Haeundae-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea,
FAST & FURIOUS 9 Revs Up with Biggest Foreign Film Debut of Pandemic
Admissions Shoot Up 150% in Best Weekend of 2021
The Korean box office has finally gotten a shot in the arm after a long period of hibernation. Owing to the debut of a Hollywood tentpole that was originally scheduled to open in spring last year, the box office had its best weekend of the year with 750,000 tickets sold. Given the foreign competition, the local industry was forced to take a step back, registering just 3% of all sales.
Over a year after its original scheduled release date, the pandemic-delayed blockbuster Fast & Furious 9 finale revved up in Korea, where it opened on Buddha’s Birthday on Wednesday with a powerful 400,000 admissions (USD 3.42 million). The film cruised into the weekend, easily topping the charts with 628,000 entries (USD 5.54 million), 85% of all sales, for a running total of 1.13 million sales (USD 9.83 million). This was the best debut of any foreign film during the pandemic to date.
The Japanese animation Stand by Me Doraemon 2 debuted in a distant second, welcoming 27,000 viewers (USD 215,000) over the weekend and a total of 59,000 spectators (USD 460,000) over its five-day opening.
Rising a spot into third placed and down just 32% was Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train, which is now just three days away from having spent three whole months in the top five. The film added 20,000 entries (USD 1.74), pushing its stellar total to 2.04 million admissions (USD 17.5 million), making it the highest grossing foreign film of the pandemic, having edged Soul out of the top spot over the weekend.
Horror sequel Spiral was off a hefty 84% in its second weekend as it sold 10,000 tickets (USD 85,000), with 123,000 seats (USD 1.08 million) filled in total so far.
Rounding out the top five was the British spy drama The Courier which also suffered a large 80% drop with 7,500 entries (USD 61,000) tracked over the weekend. After almost a month in theaters the film has banked a respectable 303,000 admissions (USD 2.48 million).
While Fast & Furious 9 is poised to continue drawing in crowds, this week will also welcome some significant completion as Disney launches Cruella while Megabox Plus M debuts Pipeline, the latest film from director YOO Ha.