Battleship Island Has Biggest Opening Day Audience Count in South Korean Movie History

Well, all the hype paid off for K-movie Battleship Island, the wartime patriotic escape from Japanese slavery movie premiered on Wednesday July 26th to the largest opening night audience in South Korean cinematic history. The movie opened with 2,027 showings with an opening night audience of 970,516, breaking the record held by Gong Yoo‘s Train to Busan last year with an opening night audience of 872,673 people. Battleship is the closest movie in South Korean theaters to hit the 1 million opening night mark but getting this close is an incredible feat so congrats to the cast of So Ji Sub, Song Joong Ki, Hwang Jung Min, Lee Jung Hyun, and little child actress Kim Soo Ah who now has the achievement under her belt of being in the top two opening night movies of all time as she was also in Train to Busan and played Gong Yoo’s daughter.

I think Battleship would have been a hit thanks to it’s patriotic underdog rises up subject matter and having three popular leading men in the cast, but it certainly didn’t hurt that the movie got increased coverage due to news of Song Joong Ki’s impending wedding to Song Hye Kyo. Whether Battleship has legs remains to be seen, PD Ryu’s last movie Veteran was a raging success and is currently the number three box office hit of all time in South Korea, but so far early critic reviews have praised the action staging while complaining of the overt jingoism and too many stock characters without enough depth or development.


Battleship Island Has Biggest Opening Day Audience Count in South Korean Movie History — 52 Comments

  1. This is a movie that I want to watch and I’m going to watch at the cinema .. I’m also going to check Veteran since I have heard a lot about the movie… i

  2. the movie needs atleast 7 million audience admission to break even so it has a long way to go.the key is to get more than 7 hundred thousand admission on friday to give hope of recovery since it had a steep decline today at more than five hundred admission.

    good luck to the actors ,battleship island fighting.

  3. CJ took over 2000 screens out of 2500 screens in Korea…
    It leave people no choices but watch the movie…
    Sure they have a huge hit but no one is talking about the actors or the story but the controversy

    • Yeah, my Korean friend was saying that word of mouth was not great but people going in with no choice of other local movies merely for entertainment. The box office is good unfortunately people seems to come out thinking less nicely about the actors except HJM.

    • well, no you can just not watch anything and it’s not like there is anything new but BI out. The screens have already declined since opening day as well.

      • But people want to watch something and they have nothing to choose… Don’t you understand? 2000/2500 is 80% of screens in Korea.
        They only declined people made big deal about it… since it’s ridiculous. 1500/2500 is still 60% which cause their admission cut half as well.

      • It was almost 2000 screens yesterday and the number still dropped half…
        So yes it’s doing ok but not amazingly well given the unfair distribution

    • Agree controversy has taken over the movie but I feel they are making a big deal out of it. But the movie is going to be hit internationally because of its star power.

      • Partly because the movie isn’t that great either… The content has problem which cause a lot of negative reviews from Korea sides. Acting wise, no one got praised aside the little kid… I didn’t see much talk about HJM either even he is the lead…

    • Yes. It’s quite a big controversy. So I’m surprised Koala didn’t even mentioned it on her post. The talk and buzz now is more about the controversy itself than the movie

      • I feel like Koala doesn’t really care much about movies in general… She probably check the biggest news or BO result because of the huge case, but not actually read reviews or check what other articles are about…

      • @Ana

        Or she just got her news from C-news and of course we know what it would be covering about

  4. Ive been hearing that the movie has mixed reviews but the lean more towards negative reviews and that Its not doing so well so Im glad to hear some good news. Movies even in the U.S havent been doing as well as they used to. Star power means nothing nowadays.

    • Lol Hollywood has past its glory days. All I see being mediaplayed now are all of those shitty marvel/superpower storylines/films. They lost them inspiration man. Today Rom com movies have lost their magic too, lack of chem between the leads, heartfelt actors and stories, stars are too boastful, trashy and less classy now

      • @Sirey you are so right. I think it is a generation thing, the society has kinda lost something deep.

