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'Black Widow' hits No. 1 in presale tickets ahead of local premier

This image provided by Walt Disney Company Korea shows a scene from
This image provided by Walt Disney Company Korea shows a scene from "Black Widow." (Walt Disney Company Korea)
The upcoming superhero film "Black Widow" is expected to smash the virus-hit South Korean box office, with its presale tickets reaching a fresh yearly high, data showed Tuesday.

Marvel Studios' latest film recorded 218,000 presold tickets as of 9:00 a.m. a day before its local release, according to the data by the Korean Film Council.

It accounted for 84.2 percent of all tickets reserved at that time, overwhelming Disney's live-action film "Cruella" with 3.4 percent and Korean actioner "Hard Hit" with 2 percent.

The film's figures also outnumber those of "F9," the latest chapter in the "Fast and Furious" series, which posted 160,000 presale tickets, 77 percent of all tickets reserved on the eve of its release on May 19. "F9" was the most-watched film in the first half of 2021 here, drawing over 2.28 moviegoers.

"Black Widow," which was originally scheduled to be released in May last year, follows Natasha Romanoff, played by Scarlett Johansson, who is forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy and has to deal with her past long before she became an Avenger.

Hopes are high that Marvel's first title since the COVID-19 pandemic will jumpstart the film industry, which has been showing some signs of recovery after a yearlong slump.

The number of monthly moviegoers has been on a rise in the recent three months as 4.9 million people went to theaters in June, marking the most in 10 months.

South Korea is famous for its love for superhero movies, as many Marvel franchises have topped the local box office, including "Avengers: Endgame" (2019), which is the largest foreign movie hit in the country with 13.9 million attendees. (Yonhap)