Korea Box Office: Phone Scam Comedy ‘Citizen of a Kind’ Wins on Slow Weekend Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands Viral Watch

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“Citizen of a Kind,” a comedy-drama about a woman who takes matters into her own hands after becoming the victim of a scam, fulfilled its promise from an earlier week of previews. “Citizen” topped the South Korean box office on its opening weekend, accounting for a more than 40% market share. But, with few other fresh titles reaching cinemas, overall theatrical revenues were at their lowest for several months.

“Citizen” earned $2.59 million between Friday and Sunday, according to figures from Kobis, the data service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic). Over five days since release on Wednesday, and with the addition of its earlier previews, “Citizen” finished its opening weekend with a cumulative of $3.58 million.

Directed by Park Young-ju, “Citizen” tells the tale of woman whose business has gone up in flames and takes a hefty loan in an attempt to restart it. When she discovers that the loan is a hoax perpetrated by an overseas gang who may have trafficked its phone operators, the woman travels to China to sort matters out.

(The connected themes of phone scams and forced labor are becoming recurring topics in Asian films and TV, with “No More Bets,” a Chinese title, where the gangsters are based in Southeast Asia, the highest profile example from last year. Governments held talks on the matter after “No More Bets” was reported to have scared Chinese tourists into changing their travel plans out of fear of being kidnapped.)

There was little such drama elsewhere in Korean cinemas, however. The industry’s total weekend revenues were just $5.94 million.

Fantasy action film, “Alienoid 2” slipped to second place in its fourth weekend. It recorded a 57$ weekend-on-weekend slump and notched $884,000 between Friday and Sunday. Since releasing on Jan. 10, it has amassed a cumulative of $9.45 million. Released in 2022, the first instalment earned $12.2 million.

Third over the latest weekend was animation “Wish,” with $516,000. Since releasing on Jan. 3, it has accumulated $9.54 million.

“12.12: The Day,” the political-historical-action drama that was last year’s biggest film, held on to fourth spot. It earned $381,000 over the weekend for a $95.0 million cumulative.

“Migration” trended one place lower and took $286,000 in fifth place. Since releasing on Jan. 10, it has reached a $2.10 million total.

“Noryang: Deadly Sea,” a Korean historical actioner that dominated the Christmas season, earned $168,000 over the latest weekend. Its cumulative total is now $33.5 million.

Japanese animation “New Dimension! Crayon Shinchan the Movie: Battle of Supernatural Powers – Flying Sushi” remained in orbit. It earned $154,000 over the weekend for a cumulative total of $6.56 million since releasing on Dec. 22.

Luc Besson’s “Dogman” was the only other new title to penetrate Korea’s top ten over the weekend. Despite the in-person visit by Besson, the film only opened in eighth place with a $136,000 Friday to Sunday score. Over its five opening days, it earned $247,000. Re-released Japanese animation “Your Name” took ninth spot with $132,000.

Political documentary, “Kim Dae-jung on the Road” earned $58,000 in tenth place. Its cumulative, since releasing on Jan. 10, stands at $800,000.



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