Top 10 Highest-Grossing Korean Movies of 2023: The Best Films that Made Waves

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In 2023, Korean movies continued to captivate global audiences. These movies have not only received international acclaim but have also performed exceptionally well at the box office. Whether it is the advancements in CGI or the creation of realistic movie props, Korean cinema consistently pushes boundaries, offering viewers better cinematic experiences than ever before. Explore the highest-grossing Korean movies of 2023 across various genres, including action, romance, thriller, comedy, and more.

South Korean Box Office: The Best 10 Korean Movies in 2023 with Highest-Grossing

The list of the highest-grossing Korean movies at the box office in 2023 is based on the data from KOBIZ as of December 27, 2023.

TOP 10 Korean Box Office

South Korean Box Office: The Best 10 Korean Movies in 2023 with Highest Grossing
South Korean best 10 box office movies of 2023 with highest grossing | AsianWiki

10. Honey Sweet (달짝지근해)         

  • Director: Lee Han
  • Screenwriter: Lee Byung Hun
  • Cast: Yoo Hae Jin, Kim Hee Sun, Cha In Pyo, Han Sun Hwa, Jin Seon Kyu
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Release Date: August 15, 2023
  • Production Company: MOVIEROCK
  • Yearly Gross: $10,379,435
  • Admissions: 1,388,309

Chi-ho, a skilled confectionery researcher, possesses an extraordinary palate but lacks a solid grip on reality. However, everything changes when he crosses paths with Il-young, a positive-minded individual who introduces him to a world of new experiences. Together with Chi-ho’s audacious brother, Seok-ho, the egotistical pastry company president, Byeong-hun, and the influential glutton Eun-suk, Chi-ho’s daily routine takes a thrilling turn. Suddenly, his once mundane existence becomes a tapestry of diverse flavors and captivating adventures.

9. Sleep (잠)

  • Director & Screenwriter: Yoo Jae Sun
  • Cast: Jung Yu Mi, Lee Sun Kyun, Min Jeong
  • Genres: Thriller, Horror, Comedy
  • Release Date: September 06, 2023
  • Production Company: Lotte Entertainment
  • Yearly Gross: $10,725,844
  • Admissions: 1,470,359

Soo Jin and Hyun Soo, a newlywed couple, find their once blissful life turned into a living nightmare. Hyun Soo’s abnormal sleep behavior, initially marked by benign sleep-talking, rapidly transforms into a horrifying display. Despite seeking help at a sleep clinic, their efforts prove futile as his nightmarish actions continue to escalate. Left with no other options, they turn to a shaman in a desperate attempt to find a remedy for this unsettling phenomenon.

Read also: Gather Around the Screen: 5 Korean Movies That Bring Family Closer Together in Thanksgiving 2023

8. The Point Men (교섭)

  • Director: Im Soon Rye
  • Screenwriter: Ahn Young Soo
  • Cast: Hwang Jung Min, Hyun Bin, Kang Ki Young
  • Genres: Action, Thriller, Mystery, Drama
  • Release Date: January 18, 2023
  • Production Company: Megabox Plus M
  • Yearly Gross: $13,479,164
  • Admissions: 1,721,100

A group of Korean tourists find themselves held captive by an extremist Taliban faction while visiting Afghanistan. The Korean government turns to Jae Ho, a highly skilled diplomat, to take charge of the dire situation. Despite his best efforts and collaboration with the Afghan government, Jae Ho is unable to secure the release of the hostages. In a last-ditch effort, Jae Ho reluctantly teams up with Dae Sik, a specialized Middle East agent. As they embark on a dangerous mission to confront the Taliban, tragedy strikes with the loss of the first hostage. With time running out, they must forge an unlikely alliance and do everything they can to protect the remaining captives.

7. Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman ( 천박사 퇴마 연구소: 설경의 비밀)

  • Director: Kim Seong Sik
  • Screenwriter: Kim Hong Tae
  • Cast: Kang Dong Won, Heo Joon Ho, Esom, Lee Dong Hwi, Kim Jong Soo
  • Genres: Mystery, Horror, Crime, Fantasy
  • Release Date: September 27, 2023
  • Production Company: Filmmaker R & K
  • Yearly Gross: $14,385,921
  • Admissions: 1,916,431

Dr. Cheon and In Bae run a YouTube channel focused on exorcisms. Despite being the grandson of a renowned village shaman, Dr. Cheon does not believe in ghosts. Instead, Dr. Cheon sees it as a way to help people with their mental health issues. He performs fake exorcisms to provide therapeutic relief. One day, a new client named Yoo Kyung seeks Dr. Cheon’s help to save her younger sibling, who is supposedly possessed.

Read also: From Fact to Film: 5 Captivating Korean Movies Based on True Stories

6. Love Reset (30 Days) (30일)       

  • Director & Screenwriter: Nam Dae Joong
  • Screenwriter: Bang Ki Chul
  • Cast: Jung So Min, Kang Ha Neul
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Drama
  • Release Date: October 03, 2023
  • Production Company: Wollim
  • Yearly Gross:  $16,409,512
  • Admissions: 2,165,358

Jung Yeol and Na Ra married but grew to hate each other due to personality differences. They decided to divorce, which will be finalized in a month. However, on the day they applied for divorce, they had a car accident. At the hospital, they wake up with amnesia and no recollection of each other.

