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‘Soul’ and ‘Demon Slayer’ Revive Korea Box Office Weekend

Pixar’s “Soul” was joined by Japanese hit sensation “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train” at the top of the box office rankings in South Korea over the weekend to Jan. 31. Together they lifted nationwide theatrical revenues by 30% compared with the previous, dismal session.

“Soul” held up very strongly in its second weekend of release, scoring $2.32 million, down only 9% on its first outing. That gave it a $7.10 million cumulative since Jan. 20, according to data from the Korean Film Council’s Kobis film tracking service.

The film’s market share slipped from 84% to 59%, however, as it was joined by a viable new release contender. “Demon Slayer,” which has become the all-time top grossing film in Japan, and has scored well in other Asian markets including Taiwan, started its official release in Korea with $881,000. Together with previews, that gives the film a cumulative of $1.63 million.

Third place went to Korean-made, live action film “Three Sisters.” Directed by Lee Seung-won the drama chronicles the lives of three adult sisters at a moment of crisis for their family. It opened on 569 screens and grossed $208,000 of business over the weekend, for a cumulative haul of $317,000 to date.

Other new releases took lower places. Japanese animation “Detective Conan: The Scarlet School Trip Japan” earned $181,000 (for a $282,000 cumulative), while U.S. indie drama “Booksmart” followed in fifth place with a $36,000 haul, earned from 163 venues.

Korean authorities report that the number of new coronavirus cases is diminishing. But they announced over the weekend that current travel and social restrictions will stay in place for another two weeks, leading up to the Lunar New Year period when many people would normally be expected to travel to visit friends and family. Capital city, and by far the country’s largest population center, Seoul is currently at an alert level of 2.5 on a scale of one to four.

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