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Winners in 2011

‘Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon,’ ‘Jekyll & Hyde,’ Super Junior top their genres


Although bestsellers aren’t necessarily the most superior or well-made ― especially when it comes to the diverse culture sector ― sales performance is nevertheless an important barometer of public opinion.

Despite the lingering impact of the economic downturn and inflation, more Koreans were willing to open their wallets to go to concerts and the movies, and buy books and records, year-end statistics show, with overall sales in the cultural sector increasing compared to last year.

Sales in the theater sector did especially well compared to the previous year, with ticket sales for “Jekyll & Hyde,” the most popular musical of the year, totaling some 1.5 times sales for the No.1 show in 2010.

Females authors continued to boast their power in the publication department, while weekday home dramas again topped the viewership backed by faithful housewife fans.

Idol groups leading the world-widening K-pop fever also did well at home, topping record sales of the year. 
Musical “Jekyll & Hyde”
Musical “Jekyll & Hyde”

Musical “Jekyll & Hyde”

“Jekyll & Hyde” set a new record for musicals this year, with ticket sales totaling 27.5 billion won. Tickets for the musical, based on the novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, went on sale from Nov. 30, 2010 to Aug. 28 2011. With top star Cho Seung-woo playing the main character, the musical saw more than 90 percent of the seats filled at each performance. 
Film “Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon”
Film “Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon”

Film “Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon”

“Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon,” a period action drama co-starring Park Hae-il and Ryu Seung-Ryong, topped the sales for Korean movies, drawing some 7.46 million viewers to the cinemas with ticket sales totaling 55.7 billion won. “Transformer 3: The Dark side of the Moon” topped the foreign movie sector by drawing 7.79 million viewers.

TV drama “Smile, Dong-hae”

Weekday drama “Smile, Dong-hae,” which aired on KBS1 from October 2009 through May 13 this year, was the favorite TV drama of the year with an average viewership of 36.4 percent. The drama, which portrayed main character Dong-hae’s search for his birth father and love, drew many housewives to the television at 8:30 p.m. each night. 
Play “Urfaust”
Play “Urfaust”

Play “Urfaust”

“Urfaust,” which had invited a foreign director to stage Goethe’s famous novel, topped ticket sales for plays, totaling 270 million won. The play, directed by David Bosch from Germany, earned popularity among the general public with a light-hearted adaptation of the original version of Goethe’s masterpiece “Faust.”

Classical concert “Summer Classics”

The series of concerts by the Seoul Metropolitan Youth Orchestra to present educational performances for students have been gaining more popularity each year. This year’s show topped the classical concert sector, again proving its brand power. The orchestra, consisting of university students majoring in classical music, has been holding an annual summer classic series since 2008. Ticket sales totaled 120 million won with up to 96 percent of tickets sold at each of the three performances. 
Record “Super Junior: Mr. Simple”
Record “Super Junior: Mr. Simple”

Records “Super Junior: Mr. Simple”

The fifth album by SM Entertainment’s popular boy band topped the records sector with some 339,700 albums being sold since it hit the racks in August this year. The third album by Girls’ Generation, “The Boys” also produced by SM Entertainment, was the second most popular album of the year. 
Book “The Crucible”
Book “The Crucible”

Books “The Crucible” by Gong Ji-young

The novel by renowned Korean author Gong Ji-young became the bestselling book of the year, with more than 500,000 copies being sold. Popularity of the movie “The Silenced,” based on the book, appears to have played a large role in making the book a bestseller. Shin Kyung-sook’s widely-read novel “Please Look After Mom” followed, selling some 450,000 copies this year.

By Shin Hae-in (hayney@heraldcorp.com)
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