South Korea’s cinema box office slipped to its lowest level since mid-May as local film “6/45” took the top spot with just $3.06 million over the weekend in its second week of release.
Comedy “6/45” was released a week earlier and scored $2.74 million in its opening weekend, according to data from Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC). The latest weekend, then, represents an 11% improvement for the title. It increased its share of the market to 45% during the latest weekend and advanced its cumulative total to $8.36 million.
Depressed by a lack of significant new releases, the nationwide box office over the Friday to Sunday period, however, dropped to $6.75 million. This was the lowest scoring weekend since the first half of May.
Monthly data from Kobis shows August grosses were KRW14.9 billion, down from KRW16.3 billion in July, but almost double the figure of KRW7.9 billion in August 2021. Korean films’ share of their home box office leaped to 81%, up from 39% in Hollywood-dominated July.
The month-on-month August retreat may be a passing phase. It has been widely reported that Hollywood’s biggest second half tentpoles will not be released until October. But five weeks of declining box office, since a high of $22 million in late July, raises the question as to whether local Korean films are able to take full advantage of the Hollywood hiatus.
“Hunt,” which previously topped the Korean chart for three weekends, dropped to second place with a 45% decline and a fourth weekend score of $1.57 million. It now has a cumulative of $31.1 million.
Third place was taken by the still strong “Top Gun Maverick” with $507,000. Released in Korea on June 22, 2022, the film has proved particularly resilient and now has a cumulative of $63.3 million.
Exchanging places with “Top Gun Maverick,” “Hansan: Rising Dragon” slipped to fourth place. The film is a period naval actioner that released in late July and gave the 2022 box office its high point. In its sixth weekend of release, it earned $499,000, for a cumulative if $53.4 million.
Korean-made crime thriller, “Limit,” with $207,000, was the weekend’s top new title. It opened in fifth place.
“Nope” played in sixth with $167,000 over its third weekend of release in Korea. It now has a Korean cumulative of $3.32 million.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” earned $100,000 in seventh place. It now has a cumulative of $16.1 million since release on July 20.
“Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween” also stuck around. It took $96,300 over the weekend for a cumulative of $3.63 million since July 13.
“Semantic Error,” a new release Korean title, took ninth place. It earned $87,500 between Friday and Sunday and $259,000 in its opening five days.
Brad Pitt-starring “Bullet Train” earned $66,000 in its second weekend. That lifted its cumulative into seven figures and a 12-day total of $1.10 million.
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