Most of the top-rated Korean Movies are among the highest grossing Korean Movies. Korean films appear to be gaining popularity as they receive more attention each year.
Parasite’s Oscar-winning performance created history, and Minari also attracted much attention.
Several excellent films are on the list of the highest grossing Korean movies.
Knowing that some viewers may be interested in finding out about the highest grossing Korean movies, here are the best of them.
1. The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)
- Box Office: US$138.3 million
- Director: Han-min Kim
- Cast: Choi Min-sik, Seung-ryong Ryu, Cho Jin-woong, Kim Myung-gon, Jin Goo, Lee Jung-hyun, and Ryôhei Ohtani
- IMDb Ratings: 7.1/10
- Running Time: 2hr 8m
The most renowned strategist in Korean history, Admiral Yi Sun-shin, is the subject of the book ROARING CURRENTS, which recounts one of Korea’s most astounding military triumphs.
Admiral Todo’s Japanese navy invaded again in 1597, using the Joseon state as a pawn, decimating the Joseon fleet. They still hire Admiral Yi despite being fired for upsetting them.
Following a brazen assault on Todo’s headquarters, he commands a previously disheartened Joseon navy into the powerful and dangerous currents of the Uldulmok Strait.
Over 300 Japanese ships were trapped in a deadly trap by Yi, where they were destroyed in front of just 12 battleships while the Japanese commanders fought it out for supremacy. This movie is number one on the list of highest Grossing Korean Movies.
2. Extreme Job (2019)
- Box Office: US$120 million
- Director: Byeong-heon Lee
- Cast: Lee Dong-yong, Kim Eui-sung, Myoung doing, Shin Ha-kyun, Lee Hanee, Joon-seok Heo and Jeong Jaekwang
- IMDb Ratings: 7/10
- Running Time: 1hr 51m
A big box office triumph in South Korea, the movie made 91.5 billion won ($81.6 million) on a 6.5 billion ($5.8 million) production budget while selling more than 10 million tickets in just 15 days.
Extreme Job is one of the highest grossing Korean movies and the second most watched movie in South Korean cinema history as of June 2022. A team of youthful drug detectives led by Captain Ko has one more chance to redeem their careers after failing their most recent mission.
A global drug cartel should be the subject of undercover monitoring. They are staking out a chicken eatery. Although everything was going well, Ko knew that the restaurant would close shortly.
Ko and his friends decide to buy the eatery to use for their covert operation. However, the sticky chicken marinade they had to concoct became a huge hit, and their chicken restaurant gained notoriety for its cuisine.
3. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017)
- Box Office: US$109.4 million
- Director: Yong-hwa Kim
- Cast: Ha Jung-woo, Tae-Hyun Cha, Ju Ji-Hoon, Hyang-gi Kim, Lee Jung-jae, Ma Dong-seok, and Kyung-soo Do
- IMDb Ratings: 7.2/10
- Running Time: 2hr 19m
Although it was only one take, the movie is into two. The first installment was made available on December 20, 2017, along with the Gods: The Two Worlds.
However, in June 2018, two sequels would be shot 2019. On August 1, 2018, the follow-up, Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days, was made available.
Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds is currently the third highest grossing Korean movie in Korean cinema history as of May 2019.
When Kim Ja-hong, a firefighter, perishes while helping others escape a burning house, his guardians Kangrim, Haewonmaek, and Dukchoon help him find his way to the afterlife.
They explain that they will stand up for him during seven trials with seven gods in seven hells over forty-nine days to reveal his life’s activities. If Ja-guardians hongs successfully defend him, who is known as a model citizen, he will reincarnate.
However, an unknown Revengeful Spirit is causing havoc in the afterlife, so Kangrim travels to the World of the Living to find out what is happening.
Haewonmaek and Dukchoon are shocked by the prosecution’s findings that there are issues in the relationship between Ja-mother hong and his brother. Will the soul of Ja-hong be saved? This is one of the highest grossing Korean Movies.
