South Korea Box Office: Homegrown Action Films Top 'Rogue Nation'
The latest 'Mission: Impossible' film has nevertheless reached more than 4 million admissions in the country.
Homegrown action film Veteran debuted at No. 1 at the South Korean box office over the weekend, while Assassination also continued to draw big crowds, pushing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation into the third spot.
Veteran, distributed by CJ Entertainment, reached a 41.4 percent market share during the Aug. 7-9 period, bringing in a total $18.7 million, according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database. Local industry observers measure films' box-office performance by admissions.
The film crossed 1 million admissions during its third day in theaters — which is similar to the performance of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Assassination, and a day faster than several all-time Korean blockbuster, including last year's Ode to My Father.
Made by star director Ryu Seung-wan (The Berlin File), the urban action film is about a face-off between detectives and corrupt business moguls, played by Korean A-listers Hwang Jung-min (Ode to My Father), Yoo Ah-in and Yoo Hae-jin.
In the second spot for the weekend was Assassination. The Showbox/Mediaplex title continued to attract big crowds during its third week in theaters and took 23.2 percent of ticket sales during this time frame. It has so far earned almost $60 million.
In terms of admissions, the period crime actioner has already drawn 8.97 million. The film about Korean independence fighters and assassins during the Japanese colonial era (1910-1945) is fast nearing the 10 million admissions mark, or about a fifth of Korea's population of 50 million. One of the lead actors, Lee Jung-jae, held a free hug event for 100 fans on Saturday after making a promise to do so if the film crossed 8.15 million admissions. The figure signifies Korea's Independence Day that falls on Aug. 15, or 8/15. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the occasion.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation fell to third place after debuting on top last week, but it is nevertheless drawing audiences at the fastest rate among all films in the franchise. The Tom Cruise film accounted for 20.7 percent of the market share in Korea this weekend for a cumulative gross of $32.2 million.
It has so far been seen by 4.72 million viewers. The Lotte Entertainment title crossed the 4 million admissions mark during its ninth day in theaters, which is five days faster than Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the most successful among the films in the franchise in Korea.
Meanwhile, animated features remained popular as is usually the case during summer breaks for Korean students. Minions, handled by Universal Pictures International Korea, finished fourth with 6.3 percent of sales for a total of $11.3 million. In fifth was Inside Out, which reached 3.8 percent of the market. With cumulative admissions of about 4.54 million, the Walt Disney Company Korea title is the most successful Pixar film in Korea.