Culture Ministry to give 17 billion won to help boost movie industry

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Culture Ministry to give 17 billion won to help boost movie industry

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Tuesday that it will be injecting 17 billion won ($13.8 million) into the film industry to help cinemas and filmmakers struggling from the coronavirus outbreak.

Movie ticket sales hit an all-time low in March, as a total of 1.83 million people went to theaters to watch movies over the month, a 87.5 percent drop from 14.7 million moviegoers in March last year, according to the Korean Film Council. It was the lowest monthly count of moviegoers since the council started keeping count in 2004.

The Culture Ministry said Tuesday that it also reduced the annual fee that theaters pay to the council, from 3 percent of ticket sales to 0.3 percent.

For filmmakers affected by the outbreak, the ministry said it will provide up to 100 million won per movie and that some 700 staff members in the film industry said to be unemployed because of disruptions due to the outbreak will be supported with government-sponsored training.

The ministry said it will also be supporting theaters so that they can provide discounted tickets.

By Esther Chung
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