The eagerly awaited “Avengers: Endgame” drew more than 1.27 million viewers on the first day of its release in South Korea to set a new record, data showed Wednesday.
According to the data from the Korean Film Council, the US film set the new high as of 6:40 p.m., beating the previous record of 1.24 million posted by the Korean action fantasy “Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days” on Aug. 1 last year.
The movie passed the 1 million mark at about 11:30 a.m., the fastest pace ever for a film shown in South Korea.
From early in the morning, South Korean cinemas bustled with lines of young people waiting for tickets to see the latest Marvel movie.
They were the winners of a tough competition that began on April 16 to buy advance tickets for the picture.
Tickets for the first screenings at CGV Yongsan, one of the largest of the cinema chain’s branches in Seoul -- it has a 624-seat IMAX theater -- were all sold out.
“I took a day off to see the film on an IMAX screen,” said Kim Tae-woo, a big fan of the Marvel series, at CGV Yongsan, showing off a replica of Thor’s hammer from his bag. “I’ve seen all 21 Marvel movies three times each over the past 10 years.”
The Avengers series has been enjoying huge popularity in South Korea in the last decade, with excitement for “Avengers: Endgame,” the final installment in the current chapter of the Avengers franchise, reaching fever pitch.
Advance sales of tickets for the latest superhero movie surpassed a record 2 million, outnumbering the previous box office record set by the preceding Avengers film, “Avengers: Infinity War,” last year.
Fans were eager to see the movie more than once, as 10 years of stories are wrapped up in the new release.
“Today, we will see the movie on a 4DX screen,” said Kim Eun-jung, who came with her friend. “We’ve booked other tickets for an IMAX run.”
Theater operators were delighted with the crowds that flocked to cinemas ahead of the traditional summer blockbuster season.
“April is usually considered off-season in the movie industry.
This year ticket sales were far lower than in the past,” an official from the theater said. “We welcome ‘Avengers: Endgame.’“
“Endgame” is a “combination” of the 22 films produced under the Marvel Cinematic Universe brand, which has played out since the release of “Iron Man” starring Robert Downey Jr. in 2008.
The three actors -- Downey, Jeremy Renner and Brie Larson -- and directors Anthony and Joe Russo visited Seoul earlier this week as part of a world promotional tour. (Yonhap)