TV & Movies

Korea Box Office: Lack of New Releases Depressing Theatrical Recovery

“No Time To Die” kept its place at the top of the South Korean box office for the second weekend. But, with no significant new releases competing against the James Bond title, it was a hollow victory.

The Universal-released “No Time To Die” earned $1.83 million in Korea on its second weekend of release, according to data from Kobis, the Korean Film Council-backed tracking service. That gave it an $8.01 million total after 12 days in theaters.

The score represents a 44% drop compared with the film’s opening weekend. And it accounted for a hefty 49% of nationwide total box office.

But the lack of new releases and the predictable erosion of Bond’s performance meant that cinemagoing in Korea resumed its recent weakness. Theaters in Korea enjoyed gross revenues of just $3.73 million between Friday and Sunday, down from $5.22 million on the prior weekend which was goosed by the arrival of “No Time to Die.”

Much of Korea remains on high virus alert status and theaters are suffering under capacity restrictions and social distancing measures. But the lack of enthusiasm for commercial theatrical releasing contrasts with the seeming enthusiasm of in-person audiences attending the ongoing Busan International Film Festival.

The highest-ranking chart newcomer over the latest weekend was the re-released U.S. space adventure “Gravity” which managed $62,000 from 155 screens, over three days. That was good enough for ninth place in the chart.

Places in between went to a now familiar line up: “On The Line” with $723,000 (for a cumulative of $10.5 million since its Sept. 15 release); “Miracle” with $344,000 (for a cumulative of 4.80 million since its Sept. 15 release); “Crayon Shin-chan: Crash! Scribble Kingdom and Almost Four Kingdoms” with $106,000 (for a $1.36 million cumulative since Sept. 15); “Shang-chi and the legend of the Ten Rings” with $103,000 (for a $14.7 million cumulative since its Sept. 1 release); “Belle: The Dragon and the Freckled Princess” with $102,000 (for a $388,000 cumulative since its Sept. 29 release); “Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle” with $72,800 (for a $1.49 million cumulative since Sept. 15); and “Escape From Mogadishu” with $60,300 (for a $28.8 million cumulative since its July 28 debut).

“Mogadishu” appeared to have no discernable benefit from its selection as Korea’s international Oscar contender. Its weekend performance was a 22% decline compared with the previous weekend.

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