The Verdict is in for the Movie Box Office Battle of the Heirs Leads


The recent box office battle of the Heirs leads has a victor! In a resounding victory, Lee Min Ho‘s Gangnam 1970 had the best movie opening (rank and receipts) of all the movies headlining the Heirs three which all opened within one to two weeks of each other. First came The Royal Tailor with Park Shin Hye and the solid cast of leading men in Han Suk Kyu, Go Soo, and Yoo Yeon Seok. It opened weakly in 5th place, dropped to 9th by the second week, and was buh bye out of the top 10 by the third week. Kim Woo Bin‘s The Con Artists opened in 2nd place that same week but also has had large week-to-week drops and by the 4th week was out of the top 10.

The box office numbers have just come out for last weekend’s premiere of Gangnam 1970 and it opened number 1 and managed to dethrone six-week leader Ode to My Father. Congrats to Min Ho-sshi, being a popular Hallyu and drama star does not guarantee box office success at all in the domestic South Korean market. Another indicator for Gangnam 1970’s success over the other films is in the form of decent to good reviews whereas The Royal Tailor and The Con Artists got pretty blah critical and audience feedback. Looks like Chungmuro has opened the door to Lee Min Ho to cross over.


The media pundits have been keeping a close watch on the box office for the last month since it’s holiday season so the ticket sales have been brisk, plus Ode to My Father is one of those once-in-a-blue moon blockbusters, even though it fell to 3rd place in its 7th week in theaters, its cumulative ticket sales have now made it the 8th most watched Korean movie of all time. Wowsers. In addition to the Heirs three, another popular young actor in Lee Seung Gi also had a movie opening during this competitive month with Love Forecast starring Moon Chae Won.

The movie opened in a close 2nd place to Ode to My Father, but the next week fell over 50% in sales but still managed to hold on to 4th place behind Gangnam 1970, Big Hero Six, and Ode to My Father. Since rom-coms like Love Forecast naturally cost a lot less to film than action pieces like The Con Artists and the lavish costuming costs of sageuks like The Royal Tailor, I think the box office haul for Seung Gi’s movie will be considered a solid success vis-a-vis expenses. That makes the final verdict a win for Lee Min Ho and Lee Seung Gi and better luck next time for Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin.


The Verdict is in for the Movie Box Office Battle of the Heirs Leads — 47 Comments

  1. Actually, The Con Artists had 1.4m admissions after the first weekend compared to 1.0m for Gangnam 1970. And the admissions will normally drop in subsequent weeks. Exceptions are the blockbusters like Ode to Father.

    • Exactly, The Con Artist first weekend admissions were higher than Gangnam 1970. The Con Artist opening weekend went against Ode to My Father first few weeks of admission. So of course it did not open in first place, since Ode to My Father is a huge HIT.

      Gangnam opened in first place because the competition is much weaker.

      A true winner can’t be announced until after all three films finish their theatre run in Korea. Con Artist has total admissions of 2.5 million. Who knows if Gangnam will top this. It will be very close race in final receipts between these two films. Regardless of the outcome, none of the films by Heirs actors are shaping up to be a blockbuster hit in Korea.

      • LMH and KWB are newbies in Chungmuro. These numbers they are gathering are very good. Gangnam70 has best opening for a gangster noir movie and Con Artists’ 2.5 million admissions are considered a hit.

      • All 3 films are doing quite well, after all 1m admissions in the first week is no small feat. Hopefully, they can all make profits.

        Agree that first, second, third placings are relative to the competition. It would have been interesting to see how Gangnam1970 would have fared if it had opened earlier against stronger competition or even against KWB’s or LSG’s films, since G70 was supposed to air in December originally, and had postponed their opening to a more advantageous timing.

  2. Gangnam 1970 is getting good reviews too while others movies are below average.
    I’m happy Lee Minho is finally getting love from critics. I hope he stay away from crappy dramas.

  3. Gangnam 1970 is not really doing that well in box office,they got more than 1M viewers in six days just like Love Forecast did which is a romcom. If they continue to at least get decent admissions everyday I think they could at least have more viewers than Con Artists but I’m happy that GB had decent reviews. What sad is for “The Tailor”,though the casts are getting praised it flopped terribly bcoz’ of its story..And Ode to my Father is really amazing it still doing well..

  4. LMH’s movie isn’t really doing that well though, it does really depend on what it does this week. KWB’s movie did decently. PSH’s movie just plan flopped horribly. Love Forecast is less than what they wanted (which what they wanted was insane tbh), but it’s still a solid outing especially given the mediocre reviews and it being a romcom. It’s a solid start with LSG’s movie career anyway.

