Showing posts with label love on-air. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love on-air. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (01/20-01/22, 2012)

Dancing Queen Waltzes to First Place During Busy Lunar New Year Weekend

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Dancing Queen 1/18/12 23.30% 508,463 632,457 520
2 Unbowed 1/18/12 17.60% 384,102 477,465 399
3 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (us) 1/19/12 16.70% 327,053 373,288 392
4 Puss in Boots (us) 1/11/12 14.40% 287,000 1,199,347 450
5 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (us) 12/15/11 7.20% 151,106 7,186,748 276
6 Pacemaker 1/18/12 5.70% 126,629 193,025 418
7 The Neverending Story 1/18/12 3.90% 88,741 139,138 267
8 We Bought a Zoo (us) 1/18/12 3.40% 77,834 106,745 236
9 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (us) 1/11/12 2.30% 47,509 349,206 151
10 Love On-Air 1/5/12 1.40% 31,095 891,921 150

Business came back in a big way over the Lunar New Year weekend after a bit of a slump for local releases of late but besides the holiday bump how did the frame fare?   Despite a strong 1-2 finish from local films, the results were decidedly mixed.  The total amount of tickets sold came in at 2.18 million, up over 20% from last weekend, but down nearly 25% from last year's Lunar New Year, which fell on the first weekend of February.   The market share for local releases jumped up to 53% but with four big new films this should come as a bit of a disappointment, not to mention that the last Lunar New Year boasted a commanding 72%.

The number one movie over the holiday was the Uhm Jeong-hwa and Hwang Jeong-min film Dancing Queen which had a strong 508,463 debut amid the crowded field.  Reviews have been on the positive side but it remains to be seen how it performs in subsequent weekends.

Opening at number two was the Ahn Sung-ki starring Unbowed with 384,102.  The film opened in Busan and has received strong notices.   It's second place finish is very encouraging as it was not expected to place so high, also good news is that its total is less than 25,000 away from breakeven point already.  It will be interesting to see how this performs further down the line, specifically wether it could unseat Dancing Queen in its sophomore run.

Journey 2, a Dwayne Johnson kids vehicle from the US had a strong opening at number with a surprisingly healthy 327,053.   Holiday weekends are always a good time for family fare and in truth there wasn't much else to choose from so perhaps this should come as no surprise.

Puss in Boots, dropped three spots to number four but nevertheless managed to retain a healthy amount of its audience as it ended the weekend with 287,000 admissions which puts it comfortably over the one million mark.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol saw its biggest drop to date as it garnered an additional 151,106 admissions but no one will be laughing as it easily leapt over the seven million mark, the fourth film of 2011 to do so.  I believe this makes last year the first to reach that milestone.

Pacemaker was the next new Korean release to open wide but with only 126,629 tickets sold it was quite disappointing.   Given its big marketing push and positive reviews a lot more was expected of it, of course it could grow over the coming weeks but I would be surprised if this were to be the case.

The last new Korean release was romcom The Neverending Story which came in at number 7 with 88,741.  Another lacklustre result, even if this film was not the most anticipated of the weekend's new offerings.   I expect this particular film to swiftly exits theaters.

We Bought a Zoo also opened this weekend but could only muster a paltry 77,834.  The Matt Damon family film has not impressed in any of its markets to date so this just adds to its disappointing result.   Meanwhile The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo crumbled, losing three quarters of its business and winding up with only 47,509, this after a mediocre start.

Rounding out the Top 10 was Love On-Air in its third week with 31,095 which was a calamitous 85% drop from last weekend.   Clearly it couldn't cope with the new competition.   It's total stands at 891,921 but it will now be no small task to push it past the one million milestone.

It's early days for 2012 as this is only the third weekend but it's safe to say that January has not been a good month for Korean films. Hopefully a portion of the quartet of new releases will remain strong presences in theaters over the coming weeks but we may have to wait until February when we see some big new releases, specifically the Choi Min-sik and Ha Jung-woo gangster film Nameless Gangster and the Ha Yu directed, Song Kang-ho starring thriller Howling both of which could prove substantial hits. Meanwhile, next wek sees the release of Tarbosaurus 3D, though I'm not sure wether or not it will be opening wide.


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. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (01/13-01/15, 2012)

Puss in Boots Holds Local Films at Bay

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Puss in Boots (us) 1/11/12 33.80% 590,740 704,725 593
2 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (us) 12/15/11 18.00% 362,326 6,914,588 461
3 Love On-Air 1/5/12 10.80% 225,174 781,810 358
4 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (us) 1/11/12 9.50% 185,758 228,385 321
5 Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (us) 12/21/11 7.70% 154,399 2,160,333 270
6 Perfect Game 12/21/11 6.40% 128,734 1,392,738 266
7 The Outback 1/12/12 3.30% 70,297 87,383 234
8 White Vengeance (hk) 1/11/12 2.70% 55,498 70,345 163
9 My Way 12/21/11 2.20% 45,009 2,121,331 219
10 Friends: Naki on Monster Island (jp) 12/29/11 1.70% 36,930 496,880 191

For the fifth weekend in a row a major Hollywood release has trumped local fare at the Korean box office.  A new champion, of the animated variety, rose to the top this week.  Overall business was up from 1.47 to 1.75 million admissions year on year while once again the market share for Korean films tumbled to 24%, from last year's 43%.

Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots had a big weekend with 590,740 tickets sold.  That's a lot more than Megamind which took the top spot at the same time last year.

MI4 added another 362,326 tickets to its enormous haul as it dropped less than a third and is now inches from the 7 million mark an could still threaten another milestone, making it the biggest film released in 2011.

Love On-Air (aka Wonderful Radio) had an encouraging small drop (20%) in its sophomore frame which, given poor reviews, I wasn't expecting.  The future looks a little rosier for the midlevel film but after such a mediocre opening this is closer to damage control than success.  Still, if it continues like this it could end up well north of the one million mark.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo opened with 185,758 which is not a particularly encouraging figure for a film tat was expected to play strongly in international territories, maybe word of mouth will bolster its run further down the line.  Perhaps Sherlock Holmes sequel Game of Shadows dropped about a third as it crossed the 2 million mark with its 154,399 weekend, a good showing for a sequel that has underperformed elsewhere.

Perfect Game stayed more or less flat this weekend with 154,399, which is impressive.  It will come close to the two million mark but is unlikely to cross it.  Animated film The Outback, featuring a number of K-pop star on vocal duties, opened soft 70,297.  Truth be told I hadn't even heard of the film before this weekend, I'm not sue who else did.

Hong Kong period epic White Vengeance began its run with 55,498 while mega-blockbuster and equally large box office bomb My Way slowed to 45,009 in its probable final top 10 finish.  Friends: Naki on Monster Island Japanese anime roudned out the top 10 with 36,930.

Next Week:  Lunar day weekend is nearly upon us and it's about time as the tired current local fare is in desperate need of replacement.  Opening next week are Pacemaker, Dancing Queen, Neverending Story, and Unbowed. Pacemaker looks to come out on top but let's hope it can nudge out foreign competition for a much needed local win.


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. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (12/31, 2011 - 01/06, 2012)

For the first WEEKLY REVIEW ROUND-UP of 2012, a few reviews for new releases in Korea and a lot of pieces on older Korean films which is always nice to see.


(The Korea Times, January 4, 2012)


(The Korea Times, December 29, 2011)


(, January 4, 2012)

(Modern Korean Cinema, January 5, 2012)

(Modern Korean Cinema, January 3, 2012)

(Rainy Day Movies, January 3, 2012)

(Init_Scenes, January 4, 2012)

(Asian Movie Web, January 2, 2012)

(Init_Scenes, January 3, 2012)

(New Korean Cinema, January 4, 2012)


(Asian Movie Pulse, January 3, 2012)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, January 4, 2012)


(Init_Scenes, December 31, 2011)

(UnitedKpop, December 31, 2011)

Death Bell, 2008
(Twitch, January 4, 2012)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, January 2, 2012)

(North Korean Films, January 3, 2012)

(, January 1, 2012)

Silmido, 2003
(, January 3, 2012)

Taegugki, 2004
(Nerdlocker, January 5, 2012)

(Rainy Day Movies, January 4, 2012)

The Host, 2006
(Film in Asian, January 4, 2012)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, January 5, 2012)

The Weekly Review Round-up is a weekly feature which brings together all available reviews of Korean films in the English language (and sometimes French) that have recently appeared on the internet. It is by no means a comprehensive feature and additions are welcome (email pierceconran [at] gmail [dot] com). It appears every Friday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News, and the Korean Box Office UpdateReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Upcoming Releases: January 2012

MKC's Upcoming Releases page has been getting a little big lately and rather than delete what has taken a long time to compile, I'm going to start a monthly breakaway.  A few days before each month, I will preview it's coming Korean attractions in a dedicated article and two months later the month will be deleted from the main Upcoming Releases page.  Each month will still be available in an archive on the page, which will assemble these breakaway posts.

So here is the first post for January 2012.  It's a few months old but I will catch up until I April by the end of the week.

January 5

Love On-Air

January 12

Jesus Hospital

January 18/19

Dancing Queen
The Neverending Story

January 26


Love On-Air aka Wonderful Radio

Director: Kwon Chil-in
Cast:  Lee Min-jeong, Lee Jeong-jin
Synopsis:  Gina (Lee Min-jeong) was once a popular singer, she now hosts her own radio show.  Suffering from low ratings, the show's producer is sacked and replaced by Jae-ik (Lee Jeong-jin).  The irritable Jae-ik and the conceited Gina get on each other’s nerves but soon grow closer.
Release date: January 5

Love On-Air was the first platform Korean release of 2012 and had a decent opening but reviews have not been kind.  The romcom seems to be a motley collection of kpop references and cameos with a good dose of melodrama stirred in for good measure.  The film is Kwon Chil-in's fifth, following such works as Singles (2003) and Hellcats (2008).  

