‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ a box office marvel
The film had a reservation rate of 95 percent at one point before its release Thursday and opened with an eye-popping 2.8 million tickets sold for the weekend, generating 24 billion won ($22.2 million). That was 90.5 percent of the total weekend box office.
The movie is now the biggest-opening foreign film, supplanting “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which opened with 2.3 million in 2011.
Also, the “Avengers” sequel is the fastest foreign film to reach the 3 million mark in ticket sales, within four days.
Anticipation for “Age of Ultron” was immense in Korea, because it not only marks the return of Marvel’s popular superheroes, including Iron Man Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), but also because part of the film was shot in Seoul last year.
The casting of Korean actress Kim Soo-hyun, who goes by Claudia Kim in the United States, added to the expectations.
After the film was unveiled to a Korean audience, including members of the media, there was debate about whether Seoul’s role was significant, but there was no doubt about the scale of its action-packed splashy scenes. The film also introduced a new evil force called the Ultron, a program that uses its artificial intelligence to wipe out humankind.
In Korea, where there will be no viable alternatives to compete with mega-budget blockbusters anytime soon, the film is expected to continue its successful streak.
Meanwhile, second place was taken by the dethroned “Furious 7” with 106,981 admissions, which brought its four-week box office total to 3.1 million.
The local drama “Salute D’amour,” which depicts the tearful love story of an elderly couple, landed in third place at three-week total box office sales of 86,160.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]