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THE LION KING Roars at the Korean Box Office

Jul 22, 2019
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
  • View5465
PARASITE Becomes 4th 10 Million Viewer Hit of 2019

With the entry of yet another feverishly anticipated Disney title, the box office rose 10% in mid-July with 2.97 million tickets sold over the past weekend. Hollywood continued to be extremely dominant as the local market share was pushed all the way down to 3%. Notably, Disney accounted for 77% of all sales with three of the top four films on the charts, although its subsidiary Marvel co-produced the other the fourth title, effectively raising the market share for Disney-affiliated titles to 94%.

As expected, The Lion King had a massive debut in Korea with 1.73 million viewers (USD 13.47 million) welcomed over the weekend, and an impressive 2.28 million sales (USD 17.49 million) recorded after five days in theaters. Although heavy local competition is on the way starting this Wednesday, this Disney reboot should have no trouble keeping the turnstiles spinning for at least the rest of the month.

Still a threat after nine weeks on release, Disney’s fellow live action update Aladdin was down just 20% as it welcomed another 498,000 viewers (USD 3.72 million), which pushed its staggering total to 10.94 million admissions (USD 79.33 million), making it the fourth most successful foreign film of all time at the Korean box office.

Losing about two thirds of its audience during its third spin on the charts, the Sony-distributed Marvel title Spider-Man: Far from Home recorded 451,000 entries (USD 3.34 million) to raise its haul to a terrific 7.5 million sales (USD 54.89 million). Slowing 70% in its fourth week, the Disney-Pixar animation Toy Story 4 was added another 75,000 spectators (USD 539,000) in fourth place to raise its total to 3.29 million (USD 23.66 million).

During its eighth weekend on the charts, BONG Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or-winning PARASITE rose two spots as it welcomed another 33,000 viewers (USD 213,000), which raised its total just over the 10 million viewer (USD 72.34 million) mark. It’s the fourth film of the year to cross the mark, after the homegrown Extreme Job and the Disney blockbuster Avengers: Endgame and Aladdin, and it’s the second time for Director BONG to reach the mark, after 2006’s The Host which finished with just over 13 million viewers. BONG now joins JK YOUN, CHOI Dong-hoon and KIM Yong-hwa as the only Korean directors with two 10 million viewer hits.

Although The Lion King is poised to do well in its second weekend, the high summer season for local releases will kick off with the period drama The King’s Letters this week, starring SONG Kang-ho and PARK Hae-il.
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