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Korean Movies Reeling in Audiences

2003/12/04 Source

by Park Don-kyu

The Korean Film Commission (KFC) said Thursday that of the 3.35 million moviegoers in October, approximately 2.35 million went to watch local films, recording a 70.2 percent market share. The percentage would be considered high in any country, although Korean films did report an especially high market share around the Chuseok festival season, from September to November.
Korean films' market share from January to October this year averaged 49.97 percent, an increase from the 45 percent recorded last year. Kim Mi-hyun, from the KFC, said if this trend keeps up, the market share of local films might surpass the record high of 50.1 percent, set in 2001.

The increased market share could be attributed to the opening of blockbusters such as "Oh! Brothers" in September and "Untold Scandal", "Hwangsanbul", and "The Greatest Expectation" in October. Another reason could be that there were few foreign films to compete with.

Local films had an average market share of 20.9 percent until 1995; the percentage increased to 25.5 percent in 1997. With the first Korean blockbuster, "Shiri", in 1999, the market shared rose to 39.7 percent. Followed by the hits "Friend" and "My Wife is a Gangster" in 2001, the market share jumped to 50.1 percent, but fell slightly to 48.3 percent in 2002. According to the KFC, Korea is the only country, apart from the United States (95 percent) and India (97 percent), where the local film industry's market share exceeds 50 percent. The French and Japanese local film industries maintain a market share of around 30 percent

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