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Box Office: November 21-December 4, 2013

Dec 09, 2013
  • Writer by SONG Soon-jin
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Two movies distributed by Lotte Shopping Lotte Entertainment Co., Ltd., are neck and neck at the box office. In just ten days of release, about two million people have watched Friend: The Great Legacy, followed closely by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which went on screens one week after the former. The two films attracted 1,050,000 and 930,000 admissions, respectively, during the past two weeks. Friend: The Great Legacy appealed to its viewers by reawakeni ng the enthusiasm for the 2001 original and with KIM Woo-bin, a young actor who recently rose to stardom. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire attracted those who were looking for a hit fantasy US blockbuster.
Marriage Blue and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 were both released on November 21st but displayed two different results in ticket sales. Not much was expected of the omnibus romantic comedy Marriage Blue, but it succeeded in securing a niche market amongst some heavier hitters. On the 25th of November, the fifth day of its release, the film ranked first in the daily box office chart, beating Friend: The Great Legacy and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Adding to its success, Marriage Blue placed second on the weekend score board during its second week of release. This Korean film will continue its success in seven other countries in Asia. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, unlike in its home US market, didn’t fare so well with just 500,000 admissions in two weeks.

In its first week of release, AM 11:00 began on a good note, ranking first on the weekend chart. This is the first thriller movie by KIM Hyun-seok, who previously directed box-office hit comedies such as YMCA Baseball Team (2002), When Romance Meets Destiny (2005) and Cyrano Agency (2010). JUNG Jae-young of Our Sunhi, KIM Ok-vin of Thirst (2009) and CHOI Daniel of Cyrano Agency fill out the cast of time-traveling researchers faced with death while carrying out dangerous tests.
The action noir Tumbleweed began its first weekend with 200,000 admissions. The main character Chang-su works as a substitute prisoner who lives behind bars for others. However, his life drives him to desperation when he meets a woman. Some critics pointed out that the plot is unoriginal but most agreed that IM Chang-jung’s acting as Chang-su is outstanding. Having starred mostly in comedy films including Sex Is Zero (2002), Scout (2007) and Romantic Debtors (2010), IM is an actor and a singer. He tried a new style of acting with last year’s crime thriller Traffickers and has gone for another challenge in noir films with Tumbleweed.

The Fives and Commitment have both fallen into slumps. The Fives recorded only 720,000 admissions by its third week and Commitment is preparing to wrap up its screening after four weeks and only barely managing to exceed one million viewers.
Two documentaries stood out among diversity films: Lazy Hitchhikers' Tour de Europe, about four penniless young boys traveling through Europe for one year, and Hello?! Orchestra with the violist Richard Yongjae O′Neill. So far, the two have attracted 4,800 and 6,300 viewers, respectively.

By SONG Soon-jin
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