South Korean Box Office: 'Whiplash' Hits Top Spot

Best Editing

Tom Cross took home the honor for cutting the Damien Chazelle thriller, Whiplash.

The Oscar-winning music drama is yet another unexpected hit in the Asian country, following the phenomenal success of 'Kingsman: The Secret Service.'

Whiplash slashed through the South Korean box office over the weekend of March 20-22, finishing on top while Kingsman: The Secret Service continues to perform strongly.

Whiplash climbed three spots after debuting at No. 4 the previous week. Distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex, the multiple-Oscar-winning title accounted for 24 percent of weekend sales.

As of Tuesday, the film about an aspiring drummer has garnered more than $6.26 million in the country, according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database. Several music-heavy dramas have had unusual success in Korea, with Disney's animated Frozen and the indie flick Begin Again becoming two of the most successful films of 2014 (and of all time in the country, in terms of genre).

Industry observers attribute the unexpected success of Whiplash to positive reviews spread by word of mouth and online, not unlike Kingsman. The British spy actioner remained in second place, attracting big crowds over the weekend and grabbing 20.9 percent of sales. The 20th Century Fox South Korea title has oscillated between first and second place during the past six weeks. Since opening in theaters on Feb. 12, it has cashed in a cumulative gross of nearly $40 million as of Tuesday.

Ranking next this weekend were two new titles. Cinderella debuted in third place, trailing close behind Kingsman with 19.1 percent of the share. Handled by The Walt Disney Company Korea, the fairy-tale fantasy reaped a total $2.51 million. Run All Night, a Warner Bros. Korea film, finished at No. 4 during its first week in theaters. It took 9.7 percent of weekend sales, or a total of $1.5 million.

The only Korean title among the top five was The Deal. The crime thriller handled by Daou Technology Inc. slipped down four spots to No. 5 after debuting on top last week. It accounted for 9.2 percent of the revenue during this period, and it has earned a cumulative gross of $5.9 million.