    • @lololol
      Pretty woman was pretty shitty film though.. Hollywood will never get back to its golden days and that’s a fact Hollywood should accept. It’s either superhero /CGI/ interstellar jurassic period/ movies, apocalypse/political turmoil themes or artsy indie films that garner audience

  5. I think movie won’t make it to 10 million admission. Movie has got mixed reviews from criticsand moviegoers. Majority are criticizing director and cj for distorting history and monopoly distribution, even actors except kim suan rest of the cast is being roasted by netizen. I wonder if this is first war movie in Korea because no movie is based on 100% factual details.

  6. well it’s sad it gets mix review and mostly bad? but i will watch with my own eyes to judge. i think the movie is just not meet the high expectation they have set to this movie.

    • It’s mostly bad. 49% reviews gave 1 star out of 10 and the upvote number for the 1 star reviews hit around 13k upvotes.

      • Wow, that bad? I read some give 1 star but never expect that high number (49%). The only praise about the movie is only the setting. Maybe CJ realize this (and that huge budget) that’s why they monopolize the screen number and promote it all out.

      • Wow, that bad? I read some give 1 star and only few give 3 or 4 stars. The only thing they praise is the setting. The big budget require very high number of viewers to break even so maybe that’s why CJ monopolize their theater for this movie. Some says they even only screen this one on their theater. Lol this week they don’t really have competitor but next week there will be Taxi driver with Song kang ho so the number will decrease.

    • I think foreigner would have less problem since they care more about stars than actual fact or history of the country…. But yeah the acting wasn’t praised much either except for the little girl actress

  7. All of the friends in Korea who have seen this movie said very negative things. They said it’s full of action but unable to create emotional connection of the audience either with the characters or the story itself. Except Hwang Jung Min and Kim Soo Ahn every actor was cringeworthy. If not for CJ entertainment’s marketing tactics this movie would not have gathered this much audience. This makes me curious to watch the movie myself. Few years ago Ryu Seung Wan used to make good movies but soon after his movies started getting huge box-office collections their quality drastically declined. It’s sad.

    • CJ has really indulged in a lot of promotionss excessively. Over board. Unfortunately even getting loads of celebs to attend the VIP premiere or harping on the presence of just one actor (as tho the other veterans are not worthy to be mentioned) has not reap the review they hoped for. At end of day marketing can only do that much.

      • Real is a national laughing stock while this one…. is more serious since they even want them to apologize to the real victims

  8. I’m also curious about the controversy now.

    HJM is a very good actor with the love of movie going audience (he even won me over eventually) he was so so good in Veteran (which is a very good film, reminded me of Public Enemy – of ye olde years-)

    I expected this one to be very nationalistic and hammering on that however I hoped that we’d get some emotion at least on the side lines.

    SJK is not only cute but a very good actor. I’m surprised that he is not getting accolates for that at least.

    SJS is my all time fave and I think he is GREAT looking and I love him but he is not a good actor. So I was not expecting a performance out of him or anything.

    I have not watched The Train to Busan yet.

    • I think SJS is good only in limited type of roles. He is good at playing stoic, pitiable and sad characters. But his acting style is so subtle.
      On the other hand I don’t find SJK that good. He is easy on the eyes and excellent for playing hard to resist dream-guy on the screen. But he still needs to improvevin other aspects.
      On the other hand Hwang Jung Min is excellent.

    • its half of World War Z’s quality! didnt expect a zombie movie could be dramatic, though I was expecting more action and effects.

    • I think it wasn’t a smart move for SJK to go straight to this movie from DOTS if he keeps doing the same thing…
      Maybe he thought Korea loves DOTS and he keep the same acting in the movie… But yes he get grilled just as SJS for his underperformance.

      • Even though I don’t think highly of SJK’s acting skills. But he actually signed this movie much before premier of DOTS tough this movie was shot after finale of DOTS. So it’s just a coincidence that he was offered a role of military man again however he should not have tried to emulate his DOTS’s character here.
        Whatever but the movies unlike dramas are considered the success or faliure of the director. Directors have the actual part in squeezing the performance from his actors but offcourse actors themselves need to have talent. Actual star of this movie is HJM who by all accounts is a great actor and he only did this movie due to his long term friendship with the director. Same with SJS who also did the movie just for personal relationship with the director.
        I don’t think SJK and SJS are devoid of talent. If they will be directed by a competent director then they surely can give good performances. Here director and writer of the movie are at the most fault not the actors.

