In South Korea, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug topped the box office its opening weekend in spite of discord between local distributor Warner Brothers Korea and exhibitors CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema about profit sharing.
The Hobbit sequel clocked up 829,569 admissions and made $6.2m over the Dec 13-15 weekend. As of Dec 18, it has clocked up $8.92m.
Traditionally Seoul theatres split profits with distributors 50:50 on local films and 40:60 on foreign films with 60% going to the distributor. (This practice comes from the days when foreign films were the big moneymakers and local films had a harder time getting into theatres.) CJ CGV in September changed to 50:50 for foreign films, while Lotte Cinema since October has gone for a more moderate change of 45:55. With Warner Brothers Korea disagreeing with these deals, The Hobbit 2 has not been screening in theatres directly operated by CGV and Lotte.
Local film Way Back Home, starring Cannes award-winning actress Jeon Do-yeon and top actor Ko soo, took second place with 614,289 admissions on the weekend. Released Dec 11 by CJ E&M, the drug-mule drama has so far picked up $7.28m.
UK romantic comedy About Time placed third on the weekend with 475,159 admissions. Distributed by Universal Pictures International Korea, the film has so far clocked up $11.24m since its Dec 5 release.
Insidious: Chapter 2 took fourth place with 118,774 admissions followed by Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 with 103,289. Both are distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing Walt Disney Studios (Korea), Inc.