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Korean Box Office: Nostalgic ‘Father’ Beats ‘Hobbit’ 

SEOUL – Local blockbuster “Ode to My Father,” which charts the tumultuous modern history of a Korean family, beat rival opener “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” to claim the top spot at the Korean box office.

CJ Entertainment’s “Ode” took $ 8.26 million (KRW 9.05 billion) during the strictly defined weekend (Fri-Sun) after being shown on 966 screens and selling 1.14 million tickets, according to the Korean Film Council’s KOBIS data service.

Peter Jackson’s “Five Armies,” which also opened on Dec. 17 and was shown on 926 screens, took $ 7.75 million (KRW 8.49 million), according to KOBIS.

That contradicted estimates from Warner Bros. about the performance of “The Hobbit.” Warner reported that the film opened on top and grossed KRW 11.5 billion ($10.4 million). “These results surpass the opening weekend tally for ‘Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ by 26% and ‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ by 50%,” the studio said.

“My Love, Don’t Cross That River,” a local, independently produced documentary about an elderly couple facing death, maintained its remarkable performance, scoring $5.58 million (KRW 6.12 billion). The doc’s cumulated score now stands at $17.1 million.

The top three films accounted for 91% of the market, leaving only thin pickings for lower ranking titles. In its third week, “Exodus: Gods and Kings” slumped 90% and looks set to complete less than 1.5 million ticket sales. “Interstellar,” however, looks on course to pass the 10 million ticket sales mark soon. It currently has collected $72.4 million.

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