Wednesday, January 09, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, January 8 2008] Movie Audiences Decline for 1st Time in 12 Yrs

Korean movie theaters saw their audience numbers fall last year for the first time in 12 years. According to a report on the film industry in 2007 by multiplex chain CJ CGV on Monday, the number of moviegoers declined by 9.2 million or 5.5 percent to 157.5 million in 2007 from 166.7 million in 2006.

This is the first time that the total number of viewers has fallen since 1996, when the figure dropped by 6.5 percent from the previous year.

The biggest reason for the decline is believed to be the quantitative and qualitative stagnation of the Korean film industry, but there are concerns that the theater business itself may have reached a saturation point.

The report said that some 20 million more viewers watched foreign movies in 2007 than in 2006, while the audience for Korean movies decreased by around 27 million.

Korean movies occupied 50.8 percent of the total market in 2007, a fall from 64.7 percent in 2006 and the lowest level since 2002 (48.3 percent).

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