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Jun 27, 2017
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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Robot Franchise Continues to Be a Draw in Korea

Another week and another Hollywood franchise title rises to first place at the Korean box office. The latest entry in one of the most popular foreign series in Korea opened unopposed as temperatures began to rise across the peninsula. Ultimately, Hollywood films accounted for the lion’s share of business, clinching 80% of the two million tickets sold over the frame.

Scoring an easy first place debut with no major competition daring to come in its way, the fifth installment in the popular Transformers franchise continued to be a major draw in Korea, even if its 1.27 million viewer (USD 9.56 million) debut paled in comparison with the previous couple of entries. In five days, The Last Knight has already amassed a steady 1.75 million spectators (USD 12.91 million), approximately 35% and 100% down from the equivalent starts of the fourth and third installments in 2014 and 2011.

Losing just over half its business, local timeslip thriller A Day held onto second place with 226,000 new entries (USD 1.67 million) giving it a fraction shy of one million ticket sales (USD 7.06 million) in 11 days, a solid result for the CGV ARTHOUSE distributed title.

Down two spots and losing two thirds of its audience was Tom Cruise vehicle The Mummy, which filled another 161,000 seats (USD 1.2 million) for a sturdy 3.56 million admissions (USD 26.04 million) after just under three weeks in theaters.

The Villainess slowed another 61% as it brought in another 95,000 viewers (USD 711,000), giving it a disappointing 1.13 million spectators (USD 8.05 million) as it begins to wrap up its run. US sci-fi The Circle with with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson closed out the top five with 39,000 sales (USD 294,000). With 50,000 admissions (USD 370,000) in four days, it was also the week’s highest charting diversity release.

Following eight weeks of Hollywood dominance, local films finally have a chance to reach the top of the charts once more with no less than three films by Korean directors (though one of those is US-backed) vying for top place. Leading the charts now is LEE Joon-ik’s Colonial Era drama Anarchist from Colony, but CJ Entertainment action film REAL, with idol star KIM Soo-hyun, is also in with a shot. More of a wildcard is BONG Joon-ho’s Okja, backed by Netflix, which is performing well on the charts despite not being made available in the three main multiplexes of the country, which account for over 90% of its screens. Of course, all of those will have to face off with the second spin of the latest Transformers blockbuster.
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