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The much-awaited release of “Peninsula” in South Korea lived up to the hype, despite capacity limitations and other social distancing measures imposed across the nation’s cinemas.

With number one openings in four other Asian territories, it finished the weekend with a $20.8 million cumulative score.

In Korea, the “Train to Busan” sequel earned a thumping $9.20 million over the weekend from 2,575 screens, giving it an unapproachable 93% market share. Including revenues earned in the first days after its Wednesday release, “Peninsula” completed its first five days in Korean theaters with a cumulative of $13.2 million for distributor Next Entertainment World. It sold 1.23 million tickets over the weekend and 1.80 million over five days.

“Peninsula” easily pushed aside older titles that had been playing in Korea since cinemas reopened. “Bombshell,” which opened on July 8, added $158,000 for a cumulative of $984,000 after three weekends. Korean hit, “#Alive” earned $150,000 in its fifth weekend on release, for a cumulative score of $13.0 million.

In overseas territories, “Peninsula” also did strong business. In Taiwan, where it is handled by MovieCloud, it earned $4.7 million over five days. With some 2,300 screenings per day, it enjoyed a market share of 76%. In Malaysia, it topped the box office for four days. Those four days and midnight screenings on Wednesday combined for a $955,000 (RM4.07 million) total. In Singapore, “Peninsula” had five days of release and became the top opening Korean film of all time, besting the “Train To Busan” opening weekend by Saturday – despite 50 seats per hall restrictions. In Vietnam, it played for three days from Friday and topped the chart each day. Including sneak previews from July 17, it earned $1.17 million.

“Peninsula” will next open in Thailand, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Cambodia.

The film’s opening performance also handed the Imax theater circuit its first $1 million weekend in several weeks. Within the Korean total, “Peninsula” earned $365,000 from 18 Imax screens. That was the fourth highest-scoring weekend for a Korean-language film in Imax, despite the capacity limitations.

The arrival of “Peninsula” in Korean theaters did not come a moment too soon. Data released recently by the Korean Film Councils showed box office tumbling by 70%, to just $228 million, in the first six months of the year, compared with the first half of 2019.

Admissions were down 67% in February, 88% in March, 93% in April and 92% in May, before beginning to turn the corner. In June, admissions were down 83% year-on-year.

In the absence of confirmed dates for major Hollywood movies, major Korean titles are now lining up their releases. “Steel Rain 2: Summit” will release on July 29, and crime-actioner “Deliver Us From Evil” is targeting Aug. 5.