4. Ode to My Father (2014)
- Box Office: US$99 million
- Director: JK Youn
- Cast: Hwang Jung-min, Yunjin Kim, Dal-Su Oh, Jin-young Jung, Jang Young-Nam, Ra Mi-ran, and Seul-gi Kim
- IMDb Ratings: 7.8/10
- Running Time: 2hr 6m
With 14.2 million tickets sold, it is the fourth highest grossing Korean movie in its cinematic history.
The events he encounters include the 1950 Hungnam evacuation during the Korean War, the 1960 government decision to send nurses and miners to West Germany, and the Vietnam War.
This film tells the chronicle of South Korean history from the 1950s to the life of an ordinary guy.
A little boy named Duk-soo experiences a sudden shift of fortune in the commotion of refugees fleeing the Korean War in December 1950.
He loses track of his younger sister and decides to search for her alone, leaving his father behind. Duk-soo relocates to Busan and devotes himself to his remaining family, taking on all kinds of odd occupations to provide for them in his father’s absence.
In this generational epic about one man’s selfless sacrifices, his passion first takes him to the dangerous coal mines of Germany, where he meets his true love, Young, and later to war-torn Vietnam.
5. Veteran (2015)
- Box Office: US$92 million
- Director: Seung-wan Ryu
- Cast: Hwang Jung-min, Yoo Ah-in, Hae-Jin Yoo, Dal-Su Oh, Shi-hoo Kim, Yoon-Ju Jang, and Dae-hwan Oh
- IMDb Ratings: 7/10
- Running Time: 2hr 3m
In South Korea, the Veteran debuted on August 5. Over its first five days of release, it made 21.7 billion yen (US$18.6 million) from 2.75 million admissions. By November 6, it had taken in US$92,077,504 from 13,411,343 viewings, making it the fifth highest grossing Korean movies.
The Sitges Film Festival’s Casa Asia Award went to veterans as well. Seo Do-Cheol, a ruthless police detective, is looking into the suicide of a truck driver named Bae when he discovers through Bae’s son that Jo Tae-oh.
The vicious third-generation heir to the wealthy corporation Sinjin Group assaulted Bae while Bae was protesting the company for unpaid bills. Do-cheol personally launches the probe.
Do-meddling cheol’s made Tae-oh feel threatened, so he used his influence to get Do-cheol to take on another case. Additionally, he tries to buy Do-wife cheol’s off, but she rejects him, prompting Do-cheol to threaten Tae-oh.
Do-cheol enlists a reporter’s assistance to disseminate the news. Tae-oh hires logistics contractor Jeon to finish Do-cheol and orders Internal Affairs to question him, but his team leader Oh steps in to save him just in time.
Jeon stabs a police officer in his effort to kill Do-cheol. The inquiry into Tae-oh did approve after Da-cheol and his team took advantage of the opportunity to find the proof.
However, Tae-father oh’s and the conglomerate chairman Jo forced the corporation’s SVP Choi Dae-Woong to take the fall. Do-cheol discovers with the aid of his squad that Bae attempted to commit suicide after he died while trying to exact retribution for assaulting him.
6. The Thieves (2012)
- Box Office: US$86.7 million
- Director: Dong-hoon Choi
- Cast: Kim Yoon-Seok, Lee Jung-Jae, Kim Hye-Su, Jun Ji-Hyun, Simon Yam, Kim Hae-sook, and Dal-su Oh
- IMDb Ratings: 6.8/10
- Running Time:2hr 15m
The action comedy is the ninth highest grossing Korean movies in Korean history, with over 12.9 million tickets sold.
The Thieves had the seconds highest single day opening of all time in Korea, with 436,622 tickets sold on its release, after only The Host’s 449,500 ticket opening in 2006.
Popeye and his crew of criminals travel on a job to Macau to take a break from their most recent crime. But the brains behind this operation is none other than Macau Park, a former associate of Popeye’s who, on their previous work together, managed to escape with 68 kg of gold.
Macau Park also brought Chinese robbers, but they had no idea what Macau Park had in store for each of them. When Popeye recruits Pepsi, a brilliant safe-cracker and ex-girlfriend of Macau Park, to settle the score, his plan takes an unexpected turn.
