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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.01.31 - 2014.02.02

2014/02/03 | 1093 views | Permalink

"Miss Granny" leads over record-breaking Lunar New Year weekend …

The Lunar New Year holiday saw around 5 million moviegoers flock to the cinema this past weekend, record-breaking foot traffic that surpassed even the last year's tussle between "Snowpiercer" and "The Terror Live". There were a number of Korean films hoping to cash in on the break (most notably Park Je-hyeon's "The Huntresses") but ultimately it was a two-horse race between "Frozen" and Hwang Dong-hyuk's "Miss Granny". Hwang's comedy drama narrowly managed to dislodge the Oscar nominee, and between them they captured over 70% of the market to lead the hectic holiday rush.

This week saw the release of Park Je-hyeon's "The Huntresses", the first of a host highly anticipated historical films and one that was expected to take advantage of the holiday hype. Instead, the film claimed just 261,880 admissions (5%) over, a surprisingly low, 380 screens; an unimpressive haul that was only good enough for sixth place. Han's sophomore feature is a Charlie's Angel's-style effort and stars Ha Ji-won, Kang Ye-won, and Son Ga-in as the dynastic trio of heroines. "The Huntresses" received some poor reviews from critics on the ground, and it appears the Korean public agreed given its poor first weekend.  

It was, instead, Hwang Dong-hyuk's "Miss Granny" that stole the show. After a strong start last weekend (851,198) the film upped its efforts here to displace "Frozen" at the top of the pile. The film attracted more the 1.7 million (34.3%) viewers to its tale of a grumpy grandmother who finds herself in her 20-year-old body. Those figures were helped by the hungry holiday hoards and also the 1022 screens the film was allocated. "Miss Granny" has now raced to 3.9 million admissions in just two weeks.

Last week's number one "Frozen" had a hotly contested challenger on its hands once again, but lost out on a third straight week at the top by Hwang's catchy comedy. This 3D computer-animation scored a plump 1.6 million (35.8%), and while that wasn't good enough to claim first, the film has now become the highest grossing animation in Korea (outperforming even "Kung Fu Panda 2") with its 6 million admissions.

Han Dong-wook's "When A Man Loves A Woman" jumped up one place to third (341,054 – 6.7%), followed by Lee Yeon-woo's romantic comedy "Hot Young Bloods" (280,714 – 5.3%) in fourth. Gangster films are a popular genre in Korea, but Han's tale here is a little different to what Korea has seen before. Similar to "The Dallas Buyer's Club" in premise, "When A Man Loves A Woman" follows a terminally ill gangster (Hwang Jung-min) who falls in love with a young woman (Han Hye-jin) as he fights for purpose and passion on his way out. "Hot Young Bloods" has a young cast (Park Bo-young, Lee Jong-suk, Lee Se-young, and Kim Young-kwang) that traces four country teens in Hongseong as they find and fight for romance. The film's weekend efforts now has Lee's second feature at over 1.5 million admissions since its release on the 22nd.

"The Attorney" surprised most last year when it managed to sneak into the year's top ten. Director Yang Woo-seok saw his film gather massive momentum late last year and only recently has that steam slowed. "The Attorney" claimed 278,788 (5.6%) here to advance its total tally to 11.1 million admissions, a figure that puts this true-life drama above "Silmido" (11 million) as the eighth highest grossing Korean film of all-time. Next in its sights is the disaster film "Haeundae" which currently sits in seventh with 11.3 million stubs to its name.

In seventh came "The Nut Job", a collaborative effort by Canada, Korea, and the U.S. that opened its account over the holiday with 215,981 (4%) tickets sold. The action thriller "Police Story 2014", starring Jackie Chan, followed in eighth (80,501 – 1.6%), with "Inside Llewyn Davis (22,226 – 0.5%) and "Dinotasia" (12,394 – 0.3%) rounding out the Lunar New Year weekend.

 

What's coming out next week in Korea?: [HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound...

Last weekend's report: [HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.01.24 ~ 2014.01.26

 

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2014.01.31 - 2014.02.02 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Miss Granny" (수상한 그녀) 2014/01/23 1 755 170 3 920 579
2 "Frozen"   1 642 586 6 004 181
3 "When A Man Loves A Woman" (남자가 사랑할 때) 2014/01/22 341 920 1 326 386
4 "Hot Young Bloods" (피끓는 청춘) 2014/01/23 280 944 1 501 409
5 "The Attorney" (변호인) 2013/12/19 278 917 11 145 715
6 "The Huntresses" (조선미녀삼총사) 2014/01/29 262 078 402 278
7 "The Nut Job"   215 981 304 409
8 "Police Story 2013" (警察故事2013)   80 620 121 751
9 "Inside Llewyn Davis"   22 237 38 262
10 "Dinotasia"   14 394 20 411
Korean movies only  
  "My Place" (마이 플레이스) 2014/01/30 309 762
  "Beautiful Korea" (아름다운 팔도강산, 1972) - Re-release   288 1 069
  "Another Family" (또 하나의 약속) 2014/02/06 282 8 929
  "The Dinner" (만찬) 2014/01/23 212 1 402
  "Mozart, l'opéra rock" (모차르트 락 오페라, 2011) - Re-release   147 15 962
  "Stray Dogs" (들개들) 2014/01/23 130 1 144
  "Way Back Home" (집으로 가는 길) 2013/12/12 115 28 144
  "Tomorrow's Scenery of Korea" ( 내일의 팔도강산, 1973) - Re-release   108 696
  "The Suspect" (용의자) 2013/12/24 41 4 131 129
  "40MIN" (문감독 예고편 : 40MIN)   12 127

 

- C.J. Wheeler (chriscjw@gmail.com@KoreaOnTheCouch)

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