It has been a long, steady climb, but at last, six weeks after being released, the low-budget documentary OLD PARTNER (Wonang Sori) is the No. 1 film in the land. OLD PARTNER pulled in nearly 3 billion won ($1.5 million ... yikes, what an exchange rate) over the weekend to bring its total box office to 9.4 billion won ($6.3 million).
Not bad for a $70,000 film that opened on just seven screens.
Additionally, Korean movies took in three of the top four spots on the chart this week, with HANDPHONE (Haendeupon) opening in third and THE SCAM (Jakjeon) in fourth.
Must be rather disappointing for HANDPHONE, making just 1.7 billion won ($1.2 million) despite opening on 443 screens; even with its great surge, OLD PARTNER is still on only 276 screens).
THE SCAM has now pulled in over 870,000 admissions and 5.8 billion won ($3.9 million).
Just one other Korean film on the chart this week, as SCANDAL MAKERS (Gwasok Seukaendeul) landed in ninth, bringing its total revenue to 52.9 billion won ($36 million). According to KOBIS, SCANDAL MAKERS is now at 8.1 million admissions, but remember that KOBIS does not track every theater in the nation, so SCANDAL MAKERS has probably done slightly better than that. The film is almost certainly now ahead of FRIEND to become the sixth-biggest movie ever in Korea.
The biggest non-Korean, non-Hollywood film, RED CLIFF 2, fell to 13th. In five weeks the John Woo epic pulled in 2.7 million admissions and made 18 billion won ($12 million).
Oh, and MARINE BOY is nearly done, too, landing in 12th, with 24,000 admissions to bring its total to 825,000 admissions.