Korean film exports went up 8.4% to a total of $37.8m last year, according to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

Completed films sold for $29.1m, up 27.5% year-on-year. This marks the first time since 2008 that completed film exports went over the $20m mark.

The total number of films that did export deals last year was 331, slightly down from 366 the year before. The average price for a film last year was $42,811, up 5.8% year-on-year.

As for film sales territories, Asia accounted for 71.6% of exports or $14.4m, up 60% year-on-year. Although Asia has always been a major export region for Korean films, last year was particularly so with star vehicles such as The Thieves, Code Name: Jackal and I Am The King.

North America and Europe switched places as the second and third top export territories last year for Korea. North America accounted for 14.2% of total exports with $2.87m, a total which is up 71.7% year-on-year. Direct distribution of Korean films in North America has gone up and is seen to have contributed to the total racked up on that continent.

Europe accounted for 12.2% with $2.45m, down 30.3% year-on-year. Films like Venice Golden Lion winner Pieta, disaster film Tower, 3D animated film Speckles: The Tarbosaur, and sci-fi omnibus Doomsday Book sold well to Europe.

Japan was the top buyer of Korean films last year with $9.67m, up 164% year-on-year. Films that did well in Korea such as All About My Wife, Architecture 101 and Nameless Gangster: Rules Of The Times sold well and CJ E&M’s branch in Japan contributed with direct distribution.

Also in 2012, production and post-production services including VFX and 3D work, special effects, make-up, martial arts/stunts and locations made $17.6m, down 7.3% year-on-year.