Leading South Korean exhibitor CJ CGV has released statistics for the first half of the year, which place the market share of local films at 47.3%, the lowest since 2001 and down from 59.5% for the same period last year.

Local film market share in Seoul - traditionally lower than nationwide - was also at a low of 41.2%.

Cinemas saw 72 million admissions, 10.8% down on the same period last year, but higher than in other recent years.

Last year's first-half spike was due to huge hits such as record-breaker King And The Clown (1.1 million admissions), gangster comedy sequel My Boss, My Student (6.1 million) and Mission: Impossible III (5.7 million). In comparison, the first half of 2007 has seen 200 Pounds Beauty (6.2 million), Spider-Man 3 (4.9 million) and Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (4.9 million).

US studio films enjoyed a strong showing in the first half of this year, with Spider-Man 3, Pirates, Night At The Museum, Shrek The Third and 300 taking in 27.9% of total admissions.

Only two local films took in more than 3 million admissions: Voice Of A Murderer with 3.2 million and the period's top hit, comedy 200 Pounds Beauty. The latter opened in December 2006 and clocked up 6.2 million admissions, putting it at number eight in the all-time rankings. It is the only film to take in more than 5 million admissions so far this year.

Top 10 Films in South Korea by admissions (January-June 2007)
Title (Origin)DistributorAdmissions
1 200 Pounds Beauty (S Kor)Showbox6.3m
2 Spider-Man 3 (US)Sony/BVI Korea4.9m
3 Pirates Of The Caribbean: At ... (US)Sony/BVI Korea4.9m
4 Night At The Museum (US)20th Century Fox4.6m
5 Voice Of A Murderer (S Kor)CJ Entertainment3.2m
6 300 (US)Warner Brothers3.2m
7 Miracle On 1st Street (S Kor)CJ Entertainment2.7m
8 Shrek The Third (US)CJ Entertainment2.6m
9 Paradise Murdered (S Kor)MK Pictures2.3m
10 A Day For An Affair (S Kor)Cinema Service1.8m