Wow, it was really a two-film weekend, wasn't it? Bong Joon-ho's MOTHER (Madeo) and TERMINATOR: SALVATION together accounted for a mammoth 1,400 screens or so (KOFIC tends to double-count a lot, so the screen numbers in the chart below are a little exaggerated, but they are still huge). Two films accounting for 70 percent of a nation's screens? Really?
On the other hand, those two films accounted for well over 70 percent of the box office, so it is not like the theater owners aren't being efficient and economical. Sometimes, one of the only things I find more bewildering than the lack of consumer choice in Korea is the lack of demand for choices.
Anyhow, MOTHER (Madeo) opened in No. 1 last weekend, to no one's surprise. Nearly 6.7 billion won ($5.4 million) over the weekend, or 8.1 billion won ($6.5 million) including Thursday. That's over 1.2 million tickets sold in just four days. Not bad at all, especially for such a simpler film than Bong's THE HOST (Goemul). MOTHER may not be epic, but it is totally worth watching. Go see it soon.
The biggest surprise for me was the continuing strength of TERMINATOR 4. I thought it would have plunged like a stone after its opening weekend. But instead it held on for another 5.2 billion won ($4.2 million), bringing its total to 19.3 billion won ($15.4 million). Over 3 million tickets in just 11 days. Proportionately, it is doing so much better here than in the United States. Strange.
After those two films, you get a huge dropoff. ANGELS & DEMONS was in third, with just 1.1 billion won, for a total of 10.8 billion won.
MY GIRLFRIEND IS AN AGENT (7-Geup Gongmuwon) continues to hold on, earning another 909 million won to bring its total to 24.7 billion won ($19.8 million).
Korean films also accounted for the sixth spot (CASTAWAY ON THE MOON), ninth (THIRST) and 10th (BOAT). Half the films in the top 10 Korean during Hollywood's high season? Not bad at all.
Oh, and Hong Sang-soo's LIKE YOU KNOW IT ALL (Jal Aljido Mot Hamyeonseo) was down in 14th, in case you wanted to know. Not huge business, but at least it broke 200 million won.