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Box office readies for "Avengers" perfect storm



The local box office is showing signs of being overheated ahead of the local release of "Avengers: Endgame," Wednesday.

With moviegoers' explosive anticipation for the last "Avengers" sequel, the film's ticket reservation rate reached 97 percent Tuesday.

The number of ticket presales neared 2 million (it surpassed 2 million as of 1PM), marking a new record, which replaces the previous record set by "Avengers: Infinity War." Advance ticket sales for "Infinity War," released in April last year, reached 1.22 million.

"Endgame" is also estimated to set a new record in the number of screens occupied in local theaters. The finale of a series of 22, Marvel studio's Infinity series is predicted to begin showing on 2,800 screens. Last year's Infinity War" had 2,460 screens on the opening day, which rose to a peak of 2,553 screens on the fourth day after its release.

Fans' expectation for the much-awaited release of "Endgame" is pulling up the box office ranking of "Captain Marvel" as well, as fans crowded out to watch the film in order to review the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before they go to the theaters to watch "Endgame."

Marvel's First female superhero film, which was released March 6, dropped out of the top 10 ranking on its sixth weekend. But since last week, the movie has climbed back in. Its box office ranking jumped to fourth Sunday, from eighth Friday. Its accumulated ticket sales totaled 5.76 million as of Monday.

Korean fans' love of Marvel superhero movies is well known. Starting with "Iron Man" (2008), which attracted 4.3 million viewers, most of Marvel's action movies on average attracted around 5 million. As the superheroes teamed up for an all-star showdown in the "Avengers" series, they sold even more tickets here. "Avengers" (2012) sold over 7 million, while "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015) and "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018) sold 10.5 million and 11.2 million tickets, respectively.

"Now the Marvel hero movies have been around for over ten years, those movies sort of motivate fans to keep up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They make fans continue to look forward to new stories and also follow up on the stories that they know," said film critic Kang Yoo-jung.

While Marvel movies were stealing all the spotlight, Korean films had a difficult weekend.

Local film "Birthday," telling the story of a fictional family affected by the Sewol ferry disaster, topped the weekend box office, but showed poor box office sales. For the three days in total, it only brought in some 170,000 viewers over the past weekend.

The film, released April 3, has maintained the No. 1 spot in the box office for the three weeks in a row. Along with superb acting and its sincere approach to the disaster that saw 304 passengers and crew of the vessel perish, word of mouth has helped push the film to the top place in local box offices. Despite this, it ended up barely attracting an accumulated 1 million viewers. Its break-even point is 1.6 million.

As for the small budget "Another Child," taking third place in the box office Monday, the situation is even worse. Veteran actor Kim Yoon-seok's directorial debut film, telling the story of two families whose underage daughters discover their parents' infidelity, received positive reviews from critics and audiences. But its box office sales have been disappointing. Since its April 11 release, less than 260,000 people have watched the film.



source: The Korea Times
Tags: korean box office
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