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The Handmaiden, the lesbian thriller that recently competed at Cannes Film Festival, debuted at No.1 in the South Korean box office from June 3-5, knocking X-Men: Apocalypse to second place as it swept almost half of the market share during the time frame.
Distributed by CJ Entertainment, The Handmaiden accounted for 47 percent of the revenue, according to the Korean Film Council. Having attracted more than 1.26 million admissions during its debut weekend alone, the latest film by Oldboy helmer Park Chan-wook garnered more viewers on Monday, a national holiday. The Handmaiden took just six days to cross 2 million admissions, which is the fastest rate here among titles rated 19 and over (the local equivalent of R-rated rating). The film, inspired by the British novel Fingersmith, has so far earned a total of $13 million as it showed on 1,167 screens.
The phenomenal debut has pushed X-Men: Apocalypse to No. 2, with its market share shrinking drastically from last week’s 51.3 percent, when it stood at No. 1, down to 20.2 percent. The Marvel flick from Fox has earned a cumulative $18.1 million as it showed on 705 screens during its second week in theaters.
In third place was a second Fox title, The Wailing. The film, which also showed at Cannes last month has dropped down one spot from last week to take 13.7 percent of the share. The Na Hong Jin film featuring uncanny elements of shamanism has been oddly popular for a genre film and had topped the Korean charts for two consecutive weeks from June 13-22. Showing on 582 screens, its cume gross comes down to $44.4 million.
Next at No. 4 was Me Before You. The new romance from Warner Bros. brought in 6.5 percent of the revenue during its debut weekend as it showed across 476 screens. Its gross total comes down to $1.7 million.
Meanwhile, The Angry Birds Movie dropped two spots to finish at No. 5. The animated feature from Universal Pictures accounted for 3.2 percent. Having shown on 419 screens, the film’s gross total rounds up to about $3.7 million.
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