The Korea Herald


‘Wonder Woman’ fails to save Korean movie theaters

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : Jan. 11, 2021 - 17:43

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“Wonder Woman 1984“ (Warner Bros. Korea) “Wonder Woman 1984“ (Warner Bros. Korea)
The number of moviegoers over the weekend dropped to a new record low last week, according to data from the Korean Film Council.

A total of 80,735 people went to theaters from Friday to Sunday last week, a deep plunge from 149,000 a week earlier.

Over the three days, “Wonder Woman 1984,” directed by Patty Jenkins, topped the local box office with attendance of just 26,000.

The Hollywood superhero movie has been dominating the local box office, with the accumulated number of tickets sold at over 507,000.

Set in the ’80s, “Wonder Woman 1984” follows title character Diana (Gal Gadot), who works at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington while performing heroic deeds. One day Diana unknowingly uses a mystical stone to wish her deceased lover Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) back to life. However, new powerful enemies also emerge.

Romantic drama “In The Mood For Love,” directed by Wong Kar-wai, reopened here on Dec. 24 and came second, drawing 9,000 theatergoers over the last weekend.

Before last week, the lowest weekend record was set during the second weekend of April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when only around 98,000 moviegoers visited theaters.

The sharp decrease in the number of moviegoers last weekend was partially due to the government’s social distancing rules that ordered cinemas to close by 9 p.m. to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. That means the last screening for movies over two hours long like “Wonder Woman 1984” has to start before 7 p.m. Theaters are also required to leave every other seat vacant.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has led many movies that had been targeting the Christmas and New Year‘s holiday season to postpone their releases.

By Song Seung-hyun (