Godzilla vs. Kong” jumped straight to the top of the South Korean box office in its opening weekend. It was the first major Hollywood film to release in the key market since “Soul” in January.

“Godzilla vs. Kong” earned $2.45 million over the weekend for a 51% market share, according to data from the Korean Film Council’s KOBIS tracking service. Over its opening four day stretch the film earned $2.79 million.

In doing so, it eased aside Korea-language U.S. indie film “Minari” which had topped the Korean charts for the past three weekends. “Minari” slipped to third place with a $535,000 weekend haul, for a four-week total of $6.56 million total.

For the third weekend in succession, second place was held by Japanese anime “Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train.” It earned $737,000, to extend its cumulative since Jan. 27, 2021 to 12.6 million.
Korean horror movie, “The Box” opened on Wednesday and enjoyed a single day at the top of the chart. But its subsequent performance was weaker. It placed only fourth over the weekend with $259 between Friday and Sunday, and amassed a five day cumulative of $549,000.

The arrival of “Godzilla vs. Kong” lifted the nationwide weekend aggregate to $4.62 million, up from $3.56 million in the previous session. That may have provided some relief to the country’s struggling cinema operators, but does not point to a breakout from the rut that movie theaters have been stuck in for several months. This was still only the second highest weekend total this year.

Korean cinemas have operated under various levels of social distancing measures that have restricted seating capacity. But the greater problem appears to be a continuing audience reluctance to re-enter cinemas without a compelling local film to pull them back in.

Other recent openers have made little impression. One, “Choe Myeon” (which translates into English as “Hypnosis”) earned $211,000 for fifth place. Acclaimed Japanese espionage drama “Wife of a Spy” opened on Wednesday and slotted in to eighth place with a take of $39,000 over five days.