Family drama, “Keys to the Heart” climbed to top of the South Korean box office in its second weekend in theaters. Debuting on Jan. 17, the CJ Entertainment picture improved its gross by 4%, earning $5.34 million from 672,000 admissions. After two weekends on release it has accumulated $15.2 million.
Disney’s “Coco” also jumped to second place from third. It earned $3.68 million for a three-week total of $19.0 million. The two films accounted for 50% of the total weekend box office.
With a drop of 59%, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” slipped to third from the previous week’s top spot. The Fox release added $2.9 million for a total of $15.2 million after two weekends.
Lotte Entertainment’s first 10-million admissions movie, “Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds” earned $1.82 million and extended its total to $105 million after six weekends. CJ’s historical drama “1987: When the Day Comes,” earned $1.48 million for $53.1 million after five weekends.Megabox’s Liam Neeson-starring “The Commuter” earned $1.71 million in five days between Wednesday and Sunday. Korean drama, “The Discloser” earned $1.25 over opening five days. Directed by the late Hong Ki-seon, “Discloser” is the story of an investigative reporter and former colonel delving into military secrets.A competitive weekend at the UK box office saw Disney Pixar’s latest animation Coco land in first place. The film started its run with a Fri-Sun total of £3.35m, adding to previews for a non-final official debut of £5.25m.
That’s a middle-of-the-pack opening for a Pixar release, landing it between Brave, which opened to £5.27m in 2012, and the original Toy Story, which debuted with £4.59m in 1996. Those films ended on £22.16m and £22.49m respectively, so that’s a reasonable benchmark for Coco to aim for.
In terms of more recent Pixar releases, Coco is ahead of Cars 3 – which took £2.63m when it opened in a busy family market alongside Despicable Me 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming in July 2017 – despite the former being an original property and the latter being the third entry in a franchise. Cars 3 remains the lowest Pixar opening in the UK.
Finding Dory, which opened in the UK in July 2016, started with £8.12m in July 2016 and closed on £43m, an unrealistic target for Coco. A more appropriate comparison would be Disney’s non-Pixar animation Moana, a film based on similarly culturally-specific themes (Moana was set among a Pacific tribe, while Coco is based on the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead), which opened in December 2016 to £2.34m and went on to gross £20.44m.Following a £4.04m opening last weekend, Darkest Hour fell a slim 19% this Fri-Sun, adding £3.27m Fri-Sun to sit second in the chart, a whisker behind topper Coco. After decent midweek takings, the film is up to £10.16m and will almost certainly surpass Pride & Prejudice (on £14.57m) to become Joe Wright’s highest-grossing title in the UK, particularly if it fulfils its awards season promise.
At the weekend Disney Pixar’s new film, Coco, hit cinemas. It topped the UK box office and has already won a Golden Globe, so you can probably guess what it’s about. Princesses, right? Or dinosaurs, maybe.
Nope. It’s death: actual send-the-12-year-old-hero-to the-afterlife-to-meet-his-dead-relatives-type death. Set during the Mexican Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), when people remember their departed loved ones, its core message is that those we lose live on in our memories. Speaking of memory, there’s also a character with senile dementia. Really kid-friendly stuff.Children’s films have always had life lessons at their heart. And while most of them have traditionally sat in the positive platitudes category – work hard, be brave, do the right thing – there have been some home truths over the years, too: people are cruel (the Dumbo lesson); you’ll outgrow your childhood and its trappings (thanks, Toy Story 2).
But in recent years, as young people’s lives have become more complex and challenging than ever before, kids’ movies have stepped up, tackling increasingly tricky subjects. If there’s something you’re loth to talk to a child about, chances are there’s a film that will do it for you.
Death is one tough subject that has always been common – even if not quite as central as it is in Coco. Disney’s first heroine, Snow White, was an orphan, and they were soon offing loved ones on screen, starting with Bambi’s mum. In fact, a 2014 British Medical Journal study found that, proportionally, main characters die on screen in more children’s animated films than dramatic films for adults.
By 1994, The Lion King’s Simba was experiencing real grief, and in Toy Story 3 (2010) the heroes slid towards seemingly certain death, hand-in-hand, eyes closed, accepting. But they escaped: death was still a plot point. These days it is the plot.
If you’re thinking life can be as painful as death, modern kids’ films have got that covered too. Take the opening sequence of Pixar’s Up (2009). You know, the one that shows you how dead you are inside by how long you can last without blubbing. It charts every punishing blow of adult life from losing a baby to money troubles to repeatedly putting your dreams on hold.
In the last decade, Disney films have also turned their gaze outwards, championing society’s mistreated and marginalised. Disney’s 2013 megahit Frozen was a feminist triumph, with two kick-ass female leads and a finale centred on sisterhood. It also briefly showed what many believe was Disney’s first same-sex couple, complete with cute kids. And it opened a conversation about parental abuse. Not the overt torture of Disney’s early wicked stepmothers, but a more insidious brand that saw Elsa’s parents shame her for being different.
In 2015, Pixar’s Inside Out tackled what is often the very trickiest subject for children to understand – their own feelings. Set inside the head of a young girl struggling with life, it personified her four key emotions, and concluded that it’s actually totally fine to feel sad, something any child struggling with depression will find deeply reassuring.
And if that wasn’t grown-up enough, 2016 saw Disney release Zootropolis, an anthropomorphic comedy with a hard-hitting message about racial inclusion – highly subversive given the xenophobic political rhetoric that was rife at the time.