Monday, April 2, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (03/30-04/01, 2012)

Architecture 101 Weathers the Wrath of the Titans

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Architecture 101 3/22/12 29.30% 570,915 1,609,046 579
2 Wrath of the Titans (us) 3/29/12 28.80% 482,485 554,488 536
3 Untouchable (fr) 3/22/12 16.20% 315,940 940,461 411
4 Over My Dead Body 3/29/12 16.20% 312,872 368,065 433
5 Helpless 3/8/12 5.70% 110,312 2,339,242 326
6 This Means War (us) 2/29/12 0.80% 15,435 857,344 103
7 John Carter (us) 3/8/12 0.60% 11,427 831,555 152
8 Space Dogs 3D (ru) 3/22/12 0.50% 11,167 35,826 89
9 Chronicle (us) 3/15/12 0.30% 6,761 381,410 109
10 Nameless Gangster 2/2/12 0.10% 2,394 4,681,429 26

Business was up this weekend as nearly two million tickets were sold which was almost twice as many as last year's similar frame.   The Korean market also share came in at a healthy 52%.   Korean films have topped the chart for eleven weeks now but unfortunately this will mark the end of the streak as the season's biggest international blockbuster bows next weekend.

Repeating at number one was Architecture 101 which saw a slight increase to 570,915 admissions.  Word of mouth seems strong for this romance pic and it could continue to play well though next weekend will be a difficult test for all the films in the marketplace.   In any case it will have no trouble crossing the two million mark but looking at the similar trajectory it has had to Helpless, any further milestone is uncertain for the moment.  However, while it does have to compete with Hollywood next weekend, the next major Korean release doesn't open until April 11 so this may work in its favor.

Wrath of the Titans came in a relatively close second with 482,485 which seems strong but was actually about half of what its predecessor Clash of the Titans achieved in 2010.   I can't imagine this film will stick around for long and will probably suffer some very sharp declines in the following weeks.

The French film Untouchable, which has been breaking all sorts of records in its native country, dropped one spot and slowed only 20% for a strong 315,940 sophomore frame.   This may stick around for a little while and with similar declines it could come close to the two million mark which may be the first time a French film has done so at the Korean box office.

The major Korean opener this weekend was Over My Dead Body, the black comedy starring Ryoo Seung-beom and Lee Beom-su.  It's 312,872 debut isn't bad but given how recent films have performed this picture may see an early grave.  Strong word of mouth could save it but more than likely it will suffer a sharp decline along with most of the marketplace next week.

Helpless lost about two thirds of its business in its fourth weekend, adding another 110,312.  The Three million mark seemed within reach only ten days ago but now it will have to settle for 2.5 million.   Still a very strong result but this is also evidence of the volatility of the Korean market as it played very well for two weeks, especially as it increased in its second frame but was then immediately forgotten as another local film captured the public's imagination.

The rest of the marketplace was negligible as the bottom half of the top 10 took a combined 2.2% market share.  At no. 6 This Means War dropped 70% for 15,435 and the one million milestone is now out of reach.  John Carter, at no. 7, saw an 87% drop for a measly 11,427 weekend as it exits the chart.   Space Dogs 3D jumped up one spot to 8 though it actually saw its business cut in half for a 11,167 frame.  Chronicle took 6,761 after a 90% for no. 9.  Rounding out the chart was Nameless Gangster which reappeared on the chart with 2,394.

The behemoth Hunger Games opens next week and though I am not sure exactly how it will perform in Korea it will certainly barge into first place.  The only question is how big it will be, a one million opening is a distinct possibility and would dominate everything else.  The next big Korean film will be The Scent which opens on the 11th but this will have some trouble ascending to first place.


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 evening or 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. 

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