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DELIVER US FROM EVIL Stays in 1st as OK! MADAM Opens Well

Aug 18, 2020
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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Box Office Grows but May Reverse Course amid New COVID-19 Fears

With another major local release finding favor with audiences, the Korean box office remained relatively strong in mid-August, with 1.68 million tickets, down just 7% from last week’s COVID-19 Era high. With the top four slots all occupied by local releases, the Korean market share remained overwhelmingly dominant, standing at 92.5%. However, that figure may change dramatically over the coming two weeks, if the current release calendar holds. 

After its impressive debut, the action hit DELIVER US FROM EVIL recorded the lowest sophomore drop for a major release since the beginning of the crisis, slowing just 39%. This gave the HWANG Jung-min and LEE Jung-jae vehicle 842,000 viewers (USD 6.75 million) over the weekend, pushing its total to a sterling 3.54 million admissions (USD 26.5 million) to date, which puts the film over its breakeven point.

No slouch during its opening was OK! Madam with UHM Jeong-hwa, the first comedy of the season which recorded 574,000 entries (USD 4.57 million) during the weekend, with 779,000 sales (USD 5.95 million) clinched since its Wednesday bow. With a decent reaction from audiences, the picture may have a life in its tank, provided the recent surge in COVID-19 cases doesn’t incite a downturn in theatrical attendance once again.

In its third week, the action-drama Steel Rain2: Summit was down 57%, with another 88,000 spectators (USD 619,000) counted, pushing its total to 1.72 million admissions (USD 11.92 million).

Peninsula took fourth place during its fifth weekend on the charts, during which it too was down 57%. The TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016) filled another 43,000 seats (USD 332,000), raising its total to 3.78 million entries (USD 27.65 million).

Claiming fifth place was the Ukrainian animation The Stolen Princess, which sold 30,000 over the weekend (USD 214,000), with a total of 40,000 sales (USD 279,000) recorded over its first five days.

Korean theaters were due to welcome another action-comedy this week in the form of The Golden Holiday led by KWAK Do-won, but on Sunday, distributor Showbox announced that it was indefinitely delaying the film, just three days ahead of its opening, owing to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

As a result, it is unclear how distributors for other imminent releases will respond, but as things stand, DELIVER US FROM EVIL and OK! Madam will be vying for the top spot once more, while Christopher NOLAN’s highly anticipated Tenet, the first major Hollywood release since earlier this year, is due to have preview screenings this coming Saturday and Sunday.
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