Korean films win at Cannes, flop at local B.O.

"Poetry," "Ha Ha Ha" struggle

South Korean films may have won at Cannes, but they are losing at the local box office.

Helmer Lee Chang-dong’s “Poetry,” the recipient of best screenplay award, came in at No. 8 at last weekend’s B.O., cuming $666,000 in its second week on 147 screens for distributor N.E.W.

The distrib hopes the award will lure more people to theaters.

“After the award, we’re in talk with theaters to expand the number of screens. Online advanced ticket sales are also up. Thanks to the good news, we expect a long-run of the pic at the box office,” investor Unikorea said in a press release.

In 2007, Lee’s “Secret Sunshine” leaped up at the B.O. charts after Jeon Do-youn won the best actress award at Cannes.

Hong Sang-soo’s “Ha Ha Ha,” Un Certain Regard’s top prizewinner, has also flopped since its May 6 release.

Ranked at No.12, pic cumed $208,000 from 24 screens handled by Sponge ENT.

In the meantime, Im Sang-soo’s Cannes competition player, “The Housemaid,” stepped down to the second place on the chart after a week at the top. It has grossed $11.8 million to date.

Newly released DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” took the No.1 spot, grossing $6 million.

Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” and Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man 2” took third and fourth places respectively.