TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN had a huge opening last weekend, the biggest since at least PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3, and pretty close to Bong Joon-ho's 2006 hit THE HOST (Goemul).
The loud, toy robot sequel pulled in 14.1 billion won ($10.9 million) over the weekend, and 19.7 billion won ($15.3 million) since it opened on Wednesday. That equates to 2.1 million admissions over the weekend and 3.0 million since Wednesday.
If it seemed like just about every screen in Korea was playing TRANSFORMERS 2, you were pretty much right -- a record-shattering 1,038 screens. There are just 2,000 screens in all of Korea. (When I came to Korea, there were not even 500 screens in the entire country).
(Btw, the chart below says 1,200 screens for TRANSFORMERS, but remember the KOFIC list double-counts some screens, so tends to be a little exaggerated).
The real question will be staying power. Movies like PIRATES 3 and SPIDER-MAN 3 had openings nearly as big as THE HOST, but they ended up with much smaller totals. TRANSFORMERS (the first) by comparison had 1.3 million admissions in its opening weekend, but went on to pull in 7.4 million admissions, the best foreign film ever in Korea.
The only other movie that anyone went to see last weekend was RUNNING TURTLE (Geobuki Dallinda), which made 1.8 billion won ($1.4 million) to bring its three-week total to 13.0 billion won ($10.1 million). TURTLE is going to top 2 million admissions, making it officially a hit, I guess.
Everything else is sad. The No. 3 film BLOOD PLEDGE (Yeogyo Goedam 5) made just 499 million won ($387,000) over the weekend, bringing its total to 2.8 billion won. That's just 59,000 admissions for it last weekend.
MISSING LYNX from Spain opened in fourth. The only other Korean film was Bong Joon-ho's MOTHER (Madeo), in sixth. MOTHER has now made 19.5 billion won -- slightly less than what TRANSFORMERS 2 did in five days.
Rather amazing to me was that the 8th Mise-en-Scene Genre Film Festival landed in 10th. With just two screens. That's pretty wild. The 11th place film, THE BROTHERS BLOOM, sold fewer tickets, despite being on 110 screens. Wow.