      • @Yuti

        Everyone takes part in this. Bad performance is bad performance. Can’t shift the blame entirely to the director and the writer.

      • @Yuti: It’s both about military and war… He knew what he is getting himself in… Plus he acted in this before DOTS. The director isn’t bad either. He is a big name and this is a hugely budget one. SJK knew what he want before getting into this. And his performance was underwhelming not just the drama alone. Talking to you like star take credit when they do well and it’s the director/writer’s fault when they do a shitty job? Of course actors need good role and director to shine but they are responsible for each of their performance and what they signed for too.

    • Manipulator Eun Sook DOTS has ruined SJK for me. He lost me after this drama. Popularity can tarnish an actor capability who subconsciously starts to care less about his improvement and his craft and thinks he got it. He/she loses his/her charm. So I’m not surprised by what I am reading now.

      • Lol, It just a phase. He is not as bad as few netizen are predicting it and it’s not only sjk but entire cast except child actress are been criticized. He will be fine and on top of that he has huge fandom plus popularity gives you chances to explore varieties of genre. He is currently script reading next drama by signal writer.

      • I think the expectation was very high so criticism will also be high. According to the professional critics it’s not all that bad. First the young actress acting is worth watching and the dramatic huge ending. I quote: That said, a bombastic climax sees Ryoo and his team put their best feet (and fists) forward in an impressive display of choreography and staging.

  9. Well i don’t understand ! When i’m not interested in watching a movie, i don’t bother . I Watch a good dvd at home and save my money. In my country this week the new Luc Besson is in all theaters . I’m planning on watching ” Laura” a Hollywood classic.

  10. i am surprised people are dissing sjk here when everybody including the great hjm is being criticized for their acting except for the child actress.

    there is little an actor can do if a screenplay does not give room for great performances.

  11. Lols, people criticized sjk for his role in dots? Lmao… Well, better than hating on him cuz he’s getting married. I cant imagine the world full of jealously people.

    He might be not the most excellent actor. Even great actor has his or her ‘bad luck’. Some great actors always get the 2nd role over and over again. Some newbie idol actors from big Ent. Companies get many opportunities to be the lead. So, many unfair things in life. Sjk is handsome, rich and popular oh wait, he’ll marry to shk, one of the most beautiful women in korea, so, one failure wont hurt. It makes him imperfectly perfect.

    Sjs isnt great either. Hjm is one of the best actors, but see, with many negative reviews, even him couldnt save the film.

    A movie is a team work. Not only actors. But the whole production team. Even this one is bad, they will move on tho. They are big enough in Korea.

    • hey, dont blame altogether newbie idol actors that gets opportunities, some of them are deserving too, and many people like to see them on screen or in films. why dont you blame the producers, they are the ones responsible for the whole production to be possible, they give the funds and resources and they gamble for it, fyi in case you dont know. that’s showbizness, you go where the tide is, coz its where you get many fish for your catch okey.

  12. Anyone else feel like there is corruption in K-ent especially in the Movie section.

    The numbers seem to be rather not real from movie to movie. example I have seen movies highly anticipated fall flat and others that are not anticipated go up awkwardly. I do believe there is alot of corruption in k-ent but I could be wrong but logically nothing adds up according to the numbers that normally come in

  13. What are netizens saying about SJS’s acting? I thought he was a good actor. Is it because this role does not play to his strength?

    • i haven’t watch it so i can’t judge. But it seems several critics is just salty for the sake of being salty. critic a movie and think is bad so anything which relate to the movie fromm acting, plot, and screenplay is bad which is not always the case. with this big budget movie, it’s hard to imagine they will act with half their heart considering the weight of responsible to starring in this kind of movie is pretty much heavy. unless the material it’s self lack substance.

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