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Box office, June 16-30

Jul 09, 2012
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It took only three days for <The Amazing Spider-Man> to build a commanding lead over its competitors in the box office chart for the second half of June. Released on June 28, the film sold just under 1.2 million tickets by June 30 to take its place in the #1 slot.
Two Korean films that have emerged as long-run hits took the next two slots in the chart. <The Concubine>, a sexually-explicit costume drama set during the Joseon Dynasty landed at #2 with another 970,000 admissions to bring its overall total to 2.4 million tickets. The film is directed by KIM Dae-seung (<Bungee Jumping of Their Own>, <Blood Rain>) and stars CHO Yeo-jeong as a woman who is torn away from her home village to serve in the palace as a concubine.
Also holding on strong was <All About My Wife>, which has enjoyed a tremendous run since its release on May 17. With a further 700,000 admissions, the film is now closing in on 4.5 million admissions in total. Directed by MIN Kyu-dong (<Antique>, <Memento Mori>), the film stars LEE Seon-gyun as a man who offers to pay off a Casanova-like seducer (RYU Seung-ryong) to start an affair with his wife (LIM Soo-jung) and give him grounds for a divorce.
Apart from <Spider-Man>, there were only two other new releases that made the top 10 chart, both of them Korean films. At #5 was <Miss Conspirator> an action-comedy from director PARK Cheol-gwan (<Hi Dharma!>) featuring the popular actress KO Hyun-jung. The film, about an innocent bystander who is dragged into an underworld of drug dealers, failed to stir up much interest among general audiences, with just over 500,000 admissions recorded since its June 21 release.
At #6 was the Korean comedy <The Suck Up Project: Mr. XXX-Kisser>, starring SONG Sae-byeok and SUNG Dong-il. The film recounts the adventures of an insurance salesman who is initially a miserable failure because of his lack of tact, but who later receives help from a legendary sales master who agrees to teach him his secrets. Released on the same day as <Miss Conspirator>, the film was slightly less successful just over 400,000 tickets sold in 10 days.
Meanwhile the extended list for Korean films contains three other new Korean works that received smaller releases than their big budget competitors. The gay film <Two Weddings and a Funeral> from director KIMJHO Gwang-soo is unusual in the sense that while most Korean gay films have been serious-themed dramas, this is a romantic comedy in the classic Hollywood mode of storytelling. Although it didn't emerge as a mainstream hit, its 10-day total of 32,000 admissions is impressive for a specialty release.
Music documentary <I AM: SMTOWN LIVE WORLD TOUR in Madison Square Garden> is targeted squarely at Asian fans of K-pop, and it even opened in Hong Kong prior to its release in Korea. Screening in part with English subtitles, the film sold over 27,000 tickets since its June 21 release.
Finally, the Korean documentary <Two Doors> by directors KIM Il-ran and HONG Ji-yoo has made an impression that goes far beyond its 10-day box office total of 13,000+ admissions -- which in itself is extremely impressive for a low-budget documentary of its type. The film is based on an incident that took place on January 20, 2009 in which police clashed with residents of the Yongsan district in Seoul who were protesting the redevelopment of their neighborhood. When the struggle turned violent, five residents and one police SWAT team member were killed. The documentary is earning widespread praise from critics and viewers, and even the Seoul Mayor PARK Won-soon attended a screening of the film. With shows continuing to sell out, the film is expected to enjoy a long box office run.

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