Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The 80 Percent Solution

Well, it looks like we have the CJ CGV monthly box office report for October. The big news -- once again, Korean films topped 80% of the box office. That makes three months in a row that Korean movies have done so well, by far the strongest quarter they have ever had. Four out of 10 months for the year, too.

(Actually, I am not exactly sure about August. I do not have CGV's August report, and according to the Korea Film Council, local movies took in 77.2% of theatrical revenues in August. But CGV routinely reports slightly better numbers for Korean films. KOFIC uses a fancy computerized system so is more accurate, however it does not use every theater in the nation. In fact, the weekly and monthly reports only look at Seoul data, and Korean films tend to be even more popular outside of the nation's capital. Point being, even if Korean movies fell below the 80% level in August, they were at least extremely close).

The important part of such a strong and extended run, in my humble opinion, is how so many different films have carried the industry since August. In August, the big film was THE HOST. In September, you had MAUNDY THURSDAY and MARRYING THE MAFIA 3. In October it was TAZZA. All very different kinds of films, appealing to different audiences. Hopefully this will inspire the nation's producers, investors and other bigwigs to take more chances in the future and continue to press for diversity...

I will not be holding my breath.

Other good news in the report -- with 14.11 million tickets sold, this October was the strongest in the modern era. You can think the Chuseok holidays for the boost.

As of Oct. 31, Korean movies have accounted for 61.9% of the box office, and considering local films usually end the year strongly, there is a strong chance they will end the year over 60% for the first time.

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