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Domestic movies see 15 pct decrease at box office this year

All Headlines 14:34 March 06, 2009

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- Amid a flood of new Hollywood and Chinese releases, ticket sales for South Korean movies decreased by nearly 15 percent nationwide in the first two months of this year compared with 2008, a local report said Friday.

While the overall number of moviegoers increased by 7 percent in the two-month period, only about 13 million people came to see local films, a decrease of 14.9 percent from 2008, according to the Korea Film Council data.

The market share of domestic movies also plunged by about 12 percentage points, hitting 48 percent from 60 percent last year. The market share of local films had been steadily increasing since 2002, hitting a record high of 64.9 percent in 2006.

Independent documentary "Old Partner" and comedy "City of Damnation" were the only two domestic films to top the 1 million viewer mark, while Chinese film "Red Cliff 2" drew 2.7 million viewers and Hollywood's "Valkyrie" drew 1.8 million.

The popularity of domestic movies also took a downturn, the report said.

About 40 percent of respondents said they favored watching domestic movies, compared to 50 percent who said they preferred Hollywood films. South Koreans had favored locally made films over foreign ones for seven consecutive years since 2001.

hayney@yna.co.kr
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