Korea Box Office: ‘Avengers’ Domination May Hasten Legislative Response

avengers infinity war
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

South Korean legislators may push through new legislation to prevent the kind of screen domination that “Avengers: Infinity War” enjoyed this weekend.

Released on Wednesday, the Marvel superhero movie earned $39.1 million from 4.76 million admissions in five days. Getting there, records tumbled. They included the $6.5 million opening day, over 1 million presold tickets, and the best ever opening figures in the IMAX and 4DX formats.

“Avengers” played on 85% of screens nationwide, and some 2,553 over the weekend. It accounted for 95% of total weekend box office, ahead of second placed “Intention” with just 1%.

“Avengers” played on 978 CGV screens, 773 from Lotte, and 577 from Megabox. Those figures reignited the debate over oligopoly control of Korea’s cinema screens. Exhibitors have previously been fined, but further responses seems likely.

“The revised laws on promotion of film and video that are currently pending at the national assembly restricts conglomerates-owned multiplexes from allocating more than 40% of their screening slots to the same film,” said Cho Seung-rae, a lawmaker in the ruling party. “At this point, legal, institutional measures for screen monopoly seem necessary.”

“Intention,” a documentary about the Sewol ferry sinking earned $309,000 for a total of $3.7 million after three weekends on release. Korean thriller “True Fiction” opened on Wednesday on 429 screens and earned $288,000 in five days.