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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.03.06 ~ 2015.03.08


"The Kingsman"'s reign continues unchallenged…

Last weekend British spy flicks "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and "The Imitiation Game" ruled at as the country's number one and two, claiming just under a million admission between them. The later lost its footing and fell to third, but Matthew Vaughn's "Kingsman" managed to retain its place as Korea's film of choice despite the arrival of Ahn Sang-hoon's period drama, "Empire of Lust".

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" claimed 510K admissions (33%) across 633 screens to once again occupy first place, moving its total tally now in Korea to 4.1M ($31M). The "Kingsman" hit Korean shores on the 11 February, but only for the last two weeks has it featured at the top of table.

Last week Vaughn's flick was accompanied at the top by the historical thriller "The Imitation Game" (starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous WWII cryptanalyst, Alan Turing), but a new local release broke their one-two take on the chart this weekend as Sang-hoon's period piece about love and betrayal recouped some of the box office pie for the home team.

"Empire of Lust" (starring Shin Ha-kyun, Jang Hyuk, and Kang Han-na) takes places after the fall of Goryeo, and so set during a time when the Joseon dynasty was in its infancy and political power was unstable and erratic. The film opened its account to 546 screens around the country, from which it managed to attract 253K filmgoers (16%) for third place.

That haul was some 55K ahead of last week's number two, "The Imitation Game", which back peddled one place with its lesser total tally of 195K (12%). "The Imitation Game" was released on the 17th of last month, and has since attracted 1.5M filmgoers to its cause. It was followed closely by the another new local entry, this time an ageless cussing comedy by Sin Han-sol, "Granny's Got Talent", that stars Kim Soo-mi, Jung Man-sik, Kim Jung-tae, and Lee Tae-ran.

"Granny's Got Talent" had 422 screens to collect from, but was only able to claim 192K (12%) during its first weekend out. Around the same time last year Hwang Dong-hyuk's "Miss Granny" was making waves as it cash in on the Lunar New Year crowds to eventually become one of the highest grossing Korea films of the year with 8.6M admissions. "Granny's Got Talent", however, will have to generate some serious buzz after this meek start if it hopes to achieve a similar score.

The Oscar winning "Birdman" by Alejandro G. Iñárritu followed in fifth with 96K (6%), a film that tied with "The Grand Budapest Hotel" in terms of the number of Oscar nominations it received, but who went on to win four of the nine categories it was recognised for (i.e. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Cinematography). Korean audiences have thus far been lukewarm in celebrating this philosophical moot masterpiece, but the curious crowds that did came out were enough to raise it to fifth place during its opening weekend.

In sixth, and down three places, fell Kim Seok-yoon's period sequel "Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island" starring Kim Kyeong-min, Oh Dal-soo, and Lee Yeon-hee. The original "Detective K" was a success (claiming 4.7M admissions two months back in 2011), but despite losing some momentum here, it's still a popular piece having already banked more that $27.1M (3.8M admissions - 4.8%).

Some distance away in seventh came "St. Vincent": an American comedy drama by Theodore Melfi, his theatrical film debut. The films stars Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts, and since its released last year the film has managed to banked four times is budget of $13M. It's taken a while to reach Korean shores, but it finally arrived this past Thursday and over the weekend attracted 45K Korean filmgoers across its allocated 308 screens.

The Japanese sci-fi horror "Parasyte: Part 1" by Takashi Yamazaki occupied seventh place (36K - 2%), two places lower than last weekend, followed by the popular BDSM phenomenon "Fifty Shades of Grey" and, in turn, the U.S. Action drama "Back to the Beginning" (27K - 2%) by David Aponte. "Fifty Shades of Grey" (which is based on E. L. James' bestselling novel of the same name) has now comfortably past $500M having banked over $527M worldwide.


Last weekend's report: [HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.02.27 ~ 2015.03.01

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2015.03.06 - 2015.03.08 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Kingsman: The Secret Service"   510 438 4 188 243
2 "Empire of Lust" (순수의 시대) 2015/03/05 252 391 324 313
3 "The Imitation Game"   195 067 1 547 408
4 "Granny's Got Talent" (헬머니) 2015/03/05 192 306 232 146
5 "Birdman"   96 696 119 049
6 "Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island" (조선명탐정 : 사라진 놉의 딸) 2015/02/11 81 326 3 832 941
7 "St. Vincent"   45 590 63 026
8 "Parasyte: Part 1" (寄生獣)   35 995 166 226
9 "Fifty Shades of Grey"   33 421 343 629
10 "Back to the Beginning"   27 925 257 032
Korean movies only  
  "Ode to My Father" (국제시장) 2014/12/17 15 620 14 234 420
  "C'est Si Bon" (쎄시봉) 2015/02/05 3 022 1 710 420
  "Socialphobia" (소셜포비아) 2015/03/12 1 323 3 235
  "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" (개를 훔치는 완벽한 방법) 2014/12/31 1 150 304 092
  "The Strong and Mini Special Forces: The Attack of a New Villain" (최강전사 미니특공대 : 새로운 악당의 습격) 2015/02/05 706 155 159
  "Gangnam Blues" (강남 1970) 2015/01/21 577 2 190 333
  "Dog Eat Dog" (개: Dog Eat Dog) 2015/03/05 555 1 127
  "Mi-ae" (청춘무정, 1970) - Re-release   371 2 923
  "The Avian Kind" (조류인간) 2015/02/26 279 2 037
  "My Love, Don't Cross That River" (님아, 그 강을 건너지 마오) 2014/11/27 255 4 800 715


- C.J. Wheeler (@WoolgatheristKoreaOnTheCouch)

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