    I’d say there was no winner, except Ode to My Father which basically kicked everyone’s ass.

    • I agree with you.I am.glad G 1970 got good reviews but a lot depends on this week like you said. Love Forecast already has almost 1.6 million admissions, so it’s doing quite well for a romcom, Moon Chae Won and Lee Seung Gi can relax a bit.

      I checked the box office stats and posted some below, and looking at Gamgnam 1970 numbers it’s very premature to declare it a true hit. All films fall by alot after their first weekend, and let’s not forget the competing films…

  5. Gangnam Blues is rated 19+ which in Korea means one has to show an ID before purchasing the ticket, while others are not teenage restricted. I think it is pretty amazing that it manages to reach wider audience given the restriction. And it’s been getting good reviews overall from K critics as well, foreign Korea-based critics.

  6. love forcast was number on on 15th jan which it was set to premier .and remained for couple of days. it’s doing good. so is gangnam blues. seungiya foghting ang lee min ho no more teenage moping or the wardrobe you got you’r break again after city hunter.

    wow ouch for park shin hye . i thought it will do so well.

  7. the competition was tough this weekend.
    Big hero 6 is a family movie and with all the kids out of school it was not easy for Gangnam Blues a crime film with a lot darkness to retain the 1 place when was rated 19+.

    • Big Hero 6 took first place on Sunday. I guess families with kids prefer to watch movies on Sundays? The same parents would probably watch Gangnam1970 at another time without the kids.

  8. Whether these movies are successful or not I’m still very glad that these actors and actresses are branching out into movies.Well,those veterans and top movie actors and actresses had many flopped movies too and it wasn’t easy for them either.

  9. Most important thing for me as a LMH fan was for him to get praise for acting. Now that he achieved that from this movie, let’s hope it continues commercial success of first week.

    • I agree .Box Office success is very good but to me is more important to receive positive reviews.LMH tried hard for this movie and the majority of critics give him the credits he deserves in GB.

  10. i agree though,GB really has no real competition.unlike The con Artist and The royal tailor had Big hero 6 and even The Hobbit and even Ode to my father to compete against.we have to wait till next week to see if the movie will be called a success.but who really care if it hit big.the most important thing us that they were reconize and praised.most America movies hit big but recevice mostly bad reviews,take “Lets be cops” for example.the movie was a success but receviced bad reviews.the movie receive 30/100.some gave it 2/10.all i want is for min ho to be reconize so he can do more movies.

    • Big Hero 6 released on same day as Gangnam70 in korea, on 21 January. Competition is really exciting between these two. G70 lead for first 4 days, then BH6 took lead on Sunday and then G70 again came on top yesterday.

      • G1970 has ONE competitor, Royal Tailor/Con Artists had a lot. Ode to my Father, the Hobbit, Penguins of Madagascar…

      • Con Artists and Royal Tailor had same no. of screens as G70. Royal Tailor would still be a flop because it’s a bad movie. G70 is competing with Big Hero 6, Ode to my father, Love Forecast,CoBM, American Sniper.

  11. Miss koala I am grateful for all you do here but sometimes you are wildly off base when box office and ratings predictions or analysis is involved (like saying You From The Stars was not a mega hit). And part of what you say here is very misleading. Gangnam 1970 has not even finished its first week of release, after aland while Royal TAilors is a flop, Con Artists or whatever has 2.5 million admissions, and this was up against Ode To My Father at its strongest, all in a very crowded holiday release market.

    and I checked the koreanfilm website for box office stats, and Gangnam1970 is now down to 95,,388 admissions on Monday 26 Jan 2015, which is its sixth day of release. Con Artists daily admissions did not fall below 100 k unil the tenth day of release (95,119 admissions on 2 January) and by then they had 2 million admissions total already. ULove Forecast is doing similar numbers to G1970.

    I honestly wished all 3 movies frm Heirs leads well but it’s highly misleading to say Con Artists is underperforming when it is after all the movie with the least well known stars (Kim Woobin and Lee Hyun Woo are not even close to as huge as Zlmh/Kim Rae Won, or Go Soo/Han Suk Kyu) and say what you might, has 2 million plus admissions. And premature to declare 1970 the bigger hit when its box office and admissions are actually a bit less than CA so far. (Sorry for all the spelling mistakes, it’s impossible to correct on my phone)

    • I’m not sure why you guys are comparing con artist which has had shitty reviews, which opened during the holiday season, when everyone goes out in droves to watch movies, G1970 which has had decent to good reviews, rated +19 noir movie, which everyone has said is very dark and violent.

