'Transformers 4' Has Biggest South Korea Opening of Year

Transformers: Age of Extinction Art - P 2014
Paramount Pictures

Transformers: Age of Extinction Art - P 2014

The Michael Bay franchise opened to $22.4 million and accounted for more than half of all tickets sold in the country during its first five days of release.

SEOUL — Transformers: Age of Extinction recorded $22.4 million during the weekend in South Korea, making Korea the fourth biggest market for the Hollywood film outside the U.S. after Australia, China and Russia, respectively.

The fourth installment in the Michael Bay franchise has brought in close to 3 million admissions in just five days, from July 25-29, making it the biggest release of 2014 so far. The Korean box office largely used admissions as its primary box-office measure.

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Moreover, the alien robot actioner accounted for more than half of all cinema admissions in the Asian country during the period. It is expected to continue thriving at the box office, as it currently ranks number one for advance ticket sales.

Transformers 4's box office in Korea has been boosted by the diverse format offerings here, including the more expensive but increasingly popular 3D, Imax and 4DX versions, among others. Transformers 4 also is being shown in 4DX format in Los Angeles' Regal Cinemas, making it the first time the Korean extrasensory technology is being showcased in a U.S. theater.

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Meanwhile, in second place in the local charts was Edge of Tomorrow, which has so far pulled in $36.2 million, making Korea the most successful market for the film after the U.S. and China.

Coming in third is A Hard Day, the only local film to steadily attract audiences amid the rare domination by non-Korean films — especially since only 18 films have been imported into the country so far this year, and the number of foreign imports has been dwindling in recent years. Ranking in fourth and fifth place were the French fantasy Beauty and the Beast and Swedish comedy The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, respectively. 

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Hollywood titles have overall been leading the Korean movie market at 51.4 percent during the past six months, while local titles account for 43.1 percent. During the same period last year, from Jan. 1 through June 30, the figures for U.S. films were 39.3 percent while Korean films took 56.4 percent.