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'Peninsula' extends local box office lead, reaches No. 1 in six Asian markets

10:21 July 27, 2020

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- "Peninsula," director Yeon Sang-ho's zombie apocalypse blockbuster, extended its winning streak to a second weekend at South Korean cinemas while also leading the box office race in six other Asian markets, according to data and the film's distributor Monday.

According to data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), "Peninsula" drew 470,026 moviegoers over the Saturday-Sunday period, with the combined number of viewers reaching 2,862,894 since its July 15 opening.

The film's closest competitor was "Aladdin," the 2019 live-action adaptation of Walt Disney Picture's 1992 animated film, re-released at South Korean cinemas this summer, attracting 33,739 attendees over the weekend.

Yeon Sang-ho (3rd from R), director of the new movie "Peninsula," and the film's stars -- Kim Min-jae, Kim Do-yoon, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Rae, Lee Ye-won, Gang Dong-won and Kwon Hae-hyo (L to R) -- pose for a photo during a publicity event in Seoul on July 9, 2020. (Yonhap)

According to distributor NEW, "Peninsula," has been on top of the box offices in six other Asian countries -- Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Mongolia. The film has been sold to 185 nations and territories in total.

Starring Gang Dong-won and Lee Jung-hyun, "Peninsula" is the long-awaited sequel to "Train to Busan," the top-grossing film in South Korea in 2016. "Peninsula" was selected for the official lineup of this year's Cannes Film Festival.

The film tells a tale of survivors on the zombie-infested Korean peninsula four years after the events in "Train to Busan." It follows protagonist Jung-suk, who escaped the Korean Peninsula after the events of four years before, returning for a mission.

Multiple posters of zombie apocalypse blockbuster "Peninsula" and other summer releases are displayed at a movie theater in Seoul on July 19, 2020. (Yonhap)

The industry is pinning its hopes on "Peninsula" and other upcoming big projects, such as "Steel Rain 2: Summit," to break the awful dry spell of the local film industry decimated by COVID-19.

"Steel Rain 2: Summit," a political-action film on geopolitics surrounding North Korea to hit theaters Wednesday, has accounted for 48 percent of upcoming ticket reservations as of 9 a.m., according to KOFIC.

In the January-June period of the year, box office admissions tumbled 70.3 percent on-year to 32.4 million viewers, according to KOFIC. Sales revenue plummeted 70.6 percent to 273.8 billion won (US$228.7 million).

By month, admissions plunged 67 percent on-year in February and 87.5 percent in March. The figure worsened in April, falling by a record 92.7 percent, and was followed by another 91.6 percent dip in May.

This still image provided by NEW shows a scene from the zombie apocalypse blockbuster "Peninsula" featuring lead stars Lee Jung-hyun (R) and Lee Rae. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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