Despite COVID-19, Train To Busan Sequel Broke Record for Korean Films in S’pore

If I were to ask you to name your favourite zombie flick, you might need some time to think it over because they’re churned out faster than pop songs.

For some unknown reason, watching humans getting devoured by other dead humans who can only say “ARGH” appeals to us.

Image: Tenor

And nothing will stop us from watching these zombie movies, not even a real-life pandemic.

Despite COVID-19, Train To Busan Sequel Broke Record for Korean Films in S’pore

Train To Busan: Peninsula is breaking all kinds of records.

The sequel to the 2016 zombie action movie Train to Busan set an opening-day record in Singapore for a South Korean movie with its earnings of $147,000.

Now, the film has collected $1.11 million, setting a new all-time highest opening weekend box office for Korean films in Singapore, reported The New Paper.

After screening for just six days, the film already ranks fifth among the top-grossing Korean movies in Singapore of all time:

  1. Train To Busan – $5.35 million
  2. Parasite – $1.87 million
  3. The Battleship Island – $1.46 million
  4. Along With The Gods – $1.12 million

Yeon Sang-ho, the director, thanked Singaporeans for the support and expressed regret for not being able to greet the audience in person.

“I heard the news about (Peninsula) breaking the opening weekend box office record and opening day record in Singapore. Thank you so much for showing your support for (it) during this difficult period. I hope that you can stay safe and healthy while you continue to support the movie”, he said.

What Makes This Achievement Even More Impressive:

You’ve got to remember that when there’s Covid-19, it’s not just about people being too scared to come out.

Cinemas are also not able to accommodate as many people as they used to.

Just look at the number of seats available in a Golden Village cinema theatre with safe-distancing measures in effect:


Only the blue seats can be occupied by your butts, if you can’t see the legend.

Each theatre is only allowed to have a maximum of 50 people for a single show.

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No wonder people say going to the regular cinema feels like a “Gold-Class” affair.

We also did some quick math:

Assuming that the average movie ticket in Singapore costs $10.75 (we added the GV weekday and weekend ticket price and divided it by two), you’ll need about 103,255 tickets to be sold.

That’s 103,255 people.

If you divide it by 50 for the cap restriction, it means that over the first six days, you’ll need 2,065 screenings at max capacity.

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That’s high.

While it’s only agak-agak, you now know why becoming the fifth top-grossing movie in Singapore is worthy of a news article, don’t you?


Now, if you’re wondering if you should jump on the hype train, here’s a little more about the movie that’s been attracting attention all around the world.

Who knows, it could be the second-coming of Parasite, the movie everyone thought was a horror show but isn’t.

The Premise

The premise for the original Train to Busan is very similar to that of Snakes on a Plane, except that it’s Zombies on a Train. 

A man and his estranged daughter and other passengers become trapped on a speeding train during a zombie outbreak in South Korea.

Imagine having to worry about zombies on your way to work in the MRT, in addition to breakdowns.

Image: SGAG

In the sequel which is set four years later, a soldier and his team battle these same zombies in the wastelands of the Korean Peninsula, hence the name Peninsula.

Here’s the synopsis of the film:

“When the zombie outbreak swept the entire nation, Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won) barely escaped South Korea alive. While living a life of despair in Hong Kong, he receives an enticing offer to return to the quarantined peninsula.

“His mission is to retrieve an abandoned truck in the middle of Seoul within a time limit and escape the peninsula silently. But his operation goes haywire when a mysterious militia known as Unit 631 ambushes Jung-seok’s small team, as well as even more vicious hordes of zombies.

“In his most desperate moment, Min-jung’s (Lee Jung-hyun) family saves him and he plans one last chance to escape the peninsula once and for all.”


And you really can’t miss out on this trailer:

I’d say more, but I’d have a mob after me if I let slip any spoilers.

So, why is it so popular?

Maybe because a zombie outbreak is a metaphor for the coronavirus outbreak and seeing humans quash it gives us hope that this pandemic will end?


Or maybe people just really like groaning zombies eating human brains. I’m guessing it’s the latter.

Going to the Cinema in the Time of Corona

As you know, cinemas in Singapore were allowed to resume operations on 13 July, after what felt like decades of closure.

Even though we’re facing an outbreak of an entirely different variety, Singaporeans still flocked to the cinemas to catch the latest films.

There are some safe distancing rules in place, of course.

While you can sit with your family and friends – limited to five people per group – strangers must be seated 1 metre apart, which means you won’t have to subtly battle for the armrest throughout the movie.


You’ll also have to keep your mask on at all times during the movie unless you’re stuffing food in your mouth or guzzling drinks.

Patrons are encouraged to buy tickets online, so long queues won’t form outside the cinema.

Image: IMDA

Enjoy your movie, but do so responsibly!

Now that you know about humans’ fascination with zombie-eating-people, you might as well just watch our video on how WiFi routers work and how you can make them fast even at home:

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