South Korea Box Office: Local Film 'The Priests' on Top, 'Spectre' Debuts at No. 2

Courtesy CJ Entertainment
'The Priests'

The homegrown mystery drama accounted for almost half of the market share, the latest 007 film opened with $8 million, and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' returned to cinemas.

Homegrown film The Priests dominated the South Korean box office for the second consecutive week for the weekend of Nov. 13-15, while Spectre debuted in second place.

The Priests, a mystery drama handled by CJ Entertainment, accounted for nearly half of the market share, or 48.7 percent, according to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database. The film about two priests teaming up for an exorcism has so far earned almost $24 million. In terms of admissions, by which local industry observers measure box-office performance, the title crossed the 3.5 million mark over the weekend. It took just seven days for The Priests to surpass its break-even point of 2 million admissions.

In the second spot was Spectre, which in the country is distributed by Universal Pictures International Korea. The latest James Bond film accounted for 37.5 percent of the share during the timeframe, with its opening weekend score totaling more than $8 million.

With The Priests and Spectre taking such big percentages of total box-office revenue, just small portions remained for the other top-ranking titles.

The Martian fell one spot to No. 3 while its portion of revenue fell to just a fraction of the previous week's, dropping from 6.8 percent to 2.5 percent. Cumulative revenue for the 20th Century Fox Korea film nevertheless has reached about $33.6 million, making it the 10th highest-grossing film of the year in Korea.

Trailing close behind was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which finished fourth, garnering 2.3 percent of the box-office sales. The 2005 film by Michel Gondry, starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, has been re-released in Korean theaters for its 10th anniversary and has earned a total of nearly $2 million.

In fifth place was a second 20th Century Fox Korea title, Bridge of Spies, which accounted for 1.7 percent of the revenue. The cumulative box-office revenue for the Tom Hanks film is about $1.62 million.

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