[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.05.02 ~ 2014.05.04

All hail the new King!

The box office came alive over the weekend as a string of features stamped their authority and invigorated sales at the top of order. Lee Jae-gyoo's "The Fatal Encounter" (previously known as "The King's Wrath") soared into pole position with over a million tickets to its name; a healthy haul that was no doubt spurred by Hyun Bin's role as the discerning (and now historically handsome) King Jeongjo. The film opened to over a thousand screens and made the most of them by capturing over 38% of box office pie. Other films that made an impact included last week's number one "The Amazing Spiderman 2", Director Chang's "The Target", and the foreign animation "Rio 2".

2014 started with some serious hype over the amount (and variety) of historical flicks that were scheduled for release over the year. "The Huntresses" got the ball rolling in January, but flopped terribly and managed to claim just 473,332. "The Fatal Encounter", however, has captured the public's interest and star-stunningly slap the lethargy out of filmgoers and got more bums back on seats for the home team. Lee's film claimed a little over a million during its first weekend, but has already raced on 1.6M since its release on the 30th as locals flocked to the theatres to see Hyeon in a dramatic dynastic dream world. 

Last week's number one, "The Amazing Spiderman 2", found it hard going but was still able to put in a solid effort as it added another 740,429 admissions (28%), which brought its total tally now up to 2.9M. The other local delight that came through was "The Target", an action piece remade from a 2010 French film and stars Ryu Seung-ryong, Yu Jun-sang, Lee Jin-wook, and Kim Sung-ryung. Chang (whose real name is Yoon Hong-seung) was behind the 2008 film "Death Bell" as well as the 2009 romance "Sydney in Love". "The Target" claimed 21.4% (853,040) of the total tickets over 650 screens; a good start to his third film that will hopefully be able to carry its success into the coming weeks. 

In fourth was "Rio 2", the sequel to popular 2011 film that walked away from its opening weekend with 201,018 (6.8%), marking the cruel watershed as it comfortably missed out on a podium finish. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" tumbled from second to fifth with its allotted 56K (1.8%), followed by Wes Anderson's most successful film to date: "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (16,601 – 0.6%). Anderson's profitable pic has been in the Korean top ten for seven weeks now, a lengthy spree but not one that has proven terribly lucrative as it still only has 715K to its name.

"Captain America" gave up his crown last weekend to his partner in crime "The Amazing Spiderman", and has since degenerated down the chart. Marvel's blockbuster added a mortal 15K to bring its total tally in Korea now to 3.9M ($30.6M). That American mainstream affair was tailed by Korea's most successful indie film "Han Gong-ju" by director Lee Su-jin. The record-breaking film added another 14K to its cause, advancing the drama's total ticket sales now to 186,283 ($1.4M)-a fantastic feat that will hopefully fuel future indie projects and their chances for real box office success. Rounding out the weekend was "Beyond Beyond" (9.5K), a surprisingly dark animation from Denmark and Sweden, and the British drama "Le Week-End" by director Roger Michell (4.7K).


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] 2014.04.25 ~ 2014.04.27


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2014.05.02 - 2014.05.04 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Fatal Encounter" (역린) 2014/04/30 1 043 710 1 697 204
2 "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"   740 429 2 906 164
3 "The Target" (표적) 2014/04/30 585 585 853 040
4 "Rio 2"   201 018 251 102
5 "Mr. Peabody & Sherman"   56 150 215 420
6 "The Grand Budapest Hotel"   16 601 715 341
7 "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"   15 076 3 934 247
8 "Han Gong-ju" (한공주) 2014/04/17 14 380 185 283
9 "Beyond Beyond"   9 582 15 005
10 "Le Week-End"   4 713 7 793
Korean movies only  
  "Innocent Thing" (가시) 2014/04/10 1 452 140 667
  "My Father's E-mails" (아버지의 이메일) 2014/04/24 761 2 915
  "Broken" (방황하는 칼날) 2014/04/10 680 989 076
  "Thread of Lies" (우아한 거짓말) 2014/03/13 649 1 616 867
  "Shuttlecock" (셔틀콕) 2014/04/24 586 2 961
  "10 Minutes" (10분) 2014/04/24 369 2 025
  "The Attorney" (변호인) 2013/12/19 210 11 375 650
  "Uigwe, the 8-Day Festival 3D" (의궤, 8일간의 축제 3D) 2014/04/17 190 7 105
  "Another Family" (또 하나의 약속) 2014/02/06 170 497 710
  "God's Eye View" (시선) 2014/04/17 148 12 324


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