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(LEAD) Weekend box office hits 4-month high thanks to 'Minari'

Entertainment 22:26 March 08, 2021

(ATTN: CLARIFIES 3rd para)

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's box office hit a four-month high over the weekend on the back of upbeat performance by the award-winning U.S. immigration film "Minari," data showed Monday.

A combined 524,000 people went to theaters from Friday to Sunday, according to the data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

It is the largest three-day weekend figure since the second weekend of November, when the box office posted a total of 580,000 moviegoers before the third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic started. A higher total was recorded on the four-day Lunar New Year's holiday last month.

On Saturday alone, more than 222,000 people went to theaters, marking the largest daily figure since Nov. 14, when it hit 238,000, the KOFIC data showed.

The increase was led by the drama film "Minari," which attracted 204,000 over the three-day period. It gathered 276,000 attendees in total for the five days since its release on Wednesday.

Written and directed by Korean American Lee Isaac Chung, the film features a Korean family who immigrated to the United States and settles on a remote farm in Arkansas in the 1980s. It has been critically acclaimed for representing Asian American narratives and the American dream, continuing its winning streak on the U.S. award circuit, including the best foreign language film prize at the Golden Globes last week.

Disney's fantasy "Raya and the Last Dragon," released last Thursday, came in second in the weekend box office with 112,000 tickets sold.

The Japanese animation "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train" took third place by adding 88,000 in attendance for a total of 1.05 million. It became the second film to surpass the 1 million mark this year following the Disney-Pixar drama "Soul."

A digital poster of "Minari" is on display at a theater in Seoul on March 7, 2021. (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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