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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.12.01 - 2017.12.03

2017/12/04

"Swindlers" holds the top spot and moves into the top twenty...

Writer/director Jang Chang-won's debut "Swindlers" retained the top spot and swiftly moved into the year's top twenty as its earnings swell to $21.5 million (3.05 million admissions). Over this past weekend, its second, the 117-minute action drama -- which stars Hyun Bin, Yoo Ji-tae, Bae Sung-woo, Park Sung-woong, Nana and Ahn Se-ha -- came away with 671,665 admissions (36.27%) from just over 1,000 screens nationwide (down from 1,314).

Three new entries were up next, one foreign and two domestic. "Forgotten" is the fifth feature film by actor/director/screenwriter Jang Hang-jun and stars Kang Ha-neul and Kim Moo-yul. Jang's psychological thriller followers two brothers, Yoo-seok and Jin-seok, as they search for the truth behind Yoo-seok's recent kidnapping. "Forgotten" was allocated 751 screens and from them claimed 21.11% of the sales (396,041 admissions, or $2.98 million). Not far behind entered "Murder on the Orient Express", a modern adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 story of the same name by director Kenneth Branagh, with 332,837 admissions (17.95%), or $2.54 million. Produced for $55 million, Branagh's reimagining has already grossed nearly four times its estimated production cost.

The third new local release was another local thriller: "The Chase" by Kim Hong-seon. This is Kim's third film after "The Traffickers" (2012) and "The Con Artists" (2015), which claimed 1.6 and 2.5 million admissions respectively. "The Chaser" stars Baek Yoon-sik and Sung Dong-il as two unlikely partners who set out to solve a number of mysterious cases around the town of Aridong. From 565 screens, Kim's mystery thriller banked $1.2 million from 171,874 admissions (17.12%) during its first weekend out.

DC's much-anticipated "Justice League" arrived in first three weekends ago but is so far unable to match the success of other foreign superhero films like Marvel's "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (7.2 million admissions) and "Thor: Ragnarok" (4.8 million admissions). Zack Snyder's film added just 55,830 admissions (2.92%) from 416 screens, down from 747, to move its total tally in Korea now to 1.7 million, or $13.22 million. Worldwide, and from a record production budget for a superhero film of $300 million, DC's "Justice League" has grossed $567.4 million.

A re-release of Gil Junger's 2004 romantic fantasy "If Only" (starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Paul Nicholls) arrived in sixth with just under 50,000 admissions (2.8%) from 168 screens, followed by "Loving Vincent", an animated biographical drama about the famous Dutch painter. The film was co-directed by Dorota Kobiela Hugh Welchman and has been active in Korea's top ten ever since its release early November. With the 36,221 admissions (1.97%) the filmed claimed here, "Loving Vincent"'s total take in Korea is $2 million (275,634 admissions).

The third "Thor" film in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, "Thor: Ragnarok" (Chris Hemsworth), is now in its sixth week out in Korea. With 4.8 million admissions ($35.8 million) -- 33,675 (1.78%) of which came from this past weekend -- "Thor: Ragnarok" is comfortably the tenth highest-grossing film of the year in Korea behind "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" ($37.6 million). The American slasher flick "Happy Death Day" claimed another 21,117 admissions (1.11%) as its earnings settle around $10 million (1.3 million admissions), and the final spot fell to "Rabbit School: Guardians of the Golden Egg" with 12,525 (0.61%).

Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2017.12.01 - 2017.12.03 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Swindlers" (꾼) 2017/11/22 670 843 2 995 201
2 "Forgotten" (기억의 밤) 2017/11/29 395 715 569 424
3 "Murder on the Orient Express"   332 567 488 774
4 "The Chase" (반드시 잡는다) 2017/11/29 171 517 276 117
5 "Justice League"   55 652 1 754 424
6 "If Only"   49 994 932 780
7 "Loving Vincent"   36 202 275 790
8 "THOR: RAGNAROK"   33 675 4 823 194
9 "Happy Death Day"   21 107 1 372 125
10 "Rabbit School : Guardians of the golden egg" (Die Häschenschule: Jagd nach dem goldenen Ei)   12 522 50 575
Korean movies only  
  "The Outlaws" (범죄도시) 2017/10/03 3 753 6 877 048
  "The Preparation" (채비) 2017/11/09 1 908 165 441
  "Room No.7" (7호실) 2017/11/15 1 349 345 400
  "Jung Il Woo, My Friend" (내 친구 정일우) 2017/10/26 1 153 11 674
  "Pororo, Dinosaur Island Adventure" (뽀로로 극장판 공룡섬 대모험) 2017/12/07 993 3 935
  "I Can Speak" (아이 캔 스피크) 2017/09/21 886 3 274 445
  "Journey to My Boy" (아들에게 가는 길 ) 2017/11/30 805 2 502
  "The Return" (돌아온다) 2017/12/07 636 1 543
  "Beautiful Tomorrow" (뷰티풀 투모로우) 2017/10/26 540 62 650
  "The Bros" (부라더) 2017/11/02 493 1 490 544

- Christopher Wheeler

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