Seen in Jeonju

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Korean Box Office: July 7-10

11th July 2011


Well, I am back from New Zealand and had a very good time visiting Auckland,  Wellington and points in between.  I also had the chance to view a couple of Korean films on the plane– Detective K and Little Black Dress.  I also learned that at the end of July, the New Zealand International Film Festival will be held. 3 Korean films will be screened: The Man From Nowhere, I Saw the Devil and Yellow Sea. I was a little disappointed with the selection– not because they are bad films, but because they did not choose movies outside of the action genre. 

While I was gone, Transformers 3 opened on well over a thousand screens and took over the box office. Sunny proved itself to be incredibly durable and remained at number two last week and slipped to number 3 with the opening of the Korean horror film The Cat.  Despite not getting very good reviews, I am looking forward to seeing  Cat.  Our feline friends were such a big part of Korean horror films in the 60s and 70s but we rarely see them anymore. I will admit though that the trailer for this film makes it look more like the Juon cat/ghostboy than the earlier depictions of a cat/ghost story.

Opening this coming week is the final installment of the Harry Potter films which I have no doubt will take over the top tier of the box office. That and the ‘also-rans’ opening with it are listed below.


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Korean Box Office: June 17-19

20th June 2011


Well, exams have been graded and the final scores have been calculated and entered. I am now free to work on reviews and indexing films again.  Last week, I treated myself to watching Sunny and I was not disappointed. Like I said here, it is easily the best film I’ve seen this year.  Sunny came in at number two this week–six weeks after it was released– and has consistently been taking in about 17% of the box office totals. It currently has been seen by more than 5 million viewers. The number one film, Kung Fu Panda 2, just barely managed to defend its position in the rankings by just half a percentage point.

Coming this week, there is a fim called My Sassy Girl 2.  However, this is a Chinese film, not a Korean movie.  Green Day looks interesting…it has been in the works for years.  However, I doubt either of these movies will have much of an impact on the box office chart next week.


1.  Green Day (kr)– d. Ahn Jae-hoon, Han Hye-jin–voiced by Park Shin-hye, Song Chang-ui

2. In a Better World (dk)– d. Susanne Bier, starring Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm

3. Kimjongilia (us)– d. N.C. Heikin, starring  Kim Cheol-hwan, Shin Dong-hyeok <documentary>

4. Legend of the Fist (hk)– d. Andrew Lau, starring Donnie Yen, Qi Shu

5. My Sassy Girl 2 (ch)– d. Joe Ma, starring Lynn Hung, Leon Jay Williams

6. Play (kr)– d. Nam Da-jeong, starring Jeong Joon-il, Im Heon-il

7. Pungsangae (kr)– d. Jeon Jae-hong, starring Yoon Gye-sang, Kim Gyu-ri

8. Tomorrow, When the War Began (au)– d. Stuart Beattie, starring Rachel Hurd-Wood, Caitlin Stasey

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Korean Box Office: June 10-12

13th June 2011


Tomorrow is the last day of final exams.  Of course, I still have to grade them but I think I will be able to write a few reviews this week. I have some catching up to do. 


1. Bitch Slap (us)– Rick Jacobson, starring Julia Voth, Erin Cummings

2. Green Lantern (us)– Martin Campbell, starring Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong

3. Hoodwinked, Too (us)– Mike Disa, Korean dubbed version voiced by Lee Shi-yeong, Kim Soo-mi

4. Illusionist (uk/fr)– Sylvain Chomat, voiced by Jean-Claude Donda, Eilidg Rankin

5. Lincoln Lawyer (us)– Bradd Furman, starring Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe

6. Music and Life (hk)– King-Wai Cheung <documentary>

7. Something Borrowed (us)– Luke Greenfield, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin Opening in Korea as Love and Friends

8. Super 8 (us)– J.J. Abrams, starring Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney

9. Triad Election 2 (hk)– Johnnie To, starring Louis Koo, Simon Yam

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Box Office: June 3-5

6th June 2011


Well, I was too busy last week to get any posts up on the site.  And with exams starting this Wednesday, I may still be busy. But everything will be by next week Tuesday and I should be able to get back on track.  This week, Kung Fu Panda 2 was able to hold out against a challenge from the new X-Men film.  Sunny, the number three film, continues to impress and now has more than 4 million viewers. All of these films are likely to slip down a notch or two with the opening of two strong contenders. The first is Scream 4 which seems to be generating a lot of interest. The second is Moby Dick which, although it was only tested on 29 screens this past weekend, managed to capture nearly 12 thousand viewers. While I don’t expect it to do very well in its opening weekend, White has me a little curious. NOT because of the trailer which makes it seem like a standard horror film, but because of the directors. The Kim brothers most frequently do political, short, satirical films (like The Capitalist Manifesto). However, of the smaller releases, I would most likely go to see The Story of My Life if it opens around here since Korean musicals are so rare. Information on these and other films opening this week are listed below.


