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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2018.03.09 - 2018.03.11


Local thriller "The Vanished" and the new "Tomb Raider" reboot take the top spots...

Lee Chang-hee's "The Vanished", his debut, arrived last Wednesday and topped the Korean box office during its first weekend out. "The Vanished" follows a detective (Kim Sang-kyung) and a married couple (Kim Kang-woo and Kim Hee-ae) as they probe the mysterious disappearance of cadavers from the National Institute of Science Research. From 919 screens nationwide, Lee's thriller claimed 519,991 admissions (32.84%), or $4 million, to supplant Hong Chang-pyo's "The Princess and the Matchmaker" at the top.

Based on the popular series of video games of the same name, specifically the 2013 game by Crystal Dynamics, Roar Uthaug's "Tomb Raider" (played by Alicia Vikander) follows daredevil adventurer Lara Croft as she searches for her missing father, Richard. The American action-adventure only gets released in its home country next week but arrived in Korea late last week. From 806 screens, the latest "Tomb Raider" captured 20.22% of the sales (313,292 admissions) for second place. Last weekend's number two, the local drama "Little Forest" by Yim Soon-rye, fell one place with 261,141 admissions (16.45%), bringing its total tally to 1.1 million ($9.2 million).

Hong Chang-pyo's historical romantic comedy "The Princess and the Matchmaker" opened its account in pole position last weekend with just under 30% of the sales (489,913 admissions). Week two of Hong's period piece, however, saw it managed just 156,624 admissions (9.74%) from 647 screens (down from 966). With this week's admissions counted, "The Princess and the Matchmaker" has now grossed $9.2 million from 1.2 million admissions.

With less than half that of Hong's was the highest-grossing foreign film of the year: Marvel's "Black Panther" starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan. The eighteenth film in the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was produced for around $200 million, and since its release just after Valentine's Day, the film (now the highest-grossing solo superhero of all time) has banked over a billion dollars worldwide. In Korea, and with the 70,585 admissions (4.45%) it earned here, "Black Panther" (which features a major chase scene set in Busan) has made $42.4 million from 5.3 million admissions.

The Oscar-winning "The Shape of Water" by director Guillermo del Toro fell one place to sixth with 55,277 (3.62%), followed by "What Happened to Monday", a dystopian sci-fi thriller by Tommy Wirkola, with 52,781 (3.41%), itself down two places from last weekend. The American drama "The Florida Project" and biopic "Only the Brave" both arrived last week to 126 and 301 screens respectively; Sean Baker's "The Florida Project" received 23,038 admissions (1.51%) in support, and Joseph Kosinski's biographical drama opened its Korean account with just under 21,000 admissions (1.29%).

The final place went to Steven Spielberg's political thriller "The Post" starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The film, which was nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress at the Oscars, added 14,693 admissions (0.93%) from 128 screens to move its bottom line in Korea now to $826,031 (111,606 admissions).


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2018.03.09 - 2018.03.11 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Vanished" (사라진 밤) 2018/03/07 523 459 654 146
2 "Tomb Raider"   314 574 374 957
3 "Little Forest" (리틀 포레스트) 2018/02/28 262 916 1 123 481
4 "The Princess and the Matchmaker" (궁합) 2018/02/28 157 055 1 269 048
5 "Black Panther"   70 878 5 340 327
6 "The Shape of Water"   55 531 429 117
7 "What Happened to Monday"   53 032 872 209
8 "The Florida Project"   23 090 41 101
9 "Only the Brave"   21 100 40 006
10 "The Post"   14 728 111 641
Korean movies only  
  "Gate" (게이트) 2018/02/28 7 238 97 306
  "Be with You" (지금 만나러 갑니다) 2018/03/14 2 102 13 747
  "Wretches" (괴물들) 2018/03/08 1 389 2 376
  "Singing with Angry Bird" (바나나쏭의 기적) 2018/03/08 1 342 5 444
  "SECHSKIES Eighteen" (젝스키스 에이틴) 2018/01/18 711 46 181
  "Parallel" (우리는 썰매를 탄다) 2018/03/07 391 1 411
  "Golden Slumber" (골든 슬럼버) 2018/02/14 381 1 384 579
  "The Remnants" (공동정범) 2018/01/25 305 10 706
  "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (비밥바룰라) 2018/01/24 293 45 782
  "Heung-boo: The Revolutionist" (흥부: 글로 세상을 바꾼 자) 2018/02/14 283 416 182

– Christopher Wheeler

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