‘Avengers’ breaks record in 2nd week at box office
In its second week, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” is still mighty in Korea, sucking in 2.3 million viewers, or more than 70 percent of moviegoers in total, during the weekend.
It became the fastest foreign film on Saturday to reach the six-million mark 10 days since its release. The title was previously held by “Iron Man 3,” which achieved the feat within 17 days.
As of Sunday, the “Avengers” sequel sold seven million tickets, making 59 billion won ($54.7 million) in Korean theaters.
It is likely that the film will continue its successful streak awhile longer as Children’s Day, a national holiday, falls today and no viable competitors are scheduled to be released this weekend.
In the United States, where the movie was released on Friday, about a week later than in Korea, the Marvel and Disney sequel earned a staggering $187.7 million in its debut weekend, making it the second biggest U.S. opening of all time according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.
But the sequel failed to top the all-time record of the first film’s $207.4 million debut in 2012.
Although it was the only new film on wide release this weekend, it had some significant small-screen competition: The Kentucky Derby, the NBA playoffs, and the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight.
Numbers could shift by the time Monday actuals roll in, but it seems the robust counter-programming may have blockaded another record for Marvel and Disney.
Still, for Disney’s head of distribution Dave Hollis, the weekend was a “spectacular result’’ for the film, which cost a reported $250 million to produce.
Playing on 4,276 screens, the audiences for the “Avengers” sequel’s debut were 59 percent male and 41 percent under the age of 25.
“We’re in rare air here,’’ said Hollis. “Having the second biggest opening weekend in the history of the movie business is always going to be something you walk away overwhelmingly happy with. The momentum of the brand for Marvel at this point is really something to take a step back and admire.’’
Marvel and Disney now boast the top three opening weekends of all time with “Avengers’’ and its sequel taking the top two slots and “Iron Man 3’’ in third place.
Hollis said this is “confirmation’’ that these films are “bringing a completely different kind of filmmaking to cinema. They’re creating events and characters and building worlds in a way that is drawing the attention of huge crowds.’’
Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian agreed that the failure to top the first film is “in no way’’ a disappointment.
“You have to put this into perspective. Considering the level of competition this weekend in the sporting world, it shows that movie going holds its own against all other options,’’ he said.
Also, while the first film’s $207.4 million haul might just seem like a new benchmark to hit, Dergarabedian was quick to point out that opening above $200 million was “literally like breaking the box office sound barrier.’’
Instead of a new industry standard, a $200 million opening might continue to be an industry rarity.
The sequel’s future success is not in doubt either.
“These other options were single events. ‘Avengers’ has a very long playing time. This is a journey to $1 billion and beyond,’’ he said.
With $168 million in international sales this weekend, the “Avengers’’ sequel has grossed $627 million globally in just 12 days. The film has yet to open in China and Japan.
The rest of the top five was populated with holdovers, “The Age of Adaline,’’ “Furious 7,’’ “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,’’ and the animated “Home.’’
In Korea, the second slot on the box office was taken by a local noir film “Coin Locker Girl” with 438,691 admissions.
Directed by newbie Han Jun-hee, the movie with two powerful female figures in the titular roles has grabbed attention for putting an unlikely twist on the noir genre. Top actress Kim Hye-soo plays mob boss Eomma and up-and-coming star Kim Go-eun is Il-young, an orphan raised by the gangster who later challenges the hierarchical structure of the group.
Another Korean movie, “Enemies In-Law,” a sequel to 2011 rom-com “Meet the In-Laws,” debuted in third place with 160,391 tickets sold.
BY JIN EUN-SOO, AP [firstname.lastname@example.org]