South Korea Box Office: Local Actioner Tops for Third Week, 'Fantastic Four' Debuts in Fourth


Homespun actioner 'Veteran' is nearing 10 million admissions.

Local actioner Veteran dominated the South Korean box office for the third consecutive week from Aug. 21-23, while Fantastic Four debuted at fourth place. Mission: Impossible— Rogue Nation stepped down to fifth.

Distributed by CJ Entertainment, Veteran brought in 43.5 percent of box-office revenues over the weekend, according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database. It has so far earned $60 million.

The film, featuring a cat-and-mouse chase between a cop and corrupt business tycoon, is fast nearing the 10 million admissions milestone, having garnered over 9 million viewers so far. Local industry observers usually measure a film's success in terms of admissions, and only a few dozen films have crossed the magic number that accounts for about a fifth of the Korean population. Veteran will have its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

Last week, Assassination crossed 10 million admissions. A period action film handled by Showbox/Mediaplex, Assassination stepped down to third place as another homespun film, The Beauty Inside, debuted in second. The market shares were similar for the two films, with Beauty Inside taking 15.6 percent and Assassination trailing close behind with 15.4 percent.

Distributed by Next Entertainment World (NEW), The Beauty Inside tells the story of a young man who wakes up every day in a different physical form, ranging from a young girl to an elderly man. Things take a turn in the rom-com when he falls in love with a beautiful young woman. The film earned $4.2 million during its first weekend.

Assassination, meanwhile, continued to draw crowds over its fifth weekend. With a cumulative 11.58 million admissions, the film has surpassed the scores of other Korean hits The Attorney (11.37 million) and Haeundae (a.k.a. Tidal Wave, 11.45 million) to become the ninth most-watched Korean film of all time. In financial terms, earnings have reached $75.12 million.

Two Hollywood titles followed next. Fantastic Four ranked fourth with 7.3 percent of the share, taking rather humble earnings of about $2 million.

Mission: Impossible  Rogue Nation came in fifth with 4.4 percent of the share. The Lotte Entertainment title fell two spots from the previous week, with total takings now touching $40 million.