The South Korean box office got a new chart topper with mystery drama “Sleep,” but the weekend was a sleepy affair.
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“Sleep” earned $2.97 million over the weekend, according to Friday to Sunday data from Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic). Over its full opening five days, it grossed $3.97 million.
The film, which had its world premiere in Cannes in May, is the tale of a newly-married couple whose relationship is challenged by the man’s nightly disturbances, in which he claims that someone else is inside him. “Sleep” is directed by Jason Yu and produced by Lewis Kim at Lewis Pictures.
The top-ranked new release meant that “Oppenheimer” slipped to second place after three weeks on top. “Oppenheimer” earned $1.09 million to expand its cumulative total in Korea to $24.0 million. That is now the tenth highest score of 2023.
“Concrete Utopia,” the disaster action-drama that is Korea’s Oscars contender, was third over the weekend with $574,000. Its cumulative total, earned since Aug. 9, is $27.4 million.
Comedy, “Honeysweet” held fourth place with$561,000 over the weekend, for a cumulative $9.15 million. Thriller, “Don’t Buy the Seller” earned $399,000 over the weekend. Its 12-day cumulative stands at $2.69 million.
“Elemental,” which is already the second highest-scoring film of the year, earned $292,000. Its running total now stands at $52.9 million.
Re-released “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” earned $223,000 in seventh place over the weekend.
“Smugglers,” the biggest hit of the Korean summer season, added $144,000 over the weekend. Its cumulative total $37.0 million, earned since July 26.
The 2019-produced Australian animated comedy “The Wishmas Tree” was only the second new release to penetrate the weekend top ten. It earned $57,800 over the weekend and $64,000 over its opening five days.
Korean horror, “Body Parts” took slipped from sixth place to tenth in its second weekend. After 12 days it has a cumulative of $355,000.
The weekend’s aggregate box office came in at $6.83 million and marks a continuation of a slowing trend. It was the fourth weekend-on-weekend decline and the lowest weekend score in more than four months. Looking forward, the downturn may come to an end with a crop of new releases coming out over the next two weeks in time for the extended Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving, holiday season.