South Korea's box office hit a 30-year high in 2005, ratchetingup over 145 million admissions nationwide.

Multiplex chain CJ CGV'syear-end industry report puts admissions up 7.5% from 2004, bucking globaltrends and outdoing even CJ's own highest projections for the territory'sseventh year of box office growth.

Local films' market sharewas 59% nationwide, making 2005 the third year in a row that Korean films haveheld more than 50% of the local box office. In 2004, Korean films took a 59.3%market share and 53.7% in 2003.

Last year also marked Korea's fourth year with over 100 million admissions. CJCGV's report describes this as the second renaissance of the Korean film market,four decades after the heyday of Korean films in the mid-sixties when bothtotal box office and Korean films' market share reached peak levels.

Overcoming sluggishyear-on-year returns in the first half, admissions showed a 30% increasestarting in August compared to 2004. This followed the release of the year'snumber one hit Welcome To Dongmakgol,a heartwarming Korean War drama which sold more than 8 million tickets.

September Korean hits suchas comedy Marrying The Mafia 2 andtearjerker You Are My Sunshine weresoon followed by Harry Potter And TheGoblet Of Fire and local melodrama AllFor Love (see chart below for figures).

With the release ofmuch-anticipated blockbusters Typhoonand King Kong, along with a slew ofsmaller popular films, December alone clocked in with a 63.8% increase comparedto 2004, while the start of 2006 also looks promising.

The number of films thattook in more than 3 million admissions went up 200% to 12 in 2005, eight ofwhich were local films. The spread of box office admissions was evened outcompared to 2004, which saw two major blockbusters, Taegukgi and Silmido,account for more than 10 million admissions each.

Noting fantasy and actionfare from the US, CJ CGV's report also found that the five major US distributors increased their market share from 22.4%to 27.1% with summer blockbusters such as MrAnd Mrs Smith and The Island, alongwith the colder season's King Kongand Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.Warner Brothers topped the US majors with the latter film and The Island both bringing in more than 3.5 million admissions.

The continuing practice of US studio films receiving 50% of box office profitswhile domestic films get only 40% was an issue brought up by prominent localproducers last year, in a demand that multiplexes even out the profit-sharingscheme.

Korea 2005 box office (admissions):

Top 10 Films
1. Welcome To Dongmakgol (Korea) Aug 4 (Showbox) 8,003,000
2. Marry The Mafia 2 (Korea) Sep 5 (Showbox) 5,663,000
3. Marathon (Korea) Jan 27 (Showbox) 5,180,000
4. Another Public Enemy (Korea) Jan 27 (Cinema Service) 3,912,000
5. Typhoon (Korea) Dec 14 (CJ Entertainment) 3,700,000
6. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (US)Nov 30 (Warner Bros) 3,668,000
7. SympathyFor Lady Vengeance (Korea) July 28 (CJ Ent) 3,564,000
8. Mr And Mrs Smith (US) June 16 (20thCentury Fox) 3,541,000
9. The Island (US) July 21(Warner Bros.) 3,521,000
10. War Of The Worlds (US) July 6 (UIP) 3,224,000

Top 10 Korean Films
1. Welcome To Dongmakgol - Aug 4 (Showbox) 8,003,000
2. Marrying The Mafia 2 - Sep 5(Showbox) 5,663,000
3. Marathon - Jan 27 (Showbox) 5,180,000
4. Another Public Enemy - Jan 27 (CinemaService) 3,912,000
5. Typhoon- Dec 14 (CJ Ent) 3,700,000
6. SympathyFor Lady Vengeance - July 28 (CJ Ent) 3,564,000
7. You Are My Sunshine -Sep 22 (CJ Ent) 3,079,000
8. Mapado -March 11 (CJ Ent) 3,026,000
9. All ForLove - Oct 6 (CJ Ent) 2,565,000
10. The Big Scene - Aug 11(Cinema Service) 2,475,000

Top 10 Foreign Films
1. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (US)Nov 5 (Warner Bros) 3,668,000
2. Mr AndMrs Smith (US) June16 (20th Century Fox) 3,541,000
3. The Island (US) July 21(Warner Bros.) 3,521,000
4. War Of The Worlds (US) July 7 (UIP)3,224,000
5. King Kong(US) Dec 14 (UIP) 2,903,000
6. Constantine(US) Feb 8 (Warner Bros) 1,825,000
7. Howl'sMoving Castle (Japan) Dec 23 (Cinema Service) 1,749,000
8. Star Wars Episode III (US) May 26 (20th Century Fox) 1,675,000
9. Madagascar (US) July 14 (CJ Ent) 1,590,000
10. Kingdom Of Heaven (US) May 4 (20th Century Fox) 1,481,000