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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.10.09 ~ 2015.10.11


"The Martian" arrives and conquers...

After entering the fray last weekend in pole position, Nancy Meyers' "The Intern" had to take a step back in light of the next big space thriller to come out of Hollywood: "The Martian". Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir's novel was released in the States earlier this month, and has already grossed over $227 million worldwide, but arrived in Korea last Thursday and was given 1,132 screens to pool from. This epic space thriller has been well-received by critics and cinephiles alike (especially space junkies and science fans), and in Korea close to 1.5 million tickets were sold over its first weekend out.

The added success of "The Martian" meant that this weekend's standings were notably top-heavy, with Scott's epic leading the way by capturing over 48% of the box office pie. In fact, the top three films (which included "The Martian", "The Intern", and Heo Jong-ho's "The Advocate : A missing body") took home around 77.4% of the total tickets sold, and the top five over 90%. Last weekend, "The Intern" claimed first place by earning the interest and support of 523 filmgoers, this weekend, however, its second, it managed a little less with just over 490 thousand admissions (15.2%). This American comedy now sits on a total tally of 2.2 million ($15.8 million), but there was another new local entry that threaten to send "The Intern" further down the chart.

Starring stars Lee Sun-kyun, Kim Go-eun and Im Won-hee, "The Advocate : A missing body" is a court comedy by director Heo Jong-ho that sees an angry lawyer struggling to defend his client in the court of law. The film opened its account across 593 screens and came away from the weekend with 453 thousand admissions (13.8%); just 47 thousand less than last weekend's number one, and over 200 thousand more than Lee Joon-ik's period piece, "The Throne". Released mid-September, "The Throne" enjoyed three weeks as the country's film of choice until last week when "The Intern" came to town. Since its release, "The Throne" (which stars Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in) has managed to attract 6 million filmgoers to its screens, with 241 thousand of which coming from this past weekend alone (7%).

In fifth place, down two, fell Kim Jeong-hoon-II's crime comedy: "Accidental Detective" with kwon Sang-woo and Sung Dong-il. The film, which is also known as "Private Detective", added another 211 thousand stubs to bring its bottom line now to 2.4 million ($16.5 million). The only other new release to make an impact was the British-American-Australian fantasy film "Pan" by director Joe Wright (based on "Peter Pan" by J.M. Barrie). "Pan" has had a tough time of it since its release in October, and the $150 million film is still struggling to make a profit as fans and critics remained unconvinced of this modern return to Neverland. "Pan" attracted 126 thousand across 428 screens (3.7%), but its results in Korea and other Asian nations will have to be incredible to help Wright's fantasy get into the black.

The French animation "Mune" came next with 45 thousand (1.2%), followed closely in eighth by the second film in the "Maze Runner" series of films: "The Scorch Trials". Wes Ball's film rose as high as second when it was released in Korea mid-September, but has been outplayed by more attractive local and international features and is quickly slipping towards the wrong end of the chart. "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" added just 43 thousand over this past weekend to bring its tally in Korea now to a healthy 2.7 million ($18 million). Lastly, the list of the weekend's top performers was rounded out by Ryoo Seung-wan's massively successful "Veteran" (which added another 22.9 thousand admissions to move its total now to 13.2 million) and the Japanese animation film "Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Space Heroes" (10.8 admissions).


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2015.10.09 - 2015.10.11 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Martian"   1 533 721 1 814 739
2 "The Intern"   490 025 2 272 467
3 "The Advocate : A missing body" (성난 변호사) 2015/10/08 453 196 556 345
4 "The Throne" (사도) 2015/09/16 241 925 6 013 327
5 "Accidental Detective" (탐정 : 더 비기닝) 2015/09/24 211 083 2 412 836
6 "PAN"   126 554 144 990
7 "Mune> (Mune, le gardien de la lune)   45 506 291 270
8 "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials"   43 742 2 721 365
9 "Veteran" (베테랑) 2015/08/05 22 961 13 397 786
10 "Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Space Heroes> (ドラえもん のび太の宇宙英雄記(スペースヒーローズ)   10 875 110 900
Korean movies only  
  "Hello Jeon Woo-chi! The Battle of the Magic Robots" (안녕, 전우치! 도술로봇대결전) 2015/10/08 8 950 10 074
  "Right Now, Wrong Then" (지금은맞고그때는틀리다) 2015/09/24 7 071 61 402
  "The Long Way Home" (서부전선) 2015/09/24 4 686 604 422
  "With or Without You" (춘희막이) 2015/09/30 1 688 26 452
  "Ode to My Father" (국제시장) 2014/12/17 350 14 260 489
  "Northern Limit Line" (연평해전) 2015/06/24 325 6 041 497
  "Beauty Inside" (뷰티 인사이드) 2015/08/20 311 2 052 155
  "Mr. Park" (박서방, 1960) - Re-release   281 3 440
  "COLLECTIVE INVENTION" (돌연변이) 2015/10/22 224 224
  "The Phone" (더 폰) 2015/10/22 200 200

- C.J. Wheeler (@WoolgatheristKoreaOnTheCouch)

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