Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Korea Weekend Box Office - Aug. 29-31 (Philip K. Dick edition)

A very strange box office report this week -- the No. 2 and 3 films have not been released yet. Officially, they hit the theaters on Sept. 4. I guess their distributors decided to take advantage of the weak competition and open them a week early.

Either that or else the Matrix of our reality just accidentally revealed how our whole fabric of existence is just a preplanned, preordained sham, a shell covering our base programming. As if Time were Out of Joint. I guess it depends on what numbers KOBIS gives us next week.

Anyhow, THE DARK KNIGHT held on to the top spot for one more week. And, I suspect, one last week. MAMMA MIA, No. 3 in pre-release, is doing very well in advanced registrations for the coming weekend. It has been a big musical hit in Korea (several times), and I would not at all be surprised if it does really well in the theaters.

THE DIVINE WEAPON looks a little more dicey, although it has the potential to be a decent mid-range hit, especially with the big Chuseok weekend coming soon.

Hey, GOSA has an English title -- BLOOD BELL. I had missed that. Anyhow, fixed it for this week.

This WeekTitle............................................Release DateScreens NationwideWeekend Revenue (bil. won)Total Revenue (bil. won)
1.Dark Knight 8.075032.0224.42
2.The Divine Weapon (Shingijeon - Korean) 9.044051.501.58
3.Mamma Mia! 9.042720.940.99
4.Wall-E 8.073310.556.35
5. Blood Bell (Gosa - Korean) 8.073280.519.92
6.CJ7 8.213340.381.80
7.Eye for an Eye (Nuneneun Nun Ieneun I - Korean) 7.312170.3313.07
8.Midnight Meat Train 8.142960.351.73
9.The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Joheun Nom, Nappeun Nom, Isanghan Nom - Korean) 7.172840.3245.55
10.Mummy 3 7.313210.2426.19
(Source: KOBIS - Figures represent 98% of nationwide box office)

Since summer is over, perhaps it is worth summarizing the top films of the summer season:
1. The Good, the Bad, the Weird - 45.6 billion won
2. Kung Fu Panda - 29.3 billion won
3. Another Public Enemy - 28.3 billion won
4. Iron Man - 27.8 billion won
5. Mummy 3 - 26.2 billion won
6. Indiana Jones 4 - 26.1 billion won
7. Dark Knight - 24.6 (and rising)
8. Wanted - 19.8 billion won
9. Hancock - 17.9 billion won
10. Eye for an Eye - 13.1 billion won

Why do I think I am forgetting something? Anyhow, Kim Jee-woon's Manchurian Western was easily the most popular film of the summer. Then there were only two other Korean films in the top ten, Kang Woo-suk's ANOTHER PUBLIC ENEMY and the hardboiled thriller AN EYE FOR AN EYE. There were a lot of Hollywood superheroes. KUNG FU PANDA became the most successful animated film ever in Korea. And I would rather not contemplate the meaning behind the success of WANTED...

Another odd action film, TAKEN did very well, with about 15 billion won. But it was released in April and made only 5.9 billion won since May 1, so it did not make the summer chart.

All together, 16 movies pulled in over 1 million admissions, but only five Korean films. Korean films now account for 40 percent of the boxoffice for 2008, up from June, but still their worst year since 2002 or so.

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