Korean Box Office Cracks $1 Billion in 2010

Admissions were down almost 10 percent despite a 6.5 percent rise in revenue.

SEOUL – The Korean box office cracked $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 2010, despite a drop in overall theater admissions due to higher ticket costs for multiplex theaters and 3D films, according to an annual report by the Korean Film Council.

Despite the overall drop in admissions, theater revenue rose by 6.5 percent, from 1.078 trillion won ($959.4 million) in 2009 to 1.15 trillion won ($1.02 billion). Twenty-six 3D films sold 16.77 million tickets and made 189 billion won last year, taking 11.4 percent of total admissions.

Admissions for Korean films dropped by 9.6 percent in 2010. Analysts at KOFIC predicted the higher ticket costs for multiplex theaters, which rose from 6,970 won ($6) to 7,834 won.

CJ Entertainment had the highest market share among the distributors at 27.8 percent, followed by 20th Century Fox at 10.9 percent and Lotte Entertainment at 10.6 percent. Showbox, which came in second in 2008, came in seventh at 6.8 percent. 

The overall production budget of Korean films was estimated at 383 billion won, up 9.5 billion won from the previous year.

Only 21 out of the 123 included Korean films broke even, up 4.1 percent from 2009.