Korea Box Office: ‘Suzume’ Expands in Third Week as Japanese Animation Extends Strong Year

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Hit Japanese animation “Suzume” improved its box office performance in its third week of release in South Korea and remained far ahead of all competing titles.

“Suzume” earned $6.06 million over the weekend between Friday and Sunday, a 7% increase on its previous weekend, itself a strong hold that almost equalled its opening session. Data is sourced from Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic).

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The film, which has been a huge hit in Japan and some other Asian territories, enjoyed a 66% share of the entire Korean cinema box office over the most recent weekend and expanded its cumulative haul to $23.9 million after 19 days on release.

That makes it the third highest grossing film of the year to date in Korea and the second highest actually released in 2023. Only December 2022 release “Avatar: The Way of Water,” on $36.3 million, and Japanese animation “The First Slam Dunk” with $34.5 million, have earned more.

The latest weekend’s highest placing new release was Korean-made “Woongnami,” which placed second with $873,000 and a 9.5% market share. In the full five days of its opening campaign the comedy-action film has earned $1.23 million.

Not far behind the top two, “The First Slam Dunk” earned $734,000 in third place in its 12th weekend of release. Korean drama-title “Soulmate” slipped from third place a week earlier, to fourth. It earned $309,000 for a 12-day cumulative of $1.41 million.

“I’m Hero the Final,” a concert film starring singer Lim Young-woong, placed fiflth by virtue of its high ticket priced. It scored $215,000 over the weekend and has a cumulative of $4.28 million Korean charts, which rank titles by ticket sales numbers, show the film in ninth spot.

Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” was the next highest new-release title. It earned $181,000 over the weekend and $284,000 over its opening five days.

Another Japanese animation, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To The Swordsmith Village” earned $158,000 over the weekend, in seventh place. After three weekends, it has a cumulative of $4.96 million.

Oscar-winning “Everything Everywhere All at Once” declined after last week entering the Korea top ten in its third week. It earned $121,000 over the weekend, for a four-week cumulative total of $712,000.

European animation, “Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness” earned $105,000 over the weekend for a total of $281,000 after two weekends.

Rounding out the top ten was Chinese animation GG Bond: Ocean Mission,” which released on Thursday and managed $55,000 over its opening four days.

Aggregate, nationwide box office in Korea remains significantly depressed. Since January 20-22, no weekend has seen more than $10 million of theatrical business.

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