Local hit <Punch> continued to dominate the box office in the first two weeks of November. A character-centered drama about a high school boy and his teacher who lives next door, director LEE Han’s film has been enjoying buoyant word of mouth, thanks largely to the performances of YOO Ah-in and KIM Yun-seok. Adding another US$12 million to its totals in the past two weeks, the film distributed by CJ E&M has now amassed 3.7 million admissions overall for a total gross of approximately US$23.5 million.
Meanwhile four other Korean films that were released in November found their way into various slots in the chart. <Couples>, released Nov. 2 by Sidus FNH, sold 326,894 tickets in 14 days to land in the #4 ranking. A remake of the 2004 Japanese film <A Stranger of Mine> by UCHIDA Kenji, the film starts off like an ordinary romantic comedy but soon transforms into something more complex. Lotte Entertainment release <You’re My Pet>, which sold 209,318 tickets in only five days, is also based on Japanese source material - in this case, a manga of the same title. Featuring popular star JANG Geun-seok and KIM Ha-neul, the film tells the story of a woman who adopts a young man as her pet.
Other new Korean films include <Penny Pinchers>, a romantic comedy about a desperately poor unemployed man (SONG Joong-ki) taken in by his neighbor (HAN Ye-sul), a young woman obsessed with saving money; and <Mr. Idol>, a film about a pop star which struggled to earn the attention of viewers, selling only 63,376 tickets in 13 days.
As for imported titles, four films from Hollywood came in at #2, #3, #6 and #9. Performing the best once again was the robot boxing/family drama <Real Steel>, which has shown real staying power and sold close to 3 million tickets overall. Also opening strongly was <Immortals>, taking 684,615 admissions in only five days. Finally, despite its #1 performance in the US, novel adaptation <The Help> has taken only modest returns in Korea, although word of mouth among people who have seen the film is strong.
Nov 18, 2011