Monday, February 25, 2013

KBO: Close Race as New World Beats Miracle (02/22-02/24, 2013)

Close Race as New World Beats Miracle

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 New World 13/02/21 35.50% 860,754 1,038,890 671
2 Miracle in Cell No.7 13/01/23 33.10% 855,942 10,386,785 667
3 The Berlin File 13/01/30 12.00% 303,727 6,608,013 440
4 An Ethics Lesson 13/02/21 4.30% 104,494 145,437 302
5 Delhi Safari (In) 13/02/21 3.30% 90,837 110,358 289
6 How to Use Guys With Secret Tips 13/02/14 2.10% 56,007 454,704 223
7 The Giant King (us/th) 13/02/21 1.80% 52,646 66,897 228
8 A Good Day to Die Hard (us) 13/02/06 1.60% 40,442 1,422,089 169
9 The Last Stand (us) 13/02/21 1.40% 34,220 44,280 296
10 Marco Makaco (de) 13/02/14 0.80% 22,656 159,640 131

Korean films dominated the weekend as holdovers were strong and a new blockbuster entered the fray. Total admissions soared 50% year on year, clocking in at 2.42 million with a remarkable 87% of that business generated by local films.

Gangster pic New World, with its great cast (Choi Min-sik, Lee Jeong-jae and Hwang Jeong-min) rode some great reviews into theaters and managed to take the number one spot (though only barely) with 860,754. Word of mouth should be strong but it's still a little early to call this a runaway success.

Still very strong at number two was Miracle in Cell No. 7 with 855,942. It was down only 25% but most remarkable of all is that it has now made it over the 10 millin mark, becoming only the 8th Korean film to do so.

Meanwhile, The Berlin File, despite falling just over 50%, managed to add another 303,727 admissions to its total. With 6.6 million admissions and counting, it's performed very well but unfortunately has been very much overshadowed by the performance of Miracle. It could still go as far as 7 million but my guess is it will fall short.

The erotic murder mystery An Ethics Lesson had a humdrum opening with only 104,494. Honestly, I've heard little about the film but I don't think word of mouth could even save it at this point.

Falling to number six was the well-reviewed romcom How to Use a Guy With Secret Tips with only 56,007, a huge +70% drop after a so-so start. Half a million is all it can hope for now.

Kim Jee-woon's US debut The Last Stand also premiered this weekend but it's performance here was even more poisonous than in the States as it amassed a paltry 34,220.

Speaking of US debuts, Park Chan-wook's Stoker will be opening on Thursday and while I think it will fare much better, I'm hesitant to predict how it will do. Though neither are real box office contenders, Hong Sangsoo's Nobody's Daughter Haewon and E J-yong's Behind the Camera will also open in select theaters.


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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