Punishment Sets Korea Presales Record For A Local Film

Film News

The Roundup: Punishment, the fourth film in the blockbuster Korean franchise, has set a new all-time opening day presales record in its home market. Releasing there today, the crime actioner that stars and is executive produced by Ma Dong-seok (aka Don Lee), had amassed over 834,000 ticket reservations as of Wednesday morning local time, accounting for 95.5% of all sales, according to local reports

This tops the franchise’s own best presales of 640K for 2023’s The Roundup: No Way Out which went on to gross $76.4M in the market. It is also bigger than 2018’s Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days’ 646K in presales; the previous record holder which also starred Lee, ABO Entertainment told local media citing figures from the Korean Film Council. It’s also well above the opening day presales of Hollywood titles in the market this year.

The latest installment in the series was in previews on Wednesday, taking in $341K on just 17 screens, per Kobiz. A strong showing for Punishment will be a further shot in the arm for the Korean box office which is coming off of a record March thanks largely to the performance of smash horror pic Exhuma which has grossed $83.4M since its February 22 release. Despite pockets of success since the start of the pandemic, the market had been sluggish in its comeback.

Directed by Heo Myeong-haeng, The Roundup: Punishment world premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and follows Lee’s Detective Ma Seok-do who joins the Cyber Investigation Team to pursue a ruthless kingpin and a cryptocurrency entrepreneur who is using online casinos as a clearing house for his essentially worthless millions.

In her review for Deadline, Stephanie Bunbury wrote of The Roundup: Punishment, “You get exactly the thrills, blood spills and entertainment you expect, stylishly packaged in a twisting, turning story that is relatively easy to follow, at least while it is happening. In a genre where constant bafflement over plot details is the norm, this series stands out as carefully crafted. And fun, obviously. Most of all, however, its excellence depends on Don Lee himself. Lee is an irresistibly cheery screen presence, a kind of Father Christmas gifting king hits to everyone who deserves one.”

Originally Posted Here…

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