[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.05.16 ~ 2014.05.18

Korean's torn between romance and rampage...

There was an intense tussle at the top over the weekend as the American giant "Godzilla" took on Kim Dae-woo's "Obsessed". While Gareth Edward's monster remake seized the lion's share of the pie (23.8% from 438,487 admissions), it was Kim's third feature that seduced the majority of filmgoers into the cinemas with over 445K tickets sold (23.5%). It was relatively fair game as both films opened their accounts with over 600 screens to pool from, but the local talent teased out a narrow victory over the gargantuan ghost and ultimately put more bums on seats.

Kim Dae-woo was the amorous mind behind the 2010 romantic drama "The Servant", a powerful and sentimental re-telling of the famous folktale of "Chung Hyang". Such beautiful storytelling was surely in the minds of those Koreans who made the trip to theatres to catch Kim's latest work, another romantic tale that stars Song Seung-heon, Lim Ji-yeon, Cho Yeo-jeong and On Joo-wan. The film came out on the 14th and has already amassed more than 646K admissions; impressively outplaying "Godzilla" whose massive pull back home resulted in the second biggest opening of the year in the U.S.. The lusty lizard reached Korea's shores late last week and over the weekend thrilled thousands with its blockbuster visuals and sympathetic re-imagining of the iconic creature of chaos.

Not to be entirely outdone, but still sidelined, was this week number three "Transcendence"--a science fiction feature by cinematographer Wally Pfister that boasts a string of top talents including Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, and Morgan Freeman. Pfister's debut created a lot of buzz before its release, but lost some of that sheen once critics sharpened their knives. Still, the thought-provoking film captured the imagination of more than 317K filmgoers (16%) over 417 screens to hold down third, leaving last week's number two--Director Chang's "The Target"--just behind it with 284,807 admissions (14.5%). That sum pushes Chang's action piece up to 2.5M ($19.6M) since its release late last month.

With all these new hits finding purchase at the top it meant that something had to give, and this week it was Lee Jae-gyoo's period piece: "The Fatal Encounter". For the last two weeks the film has reigned royally at the top of the pile, but it was solidly ousted from the podium and was demoted to fifth with 211K (10%). Still, Lee's film, which features Hyun Bin as its lead, now moves onto 3.6M ($27.7M) and can look back on its term with pride. "The Amazing Spiderman 2" fell three places to settle in sixth (104K-5.4%), followed by another sequel in the form of "Rio 2". "Rio 2" came into the fray on the first of this month and has found it hard going, managing just 714K during that time. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" tumbled two places to eighth with its 14K, and was followed closely by Jon Turteltaub's "Last Vegas" which added 14K to its Korean cause. Lastly, Wes Anderson's most successful film to date, "The Grand Budapest Hotel", occupied tenth with 5.8K, moving its total tally in Korea now to 758,011.  


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] 2014.05.09 ~ 2014.05.11


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2014.05.16 - 2014.05.18 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Obsessed" (인간중독) 2014/05/14 445 490 646 883
2 "Godzilla"   438 487 527 873
3 "Transcendence"   317 046 420 278
4 "The Target" (표적) 2014/04/30 284 807 2 555 421
5 "The Fatal Encounter" (역린) 2014/04/30 211 975 3 648 367
6 "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"   104 449 4 133 214
7 "Rio 2"   52 036 714 440
8 "Mr. Peabody & Sherman"   15 417 372 787
9 "Last Vegas"   14 380 164 317
10 "The Grand Budapest Hotel"   5 888 758 011
Korean movies only  
  "Han Gong-ju" (한공주) 2014/04/17 3 004 220 452
  "MAD SAD BAD" (신촌좀비만화 ) 2014/05/15 1 797 4 088
  "Sage Solutions" (슬기로운 해법) 2014/05/15 701 1 702
  "A Girl at My Door" (도희야) 2014/05/22 490 2 970
  "One Night Only" (원나잇 온리) 2014 259 259
  "Uigwe, the 8-Day Festival 3D" (의궤, 8일간의 축제 3D) 2014/04/17 128 7 737
  "Kim's Daughters" (김약국의 딸들, 1963) - Re-release   123 123
  "Shuttlecock" (셔틀콕) 2014/04/24 112 4 252
  "My Father's E-mails" (아버지의 이메일) 2014/04/24 72 4 054
  "10 Minutes" (10분) 2014/04/24 59 3 095


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