[HanCinema's Box Office Review]

"Fabricated City" ends "Confidential Assignment"'s three-week run at the top...

After three weeks as Korea's number, Kim Seong-hoon-III's action film "Confidential Assignment" was supplanted at the top of the chart by a new local entry over the second weekend of February; Kim's sophomore feature added 543,401 admissions (22.9%) during its fourth week out, moving its total tally now to 7.2 million ($51.6 million), but it was not enough for country's highest-grossing film of the year to secure a fourth-straight weekend at the top of the pile.

Bae Jong's "Fabricated City" (starring Ji Chang-wook, Shim Eun-kyung, Ahn Jae-hong and Kim Sang-ho) was one of six new films that arrived last week. Park's latest (also known as "Manipulated City") captured 37.11% (896,592) of the box office pie from 1,019 screens around the country to successfully challenge "Confidential Assignment" as the country's top film. The films stars Ji Chang-wook as Kwon Yoo who has his life turned upside down after he is framed for murder. Bae Jong's previous film, "Welcome to Dongmakgol" (Jung Jae-young, Shin Ha-kyun and Kang Hye-jung), came out in 2005 where it attracted over 6 million admissions.

The third instalment of in the "xXx" series of films, "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" (the previous installment-"xXx: State of the Union"-came out back in 2005), was the highest foreign film in the charts with 254,920 admissions (11%). D. J. Caruso's action film (starring Vin Diesel) was produced for $85 million and has grossed $229.6 million worldwide since its release last month.

Han Jae-rim's "The King" (with Jo In-sung and Jung Woo-sung) entered in first place four weeks ago, but for the past three weeks it has occupied second place behind Kim's "Confidential Assignment". Over the past weekend, "The King" slipped from second to fourth with 114,191 (4.75%), bringing its bottom line now to $37,490,355 (5.2 million admissions). "The King" is currently the second-highest grossing film of the year in Korea behind "Confidential Assignment" and ahead of Makoto Shinkai's "Your Name" (3,5 million admissions).

The American science fiction drama "Arrival" fell two places to fifth with 89,953 (3.87%). This is the second week for Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Ted Chiang's 1998 short story ("Story of Your Life"), which has already grossed $191.5 million worldwide and is an Oscar contender with eight nominations. The second film in the "Fifty Shades" series, "Fifty Shades Darker", based on the novel by E. L. James, captured 3.68% of the sales (84,471) during its first week out, followed by the French-Canadian 3D computer-animation film "Ballerina" with 82,078 (3.16%).

Ron Clements and John Musker's "Moana" is up for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category and has already grossed over half a billion dollars worldwide; in Korea, "Moana"'s fifth weekend out added 74,025 admissions (2.94%), bringing its total tall now to 2.2 million ($15.3 million). "The Lego Batman" film, a spin-off of the popular 2014 film "The Lego Movie", failed to rise after entering in ninth last weekend; the film added 69,097 (2.77%) from 427 screens as it pushes past 100,000 admissions in Korea. The final place in the top ten went to the Japanese animation "DETECTIVE CONAN: Episode ONE" with 57,021 (2.26%).

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2017.02.10 - 2017.02.12 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Fabricated City" (조작된 도시) 2017/02/09 896 600 1 072 602
2 "Confidential Assignment" (공조) 2017/01/18 543 403 7 262 179
3 "xXx: Return of Xander Cage"   254 922 368 347
4 "The King" (더 킹) 2017/01/18 114 193 5 271 386
5 "Arrival"   89 955 563 998
6 "Fifty Shades of Darker"   84 471 109 368
7 "Ballerina"   82 078 94 691
8 "Moana"   74 025 2 264 369
9 "The Lego Batman Movie"   69 097 105 962
10 "Detective Conan: Episode One" (名探偵コナン エピソード"ONE" 小さくなった名探偵)   57 021 81 716
Korean movies only  
  "Turning Mecard W: The Revival of Black Mirror" (터닝메카드W: 블랙미러의 부활) 2017/01/18 2 922 428 182
  "Le Tour: My Last 49 Days" (뚜르: 내 생애 최고의 49일) 2017/02/01 860 25 018
  "Master" (마스터) 2016/12/21 413 7 146 554
  "Misbehavior" (여교사) 2017/01/04 410 118 092
  "My Little Brother" (그래, 가족) 2017/02/15 400 2 798
  "The Handmaiden" (아가씨) 2016/06/01 376 4 288 215
  "The Guest in Room Guest and Mother" (사랑방 손님과 어머니, 1978) - Re-release   227 765
  "Garak Market Revolution" (장기왕: 가락시장 레볼루션) 2017/02/02 215 1 026
  "Obedience" (순종) 2016/11/17 165 58 098
  "BIGBANG: MADE TOUR" (빅뱅 메이드) 2016/06/30 161 55 892

- Chris Wheeler (chriscjw@gmail.com)