‘Train to Busan’ sequel ‘Peninsula’ premieres at No. 1 in South Korea, sets best opening-day record this year

Korean actor Kang Dong Won (left) in 'Peninsula' (KOFIC, Red Peter Films, NEW) 

“Peninsula,” the much-awaited sequel to the 2016 hit Korean zombie movie “Train to Busan,” premiered on top of the box office in South Korea and continued its dominance on the second day.

The 2020 Cannes Film Festival-selected movie starring Kang Dong Won, Lee Jung Hyun, Kwon Hae Hyo and Lee Re opened in Korean theaters on July 15 and set the best opening-day record this year so far. 

According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), “Peninsula” sold 353,010 tickets on the first day of release, earning 2.93 billion won (about $2.43 million or P120.54 million) from 2,338 screens, translating to a revenue share of 94.7 percent among all films shown on the day. 

“Peninsula” maintained its No. 1 spot on the second day with total admissions of 223,773, earning 1.87 billion won ($1.55 million or P76.9 million). 

Its two-day haul totaled 576,783 tickets and revenue of 4.8 billion won ($3.98 million or P197.34 million). 

Combined with tally from pre-opening screenings on June 22, and July 8 and 9 that attracted 1,764 people and revenue of 15.78 million won (about $13,136 or P650,904), “Peninsula” has sold 578,547 tickets and earned 4.81 billion won ($3.99 million or P197.75 million) to date. 

On opening day, “Peninsula” dislodged “#Alive,” another Korean zombie film, from the top slot. “#Alive” has been on top of the Korean box office since it premiered on June 24. 

Because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in South Korea, cinemas have been operating at half capacity. 

Despite this, “Peninsula,” selling 353,010 tickets, emerged as having the best opening-day record since January followed by the Korean film “The Man Standing Next,” which premiered on Jan. 22 (before COVID-19 restrictions were imposed) with 252,058; and “#Alive” with 204,093, according to Korean media.  

“Peninsula” was produced with a budget of 16 billion won ($13.32 million or P660.25 million) and it needs to sell 5.24 million tickets in South Korea to break even, the Korea Times reported. The movie has been sold to 185 countries compared to 160 for “Train to Busan.”