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Korea Box Office: ‘The Priests’ Opens Top in Quiet November

The Priests” debuted on top of the Korean box office in the first weekend of November, which is traditionally one of the weakest periods for ticket sales in the country.

The local occult thriller earned $11.4 million from 1.6 million admissions between Thursday and Sunday. It crossed the 1 million admissions mark on its third day, at the same speed as the two biggest Korean films of the year, “Assassination” and “Veteran.”

A feature expansion of director Jang Jae-hyun’s award-winning short film “12th Assistant Deacon,” “Priests” is about a priest and a deacon joining forces to exorcise evil spirits from a possessed girl.

“The Martian” made $1.11 million between Friday and Sunday, for a total of $33.8 million after a month on release. Still representing a week-on-week decline of 53%, it jumped up to second spot owing to the bigger decline of “Fatal Intuition,” which slipped from last week’s second to third. The local thriller made $1.03 million for a total of $6.5 million after two weekends on release.

Another Fox release, “Bridge of Spies” debuted in fourth, making $1.1 million from 159,000 admissions over its four opening days. “Bridge” has surpassed the total admissions of Spielberg’s two previous films, “Lincoln” and “War Horse.” Spielberg’s biggest film in Korea, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” made $23.4 million in 2008.

John Wells’ foodie drama “Burnt” debuted in fifth, earning $735,000 over it four day opening.

Michel Gondry’s 2005 film, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” rereleased in celebration of its tenth anniversary, and made $412,000 between Thursday and Sunday.

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