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S. Korean film market shrinks 2 yrs in row in 2021 amid protracted pandemic

All News 18:36 February 22, 2022

SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's filmmaking industry contracted for a second straight year in 2021 due mainly to the yearslong COVID-19 pandemic, government data showed Tuesday.

The aggregated revenues of the local film market, which includes domestic sales of movie tickets, and online releases and exports, reached 1.02 trillion won (US$855 million) last year, according to the data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

It is a slight on-year decrease from the previous year's 1.05 trillion won but marks a 60-percent plunge from 2.5 trillion won tallied in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

The total sales of movie tickets rose 14.5 percent on-year to 384.5 billion won last year, with the number of admissions edging up 1.7 percent on-year to 60.5 million. But the 2021 ticket sales accounted for 30.5 percent of those of 2019.

The portion of South Korean-made movies hit 30.1 percent in 2021, sinking below the 50 percent level for the first time in 11 years.

KOFIC said many big-budget homegrown movies have delayed their release schedules out of fears of the pandemic, while Hollywood blockbusters, including "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Eternals," hit Korean screens to fill the vacancy.

The average Korean person went to theaters 1.17 times in 2021, up slightly from the previous year's 1.15 but down sharply from 4.37 times tallied two years ago.

The KOFIC report also showed exports of Korean films tumbled 41.8 percent on-year to $48.6 million and sales of online releases contracted 15 percent on-year to 383.8 billion won last year.

This file photo taken Dec. 19, 2021, shows a movie theater in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This file photo taken Dec. 19, 2021, shows a movie theater in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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