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Ailing box office topped by debut weekend of ‘The Invisible Man’

Mar 03,2020



The coronavirus outbreak continues to hit the movie industry hard as local theaters have become ghost towns while upcoming films continue to hold off their premieres.

The top spot at the weekend box office was taken by the only new film to be released this week, American thriller “The Invisible Man” which was seen by 107,000 people at 742 screens.

Cecilia Kass is involved in an abusive and controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist Adrian Griffin until one night she decides to escape him. Her sister Emily and her friend James help her out. After a close escape, Cecilia is still recovering when she faces a piece of unexpected news: Adrian, at the shock of her leaving, dies by suicide and left her in possession of $5 million. But Cecilia, suspicious of his death from the moment she hears the news, is convinced that Adrian has found a way to become invisible when many “coincidental” misfortunes wash over her, but others treat her as if she’s suffering from the trauma of an abusive relationship.

In second place was “1917,” which sold 75,000 admissions at 657 screens. “Beasts Clawing at Straws” followed in third and was seen by 58,000 people at 679 screenings.

“Honest Candidate” placed fourth with 36,000 tickets sold at 554 screenings, and “Little Women” rounded out the top five selling 29,000 tickets at 482 screens.

Over the weekend, total of 286,000 people visited movie theaters, dipping even lower than last week’s 505,000.

A slew of upcoming films have delayed their releases over the last week. Local films “Fukuoka” and “Intruder” each called off press events and put their premieres on hold until the virus dies down. “Judy,” starring Academy Award recipient Renee Zellweger, had its March 12 release date delayed. Disney also announced that they would delay the release of the live-action remake of “Mulan,” originally scheduled to come out at the end of this month.

According to the Korean Film Council, last month’s box-office sales were the lowest since 2004. Data showed that a total of 7.4 million people came to the theaters, the second lowest since February 2004, when the number was 3.1 million.

Last month’s ticket sales were less than one-third of the number from February 2019, when 22.3 million movie tickets were sold.

Local theaters nationwide are operating under emergency management systems, and all three of the major multiplex theater chains - CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox - have temporarily closed their Daegu branches down.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]




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