The burglars’ objective is a $20 million diamond known as “Tear of the Sun” that is kept safely away in a casino and went there to be sold by a dreaded Chinese fence.
They are all collaborating to bring this storied gem, but everyone has a personal reason for wanting to keep the diamond for himself. But who will be successful and survive to see tomorrow?
7. Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013)
- Box Office: US$80.3 million
- Director: Hwan-kyung Lee
- Cast: Seung-ryong Ryu, So Won Kal, Dal-su Oh, Man-sik Jeong, Park Wong-Sang, Jeong-tae Kim, and Park Shin-Hye
- IMDb Ratings: 8.2/10
- Running Time: 2hr 12m
In the movie, a mentally challenged man wrongly convicted of murder forms bonds with the hardened criminals who share his cell, letting him see his daughter again by carrying her into the prison.
A lawyer named Ye-sung is defending her deceased father for a crime he didn’t commit. Ye-sung thinks back on the past as he exits the prison court following a successful trial and observes a balloon tangled in barbed wire.
When Yong-gu is in prison, he lives in a cell with five other inmates in “Room 7,” all of whom at first despise him due to his wrongly charged crime and mental impairment.
One day, So Yang-ho, his cellmate and the leader of a prison gang, is in danger of being attacked by a rival prison gang boss when Yong-gu intervenes. Yang-ho, moved by this, then pledges to repay the favor by assisting Yong-gu in any way he can.
Yong-gu informs yang-ho that Ye-sung, his daughter, should be seen. Before the trial, the Room 7 convicts taught Yong-gu how to respond to probable prosecution questions and became skilled at doing so.
Because he has no other option, Yong-gu lies and says he killed the commissioner’s daughter to save Ye-sung. However, there was a death penalty on Yong-gu, and his execution date is December 23, which also happens to be Ye-birthday.
Sung’s Ye-sung, the prison warden, and the inmates from Room 7 all show up for Yong-trial gu’s 16 years later (in the present) to support his innocence.
The judge reverses the prior decision, grants Yong-gu a posthumous acquittal, and issues a court order directing a new investigation into the girl’s death to forgive him. This movie is one of the highest grossing Korean Movies.
8. Assassination (2015)
- Box Office: US$90.9 million
- Director: Dong-hoon Choi
- Cast: lee jung-jae, Jun Ji-hyun, Dal-su Oh, Ha Jung-woo, Lee Kyung Young, Cho Jin-woong, and Choi Deok-moon
- IMDb Ratings: 7.2/10
- Running Time: 2hr 20m
Over 12.7 million people saw the movie, making it the eighth highest grossing Korean movies picture in Korean film history. Assassination also won Best Film at the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards and the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards.
The Japanese military has taken control of Korea in the year 1933. Many resistance fighters went into exile in China. They are currently attempting to coordinate the battle from a distance.
According to the resistance, the highest-ranking Japanese army commander is presently on his way to Korea. They choose to take a gamble and assassinate him.
However, Ahn Ok-Yun, currently spending time in the Shanghai prison, is the only sniper capable of making that shot. Yem Sek-jin, a member of the resistance, plans to rescue her and her companions.
9. The Roundup (2022)
- Box Office: US$101.1 million
- Director: Sang-yong Lee
- Cast: Sukku Son, Gwi-hwa Choi, Ma Dong-seok, Ji-hwan Park, Heo Dong-won, Ha-jun, and Ji-Young Park
- IMDb Ratings: 7.1/10
- Running Time: 1hr 46m
The movie had the best opening for a Korean production in the previous 882 days, with 467,525 admissions and debuting at the top of the South Korean box office. On the 25th day, it became the first movie in South Korea to receive 10 million admissions.
The film, released in 5 countries as of June 12, is currently ranked five at the global box office.
This movie currently holds the title of the highest grossing Korean movies of 2022 in South Korea, with a total of US$100.06 million and 12.59 million admissions.
