‘Gravity’ leads box office in Korea and United States

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‘Gravity’ leads box office in Korea and United States

Star power and Oscar aspirations are reigning at the box office both here and in the United States, where the space adventure “Gravity” is holding off all competition.

The movie, released in Korea on Thursday, garnered 45.1 percent of all ticket sales from Friday to Sunday, earning 6.7 billion won ($6.28 million).

Over in the United States, where “Gravity” is now in its third weekend, Alfonso Cuaron’s film topped the box office once again, cementing its status as the autumn juggernaut with $31 million over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The highly-praised, $100 million film has now earned $170 million in the United States and another $114 million internationally.

The success of “Gravity” forced “Hwayi: A Monster Boy” to second place only one week after it made its debut in the top position. “Hwayi” had a 2.8 billion won weekend, bringing its total to 14.3 billion.

Director Lee Joon-ik’s “Wish” fell to third, with just less than 2.2 billion won over the weekend, for a cumulative box office of 15.7 billion won.

Another Korean movie, “Queen of Night” by director Kim Je-yeong, had a soft debut, opening in fifth with 988 million won. The sixth and seventh spots went to two local films, “Face Reader” and “Tough as Iron.”

Three Hollywood films rounded out the Top 10, with “Despicable Me 2” in eighth, advanced screenings of Tom Hanks’ new film “Captain Phillips” in ninth and “The Conjuring” in 10th.

In the United States, “Captain Phillips,” directed by Paul Greengrass, stayed in second place, taking in $17.3 million in its second week. The Sony film slid only 33 percent from its debut last weekend of $25.7 million. It is scheduled to be released in Korea tomorrow.

Several new releases in the United States have not yet been scheduled for Korea.

The horror remake “Carrie” made $17 million, enough for third place. The Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team-up “Escape Plan” made $9.8 million, good for fifth.

But the WikiLeaks drama “The Fifth Estate” was a big flop, with just $1.7 million, enough for just eighth. It’s the worst debut this year for a film in such wide release (1,769 theaters).

“It’s a very strong lineup that is not budging,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak, who noted the primary family choice, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” is also holding steady with $10.1 million in its fourth week. “?‘Carrie’ came into a very competitive marketplace.”

In a limited release of just 19 theaters, Steve McQueen’s highly-anticipated slavery epic “12 Years a Slave,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, opened with $960,000.

The exceptionally high theater average of $50,000 suggested considerable audience eagerness for the already much-lauded film.

BY LEE SUN-MIN, AP [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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