A new week, a new No. 1 at the box office. This time it was NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2, with a healthy 5.4 billion won ($4.3 million) over the weekend, or 6.0 billion won ($4.7 million) including Thursday. The original NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM did quite well in Korea a couple of years ago, so the sequel's success was not really a surprise.
Fighting it out for No. 2 was TERMINATOR SALVATION and Bong Joon-ho's MOTHER (Madeo). TERMINATOR edged out MOTHER in terms of admissions -- 538,000 to 533,000 -- but MOTHER was slightly stronger at the box office -- 3.7 billion won ($2.9 million) to 3.6 billion won. But I like to rank the film's by revenue, so let's give the victory to MOTHER (unfortunately, KOFIC ranks by admissions, so the chart below does not reflect my opinion).
Since it was released May 21, TERMINATOR has made an impressive 24.6 billion won ($19.4 million) -- that is 3.7 million admissions and the film will certainly top 4 million soon. Easily the most successful TERMINATOR film here in Korea.
Since MOTHER was released May 28, it has made 14.7 billion won ($11.6 million), or nearly 2.2 million admissions. I think it will make it to 3 million, which is not bad, especially considering the subject matter of the film.
Otherwise, not much exciting happening in the top-10. MY GIRLFRIEND IS AN AGENT (7 Geup Gongmuwon) is still doing business at No. 5, earning another 660 million won to bring its total to 25.8 billion won ($20.3 million). It has just topped 4 million admissions, but it will not make it to 5 million.
CASTAWAY ON THE MOON (Gimssi Pyoryugi) and THIRST (Bakjwi) are the two other Korean films on the chart, in seventh and eighth. But really, this is barely a top-10 list. Only the top eight films were on over 100 screens and only the five films had over 100,000 admissions over the weekend.
(Courtesy of KOFIC, of course)
Btw, CJ CGV's monthly box office report came out a few days ago, and it was quite encouraging. Last month was the strongest May on record with 16.3 million admissions, way up from May 2008's 12.8 million. But more importantly, Korean movies made up 49.1 percent of the box office, which was the strongest showing in year (maybe ever).
Usually Hollywood's summer blockbusters start coming out in May and completely dominate Korea until July or August. Last year was the most extreme example, when Korean movies accounted for a humiliating 7.8 percent.
So far in 2009, Korea movies have 46.9 percent of the local box office.