“Shang-Chi And The Legend of The Ten Rings” held on the top place at the South Korean box office for the second weekend. But it failed to sustain overall cinemagoing in what used to be, pre-COVID, the world’s fourth largest theatrical market.
“Shang-Chi” earned $2.63 million in its second weekend for a market share of 50%. Its drop from the opening weekend was an okay 44%. And after twelve days on release, it has amassed $10.6 million according to data from the Korean Film Council’s Kobis tracking service. Kobis also shows it to be only the tenth film in Korea this year to attract more than one million spectators.
But “Shang-Chi” alone was not enough to prevent the overall weekend from dipping significantly. Nationwide aggregate cinema business amounted to just $5.26 million this weekend. That was down 35% week-on-week and was the lowest weekend score for more than two months.
The slack levels of business reflect ongoing audience hesitancy in Korea in the face of persistent coronavirus cases and a lack of new Korean-made films coming into the market. Some distributors are hesitant to release their biggest titles at the moment, while others are hoping for a revival in time for the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holiday period at the end of the month.
Holdover Korean titles “Escape From Mogadishu,” “Hostage: Missing Celebrity” and “Sinkhole” took third fourth and fifth places over the weekend. “Escape,” released in July, managed $683,000 over the weekend to extend its 2021-topping cumulative to $27.5 million.
In another sign of weakness, two reissued titles took fifth and ninth places in the weekend chart. Japanese animation “Your Name” took $214,000, while “Weathering With You” took $70,100.
The weekend chart’s only significant new release title was female-led action film “Gunpowder Milkshake” which earned just 104,000 over the weekend and $225,000 over five days.