acecountimg

Expand your search auto-complete function

NEWS & REPORTS

  1. Korean Film News
  2. KOFIC News
  3. K-CINEMA LIBRARY
  4. Features
  5. Interview
  6. Location
  7. Post Call for Submissions
  • find news
  • find news searchKeyword
    find search button
See Your Schedule
please enter your email address
find search button
Ko - production in Busan
  • Audience Decreasing, But Varied Platforms
  • by LEE Hyung-seok /  May 09, 2011
  • The Korean film industry has undergone an overall recession and depression due to the decreasing number of audience last year. Especially, if compared to the growth of Japan and China film industries in 2010, the recession of the Korean film industry is relatively prominent. The biggest hit film of 2010 was <The Man from Nowhere> and the box office result of the film was about 6.18 million which was merely half compared to the No. 1 movie of 2009, <Haeundae>. In fact, the total number of the audience members in 2010 dropped to fewer than 150 billion for the first time since 2005 and it resulted in a 6.5% drop compared to the previous year. However, due to an increased ticket price and a recent trend of 3D movies with a higher ticket price, theater sales last year was a record breaking year ever in the film industry.
     
    However, the Korean film industry has shown potentials and varied platforms in the last year. As production cost of Korean films has been streamlined, the rate of return has improved and good return for investors. In addition, the ancillary market, replaced the home video market, has been revitalized with increasing profits from new windows such as internet downloads, IPTV and mobile service. The export of Korean films’ has remained steady, but CG, special make-up and special effect services have explosively expanded its businesses into foreign countries. 
     
    With industrial and economic indexes, the most noticeable phenomenon last year was that popular genre and the contents of Korean film have changed. As represented by a controversy in ratings for <I Saw the Devil>, films, featured with sex and violence, have been relatively dominant last year. Meanwhile, in 2011, conventional genre films, such as soft action, comedy and drama, are currently taking over the Korean box office.
     

    Audience and Number of Watching Films Decreasing
     
    Among the industrial indexes, the steadily decreasing number of audiences has been the most noticeable change in 2010 and in the first quarter of 2011. The number of audiences in 2010 was 146.81 million with a 6.5% drop, compared to 156.96 million in 2009. The number of audiences in the first quarter of 2011 has been 34.31 million so far, which is a 10.2% drop, compared to the first quarter of 2010. However, the total theater sales in 2010 were US$1.07 billion (1.1501 trillion KRW) with a 5.1% increase compared to total theater sales last year. The increasing theater sales have been possible due to an increased ticket price as of July 2009 and an increasing number of 3D movies. The ticket prices of 3D films are nearly double, the number of 3D films released in 2010 were 26 and it drew 16.77 million audiences, which was a 11.4% of the total audience. The theater sales amount from 3D films was US$178 million (190 billion KRW) with a 16.5% share in total sales.
     
    But, the number of audiences and theater sales in the first quarter of 2011 dropped at the same time. A decreasing number of audiences has created an increasing rate of average admission fee and resulted in a 12.6 drop in total sales, compared to 2010. This indicates that the phenomenon of an increasing sales amount in 2010, led by the hit of <Avatar>, should be considered as a temporary blip. Therefore, if there is no big hit film or another turning point, a phenomenon of decreasing number of audiences and theater sales is expected to continue. 
     
    In addition, another meaningful index for the film industry is a drop in the number of people watching film per capita. The average number of people watching film per capita was 2.92 in 2010 which dropped to under 3.00 for the first time since 2005.
     

    Improved Earning Rate and Services Expanding to Foreign Markets
     
    The market share of Korean films was 46.5% in 2010, which was similar to Hollywood movies with 47.3%. With the success of <Detective K>, the Number 1 hit film in the first quarter of 2011 and other Korean films; the market share of Korean films was up to 56.3%, while American films dropped to 38.9%.
    Maintaining a 50% of the market share and an improved earning rate could provide the Korean film industry with more opportunities to secure a stable investment and production system. The rate of return for Korean films in 2010 was -8%, which improved from a -13.1% rate in 2009. Compared to the worst rate of -43.5% in 2008, the recent increased rates of return for Korean films show that the Korean film industry has been revitalized.
     
    With the replacement of the home video market in the mid-2000s, the VOD market based on mobile and internet data is a sign how the industry was revitalized. A legal download service through internet portal sites, web storage service, and VOD service using IPTV has emerged as a new window in the secondary market. 10-15% of download services through portal sites accounted for the entire online VOD market. For example, Daum, had a slow year in 2009 but a huge increase in 2010 with an increase of nearly 600% in average monthly sales. The growth of IPTV is noticeable. Since the launched of VOD service in 2007, the size has been doubling every year.
     
    Meanwhile, the export of Korean films has expanded to the service fields. The export of Korean films in 2010 was US$13.58 million, which was almost the same as the previous year, but the sales figures of the service fields were double at US$28.63 million. The service fields include CG, VFX, 3D converting, editing, special make-up, special effect, stunt and sound mixing.
     

    Changes in Popular Genre and 2011 Outlook
     
    There has been a change found in what audiences want and what genre is popular so it is expected to have a certain effect on the economic and industrial sectors. In 2010, rated R movies featured with sex and violence, such as <The Man from Nowhere>, <Moss> and <The Servant>, were dominant in the box office which resulted in an increase of rated R movies from 26 in 2009, to 41 in 2010.
     
    Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2011, action, romance and comedy films took over the box office with such films as <Detective K>, <Clash of the Families>, <Late Blossom>, and <Glove>.
     
    With the comeback of soft genre in the market, a series of Korean blockbuster movies, are to be released during the summer this year and the second half of this year, is expected to bring in strong numbers into the Korean box office. The box office results of the films, being made with a much higher average cost of production of US$9.4-18.7 million (10 billion to 30 billion KRW), such as <Sector 7>, <Quick>, <Tower>, <My Way>, <The Front Line>, and <The Professionals>, will determine the future of the Korean film industry for next couple of years. 
  • Any copying, republication or redistribution of KOFIC's content is prohibited without prior consent of KOFIC.
 
  • Comment
 
listbutton