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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.11.11 ~ 2016.11.13


J.K. Rowling's screenwriting debut summons the masses with magic...

David Yates's fantasy flick "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" arrived in Korea last Wednesday and dethroned a weary "Doctor Strange" at the top of the pile. For the past three weeks, Marvel's mind-bending spectacle has been riding high in the Land of the Morning Calm, but this new magical storm from Warner Bros. Pictures has sent the doctor down a few notches by summoning plenty fresh feet to Korea's big screens.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston and Dan Fogler), a spin-off of the massively successful Harry Potter film series, marks J.K. Rowling's debut as a screenwriter (adapted from yet another tale of Rowling's). Fans and cinephiles have been supportive of the film, but critics have been less forgiving; Peter Debruge from Variety, for example, said the film "feels both sprawling and crowded, as if it were trying to pack too much mythology into one cramped crawlspace", and others have picked at the seams of its special effects. The film is, however, in the black having already recouped the $180 million it took to produce. In Korea, the British fantasy film sold 1.4 million admissions (68%) from 1,431 screens, bringing in just over $10.5 million in its first weekend out.

The highest local film was Eom Tae-hwa's fantasy melodrama "Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned" starring Gang Dong-won and Shin Eun-soo. Eom was in the directing department for Park Chan-wook's "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", and was involved with the storyboarding for Park's documentary, "Mansin: Ten Thousand Spirits". "Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned", Eom's sophomore feature, narrowed outplayed "Doctor Strange" for second place by captured 9.2% of the sales (207,876 admissions). The picture has already surpassed the 15,128 admissions "Ingtoogi", his debut feature film, managed during its run back in 2013.

"Doctor Strange" claimed over $12.5 million during its opening weekend three weeks ago (from 1,500 screens), but week four for Marvel's latest marks its decline from favour. Derrickson's doctor fell two places to third with 193,361 admissions (8.7%), which brings its total tally in Korea now to 5.1 million ($38.7 million); worldwide, the film has banked $571.5 million (it was produced for $165 million). Choi Gook-hee's "Split" (starring Yoo Ji-tae, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee David and Jung Sung-hwa) attracted around 100,000 admissions less than the doctor (96,735; 4.4%), while Lee Gye-byeok's "Luck.Key" moved its total admission count to 6.9 million ($47.7 million)–it's now the seventh highest-grossing film of the year between "The Wailing" (6.9 million) and "Operation Chromite" (7 million).

The American supernatural horror "Ouija: Origin of Evil", by director Mike Flanagan, slipped to sixth with 40,028 (1.7%) during its second weekend out, followed by two animations from Japan: "GAMBA" and "Haikyu!! The Movie: Ending and Beginning", which attracted 27,342 (1.1%) and 16,626 (1%) admissions respectively. Director Jeon In-hwan debut documentary about the late Roh Moo-hyun (1946-2009), "Moo-hyun, the Story of Two Cities", added 14,462 admissions to its cause, bringing its bottom line now to $1 million (154,210). And the list of the weekend's top performers was rounded out by the Chinese-Taiwanese romance flick "A Cafe 6" by Neal Wu. The film was released in China and Taiwan back in July, but only recently arrived in Korea where it opened its account with 11,885 admissions across 126 screens.

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2016.11.18 - 2016.11.20 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"   1 416 675 1 935 998
2 "Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned" (가려진 시간) 2016/11/16 208 170 358 486
3 "Doctor Strange"   193 460 5 191 204
4 "Split" (스플릿) 2016/11/09 96 841 670 971
5 "Luck.Key" (럭키) 2016/10/13 49 533 6 933 620
6 "Ouija: Origin of Evil"   40 088 313 870
7 "GAMBA" (ガンバと仲間たち)   27 355 91 969
8 "Haikyu!! The Movie: Ending and Beginning" (劇場版ハイキュー!!終わりと始まり)   16 626 49 187
9 "Moo-hyun, the Story of Two Cities" (무현, 두 도시 이야기) 2016/10/26 14 520 154 268
10 "At Cafe 6" (六弄咖啡館)   11 887 20 907
Korean movies only  
  "Obedience" (순종) 2016/11/17 8 811 15 998
  "My Annoying Brother" (형) 2016/11/24 5 430 20 515
  "Our Love Story" (연애담) 2016/11/17 4 068 6 597
  "Yourself and Yours" (당신 자신과 당신의 것) 2016/11/10 2 045 14 295
  "Spy Nation" (자백) 2016/10/13 1 874 131 942
  "The Follower, Ok Han-heum 2: Discipleship" (제자 옥한흠 2 - 제자도) 2016/11/10 1 699 7 669
  "Oh! My Papa" (오! 마이 파파) 2016/11/10 761 8 509
  "Queen of Walking" (걷기왕) 2016/10/20 654 93 280
  "Operation Chromite" (인천상륙작전) 2016/07/27 652 7 049 332
  "The Bacchus Lady" (죽여주는 여자) 2016/10/06 552 117 422

 - Chris Wheeler

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