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Box Office: April 17-30, 2013

May 02, 2013
  • Writer by Darcy Paquet
  • View8972
Iron Man 3, the first Hollywood blockbuster of the summer season, burst onto screens with the biggest four-day opening in Korean box office history. From April 25-28 the film recorded 2,625,743 admissions, which is well ahead of the previous record holder The Dark Knight Rises which took 2.43 million admissions in its first four days back in 2012. A similar score had been amassed by  Transformers 3 in 2011 which took an estimated 2.4 million admissions in its first four days.
In total Iron Man 3 took over 3.2 million admissions in six days, easily sweeping to the top of this latest two-week box office chart. The massive returns come despite the fact that it was released in the comparatively quiet season of late April. With several holidays coming up in early May, the film is expected to add significantly to its totals in the coming weeks. It should also easily pass the totals for the previous films in the franchise: the original Iron Man which took 4.3 million admissions in 2008, and the sequel Iron Man 2 which amassed 4.5 million admissions in 2010.
Fist of Legend, directed by well-known producer-director KANG Woo-suk (Moss), was the second highest grossing film of the past two weeks with 798,135 admissions. Since being released on April 10 the film has grossed a total of 1.6 million admissions. Fist of Legend stars HWANG Jung-min as a single father who is persuaded to take part in a popular reality TV show in which ordinary middle-aged men fight in a boxing ring. The film also stars YU Jun-sang (In Another Country), LEE Yo-won (Perfect Number), and YOON Je-moon (Dangerously Excited). Oblivion starring Tom CRUISE was close behind with 711,324 tickets, and its three-week total amounts to 1.5 million admissions.
Meanwhile Running Man, the first Korean film to be majority financed by Fox International Productions, struggled to maintain momentum with a further 301,090 tickets to bring its total to 1.4 million admissions. Directed by CHO Dong-oh (The Restless), and starring the popular SHIN Ha-kyun (The Front Line), the film tells the story of a struggling single father named Jong-woo who gets accidentally caught up in a high-stakes transaction involving espionage and state secrets. Finding himself up against ruthless forces much stronger than himself, Jong-woo can only run.
Among four films which opened on April 18th, the highest grossing entry was the British human drama A Song for You, which took 183,336 admissions to place at #5. Social drama Norigae, which examines the scourge of sexual favors in the Korean entertainment industry, placed at #6 with 163,489 admissions. The film is directed by newcomer CHOI Seung-ho and stars actor MA Dong-seok in one of his first leading roles.
To Rome with Love, the latest film by Woody ALLEN, enjoyed a quite decent opening with 119,593 admissions, which already places it among the director’s best-selling films in Korea. His previous film Midnight in Paris remains his personal best in the Korean market with 355,000 admissions.
Finally, low-budget independent film Jiseul continues to draw attention even if it has now fallen out of the top 10. Directed by Jeju native O Muel, the film is based on an incident in 1948 in which civilians on Jeju Island were massacred by government soldiers. Its total now stands at 132,215 admissions, having surpassed the final box office tally of YANG Ik-june’s Breathless, which sold 123,000 tickets in 2009. Jiseul now ranks as the highest grossing low-budget fiction film of its type in Korean box office history.


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