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(LEAD) Zootopia takes No. 1 in fourth weekend of opening

All Headlines 15:08 March 14, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in 4-5, 8-10; ADDS more photos)
By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- Disney's animated adventure "Zootopia" rose to the top of local box office in its fourth weekend, ending the two-week reign of a local film about Korean women forced into sex slavery during World War II.

After being at No. 3 for three weeks in a row, Zootopia showed a remarkable performance on the weekend of March 11-13, pulling in a whopping 342,917 viewers, according to data from the Korean Film Council.

The movie saw a 15.7 percent increase in attendance its fourth weekend bringing the accumulated number of viewers to 2.34 million, even though less screens were allocated to the film than in its third weekend.

Released in the United States two weeks earlier than in South Korea, the film earned US$73.7 million in its opening weekend, dethroning "Frozen" as the highest opening weekend earner for Disney's animation unit.

"We see this as a rebound from the news that the film is a hit in the U.S.," said Lee Chae-hyun, chief of the film's local PR agency Hohoho Beach. "It is the first time that an animated film has topped the local box office in its fourth week of run."

"Spirits' Homecoming," the film on former sex slaves, was at No. 2, drawing 286,733 people. The Korean film surpassed 3 million viewers on Saturday, its 18th day of run.

Directed by Cho Jung-lae, the movie follows women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the war. Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, suffered from the atrocity. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910-45.

The movie took its inspiration from a drawing titled "Burning Women," created by Kang Il-chul, one of the victims, during her therapy sessions based on testimonies from other victims.

Despite budget shortages and other initial difficulties, the film was completed 14 years after production began with the support and donations of more than 75,000 people.

It has earned five times more than the break-even point since it opened on Feb. 24 and also opened in Los Angeles and Dallas in the U.S.

"London Has Fallen," the American-British terrorist-foiling action flick starring Gerald Butler, started at No. 3 in its debut weekend with 273,561 viewers.

"Missing You," Korean actress Shim Eun-kyoung's thriller debut, came in fourth in its opening weekend with 257,534 audiences.

The Hollywood film "Gods of Egypt" a fantasy adventure inspired by Egyptian mythology that relies on the power of CGI, dropped to No. 5 from second in the previous weekend. It added 159,411 viewers to its domestic total of 788,392.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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