Korean theater market ranks seventh globally in 2022: Report

Status & Insight Korean Film Industry report [KOFIC]

The Korean theater market was the seventh largest theater market worldwide in 2022, according to the Status & Insight Korean Film Industry report released by the Korean Film Council on Monday.

The Korean film industry also saw a 66.7 percent increase last year compared to 2021, to 1.7 trillion won ($1.3 billion), though it was still smaller than pre-pandemic numbers. The film market last year was only 61.6 percent of the market size back in 2019.

The worldwide theater market, at $25 billion, similarly remained at 60.3 percent of 2019 levels.

The No. 1 box office movie in Korea in 2022 was crime action film “The Roundup” (2022), selling 12.69 million tickets. It was also the first movie in Korea to reach the 10-million theatergoers milestone since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 10-million ticket milestone is a notable achievement in Korean film markets as an indicator of commercial success, with only 29 movies having ever reached this number.

In the Korean box office, “The Roundup” was followed by “Avatar: The Way of Water” (2022), with 7.31 million viewers just 15 days after its release in December 2022, followed by “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Hansan: Rising Dragon” and “Confidential Assignment 2: International.”

Notably, all top five box office movies were sequels of popular films in the past, the report said.

Korean film exports overseas have also increased by 47 percent compared to 2021, at $7.14 million, an all-time high since 2005.