The Korean Film Council has announced its 2010 industry report with box office gross up 6.5% year-on-year to a record $1.02bn (KW1,150,100,000,000) despite admissions dropping 9.6% to 146.8 million.

KOFIC credits the rise in box office gross to the ticket price increase of June 2009 and the popularization of 3D films led by Avatar. Foreign films saw a box-office gross increase of 16.6% to $576.4m (KW645,700,000,000). The average ticket price went from $6.22 (KW6,970) in 2009 to $6.99 (KW7,834) in 2010, keeping more people away from the cinemas. Last year, 2.92 films were viewed per person as opposed to 3.15 in 2009.

Newly released Korean film market share in box office gross dipped slightly from 47.1% to 46.7% last year. Of films newly released in 2010, US films took 46.9% of the gross market share, up 1% year-on-year, while European films took 2.7%, Japanese took 1.9% and Chinese 1.4%.

Last year, 152 Korean films were produced and 140 were released in theatres, while 383 foreign films were imported and 286 were released. The total number of films to get theatrical release went up from 362 in the previous year to 426 last year.

KOFIC analyzes that despite a drop in admissions for local films, IPTV and Internet download services are invigorating the ancillary market and profitability for local films is on the way to stabilising. Profitability for the 123 released local films that KOFIC followed went up 4.1% last year to -9% with 21 films going over their break-even points, 13 films making more than 50% profit, and six films making more than 100% profits.

Korean films did $13,582,850 in export sales last year, down 3.82%. Sales to Asia dropped 34.4% while those to Europe jumped 72.1% and to North America, 59.4% year-on-year.

Film-related services such as CGI, special effects and make-up companies also reported about $28,637,506 in export sales – higher than actual film sales, which KOFIC has made a note to follow in future.

Top 10 Films in South Korea 2010


1. Avatar (US) $74.4m (KW83,328,649,500)

2. The Man From Nowhere (Korea) $42.1m (KW47,119,192,000)

3. Inception (US/UK) $38.8m (KW43,414,055,667)

4. Secret Reunion (Korea) $35.9m (KW40,160,269,333)

5. Iron Man 2 (US) $29.2m (KW32,641,287,167)

6. Woochi (Korea) $23.5m (KW26,350,401,000)

7. Moss (Korea) $22.7m (KW25,450,346,500)

8. 71 – Into The Fire (Korea) $21.3m (KW23,837,369,933)

9. The Servant (Korea) $20.1m (KW22,494,814,000)

10. Harmony (Korea) $19.3m (KW21,646,974,333)