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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.07.26 ~ 2013.07.28


Despite the release of DreamWorks Animation's "Turbo" and the latest comic book film "The Wolverine", it was "Red 2" that managed to remain Korea's film of choice. Director Dean Parisot's "Red 2" claimed 666,048 admissions (25.9%) in its second weekend out, holding off a host of challengers to round out the month of July in good condition. In addition to these two Hollywood features getting stuck in, this week will also see two mammoth Korean films go head-to-head for the summer crowds and crown.

Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" and Kim Byeong-woo's "The Terror Live" are both officially released on August 1st, with the latter having already scored a sneaky 122,762 (4.9%) admissions. "The Terror Live" stars the popular Korean actor Ha Jung-woo ("The Berlin File", "Nameless Gangster", "The Client") as a T.V. anchor that has to get back into the game when a bomb-blasting terrorist threatens Korea's capital city. Kim's action thriller will have its work cut out for it though, as Bong's "Snowpiercer" has been on the lips of fans and critics for quite some time now.

"Snowpiercer" is sci-fi action drama that is based off of the French comic "Le Transperceneige" by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film also boast a number of Korea's top movie talents, both in front of and behind the camera. Song Kang-ho ("Memories of Murder", "Thirst", "The Host") will be working with director Bong, along with one of the film's producers Park Chan-wook ("Stoker", "Old Boy", "Thirst"), and there is visionary cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo ("Mother", "The Good, the Bad, the Weird"). There is a lot to be excited about for both films, but we will only know next week which way Korean audiences will head. While these two super films loosen up in the wings, this week the top ten said good-bye to both Jang Cheol-soo's "Secretly and Greatly" (6.9 millions admissions) and Kim Yong-gyun's "Killer Toon" (1.1 million).

The only other Korean films to feature in this past weekends top ten were Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byeong-seo's "Cold Eyes" and the bat-swinging antics found in Kim Yong-hwa "Mr. Go". "Cold Eyes" was released at the beginning of the month, and opened its account in week one with 1.3 million admissions in the bank. Since then, Kim's crime drama has collected 5.2 million admissions, 343,425 (13.2%) of which came from this past weekend. The fate of Korea's first stereoscopic 3D feature is less certain. "Mr. Go" had a very quiet opening weekend last week, and its performance in week two was even less inspiring. "Mr. Go" came in fifth with 212,150 (7.6%), suggesting that perhaps the premise of a Chinese circus gorilla was a little too big of a pill for audiences to swallow. Its younger target market might also was been swayed by DreamWorks' "Turbo" (3rd with 403,984) and the popular Japanese animations "Doraemon: Nobita's Secret Gadget Museum" (8th 45,606).

It's going to be an exciting and busy August for Korea's film junkies, and next week will be able to see and read about what fans and critics felt about both "The Terror Live" and Bong Joon-ho's international (English-language) debut feature "Snowpiercer".

- C.J. Wheeler (@KoreaOnTheCouch)

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2013.07.26 - 2013.07.28 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Red 2"   666 048 2 186 602
2 "The Wolverine"   581 134 777 986
3 "Turbo"   403 984 540 439
4 "Cold Eyes" (감시자들) 2013/07/03 343 425 5 202 457
5 "Mr. Go" (미스터 고) 2013/07/17 212 150 1 131 057
6 "Pacific Rim"   126 340 2 458 129
7 "The Terror Live" (더 테러 라이브) 2013/08/01 122 762 126 649
8 "Doraemon: Nobita's Secret Gadget Museum" ( ドラえもん のび太のひみつ道具博物館)   45 606 55 983
9 "World War Z"   33 083 5 218 833
10 "A Late Quartet"   8 497 10 303
Korean movies only  
  "Killer Toon" (더 웹툰: 예고 살인) 2013/06/27 6 294 1 193 768
  "Secretly and Greatly" (은밀하게 위대하게) 2013/06/05 958 6 954 805
  "On the Road" (길위에서) 2013/05/23 837 37 339
  "Pluto" (명왕성) 2013/07/11 673 15 850
  "Snowpiercer" (설국열차) 2013/08/01 421 7 866
  "A Seashore Village" (1978, 갯마을) - Re-release   416 600
  "The Ring of Life" (링) 2013/07/25 410 800
  "48m" (48미터) 2013/07/04 395 12 575
  "Holly" (홀리) 2013/06/20 380 1 499
  "We Were There" (우리는 그곳에 있었다) 2013/07/18 157 1 202

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