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Korean Film News
First half of 2012 sees record 83 million admissions in Korea
Jul 11, 2012
The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) recently released official box office statistics for the first half of 2012, revealing that its 82.7 million admissions set a record for biannual ticket sales. This is a whopping 21% increase from 2011’s first half numbers. The previous record was just over 71 million admissions, which was set during the first half of 2006, the first year such statistics were officially kept.
Domestic productions accounted for the majority of these admissions, with Korean films nabbing seven spots on the top ten list thus far. While <The Avengers> took first place with just over 7 million admissions, <Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time>, <All About My Wife>, <Architecture 101>, <Dancing Queen> and <Unbowed> all followed with 3.4-4.7 million admissions each. <Men in Black 3> and <Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol> were in seventh and eighth place, respectively, with Korean features <Helpless> and <The Concubine> closing out the list at roughly 2.5 million admissions each.
Overall, this amounted to Korean films accounting for 53.5% of the total first half box office gross of KRW 639 billion (USD $561 million). US films came in second with 41.3% followed by European films with 3.6%, Japanese films 0.7% and Chinese films 0.3%. Of the same first half gross, CJ E&M topped all distributors with 21.5%, followed by Sony Pictures Buena Vista International Korea (18.1%), Lotte Entertainment (16%), N.E.W. (14.1%) and Showbox Mediaplex (9.4%).
KOFIC noted that middle-aged moviegoers have been particularly prevalent in 2012. That nearly all of the Korean films populating the top ten list thus far have older casts and/or nostalgic settings has been duly addressed by critics both domestic and international. <Nameless Gangster>, for example, is concerned with a period of government reform during the military rule of the 1980’s and 1990’s, and <Architecture 101> jumps back and forth between a couple’s college romance in early 1990’s and their surprise reunion in the present day.