Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Random Notes - Vol. 2, No. 5

  • THE HOST just topped $1 million in revenue in the United States, in just its 17th day of release there. Production company Chungeorahm is claiming this is the fastest that any Korean film has hit the $1 million mark in the United States... not that there is much competition. SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER ... AND SPRING was the most successful Korean movie in the US, earning $2.4 million, but taking six months to do so. TAEGUKGI made $1.1 million in three months (most of that in the opening couple of weeks, but I guess it took a while to hit $1 million. OLDBOY never made it to $1 million, earning just $707,391.

    One good sign for THE HOST -- the number of screens it is on has increased. It opened on 71 screens and has moved up to 94 now. In comparison, SSFW&S opened on just 6, but grew to 71 during its run. TAEGUKGI opened on 29 and made it to 34, but declined pretty quickly. OLDBOY grew from 5 to 28.

  • More interesting, imho, is how well THE HOST is doing in China. Chungeorahm says it has now made about $1.5 million on some 280 screens (the most ever for a Korean movie). The press release claimed this is the first time a Korean film has been the top movie in China for over a week (it kept the top spot for its first two weeks, but was overtaken last weekend).

  • American ska band The Slackers will be playing at DGBD on Friday night. Tickets are just 20,000 won. Sign claims the show starts at 8:30, but I have never seen a show start on time there.

  • Art Gallery Ssamzie Space (in the Hongik University area) has a new show by Global Alien opening on Friday (March 30). Titled "Freedom of Speech", the show will run until April 14. I do not know much about Global Alien, but I feel like I should be talking about art shows more. Will try to mention them from time to time.

  • Chung Jiho asked me to mention the kickoff of the first Subtitle Film Festival from April 12 to 15 at the MPark 4 Theater in Los Angeles. Do I have (m)any readers in LA? Anyhow, it will feature nine Asian films, including AFTER THIS OUR EXILE, HANGING GARDEN and MEMORIES OF TOMORROW. Check out Subtitle Media's homepage for more information.

    ruzan (from LA) said...

    Thanks for the Subtitle Film Festival info. I'll try to go see some of the films.

    Antti said...

    How does The Host compare to other similar foreign (subtitled, I hope) films in the box office?

    Mark Russell said...

    Hi Antti:

    Depends on where you are talking about. In North America and Europe, very few Korean films have made much money. In Japan, on the other hand, several films have done okay at the box office... WINDSTRUCK ($18 million), APRIL SNOW ($26 million) and A MOMENT TO REMEMBER ($30 million), to pick out the three biggest. Not sure how DVD stacks up, but you can make a lot of money on DVD in Japan (since the Japanese buy a lot of DVDs, at $50 a pop).

    In North America and Europe, I believe Kim Ki-duk's SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER ... AND SPRING is the most successful Korean film of all time ($7.1 million in Europe, $2.4 million in the US) according to Box Office Mojo.

    TAEGUKGI: USA - $1.1 million, HK - $0.34 million, Japan $9.7 million.

    OLDBOY: USA - $707,000, UK - $560,000, France - $760,000, Greece - $423,000, Italy, $434,000.

    THE HOST - France $985,000, Spain $1 million, Japan $1.5 million, USA $1.1 million (and counting).

    Don't know how those films did in Sweden, sorry. Although Norway spent $34,000 on OLDBOY and $100,000 on SPRING SUMMER ETC.

    Antti Leppänen said...

    Thanks for your answer! I see I didn't make myself very clear: I was thinking of The Host in comparison to other foreign films in the US market.

    About Kim Ki-duk's latest, my impression is that the one about cosmetic surgery must have run longer in Helsinki than in Seoul...

    Mark Russell said...

    Antti - Oh, I see what you meant.

    Well, obviously THE HOST is not setting any records for foreign films in the United States. It is no CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

    But at the moment, THE HOST is the biggest foreign-language film in the United States (according to Box Office Mojo). THE HOST was No. 21 on Tuesday, followed by PAN'S LABYRINTH at No. 26, and LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA at 41.

    That said, PAN'S LABYRINTH has now made $37 million in the United States, and IWO JIMA has made $13.7 million.

    Btw, Ham Tran's JOURNEY FROM THE FALL is doing quite well in its limited run, too. It has made $217,000 on just six screens in 10 days. If you are in New York or somewhere JOURNEY is playing, it is worth checking out.