to Live, will star as a wealthy, driven woman in Shanghai who lives through the end of WWII and Chinese Civil War.  (The Korea Herald, December 20, 2011)

Clive Owen Offered Villain Role Spike Lee's Oldboy
Twitch has learned that the villain role in Oldboy has now been offered to Clive Owen.  Owen and Lee have history, of course, having worked together on Lee's underrated thriller The Inside Man. That the director and star know and like each other is certainly a plus but a much bigger plus is that Owen embodies the perfect blend of sophistication and menace that the part requires along with the sort of charisma needed to go toe to toe with Brolin.  (Twitch, December 16, 2011)
The director Kang Je Kyu who has written the history of Korean movies, said during the interview with News Y (news channel by Yonhap News) on December 15, "I gave my best effort and passion that I have spared for the past seven years while taking a break to produce the movie My Way."  (KBS, December 16, 2011)

Lovable Q&A with Star and Director
Q&A took place after a screening of Lovable at the Dong-Sang Art Hall in Daegu, South Korea (December 3, 2011).  Appearing as speakers are movie director Park Chul-Soon and actress Yoo Hae-Jung, who plays 9-year-old Da-Seul, who lives with her uncle who work as a waiter and her grandfather who works in a dry squid factory.  AsianMediaWiki editor Ki Mun was there and transcribed/translated the session.  (Asian Media Wiki, December 3, 2011)

King of Pigs: Korean Filmmaker Yeun Sang-ho Explores Dark Side
At this fall’s Busan International Film Festival, 33-year-old director Yeun Sang-ho drew attention with his first feature-length project:  an animated, cold-blooded adult tale called The King of Pigs that explores the underside of human nature at an all-boys middle school in Seoul.  The school is a microcosm of society, a harsh environment where there is no escape from constant bullying and violence.  (The Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2011)

Daniel D.H. Park, Director of International Promotion Center
Director of the International Promotion Center at the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), Daniel D.H. Park is looking at his 20th anniversarywith the governmental organization.  He took some time out from his busy year-end schedule to meet with KoBiz and talk about his work supporting and promoting Korean cinema and the Korean film industry and how that is changing.  (KOBIZ, December 19, 2011)


Dancing Queen


Never Ending Story



(Modern Korean Cinema, December 19, 2011)

Korean Cinema News is a weekly feature which provides wide-ranging news coverage on Korean cinema, including but not limited to: features; festival news; interviews; industry news; trailers; posters; and box office. It appears every Wednesday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at the Korean Box Office Update and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Korean Box Office Update (12/16-12/18, 2011)

Weekend of December 16-18:

Title Release Date Weekend Total
1 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (us) 12/15/11 1,079,510 1,305,581
2 Spellbound 12/1/11 313,159 2,028,187
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked (us) 12/15/11 134,916 142,865
4 The Adventures of Tintin (us) 12/7/11 78,342 639,251
5 Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I (us) 11/30/11 61,730 1,397,968
6 Arthur Christmas (us) 11/25/11 34,536 571,281
7 The Perfect Game 12/21/11 32,364 45,958
8 Punch 10/20/11 24,895 5,300,134
9 SIU 11/24/11 11,568 1,102,645
10 The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall (uk) 12/15/11 5,350 6,193
- The Final Blow 12/7/11 2,323 56,846
- The Life of a Woman (1968) 1,748 2,551
- My Way 12/21/11 1,192 7,145
- Ryang-kang-do: Merry Christmas, North! 11/17/11 468 9,329
- Amen 12/8/11 360 969

Domestic business took a big hit this past weekend as Korean films were mostly shut out by Hollywood competition.  It was a similar story last year when the seventh Harry Potter film combined with other American fare to shut local movies out.  Admissions were down slightly year-on-year (1.85 versus 1.8 million) as was the Korean market share (22% versus 26%) but it was close and next weekend will no doubt see a big bounce for local products as we wrap up the year.

Tom Cruise's publicity tour of the peninsula seems to have paid off as his new installment in the Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol, had an enormous 1,079,510 opening weekend.  This accounted for 60% of all business through the three days.  Reviews are positive but competition will be very fierce next weekend when it is likely to cede its crown but perhaps the Christmas frame will be big enough to allow to retain much of its business.

Last week's surprise No. 1 Spellbound, which had increased over an already strong start, lost a little under half its business in its third weekend, no doubt succumbing to foreign competition.  It has already banked over two million admissions and will still eek out a little more but the three million looks to be out of reach.

Hollywood took the next four spots, starting with the new Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel, subtitled Chip-wrecked, which underperformed, just as it did the US.  Its 134,916 take was below its predecessor.  The Adventures of Tintin crumbled over 80% and was left with 78,342.  The new Twilight lost a similar amount, falling to 61,730.  Arthur Christmas, the third Hollywood kids film in the top 6, receded 70% for 34,536. 

Korean baseball pic The Perfect Game scored 32,364 in previews ahead of next weeks opening.  Punch saw another decline that brought it down to 24,895 and now has 5,300,134 admissions to date.  SIU lost 90% of its business as it added 11,568 during its last round in the top 10.  Rounding out the chart was The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, a UK production of the famed musical.

Outside the top 10:  The Final Blow added 2,323 to its haul; 1968 film The Life of a Woman was rereleased and sold 1,748 tickets; My Way filled 1,192 seats in very limited previews; Documentary Ryang-kang-do: Merry Christmas, North! added 468 to its run; and Kim Ki-duk's Amen sold 360 tickets in limited engagements, he claims that there will be no further exhibitions for the film, nor will it become available on DVD, we'll see...

