Local films take record share of the domestic box office

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Local films take record share of the domestic box office

Audience share for local films from July 1 to 23 hit 82.8 percent in part due to the release of the long-awaited zombie blockbuster "Peninsula." [YONHAP]

Audience share for local films from July 1 to 23 hit 82.8 percent in part due to the release of the long-awaited zombie blockbuster "Peninsula." [YONHAP]

 
Korean films are capturing a record percentage of the domestic box office as Covid-19 weakens the foreign competition and as local blockbusters, such as "Peninsula," attract significant interest.  
 
In the first half, Korean films had a 61.7 percent share of the market, the most since the Korean Film Council started compiling the statistic in 2004.
 
American films did poorly, losing 13.7 percentage points to 31.2 percent. The council said that this was largely due to the outbreak in the United States.  
 
European films picked up some of the slack, with 236 of its films screening in Korea in the first half — 99 of them new releases — up from 128 films in the same period last year.
 
The surge was in part due to local cinemas holding special screenings of European films from March to May.
 
In January, 14 new local films were released, equivalent to last year’s, but the number fell to 10 in February and seven in March. In February and March of 2019, a total of 11 films were premiered in each month. In April 2020, 12 new films premiered, compared to 18 in April 2019, and 14 new films were premiered May 2020, compared to 21 in May 2019.
 
As the number of local films began to surge from June, the audience share jumped to 72.1 percent. The number of new releases for June was 12, three more than in June 2019.  
 
The organization forecasts the latter half of the year remaining much the same, as Hollywood blockbusters such as Disney live-action film “Mulan” and Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” are delayed to 2021.  
 
For local films, the audience share increased to 82.8 percent in the July 1 to 23 period due to the release of long-awaited zombie blockbuster “Peninsula.”  
 
BY LEE JAE-LIM   [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]
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