Korea's October b.o. plunges from year ago

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SEOUL -- South Korea's October boxoffice declined a dramatic 33% compared with October 2006, according to the latest report by CJ CGV, the nation's largest multiplex chain.

Nationwide attendance dropped to 9.48 million in October, way down from 2006's record-setting 14.2 million and down slightly from 2005's 10.9 million.

The largest single reason for the October decline is because Korea's autumnal holiday of Chuseok, a major moviegoing season, occurred in September this year, shifting many admissions ahead several weeks compared with last year.

With the October drop-off, year-to-date boxoffice is down 5.8% to 132.76 million admissions, although it's still up over 11% from 2005.

Although overall boxoffice was weak, local films remain strong, accounting for 62.9% of admissions in October, with domestic movies making up seven of the top 10 films.

The biggest movie of the month was CJ Entertainment's "Going by the Book," about a police officer who tries to infiltrate a gang of bank robbers, with 1.38 million admissions (about $9.5 million), followed by the Showbox-distributed "Happiness" with 1.23 million admissions and Cinema Service's "Shadows in the Palace" with 1.17 million.

The biggest foreign film was "Rush Hour 3," distributed locally by CJ Entertainment, with 744,000 admissions.

All 10 of the top films were distributed by local companies.

Year-to-date, domestic movies have made up 52.3% of the boxoffice.
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