A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the imminent release of three-quel Public Enemy Returns. Hopes were high that the Korean-made crime action comedy would enjoy a measure of success and thus buoy local filmmakers; Korean audiences have been avoiding local product for months.
Public Enemy Returns did indeed have a bountiful opening, grossing more than $7.2 million in its premiere weekend and smashing Get Smart, according to Box Office Mojo. In its second weekend, though, it fell victim to international action powerhouse Wanted, demonstrating that curving bullets and the even more curvaceous Angelina Jolie need fear no borders. Still, Public Enemy Returns has nothing to be ashamed of -- it made $4.7 million to Wanted's $5.4 million -- and provides hope that upcoming Korean movies such as The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, Sunny, and Eye for an Eye will find favor locally in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Kung Fu Panda has been warmly embraced by China, in the words of The Hollywood Reporter. With $14 million in box office receipts in its first ten days, the animated animal adventure has already been declared "the most successful foreign animated film in China," as claimed by a government news agency. If accurate, that gross would place the film practically neck and neck with Iron Man and the Chinese-made Kung Fu Dunk for the #3 box office position for the year so far. I haven't seen Panda yet; is this is a good thing or a bad thing from a cultural and/or cinematic standpoint?