Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Korea Weekend Box Office - Oct. 10-12

Hey, six of the top 10 films this week were Korean. I cannot remember the last time that happened. Not long ago, Korean dominance at the box office we usually typical, but for most of this year, there have been many fewer films released than in past years, making it harder to fill the top 10 most weeks.

Despite having six Korean films in the top 10, the top two movies last weekend were both from Hollywood. No. 1 was the Shia LaBeouf thriller EAGLE EYE. Seems like the ads have been on TV non-stop for the past couple of weeks, but I know very little about it.

No. 2 is the "Waiting for a Girl Like You" of movies, the musical MAMMA MIA. With one week's exception, the ABBA musical has been stuck in the No. 2 spot since it opened six weeks ago. Kind of remarkable, I guess.

(Foreigner's "Waiting" is remarkable for being the song to spend the longest at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 without ever reaching No. 1... which makes it a pretty imperfect comparison, in addition to being pretty obscure. Oh, forget about it. Sigh.)

MODERN BOY tumbles to No. 3 and looks like it will not be doing much at the box office. But its distributor, CJ Entertainment, cannot be too sad, since their films currently occupy three of the top 10, including EAGLE EYE.

This WeekTitle............................................Release DateScreens NationwideWeekend Revenue (bil. won)Total Revenue (bil. won)
1.Eagle Eye 10.093903.704.22
2.Mamma Mia! 9.042901.0825.08
3.Modern Boy (Korean) 10.024030.874.31
4.Gogo 70s (Korean) 10.023120.723.21
5. The Divine Weapon (Shingijeon - Korean) 9.042760.4823.91
6.Dream (Bimong - Korean) 10.091210.270.34
7.Truck (Korean) 9.252340.243.53
8.The Women 10.091510.230.28
9.Babylon AD 10.021970.181.41
10.Rough Cut (Yeonghwaneun Yeonghwada - Korean) 9.111290.188.82
(Source: KOBIS - Figures represent 98% of nationwide box office)

Oh, some stuff about Kim Ki-duk's DREAM that I forgot to mention in my write-up yesterday. One of the most surprising things about DREAM, given how it was released on Oct. 9, was the film's non-appearance at this year's Pusan International Fantastic Film Festival. I do not recall seeing it even at any industry screenings. Very odd for a director who is usually the king of the film festivals.

The story as I heard it is that Kim got upset at PIFF when they refused to give DREAM a top spot, in one of the major categories. He was so upset, in fact, that he refused to let PIFF screen his film at all.

Of course, Kim is no longer the festival darling he once was a few years ago. But, still, it seemed strange to have a Kim Ki-duk film opening in Korea in the closing days of PIFF, but the film was not on the bill at PIFF at all.

Btw, with DREAM opening on over 100 screens, that is the biggest rollout for a Kim film that I can recall. With over 50,000 admissions for DREAM since it opened, I am guessing Kim isn't exactly crying in his haejangguk over missing PIFF.

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