Jackie Chan-vehicleThe Tuxedo landed top of the South Korean box office last weekend with an impressive $1.96m nationwide opening. Sporting a strong screen average of $11,140, the film is another hit for Chan, who has a long history of box-office success in Korea, and easily bested the $1.4m opening for Rush Hour 2 last year.
Distributed locally by CJ Entertainment, the film was seen to have been particularly well-placed in the fall line-up, given the lack of new action-comedies in recent weeks. It co-stars Jennifer Love Hewitt and tells the story of a chauffeur who takes the place of his secret agent boss with the help of a specially-designed tuxedo.
The Tuxedo fought off strong competition from more serious-themed dramas I Am Sam, which has grossed a stellar $5.4m after three weeks on release, and Addicted, the first film by new Korean distributor Showbox which has racked up $3.8m in its first 10 days. Addicted tells the story of a man who wakes up from a year-long coma believing that he is his dead brother.
Korean audiences' fondness for action comedies was also reflected in local hit Marrying The Mafia, which remains at number 5 after 8 weeks on release. The film has earned $25.7m, leading the yearly box-office to date, and was also recently picked up by Warner Bros for remake rights.
The Tuxedo has enjoyed strong runs all across Asia taking $2.1m in Taiwan, $1.45m in the Philippines, $1.35m in Singapore, $1.1m in Thailand, $1m in Malaysia, $0.7m in Hong Kong and $0.6m in Indonesia, grossing over $10m so far internationally.
The Tuxedo is released in Iceland this weekend and Australia on Nov 14. This is followed by major European territories including Italy (Nov 29), Germany (Dec 5), France and Belgium (Nov 25) and the UK (Jan 10, 2003). It has taken $48.2m to date in North America.
Additional reporting by Robert Mitchell.