The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) announced that admissions for local films went up 8.4% to 43.8 million in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

In total, the South Korean market stayed about the same with a 0.5% drop in admissions to 94.6 million and the same rate of decrease in gross box office to $663.9m year-on-year.

Local film market share went up 3.8% to 46.7%. Researchers attribute this to hits like A Violent Prosecutor and The Wailing while also noting a fall in “mid-level hits” and that more large-scale films are lined up for the second half of the year.

Foreign films accounted for 53.3% of the market with 50 million admissions. US films took up 90.9% of foreign film admissions, while European films accounted for 3.2% and Japanese films for 0.8%.

Fall in 3D/4D/IMAX

3D/4D/IMAX release admissions declined by a whopping 46.9% year-on-year to 2.62 million. Despite the number of 3D/4D/IMAX releases increasing from 70 to 74 titles compared to last year, relevant hits were “lacking” and films like Zootopia and Kungfu Panda 3 had more 2D screenings.

Rise in VOD

KOFIC researchers also noted the number of theatrical releases targeting the digital online market went up by 243 titles to reach 737 titles in the first half of the year.

They mainly attributed the increase to the growth of the digital online market, led by IPTV, with day-and-date releases on VOD and in theatres.

Of these, Korean releases went up from 96 titles to 155, with 82 films rated ‘18 and over’ and “many films of an erotic nature”.

When it came to foreign films, 582 titles were released in the first half of 2016, which was 184 more than in last year’s first half, with “Japanese erotic films taking up a large number.”

Korea Top Five (Jan-June 2016)


1. A Violent Prosecutor (Korea) Showbox – 9.71 million

2. Captain American: Civil War (US) Walt Disney Company Korea – 8.68 million

3. The Wailing (Korea) 20th Century Fox Korea – 6.86 million

4. Zootopia (US) Walt Disney Company Korea – 4.7 million

5. The Handmaiden (Korea) CJ E&M – 4.15 million