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Cinema Attendance Shrinks in Korea as Foreign Movies Lag

2011/03/10 Source

The number of moviegoers dropped by four million in January and February from the same period last year, but domestic films dominated the box office while foreign movies struggled.

According to the Korean Film Council on Monday, 25.7 million movie tickets were sold in the two month period, compared to 29.77 million a year ago when blockbusters including "Avatar", "JEON WOO CHI : The Taoist Wizard", and "Secret Reunion" packed cinemas.

But Korean films continued to draw big audiences, grabbing 63 percent of the market with 8.48 million viewers in February. The figure is up by 520,000 from January and 900,000 from a year earlier, and nearly double the 4.98 million of foreign films last month.

The rise seems to be mainly due to Korean movies like "Detective K" and "Battlefield Heroes", which held the top spots at the monthly box office chart.

The overall drop in sales is attributable to the slump among foreign films since January. Except for "Gulliver's Travels" which opened during the Lunar New Year holidays and attracted 1.73 million moviegoers, no foreign films have surpassed the one million mark so far this year, in stark contrast to last year when "Avatar" swept the nation.

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