Tuesday, February 12, 2013

KBO: Miracle, Berlin Dominate Lunar New Year Frame (02/08-02/10, 2013)

Miracle, Berlin Dominate Lunar New Year Frame

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Miracle in Cell No. 7 13/01/23 37.10% 1,308,317 6,281,296 802
2 The Berlin File 13/01/30 33.50% 1,153,414 4,181,031 784
3 A Good Day to Die Hard (us) 13/02/06 14.30% 479,370 625,388 458
4 South Bound 13/02/06 8.30% 292,274 402,602 420
5 The Snow Queen (ru) 13/02/07 1.90% 73,355 84,889 311
6 Pororo: the Racing Adventure 13/01/23 1.70% 59,252 756,564 287
7 Monsters Inc. (us) 1/12/20 1.20% 31,377 34,863 173
8 Les Miserables (uk/us) 12/12/19 0.50% 18,153 5,835,054 51
9 Man on the Edge 13/01/09 0.40% 13,499 3,884,380 64
10 Life of Pie (us) 13/01/01 0.20% 4,728 1,568,566 10

Turns out I was a little bullish in my prediction for what I felt might be the biggest ever weekend at the Korean box office. The Lunar New Year holiday weekend didn't quite reach that mark but the box office was nonetheless on fire and let's not forget that Monday was also a holiday, in fact it generated the most income of all four days. 3.53 million admissions were recorded over the three-day frame, the same as last weekend and a huge 75% jump over last year, though that was not a holiday weekend. The local industry's share of the market also stood at 81%, yet again an impressive figure and slightly higher than this time last year, when it was 78%.

Finding it's way back to first during its third weekend was the prison comedy melodrama sensation Miracle in Cell No.7 which stayed falt and took in a staggering 1,308,317 admissions (1,937,379 for the 4-day). Its total as of Monday night is a fraction off the seven million admissions mark. Who knows how far it will go from here, a few more milestones seem likely and suddenly the ten million mark doesn't seem so far off.

The Berlin File, after its rocket-powered debut slowed just over 20% as it brought in another 1,153,414 viewers (1,695,691 for the 4-day). The highly-anticipated blockbuster seem to be suffering a little as the curiosity factor has worn off but its good word of mouth has kept viewers interested. It should cross the five million mark either today or tomorrow and a few more after that but it likely won't compete with Miracle to be an early box office frontrunner for 2013.

Opening at number three was A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth installment in the Bruce Willis franchise. In the face of stiff competition from spy thriller Berlin, it nonetheless was able to scrap up a very respectable 479,370 (716,417 for the 4-day). Like most action-oriented Hollywood fare it should begin to fade quickly, especially given its lukewarm critical reception but this is a strong performance for a mid-level Hollywood genre pic.

The sole Korean film to open this week was the Kim Yun-seok vehicle South Bound. It debuted at number four with a disappointing 292,274 (446,619 for the 4-fay) in the face of stiff competition. Kim is typically a surefire name at the marquees but perhaps, as critic Darcy Paquet noted on Twitter, the film's anti-establishment theme was not a great selling point for local viewers. Critics have been positive however and it is not impossible that the film can turn it around once the furor begins to dim on the bigger pictures in the marketplace.

Next week will see Korean romcom How to Use Guys With Secret Tips entering the frame on the back of largely positive notices. It should post some decent mid-level number as romantic fare has been absent since Love 911 faded last month but Miracle seems poised to remain number for at least one more weekend.

Source: kobis.or.kr

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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