South Korea’s film industry saw its accumulative revenue this year surpass 1 trillion won ($767 million) for the first time after movie theaters struggled to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to data by Korean Film Council, total revenue from January to November recorded 1.26 trillion won, mostly buoyed by a slew of movies that were released targeting moviegoers during the summer and Chuseok holiday season.
Such figure was up by 100.5 percent or 502.5 billion won compared to a year ago.
Action comedy sequel “The Roundup” which opened in May was the first movie to reach 10 million admissions since the onset of the pandemic with an accumulated 12.6 million tickets.
Action sequel “Confidential Assignment 2: International,” released in September, entered the 6 million ticket sales club this year. “Hansan: Rising Dragon,” which was released in July, attracted 7 million people.
“Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to the 1980s blockbuster starring Tom Cruise, was also a hit at the local box office, selling more than 8 million admissions.
Over the past 11 months, a total of 98.6 million moviegoers visited local cinemas, up by 89.6 percent, over the same period last year, when 46.6 million tickets were sold. It was at 48.3 percent level compared to pre-pandemic time in 2019.
For Korean movies alone, its accumulated revenue from January to November came at 578 billion won, a 254.7 percent increase from a year ago. It reached 66.2 percent level compared to 2019.
In November, Marvel blockbuster sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” raked 21.5 billion won in gross revenue, followed by the South Korean period thriller “The Night Owl” and thriller “Decibel”. Among indie films, American action film “Everything Everywhere All At Once” earned 170 million won.
Local theaters are hoping the box office records will get a year-end boost with a slew of new releases in December, from the much-anticipated James Cameron blockbuster “Avatar: The Way of Water” to South Korea’s first ever musical-to-screen movie “Hero.”