'Clown,' 'Boss' helped fuel 29% jump at B.O.

SEOUL — South Korean movie admissions jumped a stunning 29% to 80.9 million in the first half of the year, according to a report issued by leading exhibition firm CJ CGV on Wednesday.

The figures are powered by the record-breaking 12.3 million tickets sold by local hit “King and the Clown.” It’s followed at No. 2 by “My Boss, My Teacher” from CJ Entertainment at 6.1 million.

Top Hollywood releases included “Mission: Impossible III” with 5.7 million admissions, “The Da Vinci Code” with 3.34 million and “Poseidon” with 2.43 million in slots three, four and six respectively.

Local films retained their recent run of strength with a market share of 59.5% including seven titles that topped 2 million admissions.

Nonetheless, the controversial cut in the country’s screen quota system that halved the number of days that exhibs must show local films has Korean producers worrying that the good times won’t last.

A poll of 161 members of the local film industry found that on average, they predict a negative effect from the quota reduction, which went into effect on Saturday, will be felt in 2½ years.

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