Sunday, May 13, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (05/11-05/13, 2012)

The Avengers Easily Threepeats

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 47.80% 994,319 5,446,891 734
2 As One 5/3/12 16.90% 393,323 1,227,411 512
3 Dark Shadows (us) 5/10/12 13.80% 314,355 372,745 386
4 Snow White (us) 5/3/12 5.00% 123,381 477,859 305
5 Eungyo 4/25/12 4.50% 99,840 1,226,704 310
6 All About My Wife 5/17/12 4.20% 91,426 96,751 277
7 Architecture 101 3/22/12 2.90% 67,365 4,007,674 244
8 The Lorax (us) 5/3/12 1.80% 46,562 261,893 240
9 Crayon Shin-chan (jp) 4/26/12 1.00% 26,667 259,718 130
10 The Scent 4/11/12 0.40% 10,214 1,234,209 70

Admissions remained over the two million mark for the third straight weekend with another supersized performance from the leader of the pack.  The frame's 2.1 million admissions represented a 50% increase over last year's comparable weekend while the Korean market share was way down from a healthy 55%, when Sunny led during its second weekend, to 30% as local releases failed to fend off the onslaught of Marvel superheroes.

The Avengers was a shade away from its third consecutive one million weekend but its actual 994,319 was more than enough to keep it on top and represented only a 30% decline from the previous weekend.  Its total stands well over five million and it will likely cross Transformers 3's chart-topping performance last year before long but don't expect this to join the vaunted ten million club by the end of its run.  The Avengers has crossed $1 billion worldwide and frankly, after seeing it last night, it's hard to begrudge it its success.

As One (aka Korea) failed to improve on its underwhelming showing last weekend as it dipped about a third for a 393,323 frame.  As poor reviews and mixed word of mouth have begun to make the rounds I can't say that I'm surprised and I think that the road ahead is not looking great for it.  Two million seems to be the the top of its range at the moment, with an outside shot at 2.5.

The new Tim Burton-Johnny Depp quirkfest Dark Shadows opened to a tepid 314,355 which is on par with its poor showing stateside.  People seem to be a little sick of the gothic tag team, I know I am.  Look for a quick exit from theaters.

Mirror Mirror shed half its audience after a lackluster debut for a 123,381 three-day total.  The film doesn't seem to have much appeal and I'm fairly certain that its rival project Snow White and the Huntsmen will suffer a similar fate when it opens later this season.

A Muse (aka Eungyo) slowed about 45% for a 99,840 frame and may now have to settle for a 1.5 million total which it will likely reach in roughly a fortnight.  It's a shame as the film seemed to have so much potential but word of mouth has been practicaly non-existent.

All About My Wife had a great start in previews as it attracted 91,429 spectators and will be one to watch when it opens wide next week.  The early buzz on this romcom is strong and the cast, not to mention the additional word of mouth that will be generated by the early screenings, will give it a strong opening bow.

Architecture 101 is still holding on and its 67,365 weekend has pushed it over the four million mark, it is the third Korean film to do so this year and certainly won't be the last.  To put that into perpective it took until the end of August to get there last year, when War of the Arrows crossed the mark.

Hollywood animation The Lorax crumbled as it shot down to eight with 46,562.  Crayon Shin-chan, the other animated film on the chart, suffered a similar fall in its third weekend as it took 26,667.  This means that there is a large gap for children's fare on the chart.  Rounding out the chart was The Scent as it closes out its run with 10,214.

Next weekend could be very interesting as The Avengers will continure to lose steam but likely still pose a huge threat but two new Korean films are opening that could pull in strong figures.  All About My Wife looks to be the better positioned of the two and may attract over 600,000 viewers while Im Sang-soo's hotly anticipated Cannes-selected The Taste of Money could get just under half a million admissions.  I still think that The Avengers will take it though it could be a close battle for the number one spot if it gets around 650,000 as I think it will.  In any case it should be an exciting weekend and a good opportunity for the domestic industry to fight back after this tough start to the summer season.


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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