Leading South Korean exhibitor CJ CGV has announced its year-end statistics for 2007, with nationwide admissions taking a dip for the first time in 11 years. Total admissions numbered 157,525,412, down 5.5% since 2006, but still the second highest on record.

Korean films market share fell to 50.8%, down 25.7% from last year according to CGV's tallies. This is the lowest Korean film market share has gone since it was recorded at 48.3% in 2002. Foreign films market share grew 31.4% year-on-year.

With a graph tracking the movements of total admissions mirroring local film admissions growth, CGV credits the growth of Korean films after the late 1990s as the engine behind Korea's market growth. CGV noted total admissions fell from 166 million to 157 million, despite the increase in foreign films admissions from 58 million in 2006 to 77 million in 2007.

Showbox Mediaplex's local sci-fi film D-War, released in the US as Dragon Wars, topped the box office charts with 8.4 million admissions.

May 18 , CJ Entertainment's local historical drama based on the Gwangju Massacre, clocked in at 7.29 million admissions.

Also distributed by CJ, Transformers took in 7.24 million admissions, scoring the highest for a foreign film ever in Korea.

The top ten was rounded out by Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, Spiderman 3, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Die Hard 4.0, Voice Of A Murderer, Le Grand Chef and 300.

Only ten local films passed the 2 million admissions mark last year, compared to 16 in 2006. 11 foreign films did the same, up from 9 the year before.

South Korea's official year-end tally from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) is due out later this month with comprehensive data and analysis including distributor market share and gross figures.