Summer lovin': Korea sets new highs at b.o.

Local titles finish season strong

SEOUL -- South Korea's boxoffice enjoyed its strongest summer on record, up 4.7% from last year's record pace, according to figures released by CJ CGV, the nation's largest exhibitor.

From May to August, Korea recorded 63.98 million admissions (about $432 million), up from 61.12 million in 2006.

That record came thanks to an August that was the Korean boxoffice's strongest month ever, with 21.92 million admissions.

August saw two major domestic hits: CGI-heavy monster movie "D-War" and historical tragedy "May 18."

"D-War," distributed by Showbox, recorded 8.2 million admissions since its Aug. 1 release, making it the fifth-biggest grosser in Korean history. "D-War" is set for a Sept. 14 release in the U.S. by Freestyle Releasing, under the title "Dragon Wars."

"May 18," distributed by CJ Entertainment, had 4.9 million admissions in August and 7.0 million since its release on July 25, making it the eighth-biggest Korean movie ever.

Together, "D-War" and "May 18" spurred local films to claim 79.6% of the boxoffice in August.

Despite strong domestic film earnings, most of the summer's success was built on the strongest slate of Hollywood films in years. Korean films captured less than 30% of marketshare during the May-July period.