[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.03.13 ~ 2015.03.15

"The Kingsman" falls to "The Deal"...

British spy flick "Kingsman: The Secret Service" was finally, and narrowly, dethroned at the top of the pile over this past weekend. The action comedy has been reigning atop the Korean box office for a few weeks now, but was finally outplayed by Son Yong-ho's crime thriller "The Deal", starring Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Sung-kyun, and Park Sung-woong.


"The Deal" (formerly known as "Murder Request") opened to 646 screens around the country and attracted 409K admissions (23%), just over 20K more than last week's winner. This is Son's debate feature film having previously worked in the lighting/cinematography department, and in addition to directing Son also wrote this gritty revenge flick. But Matthew Vaughn's "Kingsman: The Secret Service" was close behind with 388K (21.8%), and so moved its total tally in Korea now to 4.8M ($35.1M).

In third place fell the South African science fiction film "Chappie" by Neill BlomKamp. Blomkamp was responsible for the award-winning "District 9", as well as the less successful "Elysium". "Chappie" opened its Korean account with 328K admissions (18%) across 536 screens, but has already banked more than $56.7M worldwide. With 236K came the U.S. Drama "Whiplash" by Damien Chazelle, which is based on the director's experiences in Princeton High School that pivot around a relationship between an ambitious jazz student and a violent instructor.

The new local entry "Socialphobia" by Hong Seok-jae claimed fifth place with 127K going its way (6.7%), followed by Sin Han-sol's "Granny's Got Talent" in sixth with 79K (4.3%). "Socialphobia", like "The Deal", is a debut effort, one that explores the dangers of online identities and the real-world violence that can follow. Hong's mystery flick featured last year at the Busan International Film Festival and stars Byun Yo-han, Lee Joo-seung, Ha Yoon-kyung and Ryu Jun-yeol.

Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game" took a serious tumble from third to seventh. Morten's adaptation have competed willfully at the top of the pile in recent weeks, but the mid-March crowds have bumped this Cumberbatch-studded event down to almost to out. So far the film has grossed over $208M worldwide, but Korean audience have been less forthcoming with their hard-earned won and have contributed only $11.6M of that hefty haul.

Ahn Sang-hoon's period piece "Empire of Lust" (formerly known as "The Age of Innocence") was another film that will have to try and pick itself up. Last weekend it entered in second with 252K, this week however saw the Joseon drama plummet to eighth with just 35K (1.9%). Rounding out the weekend's top ten fell Daniel Lee's historical action film "Dragon Blade" (starring Jackie Chan and John Cusack) with 39K (1.6%), and the Oscar-winning event "Birdman", down five places, with 18K (1%).


Last weekend's report: [HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.03.06 ~ 2015.03.08


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2015.03.13 - 2015.03.15 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Deal" (살인의뢰) 2015/03/12 409 404 496 631
2 "Kingsman: The Secret Service"   388 776 4 820 472
3 "Chappie"   328 827 375 165
4 "Whiplash"   236 737 294 600
5 "Socialphobia" (소셜포비아) 2015/03/12 127 898 154 603
6 "Granny's Got Talent" (헬머니) 2015/03/05 79 179 414 488
7 "The Imitation Game"   68 413 1 676 671
8 "Empire of Lust" (순수의 시대) 2015/03/05 35 881 447 263
9 "Dragon Blade (天將雄師)"   30 923 39 439
10 "Birdman"   18 959 178 705
Korean movies only  
  "Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island" (조선명탐정 : 사라진 놉의 딸) 2015/02/11 10 445 3 867 233
  "Twenty" (스물) 2015/03/25 5 989 10 736
  "Ode to My Father" (국제시장) 2014/12/17 3 024 14 245 457
  "Casa Amor, Exclusive for Ladies" (워킹걸) 2015/01/08 841 146 007
  "C'est Si Bon" (쎄시봉) 2015/02/05 433 1 712 602
  "Gangnam Blues" (강남 1970) 2015/01/21 328 2 191 385
  "The Avian Kind" (조류인간) 2015/02/26 225 2 573
  "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" (개를 훔치는 완벽한 방법) 2014/12/31 199 304 839
  "The Strong and Mini Special Forces: The Attack of a New Villain" (최강전사 미니특공대 : 새로운 악당의 습격) 2015/02/05 102 155 274
  "One for All, All for One" (60만번의 트라이) 2014/09/18 54 21 313


- C.J. Wheeler (@WoolgatheristKoreaOnTheCouch)