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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.08.02 ~ 2013.08.04


The first week of August brought some exciting news from Korea as the box office enjoyed its biggest weekend haul in history! Around 4.5 millions tickets were sold with Korea's summer films (led by "The Terror Live" and "Snowpiercer") snatching 80% of the market share. Perhaps it was the perfect storm as residents in Korea felt both the pull of two local blockbusters, as well as the push from the unrelenting summer heat.

Bong Joon-ho's much anticipated sci-fi action film "Snowpiercer" spearheaded this recording-breaking weekend, claiming 2.2 million admissions over 1127 screens. Its sales were electric, making its impressive three day haul the second highest in history; only "Transformer 3"'s 2.3 million can claim to have one up on Bong Joon-ho's latest. What is more remarkable is that "Snowpiercer" has already accumulated 3.2 million admissions since its official release on Thursday. That means that the film has already positioned itself as the seventh highest grossing Korean film of the year, just ahead of "The Tower" (3.1M) and behind "Man on Edge" (3.8). In addition to the massive hype that surrounded Bong's English-language debut, the film open to over a thousand screenings around the country, only "Secretly and Greatly" opened with more (1,342), which currently sits as the third highest grossing Korean film of the year with 6.9 million admissions.

However, "Snowpiercer" was not alone in the local corner. Kim Byeong-woo's "The Terror Live" was also released on the first but enjoy less of the spotlight than Bong's epic. "The Terror Live" stars Ha Jung-woo as a T.V. anchor who gets back in front of the camera to deal with a bomb-blasting terrorist. This action thriller claimed 1.1 million admissions (26%) over the weekend and since Thursday has amassed almost 2 million. It is only the fifth film this year to be placed second and scored more than a millions admissions. Previously films that broke million admissions were: "Miracle in Cell No.7", "The Berlin File", "Man of Steel", and "Cold Eyes". "The Terror Live" had, indeed, some staunch local competition from Bong's latest, but both films will have at least a week to continue their completely dominance before a worthwhile challengers appears to steal the crown.

Last week's number one "Red 2" may have now surpassed its predecessor, but that did not prevent it from taking a serious tumbling to end up in fifth. Last week the film claimed first with 666,033 admissions, this week that number plummeted to 194,454 (4.3%). The U.S. animation "Turbo" kept a lot of its momentum despite the flurry of ticket sales going on above it. "Turbo" claimed third with 355,861, again one of highest third-place ticket sales of the year. The popular comic book anti-hero "The Wolverine" was unceremoniously demoted from being second last week to seventh with just 54,540 (1.2%), which advanced the film's total tally to just over a million admissions. Overall it was an exciting and frantic weekend at the Korean box office lead by perhaps the most anticipated Korean film of the year – "Snowpiercer".


-C.J. Wheeler (@KoreaOnTheCouch)


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2013.08.02 - 2013.08.04 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Snowpiercer" (설국열차) 2013/08/01 2 260 191 3 297 568
2 "The Terror Live" (더 테러 라이브) 2013/08/01 1 195 349 1 836 454
3 "Turbo"   355 861 1 382 961
4 "The Smurfs 2"   293 892 437 937
5 "Red 2"   194 454 2 756 415
6 "Cold Eyes" (감시자들) 2013/07/03 54 784 5 458 567
7 "The Wolverine"   54 540 1 032 178
8 "Mr. Go" (미스터 고) 2013/07/17 40 679 1 301 276
9 "Doraemon: Nobita's Secret Gadget Museum" ( ドラえもん のび太のひみつ道具博物館)   15 366 110 780
10 "Pacific Rim"   15 119 2 531 742
Korean movies only  
  "Hide and Seek" (숨바꼭질) 2013/08/14 2 379 5 062
  "Secretly and Greatly" (은밀하게 위대하게) 2013/06/05 858 6 958 746
  "On the Road" (길위에서) 2013/05/23 774 38 803
  "Yellow Hair - Plastic Sex" (노랑머리 – 플라스틱 섹스) 2013/08/01 450 600
  "The Ring of Life" (링) 2013/07/25 235 1 371
  "Killer Toon" (더 웹툰: 예고 살인) 2013/06/27 168 1 197 036
  "48m" (48미터) 2013/07/04 153 12 971
  "Old Men Never Die" (죽지않아) 2013/08/08 108 108
  "My Dear Enemy" (멋진 하루) 2008/09/25 95 397 356
  "Pluto" (명왕성) 2013/07/11 92 16 420

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