South Korea Box Office: Homegrown Documentary Beats 'Interstellar,' 'Exodus'

CGV Movie Collage
'My Love, Don't Cross That River'

The sleeper hit 'My Love, Don't Cross That River' outperformed the Hollywood competition to win the weekend

South Korean documentary My Love, Don't Cross That River topped the country's box office over the weekend of Dec. 12-14, rising past Hollywood blockbusters Interstellar and Exodus: Gods and Kings.

The tiny indie film, about a Korean couple very much in love after 76 years of marriage, is proving to be a sleeper hit. The title distributed by CGV Movie Collage grabbed 31.6 percent of weekend sales, according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database.

It has earned a cumulative $7.59 million since opening on just a handful of screens on Oct. 23. The film is now being shown on 801 screens and has earned filmmakers more than 70 times what it cost them. They had a microbudget of more than $100,000.

In terms of admissions, the primary measure that Korean observers use, more than 1 million moviegoers have seen the documentary. "The film's performance has been nothing short of a miracle," said a spokesperson for My Love. "This is no commercial film backed by a star director or cast but an indie documentary about an old couple."

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This is the first time in seven weeks that a local film has topped the box office, following back-to-back successes of Hollywood imports Gone Girl and Interstellar.

Interstellar (Warner Bros. Korea) remained in second place for the second week in a row but still accounted for 19.8 percent of the weekend revenue. Having earned more than $70 million, the Christopher Nolan space venture film is already the third-highest-grossing foreign film in Korea of all time and is on the brink of becoming just one of a handful of titles to break 10 million admissions.

Exodus (Century Fox Korea) dropped to the third spot this weekend, though Korea leads the markets outside of the U.S. for the film with $3.2 million in revenue from 665 screens over the weekend, which accounted for 17.8 percent of sales in the country.

Two foreign melodramas, The Theory of Everything (Universal Pictures International, total $1.4 million) and Love, Rosie (Next Entertainment World, total $1.35 million), followed, debuting in fourth and fifth places, respectively. 

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