Exhuma has biggest box office opening in 2024 so far – can it beat last year’s 12.12: The Day for ticket sales?

If you have already seen the trailer for the Korean supernatural horror film Exhuma, you probably won’t be surprised to hear the news Exhuma had South Korea’s biggest box office opening of 2024 so far.

Because, man that movie looks good.

The film, also known as Pamyo in Korean, was released in Korean movie theaters on 2,086 screens on Thursday, February 22nd.

By February 25th, according to the Korean Film Council, Exhuma had sold 2 million tickets.

That means just four days after it opened in movie theaters.

The horror movie also topped last weekend’s box office numbers (February 23rd to 25th), earning a weekend gross of $14,455,880 from 1,963,577 viewers.

By the end of February 25th, Exhuma‘s total gross since release was US$16,820,195 and counting.


Exhuma beating last year’s hit 12.12: The Day so far

Exhuma is also selling tickets at a much faster pace than last year’s film 12.12: The Day did when it first opened, as that film had a slow start before taking off to become 2023’s most successful movie.

Meanwhile, Exhuma reached the 1 million admissions  a day earlier than 12.12: The Day.

Whether that momentum can continue, however, we will have to wait and see.

I tend to doubt it as, in my opinion, the subject matter of 12.12: The Day (the 1979 military coup that changed Korea forever) has more longevity than that of the horror film.

Exhuma praised for actors’ performances

While Exhuma is being mostly positively reviewed for its plot and “super-realistic detailed scenes depicting Korean shamanism”, both critics and moviegoers are also commenting positively on the actors’ performances.

The Korea Herald’s Lee Yoon Seo, for instance, compliments the cast on

strong performances (that) add to the immersive experience.

She particularly points out Kim Go Eun who plays exorcist Hwa Rim, saying

she delivers a memorable performance…. captivating the audience with her terror-inducing songs, oracles and prayers.

The reviewer, however, was more critical about the plot saying the two arcs it contains felt like two different stories stitched together.

Where to watch Exhuma

Exhuma stars Choi Min Sik, Kim Go Eun, Yoo Hae Jin and Lee Do Hyun, and follows the mysterious events affecting a geomancer, an undertaker and a pair of shamans after they exhume the grave of an ancestor from a wealthy family for a large sum of money.

So far, it has only seen a release in South Korea, with dates announced in other Asian countries — Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand — for February and March.

Unfortunately, South Korean films don’t often get a release in Europe or North America, so you may have to wait for it to be picked up by a streaming service before you can legally watch it.

We will keep you informed if that changes.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I'm also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!