Next Week:  Kang Je-gyu's enormous pan-asian WWII blockbuster My Way looks set to pulverize the box office and coudl set some record numbers.  Also opening will be The Perfect Game which had strong previews this week.  Should be quite a weekend!

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 Monday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Korean Box Office Update (12/09-12/11, 2011)

Weekend of December 9-11:

Title Release Date Weekend Total
1 Spellbound 12/1/11 590,232 1,391,938
2 The Adventures of Tintin (us) 12/7/11 407,330 477,771
3 Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I (us) 11/30/11 249,656 1,227,325
4 Arthur Christmas (us) 11/25/11 124,832 520,821
5 SIU 11/24/11 110,119 1,041,647
6 Punch 10/20/11 97,314 5,226,346
7 Blitz (us) 12/8/11 31,609 45,831
8 Sunday Punch 12/7/11 28,568 39,733
9 Real Steel (us) 10/12/11 23,977 3,568,936
10 Moneyball (us) 11/17/11 9,767 631,845
- Gilsotteum (1985)
1,692 1,692
- The Sleep Deeper Than Death (1979)
1,342 1,798
- Life Is Peachy 12/08/11 877 1,521
- The Forgotten Bag 11/17/11 624 5,339
- Dancing Cat 11/17/11 621 11,016

Another week at the 2011 Korean box office and another runaway word of mouth hit!  The year has seen quite its share of sleeper hits starting with Detective K and Clash of the Families in the first quarter before Sunny began its extraordinary run in May.  War of the Arrows, the least-awaited summer blockbuster became the year's biggest hit and the fall produced the controversial Silenced, the still-playing crowd-pleaser Punch, and now it looks as though the sophomore Spellbound may join their ranks.  A healthy 1.71 million tickets were sold this weekend, a slight uptick on last year's 1.67 and, encouragingly, the market share jumped 8 points to 49% despite only four Korean films on the chart.  Very impressive given the time of year, a season typically dominated by Hollywood holiday tentpoles.

The new No. 1 was the comedy/romance/horror blend Spellbound which, after a strong start last week, grew nearly 25% to 590,232.  The result is proof of the enduring popularity of the multi-genre pics in Korea and is reminiscent of last year's similar hit, the Cha Tae-hyun starring Hello Ghost, which ended its run with a little over 3 million admissions.  If Spellbound continues to generate good word of mouth it could easily surpass that but competition from American imports will be significant throughout December.

The Steven Spielberg-directed and Peter Jackson-produced motion capture animation Tintin opened in an enormous amount of theaters but only managed a 407,330 weekend.  A decent start but nothing to write home about.  The picture has had good reviews so perhaps it will benefit from good word of mouth down the line but this is far from certain.

Last week's No. 1, the fourth installment in the Twilight franchise, as expected saw much of its business eb away.  Though its sub-40% drop is not as devastating as it could have been.  At this rate it is unlikely to match its predecessor's final tally in Korea.  Arthur Christmas stayed relatively strong as it barely dropped, adding 124,832 to its total, though it started out with such a small figure that these small drops aren't making a hit out of it.

SIU lost about half of its business for a 110,119 weekend but managed to cross the one million admissions mark in the process though this will be its only major milestone.  Word of mouth hit Punch fell about 35% to 97,314 in its eighth week as it winds down it remarkable run.  The six million admission mark is probably out of reach.

Blitz, a Jason Statham action film that went straight-to-DVD in the US had a minor opening.  The Korean Sunday Punch opened to a weak 28,568 but it wasn't a platform release.  Real Steel and Moneyball added 23,977 and 9,767, respectively, to their totals.

Outside the Top 10:  Re-releases Gilsotteum and The Sleep Deeper Than Death sold 1,692 and 1,342 tickets; the lesbian drama Life Is Peachy sold only 877 tickets; and documentaries The Forgotten Bag and Dancing Cat added 624 and 621 tickets to their hauls.

Next Weekend:  The gangster film Too Many Villains opens.

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 Monday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weekly Review Round-up (12/03-12/09, 2011)

A nice selection of reviews this week including a number for The Yellow Sea and three from The Hollywood Reporter.  Since it is Jopok Week here on MKC, I'm happy to note some reviews for A Bittersweet Life and Righteous Ties.



(, December 3, 2011)


(Walter Peck Was Just Doing His Job , December 4, 2011)

(Film Business Asia, December 4, 2011)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, November 27, 2011)

(The Hollywood Reporter, December 7, 2011)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 6, 2011)

(The Hollywood Reporter, December 7, 2011)

(Modern Korean Cinema, December 2, 2011)

(The One One Four, December 6, 2011)

(Otherwhere, December 7, 2011)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 9, 2011)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, November 28, 2011)


(Rainy Day, November 27, 2011

(Beyond Hollywood, December 6, 2011)

The Yellow Sea

(Japan Cinema, December 9, 2011)


(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 7, 2011)

(Rainy Day, December 6, 2011)

My Sassy Girl, 2001

(, December 8, 2011)

Shiri, 1999
(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 3, 2011)

(Modern Korean Cinema, December 7, 2011

(Modern Korean Cinema, December 8, 2011

(Modern Korean Cinema, December 9, 2011

The Weekly Review Round-up is a weekly feature which brings together all available reviews of Korean films in the English language (and sometimes French) that have recently appeared on the internet. It is by no means a comprehensive feature and additions are welcome (email pierceconran [at] gmail [dot] com). It appears every Friday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News, and the Korean Box Office UpdateReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.