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THE PRIESTS Conjures up Impressive Debut

Nov 10, 2015
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
  • View7750
3rd Best Korean Debut of 2015
Exorcism thriller The Priests scared up a higher than expected debut over the weekend, boosting overall business during the traditional dumping grounds of the year. 2.28 million viewers were recorded in theaters over the frame, 72% of which for local fare.
With a 62% market share, The Priests wound up with 1.41 million viewers (USD 9.98 million) over the weekend, and 1.6 million (USD 11.29 million) over its first four days. The debut film of JANG Jae-hyun, which features top draws KIM Yun-seok and GANG Dong-won, managed the third best opening of the year, behind CHOI Dong-hoon’s Assassination and RYOO Seung-wan’s Veteran. User scores have been favourable, and by offering something that sets it apart from the more typical local thrillers that have debuted recently, The Priests proved a potent box office force. Local distributor CJ E&M Corp. made sure to give the film the best possible start, booking it in just shy of 1,100 theatres and almost 17,000 showings, 1,000 more than The Martian last month.
Rising a spot despite losing just over half its audience was The Martian, which added another 157,550 spectators (USD 1.1 million) for a stellar 4.74 million admissions total (USD 33.46 million). Slipping from first to third after a 68% drop was CGV ARTHOUSE’s FATAL INTUITION with 145,974 moviegoers (USD 1.02 million). The JOO Won-starring thriller opened well but was hit hard by The Priests. To date, it has amassed 955,726 viewers (USD 6.44 million).
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies had a so-so debut in fourth place with 133,994 admissions (USD 927,758) and 158,730 (USD 1.09 million) over four days, while culinary drama Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper, mustered 102,179 spectators (USD 728,174) and 124,906 in total (USD 879,261), a marginal improvement on its meagre US debut last week.
For its 10-year anniversary, Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) was re-released, capturing 45,731 viewers (USD 343,404) in eighth place. Adding significantly to its original run, the weekend tally brought its lifetime total to 227,769 admissions (USD 1.39 million).
This week will see the release of Spectre, the 24th entry in the James Bond franchise. Already reporting strong openings around the world, the latest installment should do solid business in Korea, but will come up against strong competition with The Priests.
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