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‘Rampage’ rocks its way to top of global box offices

Apr 17,2018
“Rampage,” the Dwayne Johnson action film, topped both the Korean and North American weekend box offices.
Dwayne Johnson muscled his way to the top spot of the Korean and North American weekend box offices with “Rampage” this weekend, while silent horror flick “A Quiet Place” came in second on both sides of the Pacific. Although it barely topped the North American theaters after a wobbly start, the action-filled “Rampage” stayed strong in local theaters since its arrival on Thursday.

From Friday to Sunday, “Rampage,” directed by Brad Peyton of “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” (2012), sold 608,000 tickets at 909 screens, raking in 5.34 billion won ($4.8 million). It accounted for 35.2 percent of the entire weekend ticket sales.

Based on the classic 1986 arcade game developed by Midway Games, “Rampage” is a sci-fi monster film featuring Johnson as a primatologist who has a special bond with an albino silverback gorilla. But things pick up when a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates the ape into a giant enraged creature.

In its first weekend in North America, “Rampage” earned an estimated $34.5 million, while dominating internationally by making $114.1 million across 61 territories, according to its distributor Warner Bros.

The film pulled in mixed reviews from critics but audiences were more enthusiastic, giving it an A- on CinemaScore.

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel on Friday. But when I look at our global number of $148.6 million, there’s a lot to be proud of for Dwayne Johnson,” said Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein. “Talk about a real closer, he knows how to bring it home.”

At the local box office, thriller “A Quiet Place” debuted at second. Directed by John Krasinski, and starring himself and his wife Emily Blunt, the film sold 207,000 admissions at 677 screens over the three days, accounting for 12.2 percent of the weekend’s sales. Krasinski’s third directing effort is about a family in a future dystopia populated by violent creatures with extremely acute hearing.

The modestly-budgeted movie, which made a thunderous debut in North America last week, fell only 35 percent in its second weekend, adding $32.6 million to its domestic total, which is now just shy of $100 million for Paramount Pictures.

In North America, “Truth or Dare,” from the shop behind “Get Out” and “Split,” also found a sizable audience that was mostly young (60 percent under the age of 25) and female (60 percent). The PG-13 rated pic stars “Pretty Little Liars” alum Lucy Hale.

With a budget of just $3.5 million, the film took in a terrific $19.1 million over the weekend - just the latest in a string of successes for the Blumhouse and Universal Pictures partnership.

“They take high-quality filmmaking at micro-budgets and just consistently over-deliver,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “Everyone at Universal is just thrilled to be in business with these guys.”

Orr said despite the competitive marketplace, the studio’s marketing found a lane with the younger female audience and played into the Friday the 13th release.

Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi action blockbuster “Ready Player One” remained in the third spot in the local box office, with 191,000 tickets sold. The movie slid into fourth place in North America, with $11.2 million in its third weekend.

While R-rated comedy “What a Man Wants” dropped to the fourth spot from last weekend’s second, local horror flick “Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum,” which topped the local box office for two consecutive weekends, slipped to fifth.

While the success of a horror film, especially a micro-budget one, isn’t a surprise for the industry, big budget films like “Rampage” continue to face a complex marketplace.

For box office analysts like comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian, “‘Rampage’s’ performance fits into the post-‘Black Panther’ narrative for most would-be blockbusters that have followed the Marvel and Disney phenomenon.

“‘Rampage’ joins a long list of popcorn movies that have opened in the wake of ‘Black Panther’ to rely heavily on their international box office revenues,” Dergarabedian said, citing “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Tomb Raider,” “Pacific Rim: Uprising” and “Ready Player One” as recent examples.

BY JIN MIN-JI, AP [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]



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