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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.12.08 - 2017.12.10


"The Swindlers", "Forgotten", and Korea's favourite little penguin take the podium...

Jang Chang-won's debut film "The Swindlers" enjoyed its third consecutive weekend at the top of the box office by claiming another 418,141 admissions, 23.84% of the sales. Since its release late last month, Jang's action drama has held off cinematic challenges both foreign and domestic to remain Korea's number one. The film stars Hyun Bin, Yoo Ji-tae, Bae Sung-woo, Park Sung-woong, Nana, and Ahn Se-ha in a story about a conman who schemes to outplay an even bigger swindler. With a total take now of $26.7 million (3.78 million admissions), "Swindlers" is the twelfth highest-grossing film of the year.

Jang Hang-jun's thriller "Forgotten" remained in second place with 310,749 admissions (17.53%) from 740 screens, down just 11 screens from last weekend. With this week's take tallied, Jang's fifth feature has thus far earned $2.3 million through 1.1 million admissions. Not far behind Jang's thriller was a new local animation featuring Korea's favourite little penguin.

"Pororo, Dinosaur Island Adventure" by directors Kim Hyeon-ho-I and Yoon Je-hwan is an animated adventure with voice acting from Lee Sun, Lee Min-ja, Ham Soo-jeong and Hong So-yeong. Pororo's 79-minute adventure was released last Thursday and came close to overtaking "Forgotten" with its 299,086 admissions (15.83%). Hot on the little penguin's heels entered another Asian animation, this time from Japan. "Mary and The Witch's Flower" is an anime fantasy film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi based on Mary Stewart's "The Little Broomstick". The film was released in Japan back in July and arrived in the Land of the Morning Calm to 751 screens, from which it claimed 14.54% of the box office pie during its first weekend out (267,681 admissions).

Kenneth Branagh's modern adaptation of Agatha Christie's famous 1934 novel, "Murder on the Orient Express", has already grossed around five times its production budget of $55 million. In Korea, since it arrived late November, the film has grossed $5.4 million (772,639 admissions), $1.1 million (44,186 admissions: 8.19%) of which came from this past weekend. "American Assassin" is also an adaptation, this time of Vince Flynn's 2010 book of the same name. From 528 screens, director Michael Cuesta's take on Flynn's Cold War-era thriller opened its Korean account with 118,669 admissions (6.66%).

The local mystery thriller "The Chase" by Kim Hong-seon, his third featuring after "The Traffickers" and "The Con Artists", fell three places to seventh with 48,968 admissions (2.63%), moving its total gross now to $2.8 million (413,959 admissions). The next two foreign features made a return to Korea's cinema circuit: the Oscar-winning "La La Land" added 38,926 admissions (2.29%) from 247 screens, and Gil Junger's 2004 romantic fantasy "If Only" (with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Paul Nicholls) scored another 25,229 (1.51%).

The final place went to "Loving Vincent", the first animated film to be fully painted. Director Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman's labour of love has been active in Korea's charts since early November, and with the 25,025 admissions (1.43%) the film earned here, "Loving Vincent" has banked a total of $2.3 million in Korea alone. Worldwide, and from a production of $5.5 million, "Loving Vincent" has grossed around $20 million.

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2017.12.08 - 2017.12.10 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Swindlers" (꾼) 2017/11/22 417 588 3 722 218
2 "Forgotten" (기억의 밤) 2017/11/29 310 461 1 105 411
3 "Pororo, Dinosaur Island Adventure" (뽀로로 극장판 공룡섬 대모험) 2017/12/07 298 009 323 155
4 "Mary and The Witch's Flower" (メアリと魔女の花)   267 125 309 445
5 "Murder on the Orient Express"   144 053 772 506
6 "American Assassin"   118 427 152 543
7 "The Chase" (반드시 잡는다) 2017/11/29 48 544 413 535
8 "LA LA LAND"   38 906 3 552 065
9 "If Only"   25 229 986 996
10 "Loving Vincent"   25 015 325 266
Korean movies only  
  "Sermon on the Mount" (산상수훈) 2017/12/07 8 352 13 544
  "The Return" (돌아온다) 2017/12/07 3 387 6 986
  "The First Lap" (초행) 2017/12/07 1 561 3 212
  "My Last Love" (내게 남은 사랑을) 2017/11/02 822 25 827
  "The Outlaws" (범죄도시) 2017/10/03 696 6 879 511
  "The Preparation" (채비) 2017/11/09 575 171 643
  "Becoming Who I Was" (다시 태어나도 우리) 2017/09/27 569 36 272
  "Room No.7" (7호실) 2017/11/15 450 346 988
  "The Bros" (부라더) 2017/11/02 414 1 492 049
  "DIMA Broadcast Press Production and Film Festival 'Memories Are Coming' Part 2" (방송보도제작과 영상제 '추억이 오네요' 2부)   320 320

- Christopher Wheeler

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