Korean Film News


Box Office: February 21-22 / 2004-02-27






In only its third weekend, Korean War epic Taegukgi has
become the third-best selling film in Korean history, having
accumulated 6.5 million admissions. The film has now passed
Shiri and JSA, the major blockbusters of 1999 and
2000, and only Friend (8.2 million) and the recent
Silmido (10.3 million admissions to date) remain ahead of
it. It has also passed the final score of The Return of the
King, which is the highest-grossing imported film ever with 6
million admissions.

Another major milestone was passed by KANG Woo-suk's Silmido
when it became the first film in history to sell 10 million tickets
in Korea. With Korea having officially entered the "10-million
admissions era", the press has focused much attention on the
surging commercial strength of the Korean film industry.

Several other titles were also released this weekend, with Cinema
Service's Too Beautiful to Lie performing the best in Seoul
with 57,500 admissions. The film stars KIM Ha-neul and KANG Dong-
won in a story about a woman who decides to get revenge on a man
she meets on the train by concocting wild stories. Academy Award
nominee Cold Mountain also debuted this week, landing at #4
with 46,000 admissions.

Although Mokpo, Gangster's Paradise landed at #5 in the
Seoul chart, it actually outperformed the #2 film Too Beautiful
to Lie in Korea as a whole due to its popularity in regional
cities. The film stars CHA Im-pyo and JO Jae-hyun in a story about
a police officer who goes under cover to infiltrate a powerful
gangster's organization. The film recently won the Grand Prix at
the Yubari International Film Festival.

Other debuts this week include Sofia Coppola's Lost in
Translation, which earned 17,200 admissions for #7, and KIM
Eung-su's arthouse film Desire, for which box-office figures
were not available.

title (distributor) Seoul 2-day admissions -- (Nationwide to
February 22)
1. Taegukgi (Showbox) 234,512 (6,539,031)
2. Too Beautiful to Lie (Cinema Service) 57,500 (300,000)
3. Silmido (Cinema Service) 48,500 (10,277,000)
4. Cold Mountain (Buena Vista) 46,000 (107,100)
5. Mokpo, Gangster's Paradise (Korea Pictures) 43,600 (321,400)

Source: distributor estimates published in Cine21 magazine