The anti-superhero epic WATCHMEN took the top spot this week in Korea -- but not by a lot. The classic comic book made just 1.8 billion won ($1.2 million) over the weekend, for a quite tepid opening. Especially considering the film opened on nearly 400 screens (although, to be fair, it was nearly three hours long).
Meanwhile, the cow movie, OLD PARTNER (Wonang Sori) continues to do well, taking in another 1.5 billion won ($1 million) over the weekend to bring its eight-week total to just over $10 million.
(Kind of funny and interesting, btw, how seriously OLD PARTNER's producers and the police are treating piracy of this film. I mean, I am happy that the powers-that-be are trying to protect anyone's intellectual property... but with the endemic piracy in South Korea, why is this film so special? And why don't everyone else's films deserve the same protection?)
BENJAMIN BUTTON was third, and has now broken the 10-billion-won mark ($6.6 million). Korean film THE SCAM (Jakjeon) was in fourth, with 774 million won to bring its total to 8.8 billion won.
The only other Korean film in the top-10 was HANDPHONE, which was sixth with 314 million won, bringing its total box office to just over 4 billion won.
Not a lot of arthouse love in Korea, as the much acclaimed THE WRESTLER opened in eighth, and the Colin Firth crime caper IN BRUGES opened in 10th.
(All numbers courtesy of KOBIS, and the chart is from KOFIC).
Not that anyone asked, but I liked WATCHMEN, albeit with a lot of reservations. It certainly was not a perfect film, or even great. And it has the worst use of a Leonard Cohen song in a movie soundtrack that I can recall. But I did like the movie's ambition, and that it followed the comic's peculiar rhythms instead of the usual three-act Hollywood blockbuster cliche.