Korea Box Office: Strong debut for “Hansan”, best month of the year

A powerful debut for Hansan: Rising Dragon, a locally produced historical action film, propelled the South Korean box office into the second-highest weekend of the year and helped make July the best month of 2022.

The film is a prequel to Roaring Currents, a tale about a heroic 14th-century naval admiral that had around 17 million admissions in 2014 and is currently the most-watched Korean film of all time.

Data from KOBIS, the Korean Film Council’s (Kofic) tracking service, showed that between Friday and Sunday, “Hansan” earned $13.4 million from 1.63 million ticket sales, accounting for a 60% market share. In its first five days in cinemas, the film grossed $17.9 million from 2.27 million viewers.
It is only the third Korean film this year to surpass the 2 million ticket sales mark, after The Roundup, which has now reached 12.7 million viewers and $100.4 million in gross revenue, and The Witch: Part 2. The Other One,” which grossed $22.4 million from 2.80 million ticket sales.

“Hansan” retains the same director Kim Han-min as “Roaring Currents” and has similarly stoked nationalist elements. It depicts a famous battle against Japanese invaders in 1592. And it’s garnered critical acclaim for the storytelling and massive 51-minute battle scenes.

Its accomplishments contrast with Alienoid, which topped the box office a week earlier but fell 70% to fourth place. The sci-fi story earned $1.55 million and has a total of $10.9 million after 12 days of publication.

About $820,000 of the weekend’s total for “Hansan” came from Imax screens. Imax reports that this was the second-highest opening weekend for a Korean film on its screens. That relegates the Alienoid opening to Imax’s fourth best-selling Korean film.

The nationwide admissions were aided by the strong continued performance of two other films: Minions: The Rise of Gru and Top Gun Maverick. The total nationwide box office for the weekend was $22.0 million, a number surpassed only by the opening image of The Roundup.

Kobis also reveals that July was the best month at the box office this year, with 16.2 million viewers delivering gross receipts of KRW 170 billion (US$130 million). It follows a January-April period that was impacted by COVID restrictions and a strong recovery from May.

Year-to-date, cinema admissions in Korea recorded 61.2 million viewers and a cumulative box office of KRW 623 billion (US$477 million). In terms of viewers, that’s a 53% drop compared to 2019’s 131 million after seven months and a 44% lag in cash terms compared to a total of KRW 1.11 trillion from January to July 2019

“Minions” retained second place. But it lost 40% in its second week after release. It made $2.61 million over the weekend and now has a 12-day total of $11.2 million.

“Top Gun Maverick” earned $2.47 million in third place and has grossed $57.5 million since its release on June 22, 2022. In terms of ticket sales, it now has more than 7 million and is likely to surpass the 2021-22 score of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Top Gun is the second biggest movie to be released in Korea in 2022, while Hansan is already seventh.

Last weekend, Pororo Movie: Dragon Castle Adventure started in fifth place with a three-day total of $959,000.

“Decision to Leave” finished in sixth place after finishing fourth and $663,000. After a month of release, it has accumulated $13.2 million from 1.67 million viewers.

Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween cost $248,000 for three weeks totaling $3.28 million. Thor: Love and Thunder, which underperforms in Korea, earned $54,000 for a four-week total of $22.5 million.

“Emergency Declaration,” a much-delayed Korean disaster action film, took tenth place with $41,000 earned from ten screenings over the weekend. It was released in a wide version on Wednesday.

The EXO concert film, Beyond Live The Movie: Travel The World, took ninth place with $49,000.

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/hansan-debut-korea-box-office-1235330327/ Korea Box Office: Strong debut for “Hansan”, best month of the year

Charles Jones

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