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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.08.12 ~ 2016.08.14


"Tunnel" dethrones "The Last Princess" and takes the crown...

Kim Seong-hun's action thriller "Tunnel" arrived last week and managed to capture 40% of box office pie and dislodge "The Last Princess" at the top of the pile. Last weekend Heo Jin-ho's historical melodrama (aka "Princess Deokhye") attracted 1.1 million filmgoers across 964 screens to take pole position; despite following that good opening with another 966,862 admissions here (21%), which moved its total tally now to 3.5 million ($25.6 million), Heo's latest was forced into second place after the "Tunnel" arrived on the scene and attracted 1.8 million admissions ($13.8 million) from 1,091 screens.

"Tunnel" is based on writer So Jae-won's popular novel of the same name and tells the story of a man who is trapped in a tunnel in a construction site. The film's star, Ha Jung-woo, is joined on screen by other Korea talent including Bae Doona, Oh Dal-soo, and Kim Hae-sook. "Tunnel" has thus far attracted 2.5 million ($19 million) since its release early last week.

John H. Lee's controversial wartime blockbuster, "Operation Chromite", starring Lee Jung-jae, Lee Beom-soo, Jin Se-yeon and the Hollywood actor Liam Neeson, added 465,751 admissions (10.1%) to bring its total in Korea now to 6.2 million ($44.1 million).

The 3D animated comedy "The Secret Life of Pets" by Illumination Entertainment remained unmoved in fourth place with 368,292 admissions (7.7%), but was closely tailed by the summer's biggest blockbusters: Yeon Sang-ho's first live action film, "Train to Busan".

"Train to Busan" (Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, Kim Su-an) entered the fray late July, and with the 346,035 stubs it found over the weekend, Yeon's atypical zombie drama now moves onto 10.7 admissions ($78.7 million), making it the highest grossing Korean film of the year so far. Other top local hits include: "A Violent Prosecution" (9.7 million), "The Wailing" (6.8 million), "Operation Chromite", and Park Chan-wook's "The Handmaiden" (4.2 million).

Kim Jong-hyeon's fourth film "Run-off" (starring Seo-ae, Oh Dal-soo, Oh Yeon-seo, Ha Jae-suk and Kim Seul-gi) also arrived last Wednesday and attracted 262,386 (5.5%) from the 538 screens to take sixth place. The film follows the formation of the Korean women's national ice hockey team and shows the how the women from various backgrounds came together despite various social, economic and political pressures. Kim's previous films include "Little Girl K" (2011), "My New Partner" (2007) and "Mr. Gam's Victory" (2004).

DC's antihero team of misfits ("Suicide Squad") fell four places to settle in seventh with 116,258 admissions (2.6%). "Suicide Squad" enjoyed a decent opening weekend last weekend where it captured 16.6% of the box office pie (761,975), but its second weekend out was less successful, and with this week's tally included, the film's bottom line now moves to $13.5 million (1.7 million admissions).

Some way off in eighth, and down just two places, was the latest "Jason Bourne" film with 58,920 admissions (1.3%), followed by the 2D Japanese animated adventure: "Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare" by Kobun Shizuno. "Detective Conan" (which is based on the manga series of the same name) added an additional 50,088 admissions to bring its total in Korea to 459,210 ($3 million). Lastly, "Bling", a 3D animated co-production between Korea and the United States, was the third new Korean film to entered the charts and did so with 32,115 admissions to take tenth place.


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2016.08.12 - 2016.08.14 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Tunnel" (터널) 2016/08/10 1 820 398 2 580 561
2 "The Last Princess" (덕혜옹주) 2016/08/03 966 863 3 549 282
3 "Operation Chromite" (인천상륙작전) 2016/07/27 465 755 6 229 731
4 "The Secret Life of Pets"   368 295 1 720 602
5 "Train to Busan" (부산행) 2016/07/20 346 038 10 791 384
6 "Run-off" (국가대표2) 2016/08/10 262 386 406 502
7 "Suicide Squad"   116 258 1 793 797
8 "Jason Bourne"   58 920 2 539 281
9 "Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare" (名探偵コナン 純黒の悪夢(ナイトメア)   50 090 459 212
10 "Bling" (슈퍼 프렌즈) 2016/08/10 32 115 55 963
Korean movies only  
  "The World of Us" (우리들) 2016/06/16 1 791 42 316
  "Kai - Animation" (카이 : 거울 호수의 전설) 2016/08/17 853 1 645
  "Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River" (봉이 김선달) 2016/07/06 750 2 048 995
  "The Handmaiden" (아가씨) 2016/06/01 229 4 287 285
  "The Island of Shadows" (그림자들의 섬) 2016/08/25 180 391
  "Phantom Detective" (탐정 홍길동: 사라진 마을) 2016/05/04 144 1 430 799
  "A Dreaming Butterfly" (꿈꾸는 나비) 2016/08/12 135 135
  "Seoul Station" (서울역) 2016/08/17 101 1 910
  "Bleak Night" (파수꾼) 2011/03/03 84 24 576
  "Socialphobia" (소셜포비아) 2015/03/12 67 251 170

 - Chris Wheeler

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