Opening on Wednesday (Jan. 9), Korean drama “MAL-MO-E: The Secret Mission” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. The Lotte Cultureworks release earned $8.96 million from 1.19 million admissions between Wednesday and Sunday, including some $6.16 million collected over the weekend. Set in the 1940s when Korea was under Japanese occupation, the drama sees the story of a group of literary scholars who fought to revive the Korean language, which they were not allowed to use at that time.
Local comedy “The Dude in Me” also opened on Wednesday and landed in second. The body swap comedy, involving a high school student and a gangster, earned $5.91 million over five days. Together the top two films accounted for 58% of the weekend box office.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” slipped to third from the previous weekend’s top spot. The Walt Disney animation earned $2.3 million. That lifts its cumulative total to $9.55 million after two weekends.
Korean animation, “Dino Mecard: Tiny Saur’s Island” opened in Thursday and landed in fourth. The Next Entertainment World release earned $1.99 million in four days.
Warner Bros’ “Aquaman” and Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” dropped to fifth and sixth place, respectively. “Aquaman” earned $1.49 million for a total of $38.4 million after four weekends. Long-running “Rhapsody” added $695,000 to extend its eleven-weekend total to $75.6 million.