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TUNNEL Scores 4th First Place Finish
- Writerby Pierce Conran
After six weeks of local dominance during Korea’s biggest moviegoing season, local films lost the majority market share for the first time as business cooled off significantly, yet with the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) holiday and a pair of homegrown tentpoles on the way this is likely to be a short-lived win for Hollywood, which accounted for 56% of sales of a total 1.49 million admissions over the past weekend.
For the fourth weekend running, local disaster hit Tunnel with HA Jung-woo and BAE Doo-na remained in first place, drawing down another 345,000 sales (USD 2.64 million) as it slowed 48%. To date the film has brought in 6.94 million viewers (USD 50.57 million) and is poised to overtake Operation Chromite to become the second biggest film of the summer behind TRAIN TO BUSAN.
New Jason Statham action pic Mechanic: Resurrection had a solid debut in second with 274,000 spectators (USD 2.16 million), and 416,000 admissions (USD 3.01 million) since its Wednesday bow. However, several high profile releases look set to knock it right down the chart this coming weekend.
Easing just 38% was US horror Lights Out, which added another 241,000 viewers (USD 1.84 million) to give it an impressive 989,000 viewers in the market. Considering the success of The Conjuring 2 earlier this year, which reached 1.93 million ticket sales (USD 14.4 million), not to mention recent local hits such as The Priests (2015) and THE WAILING, horror is making a comeback as a steady business driver in Korea.
Still in fourth but down 40% was US remake Ghostbusters, which brought in another 128,000 viewers (USD 966,000) to bring its total to a middling 480,000 viewers (USD 3.45 million). Wrapping up its run in fifth place after slowing 56% was local Colonial Era drama The Last Princess with 101,000 viewers (USD 748,000), giving it a strong 5.53 million admissions (USD 39.52 million) in total.
Meryl Streep drama Florence Foster Jenkins remained the top draw on the diversity chart, but only after slowing 75%. With another 13,500 viewers (USD 101,000), the film is now at 131,000 admissions (USD 912,000) overall.
The multiplexes will fill right up again this weekend as six major new releases crowd into theaters ahead of next week’s Chuseok holiday. These include the animated films Underdog and The Wild Life from overseas and Lost in the Moonlight from Korea, as well as Disney sequel Alice through the Looking Glass.
But the main draws will be local, as KIM Jee-woon’s acclaimed Colonial Era thriller The Age of Shadows, which just bowed at the Venice Film Festival and is the first locally-produced title by Warner Bros., and CJ Entertainment’s Joseon Era drama The Map Against the World are currently far ahead on the reservations chart.