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‘Avengers: Endgame’ continues record run despite dispute

“Avengers: Endgame,” the final installment of the Infinity Saga from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has tied the fastest film in Korean cinema history to top the 11-million mark for ticket sales.

Citing the Korean Box Office Information System, Walt Disney Company Korea announced, the film reached the milestone Monday -- day 13 of its run here -- tying the 2014 period piece “The Admiral: Roaring Currents.” 

“Avengers: Endgame” / Walt Disney Company Korea
“Avengers: Endgame” / Walt Disney Company Korea

Two days earlier, “Endgame” broke another record by selling 10 million tickets in just 11 days. The previous record, 12 days, belonged to “Roaring Currents,” which holds the all-time box office record with 17.6 million tickets sold.

The Korean box office ranks films according to number of tickets sold, not total revenue. Selling 10 million tickets is usually considered a feat worthy of a megahit, one accomplished by only 24 films to date.

Buoyed by the anticipation that had been built up over the past 11 years since the MCU’s iconic first flick, “Iron Man,” “Endgame” holds the record for the most tickets sold by any film ever on opening day, during opening week and on any given day.

But MCU films’ box office dominance are stirring controversy: Some say films distributed by large corporations are crushing the competition by “monopolizing” film screens.

According to KOBIS, “Endgame” is being shown at 2,835 screens across the country -- the largest number for any film in Korean cinema history.

Advocates of the status quo say the theaters are simply following the rules of the market: “Endgame” is by far the most popular film so far this year, having sold a record 2 million tickets prior to its release.

Others have been calling for a quota to curb the maximum number of screens that can be allocated per movie, saying this is necessary to ensure public access to a variety of films.

In 2016, former Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan, then a lawmaker, proposed a bill to that affect, and other lawmakers have proposed similar bills.

Last month, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo said a screen quota system was under consideration.

By Yoon Min-sik (