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"Korean Film Industry on Verge of Bankruptcy?" Ironic Conclusion

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Various movies that have been released already have been an incredible hit. The share for Korean movies in February was 82.9%, the best record in 7 years.

According to the Korean Film Committee, the total number of movie tickets sold in February alone is calculated to be 21,824,393. It was a 67.0% increase compared to February in 2012 when 13,065,438 tickets were sold. Out of the statistic, approximately 18,096,430 tickets were purchased to view Korean movies. Approximately 82.9% of the tickets were purchased for Korean films.

This is the best record in the past 7 years. Back in October of 2006, approximately 85.3% of purchased tickets were for Korean films. The Korean film "The Gift of Room 7" was visited in theaters, in one weekend by over 1,000,000 people and about 700,000 people went to see "The Berlin File". It seems as though the Korean film industry is experiencing another term of the renaissance for the first time after 7 years.

Looking back, in 2008 to 2009, the percentage of tickets bought for Korean films never surpassed 70%. Then in September 2011, 73.2% were purchased for Korean films and then 75.9% in February 2012. However, the number fell to 50% in July.

The number fluctuated between 60~70% throughout the rest of the year 2012 with the help from "Thieves" and "Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King." Both movies received over 1,000,000 ticket sales in a weekend.

As impressing as it is, it is very ironic as well. In January 2006, officials announced that the screen quota days will be shortened to 73 days instead of the usual 146. The change went into effect in July, facing strong opposition from people in the movie production industry. The United States had requested Korean officials to shorten the screen quota days by a half. When the request was accepted, filming professionals claimed that Korean films will be completely slashed by American films and continued to protest against the change in the screen quota days.

7 years later, the Korean Film industry is experiencing a movie boom. The voices that tried to fight against the shortening of the screen quota days were nowhere to be heard. There are also comments claiming that Korean films are swallowing up all the tickets sales. Professionals in the Korean film industry conclude that they have matured significantly since the change in 2006. The leniency that improved for foreign films have motivated Korean film makers, which resulted in the opposite outcome: success.


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