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S. Korea's average cost of movie ticket enters 10,000 won range for 1st time

15:24 February 20, 2023

SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- The average cost of a movie ticket in South Korea exceeded 10,000 won (US$7.70) for the first time last year, a government report showed Monday.

According to the 2022 report on the film industry by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the average price of a movie ticket in South Korea was 10,285 won last year, up 6.5 percent from 9,656 won a year ago.

It was the first time that the price has surpassed 10,000 won. Movie theaters have raised their ticket prices three times by 1,000 won each in recent years, citing operating losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A poster of the action comedy "The Roundup" (2022) starring Ma Dong-seok is seen at a Seoul theater, in this file photo taken June 1, 2022. (Yonhap)

The report also showed the popularity of sequels as a main feature of last year's box office.

"The Roundup," the sequel to the 2017 hit "The Outlaws," was the biggest box-office hit for the year, drawing 12.69 million moviegoers with sales reaching 131.2 billion won. It became the first film to top 10 million admissions since the pandemic began.

Coming in second was "The Way of War," the sequel to James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi flick "Avatar," followed by "Top Gun: Maverick," "Hansan: Rising Dragon" and "Confidential Assignment 2: International." The last three flicks all were sequels to previous hits as well.

In 2022, sales from premium screens, including 4-D, IMAX, ScreenX and Dolby Cinema, grew significantly from the previous year.

The total revenue of premium screens reached 126.4 billion won, up 271.2 percent from 2021, with the total number of viewers rising 252.2 percent to 8.65 million people.

The premium screens accounted for 10.9 percent of the total ticket sales, up 5.6 percentage points from a year ago.

Posters for "Avatar: The Way of Water" are shown at a cinema in Seoul, in this Jan. 31, 2023, file photo. (Yonhap)

The total revenue for Korean movie theaters in 2022 came to 1.16 trillion won, a 254.7 percent on-year increase, with the number of admissions also rising 86.4 percent to 112.81 million.

The report showed both sales and the total number of moviegoers have been on the recovery path but only to 60.6 percent and 49.8 percent of the levels of 2019, respectively, before the pandemic hit the country.

Among the Korean commercial films released last year, a total of 36 were produced with a budget of 3 billion won or more. The number was an increase of 19 from that in 2021 but was 80 percent of the number recorded in 2019.

The average production cost of Korean commercial films was 12.46 billion won, including 9.99 billion won in net production cost. But seven of the commercial films with a budget of 3 billion won or more exceeded the break-even point, according to the report.


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