[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.12.22 - 2017.12.24

Local webtoon adaptation steals Christmas...

Kim Yong-hwa's fantasy drama "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds" triumphed over the Christmas weekend in Korea, and it is already the seventh highest-grossing film of the year. Kim's 5th feature claimed 61.84% of the box office pie (2.7 million admissions) from 1,884 screens, more than triple that of its closest competitor and last weekend's number one, "Steel Rain".


"Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds" is the first in a series of films based on the webcomic "Singwa Hamgge" by Joo Ho-min. The story follows a dead man, Ja-hong (Cha Tae-hyun), as he endures a 49-day trial in hell to determine the eternal fate of his soul. The film also stars Ha Jung-woo (as the Grim Reaper/an angel of death), Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Hyang-gi and Kim Dong-wook. The 139-minute blockbuster was released five days before Christmas and, currently, according to KoBiz's real-time figures, it is already the seventh highest-grossing of the year with $40.4 million (5.4 million admissions).

Last weekend's number one, Yang Woo-seok's cross-border political thriller "Steel Rain" with Jung Woo-sung and Kwak Do-won, added 779,688 admissions ($6 million) from just over 1,000 screens nationwide. "Steel Rain" outplayed the last Star Wars last weekend, its first, and to date has $26.7 million, or 3.5 million admissions, to its name. The highest foreign entry was up next.

Director Michael Gracey's "The Greatest Showman" (Hugh Jackman) is an American musical set in the early part of the last century. (The film has captured the attention of critics, having received three Golden Globe nominations.) Its opening weekend in The Land of the Morning Calm saw it take third with 302,865 admissions (7%). The Japanese anime adventure "Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!", the first film in the "Sun & Moon" series, followed with 173,279 admissions (3.58%).

Not far behind the latest Pokémon film entered "Monster Family", a 3D animation by director Holger Tappe. From 583 screens, Tappe's animated monster mashup earned 2.76% of the sales (134,729 admissions, or just under a million US dollars). One of the biggest losers this December in Korea has been "Star Wars: The Last Jedi". The film arrived on the 14th and claimed just 522,824 admissions from 1,093 screens during its first weekend here, its second, its screen count was slashed to 482 and it scored just 108,589 admissions (2.97%).

Korea's favourite little penguin Pororo was up next in seventh. "Pororo, Dinosaur Island Adventure" (with voice acting by Lee Sun, Lee Mi-ja, Ham Soo-jeong, and Hong So-yeong) spent its first two weekend's on the podium, but like "The Last Jedi", it is was unable to hold its ground during this highly competitive season. The film added 71,746 admissions (1.5%) to bring its bottom line to $4.6 million.

"The Star" is Christian-theme animated adventure by Timothy Reckart that focuses on the birth of Jesus Christ (around 29% of Koreans identify as Christian). The film arrived December 7th, but it did not make the top ten during its first weekend out. "The Star" earned $186,976 from 26,345 admissions (0.54%).

"Mary and the Witch's Flower" fell five places with 10,825 admissions (0.22%), and the final place in the chart was claimed by a re-released of the 2003 romantic drama "Love Actually" by Richard Curtis. From 93 screens, "Love Actually" found 8,788 admissions (0.21%). To date, "Love Actually" has grossed an estimated $246.9 million worldwide.

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2017.12.22 - 2017.12.24 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds" (신과 함께) 2017/12/20 2 729 959 3 554 042
2 "Steel Rain" (강철비) 2017/12/14 779 423 3 131 281
3 "The Greatest Showman"   302 876 392 319
4 "Pocket Monsters the Movie: I Choose You!" (劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた!)   173 279 189 020
5 "Monster Family"   134 731 151 103
6 "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"   108 589 874 180
7 "Pororo, Dinosaur Island Adventure" (뽀로로 극장판 공룡섬 대모험) 2017/12/07 71 746 660 032
8 "The Star"   26 345 31 468
9 "Mary and The Witch's Flower" (メアリと魔女の花)   10 827 527 020
10 "Love Actually"   8 788 301 119
Korean movies only  
  "1987: When the Day Comes" (1987) 2017/12/27 6 129 28 394
  "Forgotten" (기억의 밤) 2017/11/29 2 210 1 385 198
  "The Swindlers" (꾼) 2017/11/22 1 465 4 017 258
  "A Puppet" (꼭두각시) 2013/06/20 915 32 628
  "The Return" (돌아온다) 2017/12/07 462 12 062
  SEOUL FILM FESTA, Your Story [Goes On,Is Kim dead?,Comfort of Life,The guest,Mom, would you walk together?] (서울영화제 '사람들의 이야기' [계속된다,김씨는 죽었을까?,안락소,어떤 집들이,엄마, 함께 걸을까?])   398 398
  "Merry Christmas Mr. Mo" (메리크리스마스 미스터 모) 2017/12/14 352 3 010
  "Sermon on the Mount" (산상수훈) 2017/12/07 339 25 436
  "The First Lap" (초행) 2017/12/07 269 6 065
  "The Chase" (반드시 잡는다) 2017/11/29 244 446 764

- Christopher Wheeler