Yeon Sang-ho’s Peninsula, the follow-up to his 2016 zombie smash, Train To Busan, made a meal of the international box office this weekend, in Korea and four other markets. The thriller sequel (aka Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula) already logged the biggest opening day score of the year in its home market on Wednesday and went on to rule the weekend with what Kobiz estimates is a $13.2M Korea bow. Industry sources think the high-teens or even $20M could be possible across the entire frame from Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Of that, $750K comes from just 45 IMAX screens; combined with other films IMAX is playing globally, this is the first time the format has had a $1M session since the start of COVID.
Wherever the official number lands this weekend (and we’ll update that tomorrow), this is terrific news for the international box office which has plummeted during the coronavirus crisis, and is another clear sign of audience hunger for fresh titles.
The Korea session is at $13.2M through Sunday, per local reporting. There was a 95% jump from Friday to Saturday and just a slight 15% decrease on Sunday; screens were added throughout the frame. The film crossed 1M admissions on Saturday, only the second picture to the milestone since February — and got there faster than recent Korean hit #Alive.
In Taiwan, we are hearing a possible $5M start after Peninsula opened bigger than Train To Busan on Wednesday. Around another $1M is expected to come from Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam (the film was in previews in the latter).
For IMAX, Peninsula wrangled $750K in the five markets, and on just 45 screens. Released by Next Entertainment World in Korea, the horror title took $365K from 18 IMAX screens. This is the 4th best opening weekend for a Korean local language title in IMAX, despite capacity limitations in the market and the ongoing pandemic. The IMAX weekend gross represents 2.6% of the overall box office total in Korea from only 0.7% of the 2,600 screens.
In Taiwan, Peninsula fleshed out $310K from 10 IMAX 10 screens, 6.5% of nationwide box office from 3% of the roughly 300 screens. Thi is the 2nd best IMAX opening weekend for a Korean film ever in the market.
The 17 combined IMAX screens from Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam contributed an additional $75K. As for the other $250K bringing IMAX’s full weekend to $1M, some of that is from re-releases of classic titles, ie The Dark Knight in Japan and others.
Peninsula will add Thailand, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Cambodia in the coming weeks.