S. Korean theaters bustling before ‘Avengers 2′ release for reserve tickets

April 15, 2015
(Courtesy of Dinsey/Marvel Studios)

(Courtesy of Dinsey/Marvel Studios)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — With about a week left before the opening of the “Avengers” sequel, South Korean cinemas were bustling with fans coming to reserve tickets for the film on Wednesday.

Multiplex cinema chains such as CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox said they began receiving reservations at hundreds of theaters ahead of the film’s opening on Thursday next week. A total of 171,431 tickets worth about 1.84 billion won (US$1.6 million) were reserved as of 4 p.m., according to the official box-office tracker Korean Film Council.

The number is unusually high for a film that has a week left before its release, accounting for 71.2 percent of tickets reserved for all forthcoming films as of now, the council said.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” has drawn much attention in South Korea as it was partly filmed in Seoul and its adjacent cities last April. On Friday, the director and some of its star-studded cast are scheduled to visit Seoul to promote the film.

“We opened our reservations earlier than other films considering the nationwide attention on the movie,” a CGV official said on condition of anonymity. “Reservations for 2D theaters are already available and IMAX, 4DX and other special theaters will soon be open for reservations,” the official added.

“Avengers 2″ is an action blockbuster depicting a war between the superhero group Avengers and its villainous enemy, Ultron, who tries to exterminate mankind.

Industry insiders say “Avengers 2″ is expected to sweep local theaters when it opens because there are no highly-anticipated films to be released soon other than this movie.

Joss Whedon, the film’s director, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans will attend a news conference at a Seoul theater to promote the film on Friday.

For Iron Man star Downey, this would be his third visit to Korea following trips in 2008 and 2013. This also would be the third South Korean trip for Evans, who played the role of Captain America in the previous “Avengers” and the first for Ruffalo (the Hulk). Evans first visited the country as a cast member of “Snowpiercer” in 2013 and for the filming of “Avengers 2″ last year.