'Frozen' Crosses $75 Million in South Korea, Breaks Local Records
The record haul makes South Korea the most successful market outside of the U.S. for the Oscar-winning Disney animated feature.
SEOUL -- Frozen broke several South Korean box-office records over the weekend as it became the first animated feature and the second imported film to cross 10 million admissions here.
As of Monday, according to the Korean Film Council, the Oscar-winning film had grossed $75.48 million (80.45 billion won), making Korea the most successful market for the Disney animated film outside of the U.S.
The film's directors, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, expressed thanks to Korean fans with a hand-drawn picture of the character Olaf and the message, "Thank you Korea for loving me so much! I want to give you all a warm hug!"
The local media and fans took notice of the photo released via Walt Disney Studios Korea, while also topping headlines online was a video of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, composers of the film's wildly popular song, thanking Korea.
James Cameron's Avatar is the only other imported foreign film to break 10 million admissions here. With 13.62 million admissions ($120.5 million) in 2009, it remains the most watched film in Korean cinema history. Korea's film offices primarily use admissions as their measure, and only nine other films -- all of them Korean -- have managed to reach the 10 million mark.
The family drama about two sisters breaking a wintry spell drew crowds at a fast and furious rate here, overtaking Kung Fu Panda 2's local box-office record for animations (5 million admissions) in just 18 days since opening in theaters on Jan. 16. Frozen brought in 2 million more admissions in the next two days, followed with more crowds by the millions over six- to seven-day intervals.
Meanwhile, Miss Granny also broke records for local comedies with 8 million admissions and counting.
"There weren't many other strong contenders in the box office, and more importantly, I believe the film's Broadway musical appeal attracted audiences," said film critic Jeong Ji-ouk, as live musicals are a very popular form of stage entertainment in Korea.