You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Holiday ‘Game’ plays big in S. Korea

Prime Entertainment film nabs $2.5 million

SEOUL — South Korean cinema rolled out its big guns for the Lunar New Year holiday, and produced an unlikely winner in the modestly budgeted thriller “The Devil’s Game.”

The Prime Entertainment release took an estimated $2.5 million from Thursday to Sunday to land at the top of the box office. Budgeted at $3.7 million, “Game” centers on a case of body switching. Shin Ha-kyun (“Save the Green Planet!”) and Byun Hee-bong (“The Host”) star.

Holding up unexpectedly well after four weeks was sports drama “Forever the Moment” at No. 2 with $2.1 million.

Based on the women’s handball team that competed for Korea in the 2004 Athens Olympics, pic has smashed all expectations with a $21 million gross to date. Observers predict the film’s cume may go as high as $35 million.

The No. 3 spot went to the 1945-set action/comedy “Once Upon a Time in Korea,” the first major investment by SK Telecom’s new film division.

Pic took a slightly disappointing $1.9 million, though a generally warm assessment by audiences has some observers predicting it will move up the rankings over the Lunar New Year holiday proper, which runs from Wednesday to Friday.

The return of Korean Wave star Jun Ji-hyun was not enough to launch CJ Entertainment drama “A Man Who Was Superman,” which took a disappointing $1.5 million despite being booked onto 518 screens, more than any other release.

Also clocking in below expectations was Peter Chan’s HK-Chinese blockbuster “The Warlords,” which grossed $850,000 on 292 screens to take the No. 5 slot.

At No. 6, 1930s-set drama “Radio Dayz,” about Korea’s first radio drama, opened with a weak $600,000 on 315 screens.

All box office figures are supplied by the Korean Film Council, which covers most but not all of the nation’s screens.

More Film

  • Sylvester Stallone

    Sylvester Stallone's Superhero Drama 'Samaritan' Lands at MGM

    MGM is developing the superhero drama “Samaritan” with Sylvester Stallone attached to star and produce through his Balboa Productions. The studio has acquired Bragi F. Schut’s script, which centers on a boy learning that a missing superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier after a battle, may still be alive. MGM will develop “Samaritan” with Stallone [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    Oscars: Kendrick Lamar and SZA Will Not Perform 'Black Panther' Song (EXCLUSIVE)

    Despite the Academy’s efforts to secure Kendrick Lamar and SZA for a performance of the Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” on the upcoming Oscars telecast, the duo will not be a part of the show, Variety has learned. The reason, according to a source close to the situation, is logistics and timing. [...]

  • Oscars Spa Treatments

    Area Spas Offer Red Carpet Treatments in Time for Oscars

    From a shopping session with a celebrity stylist to a covert airport pickup, these hotels and spas are offering even more curated packages for the ultimate VIP Oscar experience. For the Jetsetter Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’ Doheny Suite Experience package allows travelers to evade the paparazzi with an underground or curbside [...]

  • Rocketman

    See Taron Egerton Transform Into Elton John in New ‘Rocketman’ Trailer

    A new trailer for “Rocketman,” the Elton John “fantasy musical” in theaters May 31, was released today. As the singer, actor Taron Egerton (“Eddie the Eagle”) performs “Tiny Dancer” and is seen honing his talent at home, rising to fame and grappling with the pitfalls that superstardom can bring. The film also stars Jamie Bell (as John’s [...]

  • Matthew McConaughey White Boy Rick

    STX Buys Matthew McConaughey's Crime Drama 'Bush' for U.S.

    STXfilms has picked up U.S. rights to Matthew McConaughey’s British crime drama “Bush,” with Guy Ritchie directing and producing, for $7 million. The project, formerly known as “Toff Guys,” also stars Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, and Michelle Dockery. The deal was in the works in Berlin and has just been completed. [...]

  • Four Seasons LA Oscar Parties

    Oscar-Inspired Festivities That Anyone Can Attend

    Whether you make it to the Dolby or not, you can still celebrate Oscar’s big week with these awards-themed menu items, viewing events and treats. If you can’t win an award, you can eat one. Compartes designed a seven-inch, 24-karat gold-dusted statue made of decadent dark chocolate ($34.95), while confectioner Valerie Gordon offers a package [...]

  • The Woolsy fire burns a home

    Malibu Fire Victims Vow to Rebuild as Real Estate Prices Hold

    Malibu’s reputation as paradise took a beating in 2018. More than 450 homes were destroyed in the city limits during November’s Woolsey Fire, as were 750 or so more residences in the surrounding county. Heaviest hit was the region’s western edge. “Although the fire has shaken the community, people are reenergized and those who lost [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content