Jesus Hospital

Director:  Shin A-gaLee Sang-cheol
Screenwriter:  Shin A-ga
Cast:  Hwang Jung-min Han Song-hee
Synopsis:  Hyun-Soon (Hwang Jung-min) harbors a secret which only her mother, who is in a coma, and her pregnant daughter know about.  When Hyun-Soon's siblings plan to pull the plug on the respirator that is keeping their mother alive at the hospital, she becomes very angry.
Release date:  January 12

Jesus Hospital, the debut film from Shin A-ga and Lee Sang-cheol, who have previously worked as assistant directors for Lee Suk-hoon and Lee Myung-se respectively, has triumphed at recent Korean film festivals.  It had its world premier at Busan in October, where it scooped up acting prizes for its leading women Hwang Jung-min and Han Song-hee as well as the Citizen Reviewer's Award.  It was also screened in last December's Seoul Independent film festival where it scooped up the Grand Prize.  The pair of first-time helmers look to be a solid addition to the already thriving independent Korean film scene.

Dancing Queen

Director:  Lee Suk-hoon
Screenwriter:  Lee Suk-hoon
Cast:  Uhm Jeong-hwa, Hwang Jeong-min
Synopsis:  A poor lawyer turned politician (Hwang Jeong-min) becomes a Seoul mayoral candidate while his wife (Uhn Jeong-hwa) makes an attempt at singing without him knowing at first.
Release date:  January 19

Dancing Queen, led by its star power and song and dance premise prevailed as the no. 1 new movie during the crowded Lunar Day holiday weekend.  Notices have been mixed but generally positive.  Uhm Jeong-hwa goes back to what she knows best as she initially scaled to fame as a singer and Hwang Jeong-min, a great character actor with superb comic timing, plays her husband.


Neverending Story

Director:  Jung Jong-joo
Cast:  Uhm Tae-woong, Jeong Ryeo-won
Synopsis:  Dong-joo (Uhm Tae-woong) is an easygoing romantic while Song-kyun (Jeong Ryeo-won) organizes her life meticulously.  They both develop terminal illnesses and soon they meet.  Though they are polar opposites, they go out on a date.
Release date:  January 18

A double dose of terminal illness leaves little to the imagination as to what kind of a film this will be like.  Neverending Story is Jung Jong-joo's first feature, he was previously a co-writer and assistant director on Princess Aurora (2005).  The presence of the very talented Jeong Ryeo-won (Castaway on the Moon, 2009; Pain, 2011) does show some promise however.  Against tough competition during the Lunar Day holiday weekend, the film was unable to draw in significant crowds, landing at number 7.


Director:  Chung Ji-young
Screenwriter:  Chung Ji-young
Cast:  Ahn Seong-ki, Park Won-sang, Na Young-hee, Kim Ji-ho
Synopsis:  The true story of Kim Myung-ho (Ahn Seong-Gi), a professor who was denied tenure by his university after he questioned the validity of a math question in its entrance exam in 1995.  After years of litigation against the university, Kim lost and shot a crossbow at the judge who handled his case.
Release date:  January 18

Based on controversial true events, Unbowed is Chung Ji-young first film in 14 years.  He was previously for making socially-conscious films such as White Badge (1992).  Unbowed features a big performance from one fo the most respected actors in the industry  Ahn Sung-kee has starred in films for over 50 years, going all the way back to the original The Housemaid (1960).  The film received a lot of positive attention after its screening at last year's Busan Film Festival.  The Wall Street Journal even ranked it in its top 10 Asian films of 2011.  Unbowed opened strong and was a close second to Dancing Queen during the busy Lunar New Years weekend.

MKC review


Director:  Kim Dal-joong
Cast:  Kim Myung-min, Go Ara, Ahn Sung-ki
Synopsis:  Former Olympic pacemaker Man-Ho (Kim Myung-min) is now retired.  He then attempts to run 30km to complete a 42.195km marathon for the first time in his life.
Release date:  January 19

The first film from veteran musical director Kim Dal-joong stars Kim Kyung-min who has come into his own as a leading man of late with starring in recents hits Detective K (2011) and Man of Vendetta (2010).  The film released a lot of pre-release buzz but despite a few positive notices it opened at number 6 during the Lunar New Years weekend.

Tarbosaurus 3D

Director:  Han Sang-ho
Writer:  Lee Yong-gyu
Synopsis:  70 million years ago dinosaurs ruled the Korean Peninsula the same way they ruled the rest of the earth. At that time the part of the land now known as Jeonnam Yeosu was the forest habitat of numerous dinosaur species: Tarbosaurus.  The youngest of a family of Tarbosaurs, Spotty is a curious and playful child.  Along with his mother and siblings, he lives happily in the forest, waiting patiently to learn to hunt.  When that day arrives, it marks the beginning of a long and painful journey into adulthood for Spotty.
Release date:  January 26

This 3D dinosaur animation began to generate some buzz last May as CJ was able to presell it to a number of territories during the Cannes film market, including Russia, India, Germany, Thailand, Portugal, Turkey, the Middle East, Singapore, Benelux, Malaysia/Indonesia.  In September Well Go USA purchased the American rights, adding to the film's prospects.

Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.