1. Aejeong Manse (kr)– d. Yang Ik-joon, Bu Ji-yeong, starring Seo Joo-hee, Heo Joon-seok

2. Akunin (jp)– d. Lee Sang-il, starring Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eri Fukatsu

3. Game of Death (us)–  d. Giorgio Sevafini, starring Wesley Snipes, Zoe Bell

4. Kung Fu Masters (ch)– d. Dou Xiao, starring Biao Yuen, Ka-yan Leung

5. Moby Dick (kr)– d. Park In-jo, starring Hwang Jeong-min, Jin Gu

6. Priest (us)– d. Scott Stewart, starring Paul Bettany, Maggie Q

7. Scream 4 (us)– d. Wes Craven, starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox

8. Story of My Life (kr)– d. Shin Can-soo, starring Lee Seok-joon, Le Chang-yong

9. White (kr)– d. Kim Gok, Kim Seon, starring Ham Eun-jeong, HwangWoo Seul-hae

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DVD Releases: May 29-June 4

29th May 2011

We are now down to the last full week of the semester.  Hopefully, I will be able to post more often than I have been recently.  But in the meantime, I can muddle through the swamp of work I have to do and post what I can here.  This coming week, we have two DVDs being released, the film Come Rain, Come Shine starring Im Soo-jeong and Hyeon Bin and the tv drama Chuno which is probably my favorite recent drama (despite having the WORST child actor in the history of television…).

come rain

COME RAIN, COME SHINE– directed by Lee Yoon-ki, starring Im Soo-jeong and Hyeon Bin.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: ages 15+/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 105 minutes/ Recommended Price: 22,000 KRW/ Available: June 1

CHUNO– starring Jang Hyeok, Lee Da-hae, Oh Ji-ho, Lee Jong-hyeok  Number of discs: 9/ Subtitles: English/ Rating: ages 15+/ Format: 16:9 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo/ Running Time: 1920 minutes/ Special features include Chuno’s History, Commentary, Interviews and Filming/ Region Code: 3,4,5,6/ Recommended Price: 66,000 KRW/ Available: June 2

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Box Office May 20-22

25th May 2011


This post is a little late.  As I mentioned over the weekend, things are very busy with school at the moment.  But I was eventually able to look at the box office totals and I was surprised by what I saw. No, not by the film that was number one, that was pretty much expected, just as I expect Pirates of the Caribbean to be booted out in favor of Kung Fu Panda this coming weekend. I was instead surprised by how many screens Pirates opened on. Over 1000 screens! I think that is a first in Korean cinema.  Also the top two movies took home more than 85% of the box office earnings! The movies opening this week are listed below, but between the Panda, Pirates and Sunny, I wonder if there is any room left for the rest…


1. Collector (us)- d. Marcus Dunstan, starring Josh Stewart, Michael Burke

2. Copa Cabana (fr)– d. Marc Fitoussi, starring Isabelle Huppert, Lolita Chammah

3. Head (kr)– d. Jo Woon, starring Park Ye-jin, Baek Yoon-shik

4. Kung Fu Panda 2 (us)- d. Jennifer Yuh, voiced by Jack Black, Angelina Jolie

5. Mianhae, Gomaweo (kr)– d. Song Il-gon, Im Soon-rye, et. al, starring Kim Ji-ho, Seo Tae-hwa

6. Two Cops (ch)– d. Feng Cheng, starring Wei Tang, Chao Deng

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Korean Box Office: May 13-15

16th May 2011


Sunny, which climbed to number one last week when it officially opened, not only remained at the top but also increased its percentage of box office take. This may be partially due to the increase in the number of screens it played on but also because of  the fact that word of mouth reviews have been quite favorable. Source Code also held its place at number 2, while Officer of the Year and Thor reversed places from last week, winding up at three and four respectively. However, although it experienced upward movement on the box office chart, Officer of the Year actually lost percentage of  the box office take-this week being in the single digits.

This coming weeks sees the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean 4.  The first Pirates film did very well in Korea, but the series has done progressively worse with each new release. I only got through about 10 or 20 minutes of the third film of the series… I turned it off somewhere around the scene where the parrot and monkey operate the canon to shoot pirates from Singapore (?) or somewhere.  I expect the fourth installment to have a big impact on the box office the first weekend.. but we will have to wait to see if it has staying power. In case you don’t want to watch a movie based on a theme-park ride, the rest of the films being released this week are listed below.


