‘August Rush’ strikes chord in Korea

Musical drama tops box office second straight week

SEOUL — CJ Entertainment has been enjoying surprising success with musical fantasy drama “August Rush,” which topped the Korean box office for the second consecutive weekend.

Pic opened Nov. 29 on 318 screens with a $2 million weekend take and has grossed $5.8 million to date, seeing a drop of just under 1% in its second weekend. It’s the first foreign film to top the local box office since “The Bourne Ultimatum” 11 weeks ago.

Advance ticket sales indicate that the tear-jerker is still appealing to local auds and playing well on 284 screens.

Pic is CJ’s latest effort to crack the North American market. CJ put up $1.5 million of pic’s $30 million budget and secured co-production credit plus Korean distribution rights.

Released by Warner Bros. in the States Nov. 21, pic ranked No. 7 with $9.4 million take in its first weekend.

Prime Entertainment’s “Seven Days” continues to do good business in the No. 2 slot for a second week. Pic, starring “Lost’s” Kim Yun-jin, has earned $11 million in four weeks.

John Travolta’s “Hairspray” opened at No. 3 with $1 million for distributor KD Media.

The biggest local hit for the second half of the year looks likely to be “Le Grand Chef” at No. 5, selling 2.9 million tickets worth $17 million to date.

Meanwhile, two local films both dropped over 40% at the box office in their second weekend.

“My Town,” a thriller about serial killers by debut director Jeong Gil-young, has grossed $2.1 million on 250 screens for distributor Cinema Service, beating Showbox’s “My Eleventh Mother” which held on at No. 7 with a $1.7 million gross on 235 screens. Starring Kim Hye-soo (“Tazza”), pic is a melodrama about a woman down on her luck and an 11-year-old boy.

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