And so it was, on Dec. 30, with just one day left in the year, Korean movie theaters once again set a new attendance record. At least, that’s how it looks on KOBIS, where yesterday finished at 213.1 million admissions, just shy of last year’s 213.3 million.
Of course, when it comes to actual revenue, 2014 set a new record a few weeks ago — 1.65 trillion won ($1.5 billion), versus 1.55 trillion won last year.
As for Korean movies, as a percentage it was a bit of a down year, and thanks to a late surge does it look like they’ll finish the year right at 50 percent of ticket sales. That’s down from last year’s amazing 59.7 percent, but still pretty frickin’ good. They made about 811 billion won, which is the third-best ever.
The Hollywood studios, on the other hand, must be ecstatic, setting huge records across the board. 106 million admissions is 23 percent higher than their previous record, and 839 billion won is also a huge record.
Anything else worth mentioning? ADMIRAL: ROARING CURRENTS was crazy popular, of course, making 135 billion won. But 12 Korean movies made more than 20 billion won, and 22 made more than 10 billion won, so from where I sit, the industry looks pretty healthy.
I do find it pretty cool that in all my years in Korea, the movie biz has set new attendance records almost every single year (save three or four, I think).