Korean box office admissionshit a ten-year high in November and are on course to set a new record byyear-end. In a monthly industry analysis report, multiplex chain CJ CGVprojects admissions for the year to total between 138 -141 million, up 3-4%from last year and bucking global trends.

Korean box office has beenon the rise since 1997 with the renaissance and growth of the contemporaryindustry, but 2004's record hinged largely upon two all-time box office hits - Taegukgi and Silmido - both taking in more than 10 million admissions each.

With only Marathon crossing five million admissions in the year's firstsix months, pundits were doubtful about 2005. "Even up until the third quarter,analysts were forecasting admissions would go down," says KOFIC SecretaryGeneral Kim Hye-joon. But in the second half of the year, Welcome To Dongmakgol's eight million viewers rallied the marketalongside other solid earners like MarryingThe Mafia 2 and Sympathy For LadyVengeance.

Traditionally a slow month,this year's November admissions are up 22.4% to 12.8 million on the back ofKorean films such as Mr. Socrates andWhen Romance Meets Destiny whichbrought in over 1.1 million admissions each. Theatres were initially heated upby Hollywood fare including CorpseBride, Flight Plan and The Brothers Grimm, although none provedlong-term earners.

December looks to be a definitivemonth with Harry Potter And The Goblet ofFire already opened over the weekend, along with King Kong and Typhoonscheduled to go head-to-head mid-month, with more fierce competition to followat the end of the month between TheNarnia Chronicles and local releases such as Blue Swallow, the biopic about Korea's first woman pilot featuringlarge-scale aerial sequences and drama.

Typhoon isdirected by K.T. Kwak - who in 2000 broke local box office records with Friend - and stars internationalheart-throb Jang Dong-gun (The Promise)and Lee Jung-jae (Il Mare) in apolitical action thriller. The film, budgeted at $14.5m, is the most expensivein Korean film history, and is anticipated to rival Taegukgi in scale and box office revenues.