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Posted : 2013-12-18 11:34
Updated : 2013-12-18 11:34

No. of moviegoers to surpass 200 million



The annual number of admissions to local theaters is expected to top 200 million on Wednesday for the first time, a market tracker said.

According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) that tracks box-office sales, both Korean and foreign films have attracted more than 199.97 million people through midnight Tuesday.

The 200-million mark, if achieved, is a milestone in the history of Korea's movie industry. Given that an average of 300,000 movie tickets are sold a day, the annual figure is sure to surpass 200 million on Wednesday.

Their combined sales are currently tallied at 1.45 trillion won (US$1.37 billion) and are expected to easily top 1.5 trillion won by the end of this year as several much-talked-about films are waiting for their turns to be shown.

Behind the milestone is the popularity of Korean films that attracted a record-breaking 118.16 million locals so far this year to the box office, breaking the 100 million mark for the second straight year.

This year, eight homegrown films surpassed the 5 million admissions mark, which is considered a big commercial success for average-budget films.

They include "Miracle in Cell No. 7" that brought in the year's largest audience of 12.81 million, "Snowpiercer" (9.34 million) and "The Face Reader" (9.13 million). "The Berlin File" (7.16 million), "Secretly, Greatly" (6.95 million), "Hide and Seek" (5.6 million), "The Terror Live" (5.57 million) and "Cold Eyes" (5.5 million) are also among the eight. In comparison, only three films, including "The Thieves" hit the milestone last year.

Also eight of the 10 best-selling films in South Korea were homegrown movies, accounting for 59.2 percent of the local box-office sales. The only two non-Korean films on the top 10 list were "Iron Man 3" and "World War Z."

On the forefront of the 200-million moviegoers were those in their 20s and 30s with the age group making up more than half of the movie-going population, according to data from CJ CGV.

Shadowing the success of local cinemas is the widening gap between box-office hits and small-budget films.

The top 10 movies made up 38.7 percent of the total box-office sales and the share goes up to 56 percent when the top 20 films are included, according to the KOFIC data. The top 20 movies account for only 2.4 percent of all films that opened this year. (Yonhap)


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