Admissions down 0.7% on previous year

SEOUL — Local pics are holding a 62.1% market share in the year to date, though overall admissions are falling short of last year.

A report issued by leading exhibitor CGV shows that February’s 16.7 million admissions were down only 0.7% on the previous year, despite a widely disappointing turnout for the Lunar New Year’s holiday.

Top-grossing films in February include two films from CJ Entertainment: abduction drama “Voice of a Murder” and comedy “Miracle on 1st Street,” which have grossed $22 million and $17 million, respectively.

On a smaller scale, the performance of local animated film “Yobi the Five-Tailed Fox” was also cause for optimism, with ticket sales amounting to $3.2 million since its Jan. 25 release. Distributor CJ Entertainment boosted the film’s screen totals from 9 to 46 screens this weekend in an attempt to revive interest in the family film.

Nonetheless, February’s perf comes in the wake of a massive 24.9% year-on-year drop in January.

To be fair, January 2006 was the best-grossing month in South Korean cinema history, powered by local hits “King and the Clown” and “My Boss, My Teacher.”

The top grossers of this January were two holdovers from the previous month: local comedy “200 Pound Beauty” and “Night at the Museum.”

Although failing to match last year’s figures, box office for this year is still tracking ahead of 2005.

According to an online box office system operated by the Korean Film Council, market share for the year to date amounts to 62.1% for local pics, 29.3% for Hollywood, 3.8% for Chinese-language product, 2.3% for Japanese movies and 2.1% for European films.

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