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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.11.23 - 2017.11.25


"The Swindlers" puts local films back on top; "Justice League" falters...

"The Swindlers", Jang Chang-won first solo project as director, arrived on Wednesday and dominated its first weekend out by capturing 61.85% of the sales. The 117-minute action film stars Hyun Bin, Yoo Ji-tae, Bae Sung-woo, Park Sung-woong, Nana, and Ahn Se-ha and follows a charlatan who spins a complex scheme to catch a fellow con man. From 1,313 screens, Jang's debut claimed 1.2 million admissions ($9 million), which deny DC's "Justice League" a second weekend at the top.

Last weekend Zack Snyder's "Justice League" entered the fray in first place with 822,135 admissions from 1,308 screens. With a production budget of an estimated $300 million, the film is the most expensive superhero film of all time and tied second overall. The film has not performed well in America, however, and it's quickly falling out of favour with Korean audiences. "Justice League" added another 257,213 admissions (13.3%) from 747 screens and moved its bottom line in Korea now to $12.3 million (1.6 million admissions). Worldwide, "Justice League" has grossed just under $500 million.

The American slasher hit "Happy Death" by director Christopher B. Landon fell one place to third with 145,079 admissions (7.34%), moving its total tally to 1.3 million ($9.6 million), followed by the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Thor: Ragnarok". With $790 million in the bank, Taika Waititi's take on the popular Marvel character is the ninth highest-grossing film of the year worldwide. In Korea, since its release late October, "Thor: Ragnarok" has claimed 4.7 million admissions ($35.3 million) with 98,487 (5%) coming from this past weekend.

"Loving Vincent", a biographical drama about the life and death of the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, climbed up the chart this week, its third. From 201 screens around Korea, the same amount it had last weekend, and the lowest in this week's top ten, "Loving Vincent" claimed 48,681 admissions (2.56%). Sixth place with to the German animation "Rabbit School: Guardians of the golden egg" with 29,655 admissions (1.38%), followed by the local sleeper hit "The Outlaws" (starring Ma Dong-seok and Yoon Kye-sang) by Kang Yoon-Sung. "The Outlaws" is currently the fourth highest-grossing film of the year with 6.8 million admissions ($51.6 million), just 23,242 (1.25%) of which came from this past weekend. Currently, the top three films in Korea this year are "Spider-Man: Homecoming" ($54.4 million), "Confidential Assignment" (7.8 million), and "A Taxi Driver" (12.1 million).

"Jungle Book & Peter Pan Christmas Special" claimed 18.873 admissions (0.87%) during its first weekend, followed by the local thriller/comedy "Room No.7" by Lee Yong-seung. Lee's second feature film arrived last weekend in fourth with 156,743 admissions (8.69%), a promising start, but fell five places here with just 18,751 (0.92%). The final place in the top ten went to a new local period movie by Kim Hong-seon-I, "The Age of Blood" starring Jung Hae-in, Kim Ji-hoon-I, Jo Jae-yun, and Lee Won-jong. Kim's latest film takes place during Korea's Joseon era of Seongjong (the mid-1400s) and tells the story of the battle to protect Korea's king from harm. "The Age of Blood" managed 13.524 admissions (0.65%) from 355 screens.

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2017.11.24 - 2017.11.26 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Swindlers" (꾼) 2017/11/22 1 212 309 1 689 344
2 "Justice League"   258 501 1 621 625
3 "Happy Death Day"   146 051 1 305 747
4 "THOR: RAGNAROK"   99 014 4 752 690
5 "Loving Vincent"   48 797 201 320
6 "Rabbit School : Guardians of the golden egg" (Die Häschenschule - Jagd nach dem Goldenen Ei)   29 660 34 023
7 "The Outlaws" (범죄도시) 2017/10/03 23 448 6 861 916
8 "Room No.7" (7호실) 2017/11/15 18 932 334 288
9 "Jungle Book & Peter Pan Christmas Special"   18 873 20 487
10 "The Age of Blood" (역모 - 반란의 시대) 2017/11/23 13 616 21 657
Korean movies only  
  "The Preparation" (채비) 2017/11/09 10 150 156 825
  "The Bros" (부라더) 2017/11/02 7 994 1 485 831
  "The Chase" (반드시 잡는다) 2017/11/29 2 422 6 198
  "Beautiful Tomorrow" (뷰티풀 투모로우) 2017/10/26 1 055 61 372
  "My Last Love" (내게 남은 사랑을) 2017/11/02 832 23 738
  "Magic Hour" (푸른노을) 2017/11/23 784 1 894
  "Baby Beside Me" (아기와 나) 2017/11/23 712 1 612
  "Becoming Who I Was" (다시 태어나도 우리) 2017/09/27 521 34 668
  "Method" (메소드) 2017/11/02 499 25 715
  "Heart Blackened" (침묵) 2017/11/02 482 493 673

- Christopher Wheeler

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