The Korea Herald


Theaters come to life in Feb. with opening of ‘Exhuma,’ ‘Dune: Part Two’

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Feb. 26, 2024 - 14:40

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“Exhuma” (Showbox) “Exhuma” (Showbox)

South Korean theaters are experiencing a much-needed boom in February with the release of two much-anticipated films -- “Exhuma” by the so-called K-occult genre master Jang Jae-hyun, and the global sci-fi blockbuster sequel “Dune: Part Two.”

According to box office data from the Korean Film Council, “Exhuma” attracted 2 million theatergoers within four days of the movie opening on Feb. 22. “Dune: Part Two,” which is set for release Wednesday, is currently topping the charts with a ticket reservation rate of 46.3 percent.

“Exhuma” is attracting moviegoers at a much faster pace compared to the 2023 hit film “12. 12: The Day,” hitting the 1 million admissions mark within three days -- a day earlier than the 2023 film.

The movie, which cost 1.4 billion won ($1 million) to produce, is likely to soon reach the breakeven point of 3.3 million admissions.

“Exhuma,” Jang’s first work in five years, centers on the story of Sang-deok (Choi Min-sik), who is tasked with relocating a tomb with the help of Young-geun (Yoo Hae-jin), an undertaker, after young exorcists Hwa-rim (Kim Go-eun) and Bong-gil (Lee Do-hyun) receive a hefty sum of money and discover through a supernatural phenomenon a dark omen related to a wealthy Los Angeles family.

The movie is veteran actor Choi’s first-ever occult genre flick in his 35-year acting career.

“Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) “Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.)

Meanwhile, following the Seoul visit of Timothee Chalamet and other main cast members of Denis Villeneuve’s new movie “Dune: Part Two” to promote the film, the movie has been at the center of the moviegoers’ attention, starting a whole month before the film’s release here.

Last week, Chalamet, director Villeneuve, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Stellan Skarsgard were in Seoul for a press conference and met with fans at a red-carpet event at Yeongdeungpo CGV in Seoul.

“Dune: Part Two” follows the story of the recently outcast heir to the throne of House Atreides, Paul (Timothee Chalamet), who finds a path to revenge against the emperor and positions himself as a messiah, without knowing his choice could spell doom for the entire galaxy. The first installment “Dune,” about the tribes’ power struggle surrounding the supremely valuable resource spice, opened here in 2021 and attracted 1.64 million moviegoers.