[HanCinema's Box Office Review]

"The Phone" sends "The Martian" packing...

Kim Bong-joo's action thriller, "The Phone", starring Son Hyun-joo and Uhm Ji-won, was released last week and came out on top over the weekend as Korea's top pick. Kim's tale of a man struggling to make sense of his wife's death was allocated 794 screens around the country, and from those screenings managed to dislodge "The Martian" at the top of the pile with 613 thousand admissions going its way (31.7%). Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir's 2011 novel has already grossed $384 million worldwide, and since its release in Korea on the 8th of this month, "The Martian" has attracted nearly 4 million filmgoers ($28.5 million), 534 thousand of which came from this past weekend.


In third place entered another new local film: "The Exclusive : Beat the Devil's Tattoo" by Roh Deok with Cho Jung-seok, Lee Mi-sook, Lee Ha-na, Kim Eui-sung and Bae Sung-woo. The film, formerly known as "Journalist" and "Exclusive: The Ryanchen Murders", is the second by Roh whose first film was back in 2013 with the romantic comedy, "Very Ordinary Couple". "The Exclusive : Beat the Devil's Tattoo" claimed 312 thousand admissions from 767 screens (16%), and was followed by last week's number two, "The Intern".

Nancy Meyer's, "The Intern", came out in Korea late September and has performed well having grossed $22.1 million. 212 thousand admissions ($1.5 million) came from just this past weekend as the film moves its total tally in Korea now to 3.1 million admissions. "The Intern" marked the watershed in this week's top features, and the from fifth onwards the total ticket tallies plummetted significantly.

"COLLECTIVE INVENTION" (formally known as "The Mutant") by Kwon Oh-kwang was next in line with 61 thousand stubs (2.9%); a new released, and Kwon's first, that tells that story of the fishy transformation of someone's boyfriend. "Collection Invention" stars Lee Kwang-soo, Lee Chun-hee, Park Bo-young, and Jang Gwang, and was released in Korea last Thursday. Last week, Heo Jong-ho's action drama "The Advocate : A missing body" climbed as high as third place, but has subsequently slipped down the charts here in light of the fresh flicks trying to make a name for themselves. "The Advocate : A missing body" claimed 52.5 thousand admissions (2.7%) across its shrinking screen count to move its total tally now to 1.1 million, roughly $7.5 million.

Sixth place fell to one of the biggest local films of the season, "The Throne" by Lee Joon-ik. Released mid-September, "The Throne" has managed to capitalise on the success of period dramas in recent years by attracting an impressive 6.2 million filmgoers to its screens; 17.3 thousand of which came from this past weekend. Currently, Lee's film has currently grossed nearly $43 million. "Accidental Detective" was next with 13 thousand going its way during its fourth week out, followed by the latest in the "Transporter" series of films: "The Transported Refueled" starring Ed Skrein. Last weekend the film rose as high as fourth place but dropped five places here having claimed just 9.3 thousand (0.4%) and moving its total now to 158 thousand ($1 million). Lastly, the top ten was rounded out by the Japanese animation "Love Live! The School Idol Movie" with 7.5 thousand going its way (0.3%). The film came out in Korea early September but has made an unusual comeback to slip back into contention. Currently, "Love Live! The School Idol Movie" has attracted 100 thousand admissions since its release nearly a two months ago.


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2015.10.23 - 2015.10.25 (www.kobis.or.kr)

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "The Phone" (더 폰) 2015/10/22 613 242 729 117
2 "The Martian"   534 870 3 948 439
3 "The Exclusive : Beat the Devil's Tattoo" (특종: 량첸살인기) 2015/10/22 312 321 401 552
4 "The Intern"   212 595 3 163 552
5 "COLLECTIVE INVENTION" (돌연변이) 2015/10/22 61 725 76 846
6 "The Advocate : A missing body" (성난 변호사) 2015/10/08 53 552 1 101 879
7 "The Throne" (사도) 2015/09/16 17 365 6 229 125
8 "Accidental Detective" (탐정 : 더 비기닝) 2015/09/24 13 153 2 618 947
9 "The Transporter Refueled"   9 384 158 174
10 "Love Live! The School Idol Movie" (ラブライブ!)
  7 518 100 296
Korean movies only  
  "Right Now, Wrong Then" (지금은맞고그때는틀리다) 2015/09/24 2 124 73 080
  "The Lost Choices" (어떤 살인) 2015/10/29 1 080 1 767
  "Circle of Atonement" (비밀) 2015/10/15 959 49 194
  "The Assassination" (암살) 2015/07/22 900 12 701 074
  "A Delicious Flight" (맛있는 비행) 2015/10/22 639 1 011
  "Veteran" (베테랑) 2015/08/05 565 13 409 575
  "The Martyrdom" (순교) 2015/08/13 428 11 883
  "New Folder 2" (새폴더2) 2015/10/23 389 389
  "Hello Jeon Woo-chi! The Battle of the Magic Robots" (안녕, 전우치! 도술로봇대결전) 2015/10/08 299 11 985
  "Fatal Intuition" (그 놈이다) 2015/10/28 296 2 027

- C.J. Wheeler (@WoolgatheristKoreaOnTheCouch)