New Line Cinema's I Am Sam has passed the $50m in international box office grosses after receiving a mighty launch in South Korea at the end of its run.
The drama, which stars Sean Penn - Oscar nominated as best actor earlier in the year - and Michelle Pfeiffer, grossed $1.3m (won1.6bn) in South Korea from 243,776 admissions over its opening two day weekend Oct 19-20, taking the top chart position in the process.
Distributed by BVI Korea, I Am Sam took $436,500 from 33 screens in the capital of Seoul for an impressive screen average of $13,230. This put it ahead of Hollywood blockbuster The Bourne Identity which opened against the drama taking $272,925 in Seoul from 30 screens and $953,000 nationwide.
I Am Sam received a strong marketing campaign in the territory, but may also have benefited from the massive success of local title Oasis, which brought some issues concerning the handicapped into the open in the country where few services for the disabled exist. It also enjoyed good reviews from local critics.
The film had already grossed $49.2m from international markets before its Korean launch, to add to its $40.3m domestic US tally. The vast majority of this total came from a massive run in Japan where it grossed $28m. Other strong performances have included $4.3m in Italy (distributed by Nexo Spa), $2.5m in Australia (Roadshow), $1.7m in Spain (Tri Pictures), $1.5m in Mexico (Videocine) and $1.4m in Brazil (P.A. Pictures).
I Am Sam was directed by Jessie Nelson, her first directorial effort since 1994's Whoopi Goldberg/Ray Liotta comic drama Corrina, Corrina.
Additional reporting by Darcy Paquet.