Leading local exhibitor CJ CGV has announced South Korea’s 2010 box office admissions went down 5.1% year-on-year, with an estimated 148,403,921 admissions.

With total admissions down by about 8m, this is the lowest on CGV’s record since 2005, a year which saw 145,524,176 admissions.

According to CGV, Korean films took in 69,263,848 admissions, down 9.6% from the previous year and about 7.35m admissions less. Korean films took 46.7% market share while foreign films saw an increase of 2.3% year-on-year to 53.3% market share.

At the top of the charts, James Cameron’s Avatar clocked up 8.2m admissions in 2010. Released by 20th Century Fox Korea on Dec 17, 2009, the film raked in a total of 13.37 million admissions. At number two is The Man From Nowhere [pictured] starring heartthrob Won Bin as a man on a mission to save an innocent child. Distributor CJ Entertainment took in 6.25m admissions with the action thriller. Christopher Nolan’s Inception, released by Warner Brothers Korea, took in 5.85m admissions and placed third on the chart.

Released by Showbox Mediaplex, Jang Hun’s espionage thriller Secret Reunion starring Song Kang-ho and Gang Dong-won took in 5.45m admissions. Iron Man 2, released by CJ Entertainment took 4.44m. It was followed by Choi Dong-hoon’s fantasy martial arts film Woochi, a.k.a. Jeon Woo Chi, which took 3.63m admissions in 2010. The film also starred Gang Dong-won. CJ Entertainment released it Dec 23, 2009 and in total clocked up 6.11m admissions.

Box office gross and more detailed market share figures for 2010 are due out from the Korean Film Council later this month, while CJ CGV bases its reports on admissions only. The company stated that this will be the last box office analysis report they put out. The diversification of ticket prices, mainly with the popularization of 3D films, has made admissions-based data less accurate.

South Korea’s Top 10 films of 2010

(title/ country / admissions)

1. Avatar (US) 8,235,625

2. The Man From Nowhere (Korea) 6,250,344

3. Inception (US/UK) 5,853,854

4. Secret Reunion (Korea) 5,457,890

5. Iron Man 2 (US) 4,440,476

6. Woochi (Korea) 3,636,864

7. Moss (Korea) 3,387,458

8. 71 – Into The Fire (Korea) 3,355,099

9. Harmony (Korea) 3,029,166

10. The Servant (Korea) 3,005,049

*Source: CJ CGV for admissions from Jan 1, 2010 – Dec 31, 2010.