South Korea's current local box office hit, Joint Security Area (JSA), has attracted 1.875 million admissions in Seoul and over 4.1 million admissions across the country since its release on September 9.
Set in one of the most militarised frontiers in the world, the film tells of the friendship between a couple of North and South Korean soldiers. It is written and directed by Chan-Wook Park.
In Seoul, JSA has now overtaken all other local films released since January 1998, except Shiri, which recorded nearly 2.5 million admissions in Seoul during 1999. This compares to 2 million admissions earned by 1998 box office hit Titanic. The top US film in 1998 was The Mummy with 1.1 million admissions, about the same as Mission Impossible 2 and Gladiator this year.
Considerably helped by screen quotas, Korea's local share has ranged throughout the decade from 15% up to a high of 36% last year. However accurate national figures are notoriously hard to access in Korea, although the situation is now improving,
Top 10 Korean films in Seoul (Jan 1998 - June 2000)
Film (Year) Distrib Total admissions
Shiri (1999) Kang Je-Gyu Film 2,448,400
Joint Security Area (2000) CJ Entertainment 1,875,000
Attack The Gas Station (1999) Cinerock Pictures 905,000
The Foul King (2000) Bomfilm 817,000
Tell Me Something (1999) Koo & C Film Co 685,900
Nowhere To Hide (1999) Taewon Entertainment 664,900
A Promise (1998) Shincine 661,200
Whispering Corridors (1998) Cine2000 621,000
Happy End (1999) Samyeong Film 506,700
Christmas In August (1998) UNO Films 422,900
Source: Korean Film Commission