Monday, May 07, 2007

Korea Weekend Box Office - May 4-6

Reminding me once again why I am not a gambler, SPIDER-MAN 3 way outstripped my predictions with a monster opening -- the second-biggest opening ever, next to THE HOST. Yeah, like most of the world, the Spider-Man juggernaut stormed through South Korea last week, smashing all sorts of box office records.

SPIDEY3 opened on 617 screens on Tuesday, pulling in $3.4 million on that day alone (that is the biggest opening day ever in Korea, at least according to Sony Pictures). By the weekend, its screen count had soared to a record 816. 816! In a country with only a little over 1,800 screens. Wow. By the time the first week was done, S3 had earned about $18.3 million.

Other records Sony is claiming include biggest one day attendance, at 825,000, and second-biggest opening week ever, at 2.56 million admissions (just below THE HOST's 2.64 million).

S3 accounted for 69.7% of all ticket sales, just a smidgen below THE HOST's opening weekend of 69.8%.

Great box office, however, is about sustaining. The amazing thing about THE HOST was not just its opening, but the fact that it did nearly the same business in its second weekend, at 67.5%. Will SPIDER-MAN 3 sustain? Probably not. Foreign films tend not to have as strong legs as domestic films in Korea. And I think S3's mediocrity will keep away repeat viewers.

But, as I have said, I would not bet money on my precog abilities.

(FYI, according to Film 2.0, TAEGUKGI opened at 63.2% and SILMIDO a more modest 40%. THE KING AND THE CLOWN opened at just 23%, but did not peak until its third weekend, at 41%.)

There were a few non-Spidery movies, believe it or not. MY SON opened in (distant) second. PARADISE MURDERED is at No. 3.

Further down the chart gets more interesting. After four weekends, MEMORIES OF MATSUKO finally made the top-10 list, landing in ninth (on just five screens around the nation). And Im Kwon-taek's BEYOND THE YEARS made a reappearance, down in tenth.

This WeekTitle........................................Release DateScreens NationwideWeekend Attendance (Seoul only)Total Attendance
1.Spider-Man 35.01816460,1792,559,902
2.My Son5.0129847,568256,595
3.Paradise Murdered4.1225541,1352,000,332
4.The Reaping4.1912228,000577,500
7.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles4.2621218,595164,860
8.My Tutor Friend 24.191335,000528,000
9.Memories of Matsuko4.1251,86919,547
10.Beyond the Years4.12121,858138,045

(Source: Film2.0)
  • And another reminder that I am no Kreskin -- I just saw the latest SOPRANOS episode. I think we can safely ignore my prediction for that show, too. Sigh.

    UPDATE: A very strange error is sweeping the world. It started in Variety, and has been picked up by Nikki Finke:
    In Korea, SM3 did three times the business of the previous record holder (Korean film The Host) and bested the previous-best Hollywood film (Warner's The Matrix Reloaded) by more than four times.

    Which is, of course, blatantly wrong. No idea what happened at Variety (maybe someone confused admissions and revenue?), but hopefully people will correct that error before it becomes commonly accepted "fact."

    UPDATE 2: My mistake. The error was made by Sony Pictures, then reprinted by all the trades and Nikki Finke and others. Sorry for casting aspersions on the nice people at Variety (especially since The Hollywood Reporter made the same mistake).

    Really, though, how could no one catch that? "three times the business of the previous record holder"? THREE TIMES! Could that be remotely possible? Really a mistake that should have been caught somewhere in the editorial chain.
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