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THE HIMALAYAS Rises in Xmas Weekend

Dec 28, 2015
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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STAR WARS Stays Steady, Still Underwhelms
Star Wars: The Force Awakens zipped past the USD 1 billion mark in record time as the world’s film markets are transfixed by its unprecedented performance, yet in Korea it remained off the top of the chart in a distant second place. Business was booming over the Christmas weekend as 4.6 million viewers went to the cinema, a 60% increase over last weekend and 24% over the comparable frame last year. 54% of the holiday crowds chose Korean fare.
Rising an impressive 59% in its sophomore frame was The Himalayas, the latest blockbuster drama from JK Film, starring the redhot HWANG Jung-min. The hiking film attracted another 1.76 million spectators (USD 12.11 million) to bring its 12-day total to 4.22 million admissions (USD 28.3 million), with plenty more to come. Furthermore, by bringing in 746,413 viewers on the 25th, The Himalayas set a new Christmas Day record, beating The Attorney’s 640,624 admissions figure set in 2013.
Though it recorded a 4% rise to 936,317 viewers (USD 7.03 million), the new Star Wars continued to underwhelm in Korea, one of only two markets in the world (the other being Vietnam) where the franchise hit has failed to ascend to first place. To date, the film has amassed 2.5 million viewers (USD 18.64 million).
Debuting in third place behind the behemoths was animation sequel Hotel Transylvania 2, which impressed with 600,235 tickets sold (USD 3.88 million), almost twice the Korean start of the 2012 original. The counter programmed title has taken in 661,843 admissions (USD 4.26 million) since its Thursday bow.
Meanwhile, local period epic The Tiger with CHOI Min-shik dipped one spot and 19% for a 392,343 viewers (USD 2.67 million) in its sophomore frame. The pricey pic has only brought in 1.42 million viewers (USD 9.36 million) to date and audience interest is fading fast.
Meanwhile, LEE Byung-hun smash hit Inside Men rose 19% in its sixth weekend as another 262,853 filmgoers (USD 1.91 million) brought its stellar total to 6.92 million viewers (USD 47.62 million). The film is the second highest grossing R-rated film of all time in Korea, behind only Friend (2001, 8.18 million admissions).
With kids off for the holidays, animated films flooded the market, holding spots five through nine: The Little Prince (247,024 viewers, USD 1.63 million), Pokemon the Movie XY (142,421 viewers, USD 881,364), Peanuts (101,698 viewers, USD 680,938), and Pororo3 : Cyber Space Adventure (55,916 viewers, USD 368,229). The rerelease of Love Actually held down tenth place after a 105% rise gave it another 25,459 spectators (USD 184,815).
The Himalayas is the hot favorite to win this coming weekend but local period drama The Magician is quickly rising on the reservations chart.
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