Updated: June 25, 2022
Here are five of the most popular and top-grossing films in South Korea in 2022, according to Korean Box Office Information System (KOBIS):
1. The Roundup | $94,538,036
The Roundup (2022) is South Korea’s most popular movie today, post-pandemic. It took first place in this year’s list of top-grossing films in the country with a total gross of $94,538,036 and 11,853,238 admissions, as of June 24th.
The crime-action film also broke records during its opening with 467,525 moviegoers and recognized as the best opening in the last 882 days. It surpassed 1 million admissions in 2 days and remarkably crossed 10 million ticket sales on its 25th day, becoming the first Korean film to reach such record since Parasite (2019).
It also took 14th place in the list of highest-grossing films of all time in South Korea, surpassing the record of Train To Busan (2016). In terms of box-office revenue worldwide this year, it ranks 18th according to Box Office Mojo.
Meanwhile, The Roundup (2022), is a sequel of the film The Outlaws (2017), which earned $52,946,454 and achieved 7 wins out of 24 nominations.
Genre: Crime, Action
Synopsis: A police officer travels to Vietnam to extradite a suspect and discovers a murderer who has been targeting tourists for years.
Running time: 106 minutes
Starring: Ma Dong-seok, Son Su-kku, Choi Gwi-hwa
Writer: Kim Min-seong
Director: Lee Sang-yong
Cinematographer: Ju Seong-rim
Distributor: ABO Entertainment
Release Date: May 18, 2022
2. The Witch: Part 2, The Other One | $15,969,557
Park Hoon-jung’s The Witch: Part 2, The Other One (2022) is one of the most anticipated sequel films this year. It was released on June 15th and has reached $12,939,752 gross earnings and 1,622,617 moviegoers in less than a week. As of June 25th, it has attained $15,969,557 and crossed 2,008,401 ticket sales. It still remains the second most watched film in South Korea of 2022.
Meanwhile, The Witch: Part 2, The Other One (2022) is Lee Jong-suk’s comeback project after his military duties. It also stars Park Eun-bin from The King’s Affection (2021), Jo Min-su, a returning cast who plays the doctor, and Shin Si-ah, who plays the protagonist.
The said mystery-action movie is a sequel of The Witch: Part 1, The Subversion (2018), which earned $21,068,855 and achieved 12 wins out of 21 nominations.
Genre: Mystery, Horror, Action
Synopsis: A girl wakes up in a secret laboratory and meets Kyung-hee, who is trying to protect her from a gang. When the gang finally finds the girl, they are overwhelmed by an unexpected power.
Running time: 137 minutes
Starring: Shin Si-ah, Jo Min-su, Park Eun-bin, Lee Jong-suk
Writer: Park Hoon-jung
Director: Park Hoon-jung
Cinematographer: Kim Young-ho
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Release Date: June 15, 2022
3. The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure | $9,685,974
The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022) made history as the first Korean film to reach 1 million moviegoers in 2022, despite the COVID-19 concerns. In total, it earned $9,685,974 and obtained 1,339,242 ticket sales.
After a month, it was released on Netflix internationally and entered the list of Global Top 10 Films in the non-English category for 4 consecutive weeks. It reached Top 10 in 67 countries and garnered a total of 36.5 million viewing hours.
Meanwhile, the said adventure film is a sequel of The Pirates (2014), which earned $64,414,955 and achieved 10 wins out of 23 nominations.
Genre: Period, Adventure
Synopsis: A gutsy crew of Joseon pirates and bandits battle stormy waters, puzzling clues and militant rivals in search of royal gold lost at sea.
Running time: 126 minutes
Starring: Kang Ha-neul, Han Hyo-joo
Writer: Chun Sung-il
Director: Kim Jeong-Hoon
Cinematographers: Shin Tae-ho, Kim Young-ho
Distributor: Lotte Entertainment
Release Date: January 26, 2022 (South Korea) March 2, 2022 (Netflix International)
4. Broker | $9,226,073
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Broker (2022) opened with 146,221 ticket sales and reached 1 million moviegoers in 11 days. So far, it has earned a total of $9,226,073 and 1,193,840 admissions.
The film stars top Korean actors, namely Song Kang-ho from Parasite (2019), Bae Doona from Kingdom series (2019-2020), Gang Dong-won from Peninsula (2020), and Lee Ji-eun from My Mister (2018), who is also known as IU, an award-winning Korean singer.
Broker (2022) was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes International Film Festival. On May 26th, it received a 12-minute standing ovation after its official screening in the said event. According to various reports, it is the most overwhelming audience recognition in the history of Korean film. The actors were also praised by watchers and critics for their outstanding performances.
Meanwhile, the movie took home the Ecumenical Jury Award and Song Kang-ho won Best Actor at the said glamorous international film event.
Synopsis: It revolves around characters associated with baby boxes, which allow infants to be dropped off anonymously to be cared for by others.
Running time: 129 minutes
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Bae Doona, Gang Dong-won, Lee Ji-eun (IU)
Writer: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cinematographer: Hong Kyung-pyo
Distributor: CJ E&M
Release Date: May 26, 2022 (Cannes Film Festival) June 8, 2022 (South Korea)
5. Kingmaker | $5,712,880
Kingmaker (2022) is one of the most talked-about movies in the first half of the year, which opened with 58,974 admissions on January 26th. Despite the COVID-19 concerns, it earned a total of $5,712,880 and 783,450 ticket sales. After a month, it was released in various streaming platforms including WAVVE, Naver TV, TVING, and others.
It is worth noting that Kingmaker (2022) earned 7 nominations at the 58th Baeksang Arts Awards in May 2022. Byun Sung-hun won the Best Director in Film, Sol Kyung-gu won the Best Actor in Film, and Jo Woo-jin won the Best Supporting Actor in Film. The said political film was also invited at the 24th Udine Far East Film Festival in April 2022.
Synopsis: A politician dreams of changing the world with an excellent campaign strategist behind.
Running time: 123 minutes
Starring: Sol Kyung-gu, Lee Sun-kyun, Yoo Jae-myun
Writer: Byun Sung-Hyun
Director: Byun Sung-Hyun
Cinematographer: Jo Hyung-rae
Distributor: Megabox JoongAng PlusM
Release Date: January 26, 2022