Korea Box Office: Strong ‘Witch’ Opening Spells Third Place Debut for ‘Lightyear’

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The theatrical debut of much-anticipated local horror-action film “The Witch: Part 2. The Other One” dominated the Korean box office chart over the latest weekend and overshadowed the simultaneous release of Pixar title “Lightyear.”

Distributed by Next Entertainment World, “The Witch: Part 2” conjured up an $8.21 million opening weekend from just shy of 1,800 screens nationwide. That gave it a market share of 48%. Including Wednesday and Thursday figures, the film enjoyed an $11.7 million five-day debut, earned from 1.46 million ticket sales.

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The film is a sequel to 2018 title “The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion” which was made on a budget of less than $6 million and grossed more than $24 million. Both films were written and directed by Park Hoon-jung.

The strong start for “The Witch: Part 2” lifted nationwide aggregate gross receipts to $17 million over the weekend, up from $14.7 million previously. In a further sign of normality being restored, the top two titles were Korean-made.

“The Roundup,” which had enjoyed the top spot for the past four weekends was demoted to second place, with a fifth weekend take of $4.53 million. Since release on May 18, “The Roundup” has accumulated $91.7 million of receipts and 11.5 million ticket sales.

Disney-Pixar animation “Lightyear” released in Korea on Wednesday, at the same time as “The Witch: Part 2.” It managed $1.32 million over the weekend and $1.70 million over five days.

“Broker,” the Cannes title about adoption, earned $1.27 million in its second weekend. After 12 days in theaters it has amassed $8.58 million. While the 70% week-on-week may be disappointing, the total is far in excess of the cumulative of all Kore-eda Hirokazu films previously released in Korea. It passed one million ticket sales on Friday, its tenth day on release.

“Jurassic World Dominion” lumbered on in fifth place. It chewed off $646,000 over the weekend, a 75% week-on-week drop, giving a total of $22.1 million since June 1, 2022.

“Top Gun: Maverick” seems set for a strong start when it debuts in Korean theaters on Wednesday. Over the latest weekend, it earned sixth place and $572,000 from preview screenings alone. Star, Tom Cruise jetted into the country in recent days to heat the publicity machine.

Behind the top six, scores were significantly smaller. “Pokemon the Movie: Giratina and the Sky Warrior” earned $252,000, for a cumulative of $4.08 million. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” earned $32,600, for a cumulative of $48.4 million. “The Red Herring” earned $27,000 for a cumulative of $2.34 million. And new release “Missing Japan” earned $42,900 in its opening five days.

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