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Captain Marvel proves unstoppable at box office: ‘Escape Room’ came in a scary second, followed by ‘Money’ and ‘Mule’

Mar 19,2019
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Over the weekend, such new releases as “Escape Room” and “The Mule” proved to be no match for Marvel superhero movie “Captain Marvel.” The action-packed film surpassed four million admissions on Saturday. [THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY KOREA]
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“Captain Marvel” held on to the Korean box office crown for a second week, but several new releases, including “Escape Room” and “The Mule,” also drew in substantial crowds in their debut weekend.

From Friday to Sunday, “Captain Marvel” sold one million admissions at 1,779 screens, accounting for 62.1 percent of the weekend’s ticket sales revenue.

According to the Korean Film Council, the highly anticipated movie surpassed four million admissions on Saturday, passing the mark faster than previous Marvel flicks, “Doctor Strange” (2016) and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018). It raked in a total of 41 billion won ($36 million).

The film stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, who later becomes superhero Captain Marvel, and Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury. Amid a long-time galactic war between the Kree and the Skrulls - two rival alien races - Danvers and her Kree team are sent on a mission to fight the Skrulls. Danvers is caught by the Kree, and when she manages to escape she accidentally lands on Earth. There, she slowly unravels the truth about her past and begins to doubt her own identity as a Kree warrior.

Coming in at second was “Escape Room.” The thriller sold 310,000 tickets at 850 screens on its debut weekend.

The high-concept film features six young people who enter an escape room challenge in order to win $10,000 as the final prize. The participants must work together to escape each themed room by looking for clues and finding puzzles. However, they soon realize that the challenge is not simple: each room evokes flashbacks to different members’ traumatic pasts.

Director Park Nu-ri’s upcoming film “Money” landed in third place, even before its release on Wednesday, raking in a total of 6.7 million won. The movie’s pre-release premiere sold 59,000 tickets at 375 screens.

The movie centers on Jo Il-hyeon (Ryu Jun-yeol), who becomes a stock broker in order to get filthy rich. Yet he does not fare well in his new stock company and is on the brink of being fired because of his lack of expertise and talent in the field. That’s when he meets a man nicknamed Beonhopyo (Yoo) - whose name literally translates to “number card” - who offers him a dangerous and illegal deal to become rich.

Clint Eastwood’s crime film “The Mule” took fourth place, earning 447 million won since its release last Thursday. It sold 51,000 admissions at 472 screens from Friday to Sunday.

Based on the New York Times article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnick, the film stars Eastwood himself along with Bradley Cooper and Laurence Fishburne. Earl Stone (Eastwood), a horticulturist and a Korean War veteran, is a “mule” who works with a Mexican drug cartel and transports cocaine from Illinois. Tension arises however, when the cartel’s boss is murdered and Stone postpones a drug delivery in order to stay beside his ill wife.

Local period epic “A Resistance” slid three spots from the previous week and landed in fifth, drawing almost 42,000 viewers at 453 screens over the weekend.


BY YEO YE-RIM [yeo.yerim@joongang.co.kr]