×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Host’ with the most

Local action fare tops at Asian B.O.

Homegrown pics about monsters, local legends and chopsocky action dominated the box office in South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, respectively, last weekend, beating big-budget Hollywood fare.

South Korean monster pic “The Host” demolished the local record for an opening weekend in that territory with 2.63 million admissions, earning $17.2 million from Thursday to Sunday.

In Japan, epic toon “Tales From Earthsea,” the helming debut of Goro Miyazaki (son of anime master Hayao Miyazaki), earned $7.9 million on 672,696 admissions in its opening weekend, beating the soph session of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which earned $6 million.

Meanwhile, martial arts actioner “Dragon Tiger Gate” dominated Hong Kong’s B.O., bringing in $692,308 over its three-day opening weekend.

And in South Korea,, Cannes player “The Host” grabbed the local record from K.T. Kwak’s actioner “Typhoon,” which opened to 1.8 million admissions last December.

“The Host” also set a single-day record on Saturday with 792,762 admissions, earning $5.2 million, beating the previous record of 590,000 admissions set by “Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War” in 2004.

Budgeted at $11 million, with special effects work by San Francisco-based the Orphanage, “The Host” opened on a record 620 prints, well over a third of the nation’s screens. Magnolia Pictures plans a U.S. launch before the end of this year.

“Tales,” released Saturday on 435 screens by Toho, recorded 86.1% of the first-weekend take of “Spirited Away,” the Hayao Miyazaki toon that broke the Japanese B.O. record with a final gross of $267 million.

Distrib Toho predicted “Tales” will finish north of $87.7 million, which would make it the year’s biggest hit, beating current No. 1 “The Da Vinci Code.”

“Code” topped the Japanese B.O. in the first half of 2006 with $79 million. Seven of the top 10 pics, however, were Japanese, pointing up the growing strength of local product in the world’s second-largest film market.

“Code” is followed by sea actioner “Umizaru 2: Test of Trust” ($61.4 million), “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” ($60.5 million), ensemble comedy “Suite Dreams” ($53.5 million), toon “Doraemon” ($30.7 million), “Flightplan” ($27.2 million), toon “Detective Conan” ($26.3 million), horror pic “Death Note” ($23.7 million), romantic comedy “Star Reformers” ($20.2 million) and Alzheimer’s disease drama “Memories of Tomorrow” ($19.3 million).

In Hong Kong, No. 1 “Dragon Tiger Gate,” starring Donnie Yen, was followed by kids’ toon “Keroro,” based on a Japanese comic series, which opened Thursday and racked up $487,179 at 31 screens over the four days. Toon “Monster House” also opened Thursday and came in third with $397,436.

(Vicki Rothrock in Hong Kong contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Spirit Awards Showcase Oscar Players and

    Spirit Awards Showcase Oscar Players and Also-Rans, With Heavy Hitters on Deck

    Five of the last eight best feature winners at the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards have gone on to win best picture at the Oscars, including a four-year streak from 2013-2016. It was a steadily evolving status quo that led former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences governor Bill Mechanic to question his organization’s [...]

  • Bo Burnham34th Film Independent Spirit Awards,

    Bo Burnham Wants 'Eighth Grade' Star Elsie Fisher to Direct Him

    Bo Burnham won his third award in three weeks for “Eighth Grade” at the Spirit Awards and said he wants the film’s 15-year-old Elsie Fisher to direct him. “I’d love to work with Elsie again,” Burnham said backstage after winning the Best First Screenplay trophy.  “She wants to direct so I’d love to switch roles [...]

  • Nicole Holofcener: 'Can You Ever Forgive

    Nicole Holofcener: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' Director Was Cheated Out of an Oscar Nomination

    “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” screenwriter Nicole Holofcener offered a blunt assessment of the lack of Academy Awards recognition for director Marielle Heller, and women directors everywhere. “I feel Marielle was cheated and I feel badly about that,” Holofcener said backstage after winning a Spirit Award for screenplay with Jeff Whitty. Holofcener was originally attached [...]

  • Stephan James as Fonny and Brian

    2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners: Complete List

    The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards took place on a beach in Santa Monica, Calif., with Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” taking the top prize for best feature along with best director for Jenkins. Ethan Hawke and Glenn Close took the prizes for best male lead and best female lead, respectively. Bo Burnham took [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Hated It! How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Gripe About the Oscars

    Watching the Academy Awards telecast, then grousing about it the next day, has become a hipster parlor game — it’s what the Complete Oscar Experience now is. The complaints are legion, and we all know what they are, because we’ve all made them. The show was too long. The host bombed. His or her opening [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content