‘Honest Candidate’ Makes Debut As No. 1 of Box Office: Ra Mi Ran’s Comedy Has Captured Audiences’ Heart


Edited by Yang Young Jun
Translated by Jeon Gyeong Ju


The Korean local cinemas, which recently greeted the seventh weekend in 2020, looked quite crowded. Honest Candidate and Little Women, which were both released on Feb. 12 in Korea, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on the box office as of the latest weekend. The total weekend attendance (989,323 viewers) of the two movies, even compared with those (655,541 viewers) of The Closet and Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) during the same period, shows that the situation has much improved. On the seventh weekend of the year, it was also very interesting to see Parasite, the four-Oscar winner, sit at No. 4 on the box office with a whopping more than 89,000 viewers. As the newcomers released on Feb. 19, 1917 and Beasts Clawing at Straws (its original release date was already delayed once) are drawing the biggest attention from the public while new domestic and foreign films such as Never Look Away, Jexi and Pray are also set to be released soon.


1. Honest Candidate (Released on Feb. 12, 2020) (NEW)

_국내 박스오�

Weekend Attendance/Sales: 676,586 Viewers / Nearly KRW 5.877 Billion
Cumulative Attendance/Sales: 908,851 Viewers / Nearly KRW 7.723 Billion
Number of Screens: 1,179
Seating Rate / Market Share: 22.5% / 34.4%

Honest Candidate, a new comedy starring Ra Mi Ran as a lead role, has topped the box office this week. This remake of the same-titled Brazilian movie, directed by Jang Yoo Jung (the creator of the hit movie and musical Finding Mr. Destiny), depicts what happens to the three-term lawmaker who suddenly becomes unable to lie ahead of the election. Like The Closet last week, the film topped the charts from the first day of its release to the weekend, but it needs to be noted that there is quite a difference compared to the number of The Closet‘s viewers (480,000 on the weekend / 680,000 accumulated since its release). Probably the strength of Honest Candidate as a “comedy” genre, which anyone can enjoy comfortably, seems to have positively influenced on its box office hit as well as the fact that the release date of Beasts Clawing at Straws was previously postponed. As the current trend continues, the number of its viewers will certainly surpass 1 million during the week and it’s even possible for this film to hit the break-even point (1.5 million viewers) is positive. Of course, the domestic and foreign much-anticipated pieces such as 1917 and Beasts Clawing at Straws are set to be released forward, but the audience base of Honest Candidate is clearly different from those of the two movies. Thus, it’s unlikely that there will be any major impediment to the success of Honest Candidate.


2. Little Women (Released on Feb. 12, 2020) (NEW)

_국내 박스오�
Credit: Sony Pictures

Weekend Attendance/Sales: 312,737 Viewers / Nearly KRW 2.717 Billion
Cumulative Attendance/Sales: 463,757 Viewers / Nearly KRW 3.948 Billion
Number of Screens: 1,099
Seating Rate / Market Share: 16.8% / 21.3%

Little Women, winner of the Best Costume Design category at the 92nd Academy Awards, made their debut in the second place on the local box office. It has been highly expected in that the film, starring Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson and so on, was directed by Greta Gerwig, who solely directed and wrote Lady Bird. And its performance during the first weekend shows that this movie has matched up to those expectations. Despite of the relatively small number of screenings (5,261 vs 3,219), Little Women got a similar result with Honest Candidate on the day of its release and even beated The Closet, which was one of the most anticipated films in the first half of the year. Other big rivals such as 1917 and Parasite: Black and White Version are set to be released next week, so we may see three Oscar-winning pieces retain the top spots on the Korean box office if Little Women stays strong by then. Indeed, the possibility that the film does so is high, considering its existing popularity.


3. The Closet (Released on Feb. 5, 2020) ( �” 2 )

_국내 박스오�
Credit: CJ Entertainment

Weekend Attendance/Sales: 209,998 Viewers (-57.1%) / Nearly KRW 1.8718 Billion
Cumulative Attendance/Sales: 1,144,936 Viewers / Nearly KRW 9.9319 Billion
Number of Screens: 798
Seating Rate / Market Share: 14.9% / 16.2%

The Closet, No. 1 of the box office last weekend, came down to No. 3 this weekend. It looks a bit natural for the film to drop in the rankings due to the newcomers, which were later released. Nevertheless, the weekend attendance that has dropped to less than half is an indicator of The Closet‘s slump. Although the movie managed to save its own face by attracting about 210,000 viewers over the weekend and surpassing 1.14 million ones in the accumulated attendance, it’s safe to say that The Closet has already been out of Korean moviegoers’ eyes due to its steep decline. And To make matters worse, it seems difficult for The Closet to reach its break-even point (2.15 million viewers) as a large number of the domestic and foreign expected films are set to be released from this week.


4. Parasite (Released on May 30, 2019) ( �’ 50 )
Weekend/Cumulative Attendance �” 89,112/10,228,439

5. Sonic the Hedgehog (Released on Feb. 12, 2020) ( NEW )
Weekend/Cumulative Attendance �” 68,239/87,124

6. The Man Standing Next (Released on Jan. 22, 2020) ( �” 3 )
Weekend/Cumulative Attendance �” 65,929/4,723,036

7. Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (Released on Feb. 5, 2020) ( �” 5 )
Weekend/Cumulative Attendance �” 40,500/373,761

8. Jojo Rabbit (Released on Feb. 5, 2020) ( �” 2 )
Weekend/Cumulative Attendance �” 22,687/80,518

9. Miniforce: Deeno the King of Dinosaurs (Released on Feb. 6, 2020) ( �” 4 )
Weekend/Cumulative Attendance �” 21,510/71,549

10. Hitman: Agent Jun (Released on Jan. 22, 2020) ( �” 6 )
Weekend/Cumulative Attendance �” 13,657/2,400,387

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