Over the weekend. “The Roundup” rounded up $15.4 million from 2,520 screens nationwide, according to KOBIS, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic). That was a 27% drop compared with its opening weekend.
Its twelve-day cumulative (including previews) is an astonishing $54.8 million, which makes it the biggest film of the year, ahead of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” with $49.5 million and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” which was released in December but earned $15.8 million in 2022.
The film is a sequel to 2017 hit “The Outlaw” in which Don Lee (aka Ma Dong-seok) inhabits the role of a tough guy policeman, nicknamed a beast cop. In “The Roundup” Lee’s character travels to Vietnam for an extradition, but once there discovers a trail of other murders.
The box office recovery in South Korea began at the beginning of this month when COVID restrictions were significantly reduced nationwide and anticipated blockbuster “Doctor Strange” hit Korean screens.
May has been by far the highest-scoring month of the year. Gross box office revenues in the first 29 days amounted to KRW145 billion or $117 million, earned from 14 million ticket sales. April, in contrast, was worth only KRW30.4 billion ($24.6 million) from 3.12 million spectators. March was worth KRW27.0 billion from 2.8 million spectators.
The strength of “The Roundup” – it accounted for 81% of the market – left little room for other titles, new releases or holdovers.
“Doctor Strange” earned $1.51 million in second place for a cumulative of $49.5 million. Korean title “The Red Herring” was the top new release, earning $833,000 over the weekend and $1.21 million over five days.
“The Bad Guys” earned $102,000 over the weekend for a total of $3.01 million over nearly four weeks on release.
Five other Korean-made titles achieved places in the top ten, but failed to break the $100,000 barrier over the weekend. “A Monster in Paris” earned $87,100 over four days. “Hot Blooded: The Original” earned $63,100 over four days. “Good Morning” earned $99,700 over five days. “The Goblin” earned $46,800 over five days. “Hommage” earned $44,400” over four days.