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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.09.15 - 2017.09.17


"Memoir of a Murderer" retains pole position ahead of "Baby Driver"...

The American action thriller "Baby Driver", now director Edgar Wright's highest-grossing film, failed to overtake local thriller "Memoir of a Murderer" during its first weekend out. It was a close race, but "Baby Driver"'s 338,213 admissions (22.35%) was not enough to deny Won Shin-yun's new thriller a second straight weekend at the top.

From 884 screens, down from 1,064, "Memoir of a Murderer" added another 483,855 stubs (31.68%), pushing its total tally now over the 2 million admissions mark. Since its release two weeks ago, the film, which stars Sol Kyung-gu, Kim Nam-gil and Seolhyun (as well as veteran actor Oh Dal-soo), has banked $14.8 million. "Baby Driver" had 777 screens nationwide to pool from, and despite the critical acclaim the film has received overseas, it was not enough to disrupt Won's fifth feature ("The Wig", "A Bloody Aria", "Seven Days" and "The Suspect") at the top. Worldwide, and from a production budget of $34 million, "Baby Driver" has so far earned $214 million.

"American Made", Dough Liman's bio pic about Barry Seal (played by Tom Cruise, a very popular actor in Korea) and his undercover work for America's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), opened its Korean account with 216,589 admissions (13.93%), or $1.9 million. The film marks Liman's return to filmmaking; his previous film, "The Bourne Identity", was released a decade and a half ago. Up next was Andy Muschietti's modern adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel, "It". "It" has already made ten times its production budget of $35 million, and week two for King's classic clown in Korea saw it add another 119,258 admissions (7.73%), moving its bottom line now to $5.9 million.

The American action comedy "The Hitman's Bodyguard" entered in first three weeks ago, fell to third with the arrival of "Memoir of a Murderer" and "It", and now sits in fifth with 116,656 admissions (7.9%). Since its release late last month, Patrick Hughes' 'blacklisted' film (Tom O'Connor's screenplay for the film was on Hollywood's list of the best-unmade films in 2011, the 'Black List') has grossed just under $6 million in Korea alone and $130.6 million worldwide. "A Monster Calls", a dark fantasy flick by Spanish director J. A. Bayona, was the last new release to make it into the top ten this week: from 349 screens, "A Monster Calls" attracted 36,298 filmgoers (2.28%, or $261,129) to claimed sixth place.

The highest-grossing film of the year was next. Jang Hoon's "A Taxi Driver" (starring Song Kang-ho) has been amassing admissions since early August. Now enjoying its eighth weekend out, "A Taxi Driver" currently stands on 12.1 million admissions ($84.7 million), 34,604 of which came from this past weekend. Other top films released in Korea this year include "Confidential Assignment" ($56.5 million), "Spider-Man: Homecoming" ($52.4 million), and "The Battleship Island" ($44.7 million).

The Japanese anime "Cocotama: The Movie" fell two places to eighth with 25,834 admissions (1.58%), followed by two local films to round out this weekend's top ten. Kim Joo-hwan's "Midnight Runners" and Choi Jin-seong's documentary thriller "The Reservoir Game" claimed 23,571 admissions (1.5%) and 20.746 admissions (1.36%) respectively. "Midnight Runners", a buddy cop film starring Park Seo-joon and Kang Ha-neul, is currently the fifth highest-grossing film of the year with $39.2 million (5.6 million admissions).

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2017.09.15 - 2017.09.17 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Memoir of a Murderer" (살인자의 기억법) 2017/09/06 182 905 2 063 263
2 "Baby Driver"   126 518 421 644
3 "American Made"   73 646 266 005
4 "The Hitman's Bodyguard"   43 336 1 496 269
5 "It"   40 378 809 748
6 "A Monster Calls"   14 096 46 763
7 "A Taxi Driver" (택시 운전사) 2017/08/02 14 068 12 152 895
8 "Cocotama The Movie 2017" (映画 かみさまみならい ヒミツのここたま 奇跡をおこせ♪テップルとドキドキここたま界)
  12 679 120 878
9 "Midnight Runners" (청년경찰) 2017/08/09 9 118 5 638 839
10 "Wind River"   7 853 32 304
Korean movies only  
  "The Reservoir Game" (저수지 게임) 2017/09/07 7 853 93 724
  "Spirits' Homecoming, Unfinished Story" (귀향, 끝나지 않은 이야기) 2017/09/14 1 943 10 706
  "I Can Speak" (아이 캔 스피크) 2017/09/21 1 770 21 391
  "Criminal Conspiracy" (공범자들) 2017/08/17 1 742 251 372
  "The Poet and The Boy" (시인의 사랑) 2017/09/14 1 239 6 592
  "The Running Actress" (여배우는 오늘도) 2017/09/14 1 064 4 549
  "The Table" (더 테이블) 2017/08/24 969 97 397
  "Suicide Made" (김광석) 2017/08/30 819 46 901
  "Oh! My God Returns" (구세주: 리턴즈) 2017/09/14 700 4 052
  "The Battleship Island" (군함도) 2017/07/26 449 6 582 469

- Christopher Wheeler

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