South Korean cinema continues to perform strongly, with local films currently maintaining a 45% market share in Seoul and three Korean titles heading the box-office this weekend.
Cinema Service's Jail Breakers (pictured) has become the latest comedy to top the box-office, drawing 554,000 admissions nationwide in its first four days to earn $3m. From Kim Sang-jin, whose previous films Attack The Gas Station (1999) and Kick The Moon (2001) both rank among the top 12 Korean films of all time, Jail Breakers tells the story of a pair of convicts who tunnel out of prison Shawshank Redemption style, only to discover that they were slated to receive a presidential pardon on the following day.
Also performing well was Wet Dreams (pictured), Korea's first teen sex comedy which has grossed an arousing $8.9m in three weeks. From Kang Je-gyu Films, the film has been particularly popular among young female viewers and it looks likely to initiate a wave of similarly-themed works in the future.
At number three in the chart this week was Kim Ki-duk's eighth film The Coast Guard, which ranks as the director's highest-ever opening with a three-day gross of $900,000. Although the presence of top star Jang Dong-gun was expected to give the film an even bigger boost, the film's low budget ($625,000) should ensure a healthy profit for investor/distributor Korea Pictures.
Local cinema will be harder-pressed to replicate this success in December, with Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Dec 13) and The Two Towers (Dec 19) both expected to dominate screens.
Nonetheless eight local films are scheduled for release in the month, with new distributor Showbox's teen comedy Sex Is Zero slated for an ambitious wide release opposite Harry Potter on the 13th.