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Local comedy 'Mission: Possible' thrives at Feb. box office

This image provided by Merry Christmas shows a scene from
This image provided by Merry Christmas shows a scene from "Mission: Possible." (Merry Christmas)
The homegrown action comedy "Mission: Possible" thrived at the South Korean box office last month amid a monthlong drought of new releases, data showed Tuesday.

Released on Feb. 17, the comedy film starring Lee Sun-bin and Kim Young-kwang garnered a total of 331,000 attendees in February alone, according to the data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

It ranked third at the monthly box office, following the Disney-Pixar drama "Soul" with more than 1.8 million attendees and the Japanese animated film "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train" with nearly 900,000.

Thanks to the larger-than-expected performance of "Mission" last month, Korean movies attracted a combined 680,000 people, accounting for 21.9 percent of the month's total audience of 3.1 million.

The percentage marked an increase from a record low of 7.8 percent of 1.79 million moviegoers tallied in January.

Moreover, it is the first time that a South Korean film surpassed the 300,000 mark in its monthly attendees since November when two homegrown titles, the caper movie "Collectors" and the drama "Samjin Company English Class," achieved the feat.

In December, the comedy "Best Friend" and the romance "Josee" came in second and third at the monthly box office, respectively, but they both failed to reach the 300,000 line.

And in January, no Korea-made movies attracted more than 50,000 people, while "Soul" and "Demon Slayer" posted a combined 1 million moviegoers. The indie drama "Three Sisters" was the most-watched Korean movie in January, with a total of 42,000 people.

The South Korean film industry was largely affected by the nationwide nighttime curfew and strong social distancing in January, which had enjoyed a rise in movie fans during the winter break. (Yonhap)