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Box office analysis, Feb. 15 - 28

Mar 05, 2012
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YOON Jong-bin’s <Nameless Gangster:Rules of the Time> is still topping the box office chart, without any hint of going down. Released Feb. 2, the film took in over 853,000 admissions and KW6.7 billion (US$6 million) to stay at no. 1 for its fourth week. As of time of writing, <Nameless Gangster> has surpassed an accumulated total of 4 million admissions for distributor Showbox/Mediaplex.
Directed by YOO Ha, starring SONG Kang-ho and LEE Na-young, <Howling> stopped at no. 2 in its first and second week on release. A rather disappointing opening score for CJ E&M considering Song’s reputation as Korea’s top ticket draw. (Of course, his last film, <Hindsight> stopped at a total of 200,000 admissions.) Nonetheless, <Howling> took in more than 861,000 admissions and KW6.4 billion (US$5.75 million) in these two weeks. The film is a thriller about a mysterious series of wolf hound killings.
The Lunar New Year’s box office winner <Dancing Queen> has added more than 330,000 admissions in the past two weeks for CJ E&M. Starring UHM Jung-hwa as the wife of a mayoral candidate with a secret life as a singer/dancer, the comedy-drama is about to go over the 4 million admissions mark in total, too.
<Unbowed>, which had stayed at the top of the charts with <Nameless Gangster> and <Dancing Queen>, has now lost some steam. Meanwhile, Hollywood releases <Man on a Ledge> and <The Grey> have taken the no. 4 and 5 spots with 330,000 and 190,000 admissions respectively.
But without any highly anticipated releases from Hollywood, Korean films are expected to keep rising for the time being. In March, a string of Korean films are going to be on release, including the romantic comedy <Love Fiction> starring HA Jung-woo and KONG Hyo-jin, director BYUN Young-joo’s latest film <Helpless> (March 8), and director CHANG Yoon-hyun’s costume drama <Gabi> (March 15).
In the Top 10 Domestic Films rankingsat no. 9 and 10, <King of Pigs> and <The Day He Arrives> are both there with the results of an independent film showcase held by the Korean Film Archives (KOFA).
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