“Hunt,” the period political thriller directed by “Squid Game” star Lee Jung-jae, held top spot at the South Korea box office for the second weekend. “Nope” was the highest opener, landing in third spot.
“Hunt,” made $5.68 million over the weekend, down 35% compared with its opening score a week earlier. After 12 days in cinemas, it has grossed $23.7 million in total.
The film had its world premiere in Cannes where it received mixed reviews and criticism that the fact-based plot was too complicated for foreign audiences. Lee has since recut an international edition of the film, which will next show at the Toronto festival in September. He felt no such need for domestic Korean audiences who may be more familiar with the complex intra-Korean espionage interplay and has enjoyed back-to-back wins and market share which held steady at 47%.
Historical actioner “Hansan: Rising Dragon” earned $2.71 million for second place. After four weeks in cinemas it has accumulated $51.4 million, the third highest total for any film this year in Korea.
Jordan Peele’s “Nope” was the highest opener. It earned $1.38 million between Friday and Sunday and $2.18 million over its opening five days.
“Top Gun Maverick” took $828,000 over the weekend, good enough for fourth place. It now has $63 million since release on June 28, 2022, the second highest score of the year.
“Emergency Declaration,” a pandemic era disaster film that played at Cannes last year, earned $387,000 in its third weekend on commercial release. That lifted it to a cumulative total of $15.4 million.
Nationwide aggregate box office was $12.1 million, the quietest weekend in Korea since early May.
Minor places belonged to “Minions: The Rise of Gru” with $291,000 for $16.1 million; “DC League of Super Pets” with $237,000 for $1.53 million after two weeks; “Octonauts: Season 5” with $92,400; and “Decision to Leave” with $92,000 for a cumulative of $14.3 million.
“Bullet Train” took $91,000 from previews ahead of its release on Wednesday. Its launch may be helped by the recent visit to Korea of star Brad Pitt.