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After weeks of action, audiences flock to comedy

Mar 06,2018
Period comedy “The Princess and the Matchmaker,” led by Shim Eun-kyung, right, and Lee Seung-ki, debuted in the top spot at Korea’s weekend box office. [CJ ENTERTAINMENT]

Two local new releases took the first and second spots at the Korean box office, pushing down the seemingly unconquerable “Black Panther” which held on to the top spot for two consecutive weekends.

Period comedy “The Princess and the Matchmaker,” starring Shim Eun-kyung and Lee Seung-ki, sold a total of 490,000 tickets at 965 screens from Friday to Sunday, accounting for 29.1 percent of the entire weekend sales. The movie, released on Feb. 28, is now nearing a million tickets sold.

Set in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), during a severe drought that struck the nation, the king of Joseon (Kim Sang-kyung) orders the nation’s best fortune-teller Seo Do-yoon (Lee) to help pick the best match for his daughter, Princess Songhwa (Shim), with the belief that only the marriage of his daughter can end the years of drought.

The second film of Jupiter Film’s three-part project on Korean fortune-telling traditions, following the 2013 box office hit “The Face Reader,” “Matchmaker” is garnering favorable reviews from audiences despite harsh words from critics.

At second was the Korean adaptation of the Japanese cartoon, “Little Forest.”

Centering on 20-something Hye-won (Kim Tae-ri), the film unfolds as the character returns to her rural hometown, leaving behind the stressful life she had in the capital city. Back in her hometown, she spends time farming and cooking meals made from ingredients she picks herself.

The healing drama, which demonstrates the four seasons Hye-won spends in the rural town, sold 370,000 tickets over the weekend at 832 screens, accounting for 22.3 percent of the weekend’s entire ticket sales.

Released on the same day as “Matchmaker,” “Little Forest” has sold a total of 686,000 tickets.

Marvel’s “Black Panther” and crime action movie “What Happened to Monday” both dropped two spots to land in third and fourth, while director Guillermo del Toro’s creature feature “The Shape of Water” rounded out the top five.

With the film having clinched a total of four awards at yesterday’s Academy Awards ceremony, including the Best Picture and Best Director awards, “The Shape of Water” is likely to perform even better next weekend.

“The Post,” starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, which went home empty-handed at the Oscars despite being considered a strong contender, debuted in the ninth spot.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]