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Ko - production in Busan
  • DOLITTLE Tops Weekend Chart as STAR WARS Crashes in 3rd
  • by Pierce Conran /  Jan 13, 2020
  • ASHFALL Crosses 8 Million Admissions

    Following a few weeks of local dominance, Hollywood briefly took back the weekend crown and the overall market share as admissions were down slightly to 1.77 million. Korean films claimed 31% of all ticket sales but should be back on top in a few days as more major domestic titles prepare to launch for the lucrative Lunar New Year period. 

    Opening in Korea a week ahead of its US debut was the adventure fantasy Dolittle, with Robert DOWNEY Jr. in the lead. No doubt partly fueled by the star’s popularity in Korea as Iron Marvel in the long-running Marvel series, the film scored a first place debut with 718,000 entries (USD 5.36 million) over the weekend and total of 930,000 tickets (USD 6.82 million) sold over its first five days. Though an impressive start, competition will be fierce over the coming days and weeks as several new titles will be vying for the same audience.

    Finally losing its crown during its fourth week in theaters was the local disaster action smash ASHFALL (2019). The film was down 53% and bagged another 265,000 viewers (USD 2.04 million), raising its total to an even 8 million admissions (USD 58.43 million), which will likely be the film’s final major milestone.

    After a disappointing opening day start in second place, Disney’s tentpole Star Wars: The Rise of Starwalker lost even more steam as it wound up third on the weekend charts, even after having delayed its bow by two weeks, possibly in a bid to avoid local competition in the end-of-year season. The film debuted with 262,000 entries (USD 2.16 million) and has accrued 382,000 sales (USD 3.08 million) since Wednesday. 

    When Disney rebooted the Star Wars series with The Force Awakens in 2015, there was already signs of a lack of interest as the film mustered just over three million viewers in Korea, far behind its record-breaking totals seen around the world. 2017’s The Last Jedi stumbled even further when it recorded just under one million admissions. The Rise of Starwalker appears to be continuing this downward trend as it looks like it may barely manage to cross the half million admissions mark.

    Sliding 61% and two spots was the local period drama Forbidden Dream, which, despite strong reactions from audiences and critics, has found it difficult to overcome a slow start. The Lotte film added 138,000 sales (USD 1.01 million), boosting its total to 1.89 million admissions (USD 13.49 million) to date.

    Down two spots and 67% was the Hollywood WWII film Midway, with another 103,000 seats filled (USD 786,000) and a total of 884,000 tickets (USD 6.59 million) sold.

    Looking to top the charts this coming weekend will be the local comedy Secret Zoo, which has been garnering strong buzz ahead of its debut. 
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