Korea's Highest Grossing Foreign Films of 2011
We have seen Korean cinema succeed both locally and internationally this year, but which foreign films made it big in Korea in 2011? Besides the few international films from Asia and Europe it has been Hollywood that has dominated Korea's consumption of foreign films. "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon" stood out as Korea's highest grossing domestic film of the year but even that was trumped by over 400,000 admissions to the third "Transformers" film.
You don't need to ask too many locals to discover their love for animations and giant robots. It seems that such films are love by both young and old and are quickly marked as 'must sees'. In 2011, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was the highest grossing film with 7,790,434 admission, breaking the 3 million mark within a few days of its release at the end of June. Once there it stood at number one for just two weeks, ultimately giving way to the final film in the Harry Potter series. By which time is had already amassed 6,929,707 total admissions. In its opening week it held a whopping 81.8 % of the ticket sales, the highest monopoly of tickets in 2011. But like many foreign films, its duration in the charts was a hard and fast affair as most international films are quickly seen and rarely linger as long as their local counterparts.
"Kung Fu Panda 2" was another huge success in Korea; it saw some 5,065,629 admissions place it as the second highest grossing foreign film and fifth overall. It was undone by local successes in the form of "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon", "Sunny - 2010", and was just outdone by Lee Han's "Punch". It was "Kung Fu Panda 2" that finally gave way to "Sunny - 2010" and "Transformers 3 when the fight for the top spot heated up as the summer films bombarded cinemas. But unlike "Transformers 3", "Kung Fu Panda 2" held first prize for a solid month before the runaway hit "Sunny - 2010" came to town and captured local audiences. Even after its dethroning it lingered for another month before being ejected from the top ten. Two months in the country's top ten is an incredible feet and speaks volumes of its popularity in Korea, especially when this "Kung Fu Panda 2" only made it to thirteen in America's highest grossing films of 2011.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" is one that most were looking forward to this year as the Mr Potter's adventure came to its spectacular climax. It was the number one film of year in the U.S and Korea shared that interest as it ranked third amongst the highest grossing foreign films released in Korea this past year. "Harry Potter" came out mid-July in Korea and immediately jumped into the top spot in the charts, ending "Transformers" profitable run at the top of the chart. A position it held for just two weeks, and was then removed from the top ten after a month from its release.
Tome Cruise's new "Mission Impossible" film is still currently out in theatres and the Holiday crowds have welcomed his latest with open arms. It has been a late entry into the top ten but it has so far sold 3,677,069 admissions and is the forth-highest grossing foreign film. All that despite currently only occupying 26th in the U.S top films of 2011. The only other foreign film in the top ten is "Reel Steel". This one really clicked with Korea audiences. This robot-fighting piece had the perfect formula for success in Korea as the "Transformer" buzz was rekindled with great reward. Timing was clearly on its side that its 3,583,362 admissions can attest to. It only held the number one spot for a week but its run in the top ten latest ten weeks.
So there you have it, the five highest grossing foreign films to be released in Korea in 2011. If you wish to see how these films compared to what films achieved success in the U.S you can take a look below (the actual numbers can be found here).
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2015 51st PaekSang Arts Awards