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Box Office Reports

BEST FRIEND Clinches 1st Place As COVID-19 Throttles Sales

Dec 01, 2020
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
  • View193
Blumhouse’s FREAKY Debuts at Number 4
 

It was a very quiet weekend at the box office as Korea edged up last Thursday into its second highest peak of daily new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Business slowed 40% week-on-week with just 277,000 tickets sold over the Friday to Sunday period. Meanwhile, local content continued to enjoy an advantage as Korean films clinched 69% of all sales.

The 80s-set political/surveillance comedy-drama Best Friend debuted in first place. Director LEE Hwan-kyung’s follow-up to his 2013 smash Miracle in Cell No.7, the film stars JUNG Woo and OH Dal-su, who makes his return to screens after a two-and-a-half-year absence. The film had been shelved when #MeToo allegations about OH Dal-su hit the news, which he was eventually cleared of. 

The film sold 122,000 tickets (USD 1.01 million) over the weekend with 200,000 entries (USD 1.55 million) recorded since its Wednesday debut. With little competition on the way, Best Friend has a good chance of repeating on top of the charts, but with soft audience responses it may struggle to add significantly to its total.

Dropping to second place after three weeks on top, the CJ Entertainment title Collectors slowed 73% and filled another 43,000 seats (USD 341,000), raising its total to 1.37 million admissions (USD 11.35 million) after almost a month in theaters.

Slowing 67% in its sophomore frame, the US thriller Run added 36,000 sales (USD 309,000), lifting its total to 191,000 entries (USD 1.61 million). The film is the sophomore work of the director of Searching, which was a major hit in Korea two years ago. 

Freaky, the new title from Blumhouse Films, kicked off its run in fourth place with 20,000 seats (USD 170,000) filled over the weekend and 35,000 tickets (USD 269,000) sold in five days.

Taking fifth place was the local hit SAMJIN COMPANY ENGLISH CLASS. With 9,000 additional sales (USD 69,000), the film has new reached 1.56 million viewers (USD 12.54 million).

No major releases will hit theaters this coming weekend though a few Korean Indies will go on release, including the award-winning Festival and Lucky Monster (2019).
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