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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.12.11 ~ 2015.12.13


"Inside Men" moves closer to 6 million while "The Priests" counts its blessings...

Woo Min-ho's action drama "Inside Men" enjoyed yet another weekend atop the Korean box office, moving its total tally now 5.9 million admissions ($40.4 million). The film, which stars Lee Byung-hun, Cho Seung-woo, and Baek Yoon-sik, opened in Korea November 19 and has managed to ward off all challenges to remain the country's film of choice.

This past weekend, "Inside Men" captured 38.7% of the box office pie (602 thousand admissions) and is on the verge of supplanting "Northern Limit Line" as the fifth highest grossing Korean film of 2015 ("Northern Limit Line" attracted 6 million viewers during its run in June/July).

The film's closest competitor since its release has been "The Priests" by Jang Jae-hyeon, and, more recently, the American biopic "In the Heart of the Sea" (which is based on Nathaniel Philbrick's book about the whaling ship Essex that inspired Moby Dick), but for the last two weeks it's been Ron Howard's adaptation of Philbrick's work that has taken silver in the standings. Last weekend, its first weekend out, the film claimed second place with 17.6%, and week two for Howard's film saw it manage the same position with just of 15% of the sales going its way (234 thousand). "In the Heart of the Sea" now moves on to 728 thousand admissions, or $5.2 million.

"The Priests" has had a strong run since being released during the first weekend of November, but it's slowly trickling down the charts now as the year winds down. "The Priests" (starring Kim Yun-seok and Gang Dong-won) added another 134 thousand (8%) to its cause, which was good enough for fourth place (down one place) as it moves its bottom line to $35.5 million (5.2 million); currently, the film is seventh on the country's list of highest grossing domestic releases of 2015.

But it was a local animation that managed to put pressure on the blockbusters: Park Yeong-gyoon's "Pororo, Cyberspace Adventure" came out last Thursday and claimed 149 thousand admissions (8.6%) for third place, narrowly outperforming "The Priests" for a podium finish. In fourth place entered "Legend" by director Brian Helgeland: a British crime thriller based on the John Pearson's work, "The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins". Helgeland's fifth feature was given 449 screens around the country and attracted 111 filmgoers (7.1%).

Ha Ki-ho's "Love Guide for Dumpees" fell two places from fourth to sixth having only captured 3.4% of the action (52 thousand admissions) to move it total to 300 thousand ($2 million), followed by Jeong Gi-hoon's "You Call It Passion" which also dropped two places with 51 thousand admissions (2.3%). Two new releases came next in seventh and eighth: the eleventh Naruto film ("Boruto: Naruto the Movie) and American-Italian Drama "Fathers and Daughters" with Russell Crowe and Aaron Paul; they claimed 34.4 thousand (1.9%) and 28.2 thousand (1.7%) respectively. Lastly, the list of the weekend's top performers was rounded out by "Sicario" by Denis Villeneuve. The film competed at the Cannes Film Festival and has made $80 million worldwide (the film was made for $30 million). In its first weekend out in Korea, "Sicario" attracted just under 30 thousand (1.8%) across 123 screens.

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2015.12.11 - 2015.12.13 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Inside Men" (내부자들) 2015/11/19 603 022 5 958 402
2 "In the Heart of the Sea"   234 228 728 225
3 "Pororo, Cyberspace Adventure" (뽀로로 극장판 컴퓨터 왕국 대모험) 2015/12/10 149 181 161 893
4 "The Priests" (검은 사제들) 2015/11/05 134 080 5 391 358
5 "Legend"   111 785 144 028
6 "Love Guide for Dumpees" (극적인 하룻밤) 2015/12/03 52 169 300 998
7 "You Call It Passion" (열정 같은 소리 하고 있네) 2015/11/25 41 088 639 572
8 "Boruto: Naruto the Movie" (ボルト‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー‐)   34 467 40 883
9 "Fathers and Daughters"   28 266 46 792
10 "Sicario"   28 004 109 090
Korean movies only  
  "Timing" (타이밍) 2015/12/10 20 317 27 848
  "Tattoo" (타투) 2015/12/10 6 596 8 733
  "Alice: Boy from Wonderland" (앨리스 : 원더랜드에서 온 소년) 2015/12/10 4 110 6 808
  "The Sound of a Flower" (도리화가) 2015/11/25 2 584 316 310
  "The Himalayas" (히말라야) 2015/12/16 1 999 20 159
  "Cruel State" (나쁜 나라) 2015/12/03 1 815 7 598
  "The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale" (대호) 2015/12/16 1 443 15 477
  "We Will Be Ok" (그들이 죽었다) 2015/12/10 504 1 076
  "The Martyrdom" (순교) 2015/08/13 304 15 848
  "Veteran" (베테랑) 2015/08/05 292 13 413 986

- C.J. Wheeler (@WoolgatheristKoreaOnTheCouch)

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