Cinema earnings reached an all-time high in the third quarter thanks to higher ticket prices and a passel of hit Korean movies. The Korean Film Council said Monday that cinemas nationwide took in more than W328.7 billion (US$1=W1,174) in sales in the quarter, breaking the previous record of nearly W327.7 billion in the third quarter of 2007. Some 46.04 million people flocked to movie theaters between July and September, the second largest quarterly audience since 51.28 million two years ago.
Sales were higher than in Q3 of 2007 despite the smaller number of moviegoers because ticket prices went up. The nation's top three cinema chains -- Mega Box, Lotte Cinema and CGV -- raised prices in late June by W1,000 from W7,000 for weekdays and W8,000 for weekends.
The film council attributes the record-breaking sales to a popular slate of domestic movies. The summer blockbusters "Haeundae"
and "Take Off"
together drew nearly 20 million movie watchers, and six other Korean films were among the top 10 most popular in the quarter, including "Chaw"
and "Bronze Medalist"
. Of the quarter's total audience, more than 61 percent watched Korean films.
Movie theaters have earned W805.3 billion so far this year. The council predicts that sales will top W1 trillion by year's end if the industry continues to supply appealing films over the remaining three months.