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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.01.02 ~ 2015.01.04


Local drama starts the year out right…

The first week of the new year saw JK Youn's "Ode to My Father" retain pole position, making it three weeks in a row for this touching war drama. The film, which depicts modern Korean history through a story of a Korean War refugee and his fragmented family, easily topped the table with 1.6M admissions (42.2%) and so advanced its total tally now to 7M ($54.4M). It survived the Christmas crowds with cheer, and has managed to carrying itself profitably into the New Year.

Released on the first, "Taken 3" managed to slot into second during its first week out and snapped up 16.7% of the box office pie. Megaton's action flick is the third in the "Taken" series, and once again stars the stoic Liam Neeson as our nuclear hero on the run. From its allocated 616 screens around the country, "Taken 3" scored over 641K admissions (16.7M) to open its Korean account and sap some stubs from some well-set local delights.

DreamWorks' "Madagascar" series has had a string of popular sequels and spinoffs since its release back in 2005 (with a fourth installment coming our way in 2018), and the latest film, "Penguins of Madagascar" (not to be confused with the Nickelodeon series), wash-up on Korean shores late last year. Its first weekend attracted 498K filmgoers (12.2%) over 615 screens, and was followed by the most successful Korean indie film ever: "My Love, Don't Cross That River".

This is the sixth weekend that Jin Mo-young's sleeper hit has featured in the top ten, and during that period this heartfelt documentary has amassed over 4.3M admissions ($30.6M). It actually managed to climb all the way to the top on the weekend of the 12th, but was then supplanted by this week's number one. Week six saw "My Love, Don't Cross That River" add 341K (8.7%) to its record-breaking haul, and was closely tailed by last weekend's second-place film, Kim Hong-seon's "The Con Artists" (310K - 7.9%) starring Kim Woo-bin, Kim Young-chul, Ko Chang-seok.

The final event in the "The Hobbit" trilogy of films ("The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies") has found the Korean public tough to tease out of their hard-earned won, and during its three weeks out the multi-million dollar adaptation was only recouped $20 from the Land of the Morning Calm. Jackson's epic (some argue excessive) finale fell two places to sixth (140K - 3.9%), with Kim Seong-ho's new drama "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" came in seventh with 75K of its own (1.8%).

Rounded out the first week of 2015 now, and in eighth fell Lee Wonsuk's "The Royal Tailor". It claimed an additional 56K (1.4%) over its dwindling 229 screens, moving its bottom line now to $5.3M. Not far away was the Russian animation "The Snow Queen 2" (54K - 1.2%), and finally Christopher Nolan's space epic "Interstellar" (50K - 1.4%).

What's coming out next week in Korea? [HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound...

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2015.01.02 - 2015.01.04 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Ode to My Father" (국제시장) 2014/12/17 1 655 551 7 753 065
2 "Taken 3"   641 892 1 109 181
3 "The Penguins of Madagascar"   498 136 859 816
4 "My Love, Don't Cross That River" (님아, 그 강을 건너지 마오) 2014/11/27 341 743 4 367 117
5 "The Con Artists" (기술자들) 2014/12/24 310 967 2 249 418
6 "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"   140 953 2 720 865
7 "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" (개를 훔치는 완벽한 방법) 2014/12/31 75 183 155 816
8 "The Royal Tailor" (상의원) 2014/12/24 56 783 761 860
9 "The Snow Queen 2"   54 988 584 290
10 "Interstellar"   50 046 10 175 956
Korean movies only  
  "The Tenor Lirico Spinto" (더 테너 리리코 스핀토) 2014/12/31 13 695 40 011
  "Pororo, The Snow Fairy Village Adventure" (뽀로로 극장판 눈요정 마을 대모험) 2014/12/11 11 223 248 663
  "He Who Loves the World" (그 사람 그 사랑 그 세상) 2014/11/20 2 343 24 413
  "QUO VADIS" (쿼바디스) 2014/12/10 1 258 16 600
  "Cart" (카트) 2014/11/13 525 813 393
  "The Hospice" (목숨) 2014/12/04 325 36 169
  "The General's Son" (장군의 아들) 1990/06/09 229 952
  "The Truth Shall Not Sink with Sewol" (다이빙벨) 2014/10/23 225 48 793
  "The Follower, Ok Han-heum" (제자, 옥한흠) 2014/10/30 89 48 636
  "Haemoo" (해무) 2014/08/13 75 1 475 091


- C.J. Wheeler (@WoolgatheristKoreaOnTheCouch)

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