Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Korea Weekend Box Office - May 11-13

An interesting week for seeing the difference between local blockbusters and foreign blockbusters in South Korea. SPIDER-MAN 3 had another strong week on top of the box office, accounting for an impressive 57.1% of all admissions, bringing its two-week total to 3.9 million admissions, or about $26 million. Very impressive.

Compare that to THE HOST. Sure, SPIDER-MAN 3's opening weekend was comparable to THE HOST's. But at the end of THE HOST's second weekend, it had taken in 6.7 million admissions. That is 72% MORE than SPIDER-MAN 3. On around 150-200 fewer screens, too.

The moral is, Hollywood can open films in Korea as big as any Korean hit, but the box office power of Korean films comes from their staying power and their ability to draw big outside of Seoul. Remember, it was not that long ago that TERMINATOR 3 set an opening weekend record in Korea (then just a wimpy 1 million admissions), but it was not even on the year's top 10.

In No. 2 this weekend was that comedy UNSTOPPABLE MARRIAGE, about a meeting of the nightmare in-laws-to-be. PARADISE MURDERED is still chugging along in third, a month after it was released.

Fifth spot is more interesting, with the opening of Yukihiko Tsutsumi's MEMORIES OF TOMORROW. Ken Watanabe won a Japan Academy Award for his role as an advertising agent diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (Russell Edwards wrote a good review here). 45,000 is pretty good for a Japanese melodrama (last year, only one Japanese movie had more than 100,000 admissions, a level MoT should reach) (that was THE SINKING OF JAPAN, which had around 250,000).

The Hong Kong action film DRAGON TIGER GATE opened down in eighth, with just 8,800 admissions in Seoul. However it was more popular in the rest of Korea, with its 51,000 admissions beating MEMORIES OF TOMORROW. Last year, only one Hong Kong film beat 100,000 admissions, Jackie Chan's ROB-B-HOOD (108,000 admissions).

This WeekTitle........................................Release DateScreens NationwideWeekend Attendance (Seoul only)Total Attendance
1.Spider-Man 35.01745259,6003,894,000
2.Unstoppable Marriage5.1030086,700409,700
3.Paradise Murdered4.1223124,3002,142,600
4.My Son5.0125719,700398,700
5.Memories of Tomorrow5.1010018,00045,300
7.The Reaping4.199712,400652,200
8.Dragon Tiger Gate5.101438,80051,900
10.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles4.261052,900186,400
(Source: Film2.0)

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