According to the Korean Film Council, it also ranks third in gross and ninth in domestic films by entries on the list of highest-grossing movies in South Korea.
Do you feel it? Four years after the events of the Garibong district roundup operation, the Major Crimes Unit of the Geumcheon Police was to bring back a criminal who had fled to Vietnam. Intuitively, beast cop Ma Seok-do and Capt.
Jeon Il-man sense that something is off with the suspect’s readiness to come forward and reveal murders committed by the dreadful killer Kang Hae-sang.
Ma and his team start their inquiry across two nations as they pursue the gory breadcrumbs Kang left behind. Catching the bad has no boundaries—another collection of tense, fascinating stories.
10. Masquerade (2012)
- Box Office: US$94.3 million
- Director: Chang-min Choo
- Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Seung-ryong Ryu, Han Hyo-joo, Kim-In Kwon, Jang Gwang, Shim Eun-kyung, and Kim Myung-gon
- IMDb Ratings: 7.8/10
- Running Time: 2hr 11m
Masquerade is the ninth highest grossing Korean movies, with 12.3 million tickets sold. Additionally, it won 15 categories at the 49th Grand Bell Awards, including Best Film, Director, Screenplay, and Actor.
King Gwang-Hae, the perplexing and conspiratorial 15th emperor of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, instructs Heo Gyun, his secretary of defense, to find him a double to avert the ongoing threat of assassination.
The monarch becomes unpleasant and scares those around him, including the kitchen maids because he is constantly worried about being poisoned.
When the monarch is absent from the palace, Heo Gyun hires Ha-sun, a lowly acrobat and lewd clown who looks strikingly like the king.
As anticipated, King Gwang-he is drugged with Poppy by his favorite consort in a plot hatched by the law minister in a matter of days.
Heo Gyun suggests that Ha-sun assume the throne until King Gwang-he is fully recovered and trains Ha-sun to behave and look the part.
Ha-sun is more compassionate than King Gwang-hae, and his love and admiration for even the lowest-ranking staff gradually improve the mood within the palace.
Ha-sun slowly finds his voice and assumes leadership of leading the nation with accurate perception and just decisions.
Even now, Ha-sun battles for the Queen’s safety and spares her and her brother from execution. However, Park Chung-SEO, the king’s primary foe, notes the abrupt change in the king’s demeanor and begins to inquire.
11. The King and the Clown (2005)
- Box Office: US$74.5 million
- Director: Joon-ik Lee
- Cast: Woo-Seong Kam, Jin-young Jung, Seong-Yeon Kang, Lee Joon-Gi, Hae-Jin Yoo, Hang-Seon Jang, and Jung Suk-Yong
- IMDb Ratings: 7.3/10
- Running Time: 1hr 59m
South Korean officials selected this movie for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2006. It was the most watched movie in South Korea of the year and is one of the tenth highest grossing movie there, with over 12.3 million tickets sold.
Romantic partner minstrels Jang-sang and Gong-Gil make a career in 14th-century Korea by performing raunchy tales on a tightrope.
Still, the affluent people’s sexual preferences over Gong-androgynous gil’s appearance frequently hinder their simple desire to amuse.
They cross a line, an official dies, and they must flee to Seoul. They quickly partner up with a quartet of other minstrels.
Under the direction of Jang-sang, perform riskier productions that prove to be more lucrative; nonetheless, a biting satire of the monarch and his concubine lands them in jail with a deadline for their execution.
They unexpectedly become the king’s court performers after being forced to appear before him for final judgment. However, the tyrannical king is scarred psychologically despite being sensitive and intelligent.
The minstrel shows bring up buried feelings about his deceased mother (who tried to commit suicide by the court orders long ago). He becomes extremely unstable as a result.
The king’s mistress assists the frightened nobles who want the minstrels removed after the king’s affection shifts to Gong-Gil.
Life expectancy is declining, so Jang-sang thinks everyone should leave while they still can. Gong-Gil, despite his unwavering loyalty, has a different opinion.
12. Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2018)
- Box Office: US$92.5 million
- Director: Yong-hwa Kim
- Cast: Ju Ji-Hoon, Ha Jung-woo, Ma Dong-seok, Hyang-gi Kim, Kyung-soo Do, Jang Gwang, and Jo Han-chul
- IMDb Ratings: 7.1/10
- Running Time:2hr 22m
Gang-rim, Haewonmak, and Lee Deok-Choon, the three grim reapers, will lead Kim Soo-hong, their 49th soul, through the rigors of the underworld. God of the House will, however, retrieve the memories of the grim reapers from a thousand years ago.
13. A Taxi Driver (2017)
- Box Office: US$88.7 million
- Director: Hun Jang
- Cast: Song Kang-ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Hae-Jin Yoo, Ryu Jun-Yeol, Hyuk-kwon Park, Gwi-hwa Choi, and Cha Soon-bae
- IMDb Ratings: 7.9/10
- Running Time 2hr 17m
This film came first as South Korea’s submission for the 90th Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category.
The movie was a notable financial success; it presents one of the highest grossing Korean movies of all time.
May 1980. Man-seob, a cab driver from Seoul, discovers a deal that seems too good to be true. He will receive the unbelievable sum of 100,000 won, which would be enough to pay rent for several months.
However, he transports a foreign traveler from Seoul to Gwangju and back before the curfew. He picks up the German reporter Peter and begins driving down the highway without pausing to inquire about the specifics.
Man-seob, who the police stopped on the outskirts of Gwangju, is determined to pay his taxi fare and eventually succeeds in entering the city. There, they come across students and regular people participating in significant anti-government protests.
Man-seob begs Peter to return to Seoul immediately after noticing the danger in the air. However, Peter ignores him and starts filming with his news camera with the assistance of Jae-Sik, a university student, and HWANG, a taxi driver from Gwangju.
As time passes, the situation becomes more serious, and Man-seob doesn’t remember his minor daughter, who is alone at home.
14. Taegukgi (2004)
- Box Office: US$76.3 million
- Director: Je-kyu Kang
- Cast: Jang Dong-Gun, Won Bin, Eun-ju Lee, Hyeong-jin Kong, Ahn Kil-Kang, Yeong-ran Lee, and Jin Jung
- IMDb Ratings: 8/10
- Running Time: 2hr 20m
A poor but joyful family was formed in 1950 in South Korea by shoe shiner Jin-tae Lee, his 18-year-old student brother, Jin-Seok Lee, and their mother, Jin-fiancée tae’s Three-shin Kim, and her young sisters.
Being hard workers, Jin-Tae and his mother give up their time to pay for Jin-tuition seok’s to the university.
The family flees to a relative’s home in the countryside when North Korea invades, but on the way, Jin-Seok is to enlist in the army and fight at the front.
However, Jin-tae does as well to guard his younger brother. As a result of the commander’s assurance that he will free his brother if Jin-tae receives a medal, Jin-the gains the reputation as the company’s bravest soldier.
The connection between Jin-Seok and his older brother deteriorates throughout the brutal struggle between the brothers, culminating in a shocking and sad conclusion.
15. Train to Busan (2016)
- Box Office: $98.5 million
- Director: Sang-ho Yeon
- Cast: Goog Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, Su-an Kim, Kim Eui-sung, Choi Woo-sik, and Sohee
- IMDb Ratings: 7.6/10
- Running Time: 1hr 58m
Seok-woo, a divorced investment manager, resides in Seoul with his mother, Soo-an, and daughter. Soo-an misses her mother, who lives in Busan, because Seok-woo, a greedy man, ignores her.
Seok-woo goes with Soo-an when she requests to visit her mother for her birthday and plans to return after lunch. They board the KTX, a quick train, but a sick woman also occupies another car.
The woman assaults a train staff member during the trip, and soon after, all of the people in the vehicle are attacked and transformed into zombies.
When Seok-woo learns that South Korea is experiencing a zombie outbreak, he works with fellow passenger Sang-Hwa—traveling with his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong—to separate the healthy front cars from the diseased ones.
The travelers who are not infected must battle zombies and the selfishness of other passengers along the way.