‘Furious 7’ leads local box office for a third week

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‘Furious 7’ leads local box office for a third week

Going into its third weekend, James Wan’s “Furious 7” again topped the weekend box office in both Korea and North America.

Lacking suitable alternatives at the box office, the film was able to maintain its No. 1 spot in Korea, taking in another 472,217 ticket sales, or 3.9 billion won ($3.6 million), last weekend to bring its three-week total to 2.8 million admissions, according to the state-run Korean Film Council.

In the United States and Canada, even the debut of Kevin James’s “Paul Blart’’ sequel couldn’t outpace “Furious 7.’’

The reigning box office champion might have slowed from its blockbuster debut but maintained first place for the third consecutive weekend with an estimated $29.1 million, according to box office tracker Rentrak on Sunday.

This brings the high-octane action movie’s domestic total to a staggering $294 million, well above the $202.8 million that “Fast & Furious 6’’ earned during the same period in 2013. On Friday, the film’s worldwide box office crossed the $1 billion mark.

“The film has set a new standard for the potential for box-office in the pre-summer month of April and has truly become part of movie folklore with its record-setting numbers, strong reviews, spectacular word-of-mouth and, of course, the outpouring of support for late star Paul Walker,’’ said Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’’ came in a close second with an estimated $24 million. While the comedy didn’t perform as well as the first film’s $31.8 million opening in 2009, it did surpass Sony’s modest expectations.

“It’s a great result. It’s going to be very profitable for us and a big success,’’ said Rory Bruer, the president of Sony’s Worldwide Distribution.

“It was something that [actor Kevin James] really wanted to do and we wanted to do it with him,’’ he continued.

Dergarabedian added: “Blart’s’’ opening “proves that if you give the people what they want, you can make a tidy profit.’’

Meanwhile, the low-budget, social media themed thriller “Unfriended’’ took third place with $16 million - 16 times its production budget.

In Korea, the second slot was taken by Kang Je-kyu’s family drama “Salute D’Amour,” which sold 257,413 tickets over the weekend, pushing its two-week total to 794,233 admissions. Sean Penn’s “The Gunman,” meanwhile, debuted fourth, with 63,421 admissions.

BY JIN EUN-SOO, AP [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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