      It makes sense that people went out to watch Con Artist, no age restrictions, and not a movie that gives you anything to think about. According to the critics the acting wasn’t good either.

      G1970 is the winner when it comes to critical acclaim, directing and acting. That is what is most important. Sales shouldn’t even be included because G1970 is only for niche market, a certain age group while the other movies it’s being compared to have a wider market to start with.

      • Except that koala chose to mention boxoffice stats and presented them in a misleading manner. I would not point out. the admissions figures if she never included them or if she only talked about movie quality.

        CA isn’t maybe a good movie and opened during the holidays, but it had heavy competition from several major movies and still did a decent business despite not having that level of star power. And it doesn’t havr “no age restrictions”, it’s 15+ movie. Not as violent as 19+, but still not a film for the whole family.

        (If you really have problems with my speaking of sales figures, maybe take it up with ms koala since she chose to mention them in the post. It is a business after all)

      • Why we are comparing Con Artists and box office? Maybe because the title of this post is “Movie Box office battle of the Heirs Leads”? LOL.

  12. Guyssssss Gangnam 1970 is rated +19. How can you compare with non +19 movies? Its normal for me if Big Hero 6 took first position on sunday bcos sunday is family time, and also GB first day admission higher than Wonbins rated 19 movie The man from nowhere. GB premiere on wednesday which is weekdays so not that much moviegoers. But on weekend GB got 700,000 moviegoers. GB is still leading in box office yesterday and im pretty sure today also.

    If im not mistaken, Yooha ever said the goal of this movie is to showing great cinematography and more focus on it. Yes you’re ryt this movie got pretty good reviews from critics not just Korea but also abroad. Heard it’ll showing in European Film Market in Berlin Film Festival. GB still has long way to go. But GB sure makes a great start 🙂

  13. We all know that when it comes to lee min ho,Miss koala is completly baised.she always has a soft spot for min ho.I think The Con Artist is a woo bin and the rest of the cast did their best.I also think the Royal Tailor hit 1m addmission.I hope kim woo bin Twenty hit 10m.

    • I think the success Koala mention here is about the best movie opening (rank and receipts) which is GB took #1 and beat Ode movie after several weeks on the top.
      I dont remember Royal Tailor ever reach 1M even PSH fans still bitter about it LOL

  14. I thought it must have hit 1m cos last I checked,it was as 800 or something more than that.that was ealier this year.who told u PSH fans are bitter about it.I have never read such a thing before.they only support her decision in acting in that movie.

    • I’m not a park shin hye fan but some of these comments look like lmh fans are bitter about psh and kwb for some reason. I’ve not seen any of her fans being bitter , they allwere focused on Pinocchio instead (I know because I saw them in threads).

      Also, movie admissions don’t work like multiplication…..unless it’s a big hit like Ode to my Father, usually admissions fall every week to about half of what they were the week before. So getting 800k admissions doesn’t mean she would get 200 k more admissions that easily, to make it 1 million. My sympathies to psh fans…

  15. I read PSH fans tweet several days ago about Royal Tailors lol chill man you seems dislike LMH and love either PSH and KWB. I cant help it. I’ll always in wrong move lmao

  16. Con Artists for KWB is like Heirs for LMH- commercial success but panned by critics. Gangnam 70 is getting great reviews for amazing direction,setup and good acting. It may or may not surpass Con Artists but will be considered more successful.

  17. GB was still no.1 today and has about 1.2mio admission in 6days even thou it is 19+ rated it will surely surpass the con artists who is off the cinema do to not drawing fans.

    GB on the other hand is fresh and on 1.2mio admission just 6 days old. I think 5mio admissions for the 19rated movies record is still realistic goal and can be reached by GB.

  18. You know, i dont think it’s fair to diss PSH because of royal tailor isn’t successful as the con artist and gangnam1970. PSH just acted as supporting actress in the movie unlike KWB and LMH wjo acted as the main leads. Her screentime is almost the same as lee yoo bi…

    • I forgot which movie of PSH that she ever be the lead. she always playing supporting role isn’t it? from dating Cyrano till miracle in cell no 7 she playing supporting role. that film goes daebak bcos the acting of main lead. not her. she should prove it as a main lead. imo

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