5. Noryang: Deadly Sea (노량: 죽음의 바다)

  • Director: Kim Han Min
  • Screenwriter: Kim Han Min, Yoon Hong Ki, Lee Na Ra
  • Cast: Kim Yun Seok, Baek Yoon Sik, Jung Jae Young, Heo Jun-Ho
  • Genres: Action, Historical, Drama, War
  • Release Date: December 20, 2023
  • Production Company: ACEMAKER MOVIEWORKS
  • Yearly Gross: $18,230,880
  • Admissions: 2,367,005

Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (Kim Yun Seok) prepares for the ultimate battle against the Japanese in the Noryang Straits. This confrontation signifies the climax of Japan’s seven-year invasion of Joseon. With unwavering determination, Admiral Yi aims to completely annihilate the Japanese navy, which is frantically attempting to withdraw from Joseon by disrupting their blockade.

4. Concrete Utopia (콘크리트 유토피아)

  • Director & Screenwriter: Uhm Tae Hwa
  • Cast: Lee Byung Hun, Park Seo Joon, Park Bo Young
  • Genres: Thriller, Drama, Sci-Fi
  • Release Date: August 09, 2023
  • Production Company: Lotte Entertainment 
  • Yearly Gross:  $28,881,274
  • Admissions:3,849,242

Following a devastating earthquake, Seoul, South Korea, finds itself in ruins, leaving only a solitary apartment building intact. A surge of outsiders gather around the Hwang Gung Apartments, seeking refuge in its sturdy structure. However, the residents struggle to cope with the overwhelming influx of newcomers. During a crisis, Young-Tak (Lee Byung-Hun) takes charge of the Hwanggoong apartment residents. He strives to safeguard them from outsiders with the help of Min-Sung (Park Seo-Jun) as the situation escalates. Meanwhile, Min-Sung’s wife, Myeong-Hwa (Park Bo-Young), is a nurse who tends to the injured.

3. Smugglers (밀수)        

  • Director: Ryoo Seung Wan,
  • Screenwriter: Ryoo Seung Wan, Kim Jung Yeon, Choi Cha Won
  • Cast: Kim Hye-Soo, Yum Jung Ah, Zo In Sung, Park Jung Min, Kim Jong So, Go Min Si
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama
  • Release Date: July 26, 2023
  • Production Company:  CONTENTS PANDA
  • Yearly Gross: $38,354,955
  • Admissions: 5,143,219

In a tranquil seaside village in the 1970s, a smuggling operation thrives. Its key players include Jo Choon Ja (Kim Hye Soo), who relies on smuggling as a means of livelihood, Eom Jin Sook (Yum Jung Ah), a leader of a group of female divers, and the renowned Master Sergeant Kwon (Zo In Sung), who holds the title of the nation’s top smuggler.

Read also: Face Your Fear with the Best Blood-Curdling Korean Ghost Horror Series

2. The Roundup: No Way Out (범죄도시3)

  • Director: Lee Sang Yong
  • Screenwriter: Cha Woo Jin, Kim Min Sung
  • Cast: Ma Dong Seok, Lee Joon Hyuk, Aoki Munetaka
  • Genres: Action, Thriller, Comedy, Crime
  • Release Date: May 31, 2023
  • Production Company: K-MOVIE ENTERTAINMENT
  • Yearly Gross: $80,814,990
  • Admissions: 10,682,813

Detective Ma Suk-Do(Ma Dong Seok) becomes a part of a fresh crime investigation unit under the guidance of Jang Tae Soo (Lee Beom Soo). Detective Kim Man Jae (Kim Min Jae) is also a team member. Together, they face Joo Sung Cheol (Lee Joon Hyuk), the influential scion of a powerful chaebol family. The involvement of the Yakuza complicates things further.

1. 12.12: The Day (서울의 봄)

  • Director & Screenwriter: Kim Sung-Su
  • Cast:
  • Genres:
  • Release Date:
  • Production Company: Megabox Plus M
  • Yearly Gross: $81,597,244
  • Admissions: 10,863,617

Commander Jeon Doo Gwang (Hwang Jung Min) assumes control of the Defense Security Command and establishes the covert military group Hanahoe. On December 12, 1979, in Seoul, South Korea, Jeon Doo Gwang orchestrated the “12.12 Military Insurrection” by leading his troops for 9 hours. During the operation, he unilaterally orders the arrest of a general, going against the president’s authority. However, Commander Lee Tae Shin (Jung Woo Sung), the leader of the Capital Security Command, takes a stand against this military uprising.

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Jong-dae is a tech enthusiast and writer with a deep fascination for the world of Korean technology. With a knack for breaking down complex concepts into accessible language, Jong-dae brings the latest developments in Korean tech to readers in an engaging and informative manner.

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