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S. Korean box office roused with 'Peninsula' boon over weekend

All News 11:55 July 20, 2020

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- "Peninsula," director Yeon Sang-ho's new zombie apocalypse blockbuster, provided a much-needed boost to the South Korean box office over the weekend, attracting nearly 1 million viewers to cinemas hampered by the new coronavirus during the first half of 2020.

According to data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), "Peninsula" drew 959,723 moviegoers over the Saturday-Sunday period, steamrolling "#Alive," another South Korean zombie film starring Yoo Ah-in, while Hollywood film "Bombshell" came second and third, drawing 18,049 and 16,009 attendees, respectively.

The combined attendees of "Peninsula" reached 1,804,053 as of Sunday and is soon expected to break the 2-million mark. The film opened at the local box office last Wednesday.

The industry is pinning its hopes on "Peninsula" to break the awful dry spell of the local film industry decimated by COVID-19.

A still image from director Yeon Sang-ho's sumer blockbuster "Peninsula," released by its distributor, NEW (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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 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.

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.

"Peninsula" has also been sold to 185 nations and territories, including Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Britain, France and Italy, according to the film's distributor NEW.

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 from four years before, returning for a mission.

A poster image for director Yeon Sang-ho's zombie blockbuster "Peninsula," released by its distributor, NEW (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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