Korean movies' box-office slump continues in March
SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Korean movies continued to grapple with weak ticket sales and audience numbers in local theaters in March due to a lack of hit films, industry data showed Tuesday.
Korean films' sales and share of the total audience stood at 26.8 percent and 25.1 percent of the domestic box office, respectively, last month, according to the data compiled by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).
The shares were the lowest ever for March since the KOFIC began compiling box-office data in 2004, except for the 2020-2022 period, when the movie industry was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Korean movies drew 1.87 million moviegoers last month, accounting for about 30 percent of the tally posted in March 2019.
Their ticket sales stood at 21.5 billion won (US$16.2 million) this March, taking up 40.2 percent compared with four years earlier.
The KOFIC attributed the slump to a lack of hit Korean movies, as the political drama "The Devil's Deal" garnered 750,000 admissions, well below expectations. Other low-budget movies, "Woong Nam," "Soul Mate" and "My Heart Puppy," posted lackluster sales as well.
Meanwhile, foreign movies posted stronger performances than their Korean counterparts, posting 58.6 billion won in sales and 5.6 million admissions.
The Japanese animated film "Suzume" topped the box office last month, while "The Devil's Deal" and another Japanese animation, "The First Slam Dunk," took the second and third places, respectively.
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