Every week, “Charts & Graphs” looks past the weekend box-office numbers to examineother lists of movies that are popular right now, as assessed by the likes of iTunes, Amazon, Box Office Mojo, and other services.
Earlier this week, Variety posted a story about Roaring Currents (sometimes called The Admiral: Roaring Currents): a South Korean film about a 16th century naval battle. The movie opened in South Korea on July 30, and has already sold over 14 million tickets at the domestic box office. It’s the first movie ever in South Korea to sell more than 14 million tickets, and the first to make more than $100 million (USD). The previous record-holder for ticket-sales, according to Variety, was Avatar, at 13.6 million.
To put Roaring Currents into context, I was curious to know what the other biggest ticket-sellers have been in South Korea all-time, foreign and domestic. But I had trouble tracking that data down, finding only a list of the biggest domestic hits. (For those who are curious: Bong Joon-ho’s The Host is #2 on that list, and Snowpiercer is #11.) But thanks to Box Office Mojo, I can at least compare Roaring Currents to all the movies that have played in South Korea in 2014, so far.
1. Roaring Currents (opened 7/30) - $109,567,247
2. Frozen (1/16) - $76,695,633
3. Miss Granny (1/23) - $58,260,947
4. Transformers: Age Of Extinction (6/26) - $43,338,590
5. Edge Of Tomorrow (6/4) - $37,842,551
6. Kundo: Age Of The Rampant (7/23) - $35,660,333
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (4/24) - $33,797,633
8. X-Men: Days Of Future Past (5/22) - $33,716,901
9. The Pirates (8/6) - $32,149,057
10. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (7/10) - $30,594,006
11. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3/26) - $30,177,601
12. The Fatal Encounter (4/30) - $29,037,626
13. The Divine Move (7/3) - $27,790,164
14. A Hard Day (5/29) - $26,451,087
15. How To Train Your Dragon 2 (7/23) - $22,610,977
16. The Target (4/30) - $21,658,812
17. Non-Stop (2/27) - $14,971,602
18. Noah (3/20) - $13,980,325
19. When A Man Loves (1/23) - $13,128,746
20. 300: Rise Of An Empire (3/6) - $12,500,660
A few notes:
- I’ve looked at a lot of foreign box-office charts for Charts & Graphs, and they’re usually dominated by Hollywood movies. But while more than half of the films here are from Hollywood, there’s also a lot more homegrown product than I’m used to seeing. I hope some of these get picked up by Well Go USA, which does an excellent job of getting Korean and Chinese genre pictures to the eyeballs of Americans.
- You might be confused by the title of the fifth-highest-grossing movie on this list. That’s the Tom Cruise movie we all know as Live. Die. Repeat.
- Snowpiercer was released last year in South Korea, for anyone who might wonder why it doesn’t appear here.
- Some theaters in the major U.S. markets are already showing Roaring Currents, distributed directly by the Korean company CJ Entertainment, although Box Office Mojo doesn’t list the movie as having been released anywhere but South Korea so far. I’m not sure how that works. Does anybody more savvy than me know anything about the rules of what constitutes “a release?”