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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.01.01 ~ 2016.01.03


"The Himalayas" enjoys its third week at the top while The Force fades...

Lee Seok-hoon's thrilling drama "The Himalayas" retained pole position moving into 2016. For the past two weeks, Lee's fifth feature has managed to quell "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" to deny this transnational sub-guzzler the right to rule in Korea over the festive season.

"The Himalayas" saw a slight decrease in its screen count (from 1,094 to 952) but still this popular flick has comfortably secured the bulk of box office pie by capturing 31% of the ticket sales, or 1.2 million admissions. Since its release mid-December, the film has grossed a total of $42 million (6.3 million admissions) and has done so by maintaining a comfortable margin over its closest competitors.

Given that "The Force Awakens" has currently made over $1.5 billion worldwide, and is still smashing records in America, you'd expect that massive success to be reflected here in Korea. However, that simply has not been the case as week three for Abrams' latest see it slip from second place down to fourth with just 317 thousand admissions (9%) to its credit. Those admissions now move "The Force Awakens" to 3.1 million tickets sold in Korea, contributing around $22.9 million to the billion the film has already banked from around the globe.  

The two films that trumped "Star Wars" were somewhat of a surprise: a re-release of the popular film "Inside Men" from November hit theatres on the 31st (titled: "Inside Men: The Original"), and Douglas Mackinnon's "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride". "Inside Men: The Original" contains extra footage which was enough to spark the curiosity of 666 thousand filmgoers (17.4%) as it claimed second place, and "Sherlock" (a Christmas TV special) was right behind it with 661 thousand (16.3%).

"Hotel Transylvania 2" was released on Christmas Eve and managed 315 thousand across 635 screens (7.4%), moving its total tally now to 1.2 million ($7.9 million), followed by the only other local films to make the top ten: Kim Dae-seung's "The Joseon Magician" (starring Yoo Seung-ho, Go Ara, and Kwak Do-won) and Park Hoon-jung's historical action piece: "The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale". "The Joseon Magician" (also know simply as "The Magician") claimed the attention of 286 thousand (7%) while Park's efforts fell three places from last weekend to settle in seventh with 128 thousand (3.2%). Since it's released mid-December, "The Tiger" has made over $11.1 million (1.7 million admissions).

France's "The Little Prince" also took a tumble, slipping from sixth place held last week to eighth this weekend with 93 thousand admissions (2.2%). Finally, the first weekend of 2016 was closed out by Breck Eisner's "The Last Witch Hunt" (starring Vin Diesel), and the latest Pokémon film, "Pokémon the Movie XY: Ring no Chomajin Hoopa"; they claimed 55.5 and 54 thousand admissions respectively.

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2016.01.01 - 2016.01.03 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Himalayas" (히말라야) 2015/12/16 1 242 684 6 371 091
2 "Inside Men: The Original" (내부자들: 디 오리지널) 2015/12/31 671 311 831 465
3 "Sherlock"   664 479 664 479
4 "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"   318 302 3 121 572
5 "Hotel Transylvania 2"   315 285 1 276 152
6 "The Joseon Magician" (조선마술사) 2015/12/30 287 757 512 428
7 "The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale" (대호) 2015/12/16 129 277 1 712 742
8 "The Little Prince" (Le Petit Prince)   93 263 522 123
9 "The Last Witch Hunter"   56 038 105 596

"Pokemon the Movie XY: Ring no Chomajin" (ポケモン・ザ・ムービーXY「光輪(リング)の超魔神 フーパ」)

  54 001 268 285
Korean movies only  
  "Pororo, Cyberspace Adventure" (뽀로로 극장판 컴퓨터 왕국 대모험) 2015/12/10 29 372 421 134
  "Inside Men" (내부자들) 2015/11/19 12 787 7 065 954
  "Love Guide for Dumpees" (극적인 하룻밤) 2015/12/03 732 321 616
  "Cruel State" (나쁜 나라) 2015/12/03 431 16 705
  "Sad San Francisco" (애수의 샌프란시스코, 1975) - Re-release   405 405
  "A Reluctant Prince" (강화도령, 1963) - Re-release   371 1 676
  "You Call It Passion" (열정 같은 소리 하고 있네) 2015/11/25 305 654 407
  "Fatal Intuition" (그 놈이다) 2015/10/28 298 1 046 313
  "A Melody to Remember" (오빠 생각) 2016/01/__ 274 274
  "Where Is My Son??" (나의 아들, 나의 어머니) 2015/12/17 238 3 841

- C.J. Wheeler (@WoolgatheristKoreaOnTheCouch)

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