Korea Box Office: ‘Spider-Man’ Beats Weekend Return of COVID Restrictions

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” shrugged off new health restrictions in South Korea to earn the biggest box office opening weekend since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film earned $15.0 million between Friday and Sunday, according to data from Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council. Over the full five days from its Wednesday debut the film amassed $23.5 million.

The success comes despite the introduction of social distancing measures with effect from Saturday that limit social gatherings to a maximum of four people and require a 10pm curfew at cinemas, in response to rapidly rising numbers of COVID cases.

The Korean film industry petitioned government against the new restrictions, warning of “collapse.”

Distributors have canceled or postponed the release of at least five films that were due to release in the Christmas-New Year-early January period. And cinema operators have responded to curfew and the emaciated film line-up by rescheduling screenings and rebooking previously sold tickets.

On Sunday, “Spider-Man” played on 2,946 screens, the vast majority of those in commercial operation in the country, and enjoyed an utterly dominant 95.6% market share. According to Kobis, the film sold 1.74 million tickets over the weekend and a total of 2.77 million over five days.

A day-by-day breakdown shows the film’s steady performance at a high level. On its Wednesday opening it earned $5.26 million, followed by $3.27 million on Thursday.  Friday saw a gross of $3.60 million, followed by $5.50 on Saturday, and a blockbuster $5.83 million on Sunday.

Disney’s “Encanto” earned $183,000 over the weekend to place second in the chart. It now has a $4.65 million cumulative earned since Nov. 24. Korea’s “Nothing Serious,” which opened the same day s “Encanto” slipped from first place a week earlier to third with $172,000, for a cumulative of $4.92 million.

 

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