Korea Box Office: ‘Exhuma’ Expands in Second Week, Overshadows ‘Dune 2’ Debut

“Exhuma,” a locally produced occult drama-thriller, expanded its domination of the South Korea box office on its second week of release. That left the newly-released “Dune 2” several sand dunes behind in second place.

“Exhuma,” about two shaman, a feng shui master and a mortician who attempt to undo the mysterious events happening to a U.S.-based Korean family, earned $17.2 million between Friday and Sunday, representing a 69% share of the overall box office market.

Unusually, its second weekend performance was also 19% higher than its opening score of $14.5 million a week earlier. That gave “Exhuma” a $43.5 million total since its debut in theaters on Feb. 22, according to data from Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic).

Its 11-day total makes “Exhuma” the top-grossing Korean film of the year, overtaking “Wonka” (which in Korea had a delayed, 2024 release) on $23.8 million. In terms of admissions, which Korea uses to prepare film ranking charts, “Exhuma” sold 2.33 million tickets over the weekend and has racked up a 6.03 million total.

“Exhuma” stars the veteran Choi Min-sik and rising star Kim Go-eun and is directed by Jang Jae-hyun, who previously made “Svaha: The Sixth Finger.” It debuted at the recent Berlin Film Festival in an out of competition slot.

“Dune 2” earned $4.68 million from 552,000 ticket sales in second place. Over its full five-day opening run, it has $6.78 million. Several of the stars of the film were recently in Korea to do promotional work.

“Wonka” slipped to third place earning $1.23 million over the weekend, its fifth in the Korean market.

The strong showings by the top trio gave Korean cinemas a $24.9 million weekend, a score that was equal with the debut weekend of “The Roundup: No Way Out” in June last year.

Korean-made animation film “Bread Barbershop: Celeb in Bakery Town” opened in fourth place. It earned $550,000 over the weekend and $681,000 over its five-day opening period.

“The Birth of Korea,” a biopic about a 19th-century Catholic priest, slipped to fourth place. It earned $415, 000 over the weekend, for a cumulative of $7.64 since the beginning of Feb.

Chinese kids’ animation film, “The Tyrannosaurus Rex” opened in sixth place with $212,000 over the weekend and $225,000 over its opening five days.

Japanese animation, “Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Hashira Training,” the latest feature in the film and TV franchise, weakened to $240,000 in its third weekend in Korea. It has $3.92 million after playing since Feb. 14.

Korean drama film, “Picnic” earned $61,000 in eighth place. After four weeks on release, it has a cumulative of $2.17 million.

“Sound of Freedom,” which has been a massive indie hit in the U.S. and attempted to capitalize on its faith-based appeal, slipped to ninth place in its second weekend in Korea. It earned just $40,000 over the weekend and has a cumulative of $360,000 after 12 days in Korean cinemas.

Oscar-nominated “The Holdovers” held on to tenth spot in its second weekend in Korea. It earned $23,000 for a cumulative of $174,000.

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