[KOREA Box Office] Rookie Directors’ Courageous Debut, Looking Back on Last Month’s Korean Box Office

Edited by Yang Young Jun

Translated by Kim Hoyeun

The Korean theater, which had been sluggish for a long time, has opened its doors again in June. Unexpectedly, it was the “rookie directors” who brought life to the local theaters. If it wasn’t’ for directors Son Won Phyeong, Park Sang Hyun, Jung Jin Young, and Cho Il Hyung, who made their feature film debuts with Intruder, Innocence, Me and Me, and #ALIVE, the slump in the movie industry would have lasted much longer.


Intruder (release date: 2020.06.4.)


Total Viewers: 530,661 / Box Office: 4.199 billion KRW (approx. 4 million USD)

The movie that marked the beginning of the box office in June was Intruder. Many counted on the movie as it became the first Korean “commercial film” to set foot in the movie theater that faced long-running slump (it was originally scheduled to be released in March, but was delayed twice). On the first weekend of its release, it managed to attract 230,000 viewers, but since then, the number of viewers has quickly dropped as more new movies such as Innocence got released. The accumulated number of viewers is 530,661, but the break-even point is 1.53 million viewers. It recently started VOD service.


Innocence (release date: 2020.06.10.)


Total Viewers: 742,917 / Box Office: 6.581 billion KRW (approx. 5.5 million USD)

Innocence, the last film of “Innocence” trilogy following Another Family and New Trial, was originally scheduled to be released in March, just like the Intruder, but was delayed twice due to the spread of COVID-19. It has attracted 247,000 viewers during the opening weekend, topped the weekend box office for two consecutive weeks, and currently attracted a total of 742,917 viewers. The break-even point is around 1.4 million viewers.


Me and Me (release date: 2020.06.18.)


Total Viewers: 184,401 / Box Office: 1.640 billion KRW (approx. 1.4 million USD)

Me and Me, actor Jung Jin Young’s debut film as a director, first debuted in third place on the opening weekend, drawing more than 100,000 viewers. However, the number of viewers dropped by 87 percent on the second weekend with the nixed evaluations that the movie was too difficult. On the other hand, the movie is receiving rave reviews from critics and movie enthusiasts and are gaining cult-like popularity. Currently, the cumulative audience is 184,401, and the break-even point is around 270,000 viewers.


#ALIVE (release date: 2020.06.24.)

Credit: Lotte Entertainment

Total Viewers: 1,194,985 / Box Office: 9.956 billion KRW (approx. 8.3 million USD)

The movie that closed the month is #ALIVE. In the first weekend alone, the movie drew more than 700,000 viewers and has already surpassed the cumulative 1 million mark. Critics are somewhat divided over the movie of being either “unique” or “typical Korean disaster film,” but the lack of strong competitive films has given the green light to the box office success. The break-even point is 2.2 million viewers. Attention is focusing on whether #ALIVE could be the third movie this year to pass its break-even point following Hitman: Agent Jun and Honest Candidate.

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