Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Korea Weekend Box Office - Nov. 3-5

Foreign titles took the top three spots this week (it has been months since that has happened), with THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA at No. 1 for the second week in a row. Never underestimate the power of the SEX AND THE CITY crowd. PRADA has now made about $6.2 million in Korea, and looks like it should top $10 million.

THE PRESTIGE came in at No. 2, based on its Seoul attendance, although nationally it was beaten by the Japanese manga-adaptation DEATH NOTE. Always interesting to me to see what films draw well in Seoul versus what films perform stronger in the small towns and countryside. The regional difference between the two films becomes even stronger when you notice that THE PRESTIGE was playing on 35% fewer screens, which means its per-screen average in Seoul must have been very strong (indeed, the theater where I saw THE PRESTIGE on Thursday night in Seoul was quite busy).

I quite liked THE PRESTIGE... it is so invigorating to see a mainstream movie that is at least trying to do something different. Good looking film, good acting, an engaging mystery but with a story and subject unlike the usual. Got kind of silly toward the end, though.

DEATH NOTE is a bit of a goofy project. Based on a hugely popular Japanese comic book, it is the story of a kid who finds a demonic notebook. If you write someone's name in that notebook, the person will die in 24 hours. You can even specify the cause. But a big part of the comic book's appeal is its extremely sharp, high-detail drawings, an effect you totally lose on the screen (of course).

(Oh, and DEATH NOTE just the first of two movies. DEATH NOTE: THE LAST NAME just came out last weekend in Japan to some impressive box office, taking in over $10 million in its first two days. I do not know when it will be released in Korea, though).

DEATH NOTE was also co-produced by Warner Japan. With domestic movie industries on the upswing around Asia, it is interesting to see the Hollywood majors taking an increased interest in local films. Warner, for instance, has invested in DEATH NOTE and some other Japanese movie, the huge Chinese hit THE BLACK STONE, and... uh, has more on the way (not officially announced yet, sorry).

Other notes... TAZZA is still chugging along. It could make it to 7 million tickets if it is lucky. TRACES OF LOVE saw its box office come crashing down in its second week of release. In general, it is a pretty quiet week at the box office, although it is nice to see the pie being divided up a little more widely, with the No. 10 movie pulling in over 10,000 bodies -- last week, we only had a top-7, and even then the No. 7 film did not crack 10,000.
This WeekTitle........................................Release DateScreens NationwideWeekend Attendance (Seoul only)Total Attendance
1.The Devil Wears Prada10.2622297,400940,300
2.The Prestige11.0213084,800246,100
3.Death Note11.0220067,000290,000
4.Tazza: The High Rollers9.2723653,0006,509,000
5.Educating Kidnappers11.0231045,000243,000
6.Hearty Paws10.2625842,700722,400
7.Righteous Ties10.1925737,0001,547,000
8.Traces of Love10.2624336,400611,100
9.The Guardian11.0210327,80087,300
10.Radio Star9.276713,8001,817,700

(Source: Film2.0)

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