Korea Box Office: ‘Sleep’ Retains Chart Lead on a Lazy Pre-Holiday Weekend

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Two Hollywood new releases, “A Haunting in Venice” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem” failed to make much of an impression on the South Korean box office in their opening weekend. Instead, local fantasy drama “Sleep” headed the chart for a second time.

“Sleep” earned $2.38 million in its second weekend, a creditably modest 20% weekend-on-weekend decline, according to data from Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic). Its market share held up decently too, at 39%. After 12 days in Korean cinemas the Cannes title has earned $7.67 million.

But the competition was weak. “A Haunting in Venice” was the week’s top new release, but it failed to reach the $1 million mark. Between Friday and Sunday, it earned $676,000 and over its opening five days made $980,000).

The nationwide box office aggregate was the second weakest weekend of 2023, coming in at a flimsy $6.15 million. Historically, mid-September is often a weak moment for Korean cinema takings as it lies between the end of the summer season, but the bigger local titles aimed at the Chuseok holiday period have not yet reached theaters.

Over the latest weekend, “IU Concert: The Golden Hour came third in terms of gross earnings, but Korean charts show it in seventh place due to its lower ticket sales ranking. The concert film earned $540,000 over the weekend and $790,000 in its five-day opening.

“Oppenheimer,” which topped the chart in Korea for three weekends, clung on to fourth place in its fifth weekend. It earned $534,000 for a cumulative total of $25.0 million.

Korean title “Honeysweet” took $318,000 in its fourth weekend of release, good enough for fifth place. Its cumulative is now $9.76 million.

“Mutant Mayhem” opened in sixth place with $299,000 over the weekend and $352,000 over a four-day run from its Thursday opening.

Japanese fantasy animation “The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes” earned $230,000 over the weekend, giving it seventh place by revenue. Over four opening days, it earned $290,000.

“Concrete Utopia,” another former chart topper, earned $217,000 over the weekend. Since releasing on Aug. 9, it has built a cumulative of $28.0 million.

Pixar’s “Elemental” continues to pick up business. It earned $145,000 and advance its cumulative, earned since June 14, to $53.3 million.

Bringing up tenth place, Korean title “Don’t Buy the Seller” earned $114,000, for a three-week cumulative of $2.95 million.

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