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South Korean films surge in 2011

South Korean films surge in 2011

By Patrick Frater

Mon, 23 January 2012, 07:35 AM (HKT)

Box Office News

Local-made films grabbed more than half of the South Korean box office last year, the first time in six years.

According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, South Korean films enjoyed a market share of 51.9% in 2011, up from 46.5% the previous year.

The numbers were attained despite the failure of a handful of very high profile and big budget South Korean films to do more than average business. But the ministry said that the number of local films able to achieve more than 4 million ticket sales grew from just two in 2010 to five, including War of the Arrows 최종병기 활 (2011) (pictured) and Sunny 써니 (2011), in 2011.

South Korean films regularly enjoyed more than half of their home box office market until 2006, the year in which the country halved its annual screen quota (the number of day in which cinemas must reserve for local films) from 146 to 73 per year.

However a causal link between the 2007-2010 box office drop by South Korean films and the removal of the quota has been hard to prove. Other factors, including a failure to adapt to market conditions, the challenge from 3-D and changing film funding conditions, may all have been at play. Exports of South Korean films also dropped after 2006.

Last year's resurgence also saw exports improve. The ministry indicated that overseas rights sales for South Korean films also increased 14% in 2011.

Korean Film Council (Kofic) 영화진흥위원회 is expected to provide detailed figures for 2011 after the Lunar New Year holiday.

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