South Korea Box Office: 'The Intern' Overthrows Oscar Hopeful 'The Throne'

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
'The Intern'

Local films dominated with 'Veteran' and 'The Accidental Detective' also making the top five.

The Intern rose up to No. 1 in the South Korean box office from Oct. 2-4, ending what was initially expected to be a long reign on top by local drama The Throne

The Intern, distributed by Warner Bros. Korea, climbed three steps up the ladder after debuting at No. 3 last week. The Anne Hathaway-Robert De Niro comedy amassed 26.7 percent of the market share according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database. Its gross total of about $10 million in Korea alone takes up a large portion of the film's global total of $72.1 million earned across 57 markets.

The rise of The Intern pushed The Throne down to second place after the court drama ruled the box office for two straight weeks. The Showbox/Mediaplex title nevertheless crossed 5.57 million admissions as it garnered 23.7 percent of the weekend revenue. Local industry observers measure box office performance in terms of theater attendance, and the film, having been seen by over a tenth of Korea's population of 50 million, is the year's eighth best film of the year. It ranks ninth in terms of cumulative earnings, which comes down to about $37.32 million.

"The Throne is essentially a non-mainstream film, so breaking 5 million admissions is surprising. It's an honor," director Lee Joon-ik told The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday, about his film that is about the true story of 18th-century King Yeongjo, who killed his own son, Crown Prince Sado, to preserve the throne.

The Throne is the second film by Lee to be submitted by Korea for a chance to be nominated for the foreign-language Oscar.

Local films nevertheless ruled the charts this week. Succeeding The Throne in third place was The Accidental Detective, which trailed close behind with 23.1 percent of the box-office share. The film handled by CJ Entertainment has so far cashed in about $13.5 million. In terms of attendance, the film crossed 2 million admissions, an impressive score for a small-to-mid-budget comedy.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trialsfinished at No. 4, which was one place down from the previous week. Its market share fellow considerably, from 15.3 percent last week to 9.2 percent. Cumulative earnings for the film nevertheless totals to over $17.5 million.

Veteran climbed up one spot to take No. 5. The CJ Entertainment title accounted for 4.1 percent of the revenue during this time fame, adding to its cumu earnings of $9 million. The crime actioner is the top film of the year in terms of both revenue and admissions, and is also one of the best films of all time: it ranks third in attendance, outperforming Avatar's 13.3 million admissions with its score of 13.34 million, and ranks fourth in financial terms.