Monday, November 27, 2006

Korea Weekend Box Office - Nov. 24-26

Martin Scorsese's THE DEPARTED took top spot this past weekend in Korea... at least in Seoul. In yet another sign of the city/country split going on in Korea, SUNFLOWER actually did better nationally (thanks in part to its additional 124 screens), while THE DEPARTED was easily the more popular film in Seoul.

A similar split was going on at Nos. 3 and 4, with STEP UP winning in Seoul and the Aardman animation FLUSHED AWAY winning nationally.

Screen averages were especially amusing this week. For example,THE PRESTIGE played on just 44 screens, but easily beat SEXY TEACHER, which was on 230. Hah! I bet the theater managers with the 230 prints of SEXY TEACHER are pretty unhappy at the moment.
This WeekTitle........................................Release DateScreens NationwideWeekend Attendance (Seoul only)Total Attendance
1.The Departed11.2319096,700348,000
3.Step Up11.2315637,500133,200
4.Flushed Away11.2321037,000148,000
5.The Devil Wears Prada10.2613033,6001,655,400
6.How the Lack of Love Affects Two Men11.1627729,800494,900
7.The Prestige11.024423,100629,500
8.A Good Year11.1614518,400223,900
9.Sexy Teacher11.1623015,000401,000
10.Tazza: The High Rollers9.27386,0006,798,000

(Source: Film2.0)

So, of course I saw THE DEPARTED this weekend. And... once again, Scorsese is pretty mediocre. I was actually bored for most of the film, although it did pick up in the last 30 minutes or so. Yet again, here was a Scorsese movie that felt like a photocopy of a Scorsese movie (looks pretty much the same, but with some bad resolution). I really think MS needs to sit down with some digital cameras and some fresh, unknown actors, are re-teach himself all the things that made him great once upon a time.

And, in a random digression, I just re-watched Yim Pil-sung's ANTARCTIC JOURNAL, and found myself feeling very similarly about it as I did about DEPARTED -- both are bad movies made by very talented filmmakers. In Yim's case, ANTARCTIC was his first feature-length movie, and it is so silly and poorly plotted, it is hard to believe (not to mention having one of the most blatant disregards for basic physics I have ever come across in the movies). No doubt about it, AJ was a bad film. However, it was also clear that director Yim has some serious talent. A good producer and another year of pre-production could totally have turned that movie around.

Luckily, Yim is getting another chance to show what he can do, with the horror film HANSEL & GRETEL, being produced by Barunson. Much like AJ, H&G is about historical parallels and notebooks... but let's hope someone kicks his butt until the plotting makes sense.

Yim is also doing a short zombie film as part of the triptych DOOMSDAY BOOK, due out next year, too.

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