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Avengers: Age of Ultron monopolized South Korean theaters over the weekend, sweeping 90.5 percent of the market share from April 24-26. It has so far banked close to $28.2 million in the country according to Disney.
The film debuted with much hype at No. 1 on Thursday, breaking a string of local records. On Thursday morning the Avengers sequel accounted for 96 percent of tickets reserved for all forthcoming films, according to figures from the Korean Film Council’s KOBIS database. Avengers 2 leapt over the previous all-time advance ticket sales rate of 94.6 percent set here by Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2011. The Marvel franchise also beat the third Transformers film in terms of screen dominance, smashing the record of 1,420 screens set by the latter. It is currently showing across 1,826 screens, which is over 80 percent of the total number of screens nationwide.
Korean industry watchers normally measure a film’s performance in terms of admissions, and Avengers: Age of Ultron is setting new records. It broke 1 million admissions during its second day in theaters; in a market usually dominated by homegrown titles, only three of the top films of all time, Roaring Currents, Snowpiercer and Secretly, Greatly, have managed such a score. Top imported titles of all time including Avatar, Iron Ma 3, Interstellar and Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon all took three days to reach 1 million admissions.
Weekend admissions amount to almost twice the scores of Avatar, Interstellar and Frozen. Onlookers expect the new Avengers film to nimbly break 10 million admissions, or a fifth of the local population. Just over a dozen titles have managed to cross the admissions milestone.
The film’s blockbusters success here had largely been expected, given the media and SNS hype scenes being shot in Seoul and the appearance of Korean actress Soo Hyun (Claudia Kim) in a supporting role. The unprecedented hype for the film has yielded the emergence of various pop-up stores and exhibitions across the country.
Meanwhile, the following films accounted for the remaining 10 odd percent of the market share: 3.2 percent by Furious 7 (Universal Pictures International Korea), which has grossed a cumulative $23.74 million, in second place; 2.5 percent by the local elderly romance Salut d’Amour (CJ Entertainment) in third; 1.3 by Japanese animation Crayon Shin-chan: Gachinko! (Isu C&E) in fourth; and 0.6 percent by homespun tearjerker Clown of a Salesman (Daemyung Culture Factory/9ers Entertainment) in fifth.
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