1. Alamar (mx)– d. Pedro Gonsalez-Rubio, starring Jorje Machado, Natan Pablomini

2. Flowers (jp)– d. Norihiro Koizumi starring Yu Aoi, Ryoko Hirosue

3. Hwechori (kr)– d. Park Gwang-soo starring Ahn Nae-sang, Jin Ji-hee <English title pending>

4. Inside Job (us)– d. Charles Ferguson <documentary>

5. Lost Bladesman (ch)– d. Alan Mak, starring Donnie Yen, Andy On

6. My One and Only (us)– d. Richard Locraine starring Renee Zellweger, Logan Lerman

7. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (us)– d. Rob Marshall, starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz

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Korean Box Office: May 6-8

9th May 2011


Last week both Sunny and Officer of the Year (listed at that time as Chepowang) received test openings and had nearly identical numbers. But this weekend there was a clear winner as Sunny took nearly 25% of the box office totals– twice as much as Officer of the Year Source Code also did fairly well, booting Thor down to the third tier. (I had been thinking about seeing Thor as I used to like the character from comic books– but after I report I had on it today, I will wait until its on tv to see it).  This week, the only Korean movies opening in theaters are documentaries, meaning that they will have limited screenings and no large impact on the box office. The only film that might is Chinese Ghost Story. I have fond memories of the original film and I hope the remake is good.  Information about this week’s films is listed below after the image.


1. BANGKOK KNOCKOUT (th)– d. Panna Rittikrai, starring Chatcapal Apichart, Kittisak Outchit

2. BEOBJEONG SEUNIMUI UIJA (kr)– d. Im Seong-goo <documenatry, not yet assigned English title>

3. CHINESE GHOST STORY (ch)– d. Wilson Yib, starring Yifei Liu, Louis Koo

4. NO NAME STARS (kr)– d. Kim Tae-il, starring Yang Dong-nam, Yang In-hwa <documentary>

5.  REDLINE (jp)– d. Takeshi Koike, voiced by Takuya Kmura, Yu Aoi

6. SEX AND ZEN 3D (hk)– d. Christopher Sun Lab Key, starring Saori Hara, Tony Ho

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Korean Box Office: April 29-May 1

2nd May 2011


Marvel Comics’ god of thunder, Thor, easily wrested the top tier away from Fast Five this past weekend earning some 35% of the box office.  The next 6 films on the list were all Korean films–Suspicious Customers, Meet the In-Laws (formerly listed under the proposed title Dangerous Meetings), In Love and War, Sunny and Chepowang (not yet assigned an English title).  The last two films have not yet officially been released and will be on many more screens next weekend. There are several children’s films being released this week due to the Children’s Day holiday on May 5 and these will also benefit from the holiday on the 10th also as schools will be closed both days.  The full list of films being released can be seen below.


1. Certified Copy (fr)– d. Abbas Kiarastami, starring Juliette Binoche, William Shimell

2.  Chepowang (kr)– d. Im Chan-ik, starring Park Joong-hoon, Lee Seok-gyun

3. Hubble 3D (cn)– d. Toni Myers <documentary>

4. Listen to Your Heart (us)– d. Matt Thompson, starring Alexia Rasmussen, Kent Moran

5. Shinchan (jp)– d. Akira Shigino, voiced by Akiko Yajima, Miki Narahashi

6. Source Code (us)– d. Duncan Jones, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan

7. Sunny (kr)– d. Kang Hyeon-cheol, starring Yoo Ho-jeong, Jin Hee-kyeong

8. Thomas & Friends (uk)– d.Greg Tiernan, voiced by Reverand Awdry, Sharon Miller

9. Thunder 11 (jp)– d Yoshikazu Miyao, voiced by Yasnori Mitsuda, Natsumi Kameoka

10. Water for Elephants (us) — starring Francis Lawrence, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon

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Korean Box Office: April 22-24

25th April 2011


Fast Five aka The Fast and the Furious 5 opened strong this past weekend and dislodged Suspicious Customers from the first tier of the box office, taking 33% of the ticket sales. It should enjoy the top while it can.  I think this coming week will see that spot taken over by Thor.  Also opening is the fifth and latest installment of the If You Were Me Series.  These, and the other new movies opening this week can be seen below. Also opening this week is the Jeonju International Film Festival.  Tickets are selling out fast –check the website and reserve online if you want to go!


1. If You Were Me 5 (kr)– d. Kang Yi-gwan, Bu Ji-yeong, Kim Dae-seong, Yoon Seong-hyeon, Shin Dong-il  starring Park Jeong-wook, Seo Ok-byeol 

2. Jeokgwaui Dongchim (kr)– d. Park Geon-yong, starring Kim Joo-hyeok, Jeong Ryeo-won

3. Mao’s Last Dancer (au) — d. Bruce Beresford, starring Chi Cao, Bruce Greenwood

4. Mother and Child (us)– d. Rodrigo Garcia, starring Naomi Watts, Annette Bening

5. Thor (us)– d. Kenneth Branagh, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman

6. With Love From the Age of Reason (fr)– d. Yann Samuell, starring Sophie Marceau, Martin Csokas.. <opening in Korea as Dear Me>

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