South Korea Box Office: 'Jurassic World' Reigns Again as Admissions Recover After MERS Scare

Jurassic World Still 10 - H 2015
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Jurassic World

The Universal blockbuster leads weekend sales for second week as attendance rate bounces back.

South Koreans returned to cinemas over the weekend of June 19-21, with attendances exceeding the rate before the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) hit the country in late May.

Jurassic World led the rise as well as the box-office ranking with a cumulative $27.5 million, with South Korean returns fueling the blockbuster on its way to becoming the fastest in history to earn $1 billion in the days to come. The film handled by Universal Pictures International Korea dominated 44.9 percent of local ticket sales.

According to the Korean Film Council's KOBIS database on Monday, total theater admissions for the weekend hit 2.5 million, up about 300,000 from last week's 2.19 million. The number is in fact 100,000 more than the 2.4 million garnered for the May 22-24 timeframe. Ever since the first case of MERS was diagnosed in Korea on May 20, cinemas began emptying out as the country became hard hit by the lethal disease. Attendance rate had gone downhill for three weeks, dropping about 20 percent each weekend to hit an all-time low of 1.55 million from June 5-7.

Meanwhile, local films have began climbing up the ranks again after a slow season partly due to the MERS scare.

The Classified File, a crime drama distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex, debuted in second place with 37.9 percent of the market share. Based on a true case in the 1970s, the film stars household name Kim Yoon-seok as a detective that receives help from a clairvoyant shaman (Yoo Hae-jin) to track down a missing child. Cume earnings for the film helmed by star director Kwak Kyung-taek (Friend) comes down to $8.6 million.

In third place was another new Korean film, The Silenced. The Lotte Entertainment title took 7.5 percent of the share for a gross total of $1.83 million. The period horror film is about eerie happenings inside a prestigious private school for girls during the Japanese colonial period (1910-45).

Next in fourth and fifth were San Andreas and Mad Max: Fury Road. Both handled by Warner Bros. Korea, the films brought in 3.6 percent and 1.9 percent of the ticket sales respectively. The disaster film starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has so far grossed $12.78 million while the George Miller actioner has earned close to $30 million.