Strong men dominate Korean theaters. 300: Rise of an Empire, coming seven years after the original graphic novel adaptation, and Non-Stop, a solo show for Liam Neeson are pursuing steady runs at the box office.
According to the integrated ticket sales network of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), on March 20th, 300: Rise of an Empire, produced by Zack Snyder who directed the original 300 (2006) and Man of Steel and directed by Noam Murro of Smart People (2008), drew 1.42 million spectators nationwide as of the 19th of this month. The film received good reviews from moviegoers due to the original’s fame, its computer graphics and the sexual chemistry between Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton. 300 recorded 2.92 million viewers nationwide in 2007.
Non-Stop is still doing well at the box office in its 3rd week. The film, which reunites Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson of Unknown (2011), brought 85,294 viewers over the weekend. The film has now amassed 1.88 million admissions, and it is expected to surpass two million admissions nationwide by next week.
Though both were released on March 13th, Elegant Lies and Monster achieved different results. Elegant Lies stars KIM Hee-ae, who returns to the screen after a 21-year absence since The 101st Proposition in 1993. Director LEE Han cinematized writer KIM Ryeo-ryeong‘s novel once again, after Punch (2011). Besides KIM Hee-ae, KO Ah-sung, who appeared in The Host (2008) and Snowpiercer, KIM You-jung and Kim Hyang-gi also turn in strong performances, and the film topped the box office chart by drawing 182,620 viewers during its first weekend. Approximately 680,000 admissions were recorded in total. However, the thriller Monster by Spellbound (2011) director HWANG In-ho, starring LEE Min-ki and KIM Go-eun (Eungyo) drew 88,995 viewers, nearly half of Elegant Lies, and also behind 300: Rise of an Empire (103,519). Even though KIM Go-eun played enthusiastically, the harsh criticism of its awkward combination of thriller and comedy elements seemed to affect its early run.
The endurance of Miss Granny has been phenomenal. The film climbed to number twelve on the all time Korean box office chart in its eighth week, attracting 8.59 million admissions as of March 19th. 12 Years a Slave, which won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Award this year, drew over 450,000 viewers with the Oscar effect, and Frozen recorded 10,270,459 admissions nationwide, recently adding 19,413 viewers.
Dallas Buyers Club and Manshin: Ten Thousand Sprits are showing strength on the diversity film box office chart. Dallas Buyers Club, which received the Academy Awards for Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto), brought 20,356 viewers in just three days over the weekend with a 38% ticket sales share. The film has accrued 59,618 admissions as of March 19th. Manshin: Ten Thousand Sprits, starring KIM Sae-ron, RYU Hyun-kyung and MOON So-ri, was directed by media artist PARK Chan-kyong who is the younger brother of director PARK Chan-wook. The movie drew 20,000 viewers in its first week. Meanwhile, Intruders by director NO Young-seok, which was awarded the Grand Prix from the Hawaii International Film Festival last year, passed 10,000 admissions.
By TAE Sang-joon