South Korea Box Office: Local Comedy 'Twenty' Tops 'Whiplash'
The coming-of-age drama swept almost half of the weekend revenue, marking the first significant haul by a Korean film in weeks.
Local comedy Twenty dominated the South Korean box office from March 27-29, accounting for almost half of the weekend sales as it pushed aside recent hits including Whiplash and Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Twenty, distributed by Next Entertainment World (NEW), brought in a whopping 48.3 percent of the market share, or a total of about $8.65 million during its first week in theaters, according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database.
The star-studded comedy about the growing pains and romantic troubles of 20-year-olds stars some of the hottest names in Korean cinema, including pan-Asian star Kim Woo-bin (The Con Artists); Lee Jun-ho, a member of the K-pop band 2PM who made his big screen debut in the 2013 box-office favorite Cold Eyes; and up-and-coming actor Kang Ha-neul.
The film marks the commercial directorial debut of Lee Byung-heon, who has been behind the scripts of such all-time hit comedies as Sunny and Scandal Makers. He previously received positive reviews for the indie film he penned and directed, Cheer Up Mr. Lee.
The successful debut of Twenty has pushed down last week's box office topper Whiplash down to the No. 2 spot. The Oscar-winning film, handled by Showbox/Mediaplex, nevertheless garnered 14.9 percent of the revenue earned during this period, and has so far earned $9.12 million.
Kingsman, which had oscillated between the first and second rankings for weeks, finally stepped down to third. A total 12.9 percent of the moviegoers saw the Twentieth Century Fox Korea title. The British spy flick has garnered almost $43 million — or 5.727 million admissions (local industry watchers primarily measure box-office by admissions) — since opening here on Feb. 11. Onlookers are anticipating that it will surpass 6 million admissions, marking a rare feat by a foreign film restricted to 18 and over (the local equivalent of R-rated).
Insurgent (Lotte Entertainment) debuted in fourth, taking 8.4 percent of tickets sold, while Cinderella (Walt Disney Company Korea) stepped down to fifth as it accounted for 8 percent of the share.