NOTES ON ENTERTAINMENT, CULTURE AND MORE FROM KOREA (OR WHEREVER)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Korea Weekend Box Office - Aug. 1-3

Why do Koreans love The Mummy franchise? Despite horrid reviews around the world and a pretty mediocre opening in the United States, THE MUMMY 3 had one of the strongest openings of the year, with about 2.1 million admissions (or about $13.5 million).

Note: THE MUMMY RETURNS has just 2.3 million admissions in its entire seven-week run, back in 2001 (making it the 10th biggest film of the year). MUMMY 3 beat that in about five days. The original THE MUMMY was the second-biggest film of 1999 in Korea (hard to say how well it did, because I only have Seoul numbers, but it probably had around 3 million admissions nationwide).

Kim Jee-woon's THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD continues to do well, if perhaps not quite at THE HOST or D-WAR levels. But it has topped 5.17 million admissions now, making it the biggest film of the year.

Plenty of competition coming soon, but the smartypants over at CJ Entertainment had a pretty good idea -- they have released the Cannes version of GBW, in around 10 theaters around Korea. An interesting way to keep the film a little fresher and encourage repeat business.

(Btw, I have seen both versions, and aside from about minute additional minutes at the end and one brief change in the opening, I do not recall any differences. The Cannes ending was not radically different, just less complete).

The thriller EYE FOR AN EYE had an okay opening, with 865,000 admissions since Thursday. Not bad, but I do not see it sticking around very long.

KUNG FU PANDA gets the longevity award, as it has been in the theaters here since June 5. These days, two months is forever.

PUBLIC ENEMY RETURNS makes its last entry this week, with 4.2 million admissions. That's about typical for a Kang Woo-suk film these days.

This WeekTitle............................................Release DateScreens NationwideWeekend Revenue (bil. won)Total Revenue (bil. won)
1.The Mummy 3 7.317239.4513.41
2.The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Joheun Nom, Nappeun Nom, Isanghan Nom - Korean)7.175694.1934.27
3.Eye for an Eye (Nuneneun Nun, Ieneun I - Korean) 7.315553.955.67
4.Sunny (Nimeun Meon Gose - Korean) 7.244331.859.29
5. Nim's Island 7.172360.493.87
6.Doremon 7.17960.341.60
7.Space Chimps 7.171410.221.45
8.Red Cliff 7.101230.1710.06
9.Kung Fu Panda 6.05480.09028.94
10.Public Enemy Returns (Gangcheoljung - Korean) 6.19330.03827.64
(Source: KOBIS - Figures represent 97% of nationwide box office)

THE DARK KNIGHT opened last night (I know because I saw it), and while it might not break records like it is doing in the United States, I expect it to be very, very big. WALL-E opens tonight, and I fear it is going to be the forgotten film. Then again, Korea is not a great country for Pixar. RATATOUILLE did not even make it to 1 million admissions.

Incidentally, A BETTER TOMORROW opens on Aug. 8 at the old Dream Cinema, by Seodaemun Station (line No. 5). It is the last of the old-style theaters in Korea (big, crappy, one-screen). They have been experiencing a big of a revival, as they await the wrecking ball, by showing a lot of popular older films. First it was DIRTY DANCING. Then THE MISSION did fairly well. They have played some Korean classics, too. Sounds like a fun theatrical experience.

1 comment:

Jaccstev said...

Like so many great movies that became dragged-out trilogies, the newest Mummy falls right in. I absolutely enjoyed the first two Mummy movies. But like so many sequels, this story line becomes repetitive and this movie is nothing like previous Mummy films. Actually it has done a horrible job of combining drama with comedy. So I'm also don't get it why there are so many peoples still attracted with this film.