The Youngsters Fall at the Korean Box Office to 2015’s Runaway Hit Ode to My Father

All hail the power of dad! In just one month the South Korean box office has produced one of the biggest domestic box office hits with Ode to My Father, coming so soon after last year’s runaway victor The Admiral: Roaring Currents. The movie has raked in over $80 million US dollars in South Korea and topping the box office in each of the five weeks it’s been airing. There is still a long ways to go to catch The Admiral’s $135 million total but Father’s $80 mil/5 weeks alone is just insane! Thanks to Father’s pan-appeal to family sacrifice and plumbing South Korean history, the spate of highly anticipated youngster-led movies that was released during the year end holiday season all fizzled to varying degrees. The Royal Tailor with Han Suk Kyu, Go Soo, Park Shin Hye, and Yoo Yeon Seok was a royal bomb, premiering at number 5 at the box office before dropping to 9 in the second week and then disappearing off the charts. Then came The Con Artists with Kim Woo Bin which fared a little better against Father but still has under-performed against expectations. Up now is Love Forecast with Lee Seung Gi and Moon Chae Won followed by Gangnam 1970 with Lee Min Ho and Kim Rae Won.

Love Forecast premiered last week on Jan 15th and didn’t manage to dethrone Father from the top of the box office but held tight to the second place position and debuted with a respectable $8 million. All that heavy duty promoting by leads Lee Seung Gi and Moon Chae Won payed off, and the audiences were perhaps in the mood for some lighthearted romance in the cold of winter. Ha Ji Won and Ha Jung Woo‘s Chronicle of a Blood Merchant premiered the same week as Love Forecast and came in third in the box office with a little over $3 million in ticket sales. Next week to challenge Father is director Yoo Ha‘s gritty Gangnam 1970 and by then Father will have been in theaters 6 weeks so perhaps it’ll finally relinquish the top spot.

Another note on Father’s crazy success, the movie has already crossed 11 million viewers, joining the elite 10 million and over club which means 1-in-5 Koreans (South Korea has a population of 50 million) has seen the movie in just the last 5 weeks alone. Only 10 other domestic Korean movies of all time has crossed the 10 million viewers mark, with Father now being the 11th such domestic movie. The director of Father is also in the unprecedented spot of being the only South Korean director with two movies which have crossed the 10 million viewer mark with his other movie being the tsunami disaster movie Haeundae with Ha Ji Won. Nice! Just to note on the other 10 movies to cross the 10 million viewer mark are:

1. The Admiral: Roaring Currents
2. The Host
3. The Thieves
4. Miracle in Cell No. 7
5. Masquerade
6. The King and the Clown
7. Taegukgi
8. Haeundae
9. The Attorney
10. Silmido

I smell a Baeksang this year for Father’s male lead, the always incredible Hwang Jung Min.


The Youngsters Fall at the Korean Box Office to 2015’s Runaway Hit Ode to My Father — 16 Comments

  1. wow! thats pretty impressive.hope GB does well next week.
    btw,miss Ockoala,have u heard the latest news about Park yoo chun and suzy in a drama?

  2. Love Forecast did take 1st place for a day or 2 after opening day, then went to 2nd place. I don’t think any of the others have come close.

  3. Gosh’, I am so happy for Hwang Jung Min. He gotta be one of the most talented movie actors and he really is a favorite of mine so yeap’, keep rocking <3

    I can't wait to watch the movie. It just seems soo good 🙂

  4. I came to conclusion that Korens don`t really give a damn about younger actors in movies(when i say younger i mean below 30 years). Most of the huge box office hits come from veteran actors and actors in their mid to late 30s. Younger actors sometimes get lucky to get really good role or to tag along bigger names so they get recognition, but most of the time it`s veteran actors that take all the glory.

    There are exceptions like Kim Soo Hyun in Secretly Greatly ,Park Bo Young/Song Yoon Ki in Werewolf Boy and Shim Eun Kyung in Miss Granny, but they are more of an exceptions that proves the rule.

    • I think it’s not about the age,it’s the the story itself.RomCom and Melodrama Movies are not watch by many compared to other genre. Love Forecast had the biggest opening day for a romcom movie and had more than 1M admission in six days which proved to be successful so far.If they have stable admission i think they can set a new record..Werewolf Boy is also considered the most successful melodrama so far.Most good movies and meaty roles are played and given to older actors maybe that’s what you mean of “age”..For example the Roaring Currents,it was good movie,this kind of genre can easily attract viewers compared to romcom and melodramas,same as Ode to My Father..I think it’s more challenging to take romcom and melodrama movies in terms gaining viewers..

  5. Some stars fare better on telly dramas than in the movies. The acting ability to capture your interest and attention in 2hrs(+/-). Park Shin Hye may be one such actress.

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