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.