South Korea Box Office: 'Big Hero 6' Rises to Top Spot

Walt Disney Animation Studios
'Big Hero 6'

The animated film overtook 'Gangnam Blues,' 'Ode to My Father' and other homegrown releases.

Big Hero 6 may be following the success of Frozen in South Korea, as the latest Disney animated film topped the local box office for the Jan. 30-Feb. 1 weekend, beating out homegrown fare.

Distributed by Walt Disney Company Korea and starring the voice of regionally popular actor Daniel Henney, Big Hero 6 climbed to the top after debuting in the second spot the previous week. According to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database on Monday, the film accounted for 29 percent of weekend sales to reach a gross total of $12.6 million.

Last year, Frozen also ascended the ranks as good reviews spread through word of mouth to become one of the highest-grossing films in Korean box-office history.

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Coming in second for the latest weekend was Gangnam Blues, which accounted for 20.3 percent of sales, narrowly beating Ode to My Father's 19.9 percent. The two Korean films' rankings were reversed in terms of admissions, by which local industry observers usually measure box-office performance.

Gangnam Blues' cumulative revenue now amounts to more than $13 million. Additional money is expected from the 13 Asian territories, to which it was presold. The wide release of the Showbox-Mediaplex title can largely be attributed to regional superstar Lee Min-ho playing the lead. Gangnam Blues had debuted at No. 1 in South Korea last week, toppling record-breaking Ode to My Father from its weeks-long domination.

Ode to My Father, a CJ Entertainment release, has brought in a total of nearly $90 million. Now one of the top five highest-grossing films of all time in South Korea with 12.71 million admissions, the JK Youn film will make its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival this week.

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Meanwhile, homespun title Shoot Me in the Heart debuted at No. 4 this weekend. The coming-of-age drama starring popular Korean actors Lee Min-ki and Yeo Jin-goo brought in 7.8 percent of weekend sales. Co-distributed by Little Big Pictures and Isu C&E, it has so far brought in $1.83 million. Love Forecast, also distributed by CJ Entertainment, ranked fifth, taking 5.6 percent of the weekend revenue. Its total gross now comes to about $13 million, a successful score for homegrown rom-coms.

A string of Hollywood and other foreign imports came in next to hold small shares of the market. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (20th Century Fox Korea) was in sixth place with 3.7 percent (total gross $7.12 million); The Water Diviner (Lotte Entertainment) came in seventh with 2.8 percent; and The Equalizer (Universal Pictures International Korea) and Tim Burton's Big Eyes (Pancinema) each took in 1.8 percent.

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