Following the success of anxiety ridden ‘Train to Busan’ in 2016 to the box office fanfar of $48 million USD, Korean director Yeon Sang-ho has returned in 2020 with its sequel ‘Train to Busan: Peninsula’. With his first night of the undead zombie movie, ‘Train to Busan’ receiving both critical and popular acclaim for its intense visuals and building plot, there were high hopes for Yeon Sang-ho’s second part. Set four years after the original outbreak, the film debuts as an instantly intriguing premise that allows for ‘Train to Busan: Peninsula’ to act as both a sequel and stand alone film for fans and audiences.
Box office release Korea
Released on July 15th, 2020 in South Korea, the film broke box office records for the year of 2020, producing over $2.4 million USD in its first day. The outstanding opening figures continued for its opening weekend when it went on to gross $4 million USD and helped IMAX total its first $1 Million USD global income for the weekend since MArch 2020 and the outbreak of COVID-19.
A disappointing spectacle
For all the film’s hype, it has gone on to receive relatively lacklustre reviews overall. Online movie review site Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of only 55% on their Tomatometer, although the Audience Score rated the film a little better at 67%. Elsewhere on the internet, movie review supposed authority Indiewire condemns the film: “At the end of a summer that we’ve all just been trying to survive, there’s definitely some fun to be found in a go-for-broke action saga that isn’t afraid to play around with the inhumanity that tends to follow a pandemic, but “Peninsula” is just another two hours of screaming at all the self-sabotage you see on your TV.”
Whether you agree or not, you’ll have to go see for yourself.