South Korea cinema attendance saw a decrease in February, according to statistics from the Korean Film Council.
Total admissions for the month was 15.18 million admissions, representing a 28.8% – or 6.13 million – year-on-year decrease. Total revenue was ₩121.1 billion (US$107.1 million), representing a 27.7% year-on-year decrease from last year.
Domestic films continued to dominate with a market share of 58.6%. However, KOFIC also recorded a 32.9% year-on-year decrease in admissions for local films, though the two highest grossing films of the month were local fares. Foreign films saw a smaller drop in attendance at 21.9%.
The drop is likely because of the Lunar New Year holiday falling on January instead of February this year. The top film for the month was action comedy Confidential Assignment (공조), which saw positive word-of-mouth carried it to an additional 2.95 million admissions following the new year holiday in late January. The CJ Entertainment release – currently the highest grossing film of 2017 in South Korea – has earned ₩63.7 billion (US$56.4 million) from 7.81 million admissions in total.
Action thriller Fabricated City (조작된 도시) was in second place with 2.44 million admissions. Legal drama New Trial (재심) was third place with 2.03 million admissions – considered a major success for an indie release. Split, which opened late in the month, was fourth with 1.2 million admissions, and January release The King (더 킹) was fifth place with 910,000 admissions.
CJ was the top distributor with a market share of 39.9%, thanks to the strong performance of Confidential Assignment and Fabricated City.
Animated film Run Ozzy Run and Lion led the arthouse circuit with 118,000 and 98,000 admissions, respectively.
March will likely see a rebound thanks to Hollywood blockbusters like Logan, Kong: Skull Island and Beauty and the Beast. However, revenue for domestic films will likely continue to fall with no worthy competitor to match the strength of the foreign releases.