South Korea Box Office: 'Inside Out' Sets Pixar Record, Local Action Film on Top

'Assassination' (South Korea)

Release Date: July 2
Challenging: Terminator: Genisys

This lavish period crime drama set during the Japanese colonial period (1910-45), is the latest from director by Choi Dong-hoon, whose 2012 mega-blockbuster The Thieves took in $85 million at the global box office. The film has been pre-sold to 15 territories since debuting at the Cannes Film Market, and Well Go USA Entertainment will handle its North American release. 

The Disney-owned studio's most successful film in Korea has now crossed 3 million admissions.

Homegrown period action film Assassination debuted in the top spot of the South Korean box-office chart over the weekend, while three animated features were in the top five.

Handled by Showbox/Mediaplex, Assassination reached 66 percent of the market share during the July 24-July 26 period, bringing in $23 million, according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database.

In terms of admissions, by which local industry observers measure films' performance, Assassination drew an impressive 3.4 million, marking the most successful debut for a Korean film so far this year. It reached 950,665 admissions on Sunday alone, recording the second best single-day admissions figure for a local title behind last year's blockbuster Roaring Currents.

Helmed by star director Choi Dong-hoon (The Thieves), Assassination follows independence fighters and assassins in Seoul and Shanghai during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945). The star-studded cast includes Asian superstar Gianna Jun (aka Jun Ji-hyun) and A-listers Ha Jung-woo and Lee Jung-jae. The film was pre-sold to 15 countries, and Well Go USA Entertainment will handle its North American release.

Though Inside Out dropped to the second place after topping the charts last week, it crossed 3 million admissions this weekend to record the best box-office performance ever for Pixar in Korea. The film, handled by Walt Disney Company Korea, took 18.3 percent of ticket sales over the weekend to earn a gross total of $21.44 million.

Inside Out was followed by another animated feature, Yokai Watch: Tanjo No Himitsuda Nyan, which debuted in third place. The Japanese film, distributed by CJ Entertainment, accounted for 5.2 percent of the market share.

In fourth place was Northern Limit Line, Next Entertainment World's 3D maritime battle film about a 2002 inter-Korean conflict. The film, by Kim Hak-soon, took 3.8 percent of the share for total revenue of $38.3 million.

In fifth place was another animated feature, Pixels. The Universal Pictures International Korea title accounted for 1.7 percent of the market share that contributed to cumulative earnings of $4.4 million.