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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.11.22 - 2013.11.24


Korea Proves Fire Retardant as "Friends 2" holds True...

Kwak Gyeong-taek's "Friends 2" held onto the top spot despite the arrival of the engrossing "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire". "Catching Fire" smashed the U.S. box office record for a November release, grossing a grotesque $161.1M as fans flooded the theatres to catch the second instalment of "Hunger Games" trilogy. However a slow Korean market proved incombustible in the face of this fiery U.S. action-adventure, choosing instead to re-elect Kwak's popular sequel as it moved onto 2.3 million admissions in its second weekend out.

Last week Kwak Gyeong-taek's much anticipated reunion dislodged the mighty "Thor: The Dark World" to sit atop a relatively sedate box office, walking away with a little over a million admissions in week one. That strong opening haul was slashed in week two as the Busan buddies could only hustle 472,874 (25.5%) over 699 screens, but that effort was enough to hold out against the oncoming firestorm currently burning ferociously on the other side the world. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" opened to 630 screens around the retardant South, earning just $2.6M in its opening weekend. In 2012, "The Hunger Games" also opened in second to the popular local romance drama "Architecture 101", but then trickled down the charts and was ejected in week five. Before it was sent packing, Collins's adaptation scrapped together just 604,758 admissions – dashing any hopes that the sequel will spontaneously combust.

The omnibus drama "Marriage Blue" opened its account with 312,407 (16%) over 520 screens, while Sony Pictures Animation's new feature "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" followed suit with 252,105 (12.5%) of its own. "Marriage Blue" is the fourth film by director Hong Ji-young ("Modern Family", "Horror Stories", "The Naked Kitchen") and follows four couples as they stumble around love before the tie the knot. The film boosts an large ensemble cast including Kim Kang-woo, Kim Hyo-jin, Lee Yeon-hee, Ok Taecyeon, Ma Dong-seok and Guzal Tursunova. In fifth place was the God of Thunder himself. "Thor: The Dark World" stole silver the weekend before, but took a serious tumble in week four with just 164,806 (8.3%). However it still managed to keep ahead of Jeong Yeon-sik's debut "The Five" which closely contested Marvel's latest with 146,050 (7.8%) of its own.

The enigmatic, and arguably experimental, "Gravity" cleared 68,423 (5.3%) admissions to move its total tally in Korea to 3M ($28M), leaving Park Hong-soo's action drama "Commitment" to trail far behind it with 13,192 (0.5%). "Commitment" is in its third week now but has only managed to attract 1,032,128 million admissions ($6.5M). 20th Century Fox's "The Counsellor" fell from sixth to ninth, adding just 10,636 to its meek new total of 126,401. Lastly, Yeon Sang-ho's new animation "The Fake" cracked a top ten finish in week one, bringing in 6,453 admissions over just 76 screens. Yeon's edgy new flick impressed at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, but the Korean populace seem so far content to have his success remain exclusively on festival circuits.

- C.J. Wheeler (


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2013.11.22 - 2013.11.24 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Friends 2" (친구2) 2013/11/14 472 874 2 337 196
2 "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"   397 200 474 365
3 "Marriage Blue" (결혼 전야) 2013/11/21 312 407 394 181
4 "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2"   252 105 263 821
5 "Thor: The Dark World"   164 806 2 908 576
6 "The Five" (더 파이브 ) 2013/11/14 146 050 617 674
7 "Gravity"   68 423 3 077 241
8 "Commitment" (동창생) 2013/11/06 13 192 1 032 128
9 "The Counselor"   10 636 126 401
10 "The Fake" (사이비) 2013/11/21 6 453 11 321
Korean movies only  
  "Black Gospel" (블랙가스펠) 2013/11/14 4 052 39 508
  "Precious Love" (완전 소중한 사랑) 2013/11/21 3 997 15 852
  "House With A Good View - Voyeuristic Desire" (전망 좋은 하우스 - 관음적 욕망) 2013/11/20 3 640 3 650
  "Old Boy" (올드보이) 2003/11/21 2 677 305 070
  "Christmas in August" (8월의 크리스마스) 1998/01/24 2 548 22 458
  "Ingtoogi" (잉투기) 2013/11/14 1 840 12 962
  "If You Were Me 6" (어떤 시선) 2013/10/24 1 694 24 366
  "Blood and Ties" (공범 ) 2013/10/24 1 393 1 764 638
  "NO-BREATH" (노브레싱) 2013/10/30 751 448 359
  "The Face Reader" (관상) 2013/09/11 537 9 132 766

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