Monday, April 22, 2013

Korean Box Office: Just Hanging Around - Holdovers Repeat During Slow Weekend (04/19-04/21, 2013)

With no new releases able to catch fire this week, box office was down significantly. With only 1.2 million admissions, this was the lowest attended weekend of the year to date by a margin. Local films, of which there are a number playing, were just shy of a majority with a 48% market share. With spring finally arriving in Korea after a particularly long winter, locals were keener to go outside and see the cherry blossoms than to venture into a dark theater.

TitleRelease DateMarket ShareWeekendTotalScreens
2Fists of Legend13/04/1028.00%334,5931,243,300638
3Running Man13/04/0411.20%143,6191,280,107331
5Song for You (uk)13/04/186.30%79,21894,694317
6To Rome With Love (us/it/sp)13/04/184.00%47,16960,540201
7Beautiful Creatures (us)13/04/183.70%47,05756,899278
8G.I. Joe: Retaliation (us)13/03/282.10%26,5971,842,438214
9Very Ordinary Couple13/03/212.00%23,6751,847,780165
10Ploddy the Police Car (us/no)13/04/111.40%18,88750,619175

Repeating a number one was Tom Cruise's sci-fi Oblivion with 367,022, down only 30% from its debut. Lack of competition helped the film cruise (*cough*) well over the one million mark and a second milestone is possible but Iron Man 3 will give a hard time next weekend.

Same story at number two as the Kang Woo-suk MMA drama Fists of Legend, starring Hwang Jeong-min (New World), was off 30% for 334,593. Given the film's high budget and it's midding debut, studio bosses are likely disappointed with this result.

Running Man, the first fully US-funded Korean film, feel another 43% for 143,619. The Shin Ha-gyun-starring (Save the Green Planet) actioneer has suffered from poor word of mouth and strong competition. Surely, 20th Century Fox was hoping for more.

Opening at number four was Norigae, a controversial film concerning sexual abuse in the local entertainment industry. It did not receive full booking and the film's subject matter proved too much for many as it was only able to attract 80,337 spectators in its first weekend. Most exhibitors wil probably drop it this coming weekend and the film may not cross 150,000.

Next weekend, Hollywood is likely to begin its traditional late spring/early summer dominance as Iron Man 3 will jet into theaters unchallenged.


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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