Korean 2015 Box Office...How Big is it?

The domestic market has been becoming less relevant to Hollywood studios as more and more of the revenue is coming from over seas markets. However, for those movie goers just sitting in the dark eating popcorn somewhere in America, this is not a easy concept to grasp.

Living in Korea. it is somewhat similar. We are a fish in a pond with no real idea of how big its pond is in relative terms. So, I looked it up and the Korean box office is nothing to look down on.

In 2014, Korea's box office was the 6th largest film market excluding America. America is still the top dog with a market the size of the next five markets combined.


More recently, during the last few weeks of the summer movie season. the Korean box office did quite well.

While still nowhere near China, the revenue of the Korean box office rivaled the UK's during the same period. Because the the available data, there are slight difference between the exact dates associated with the data.

In the chart below, we have the stats related to Koreans relative size to other countries. It is about 10%~15% of the American box office. Did better than the the UK market by 3%~100% depending on the week.

Not bad for the Korean box office. Among the Top 10 movies released this summer, Korea  has 3 of its domestic movies ranked in that category including the Top 2 movies of the summer.

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Assassination / 암살 (2015) took the first spot by earning around  $83  million. Veteran (2015) is expected to dethrone  Assassination / 암살 (2015) for the Top spot since it is still in theaters. The difference between the two are less than a million dollars.

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Among the Top 20 movies released in 2015, there are 8 domestic Korean movies in the mix. Not a bad year although there were a lot  of high profile bombs also.

Last year, there were a total of 11 domestic Korean movies in the top 20 with a total box office gross of $   1,400 million adjusted for current exchange rates.

It is mid September of 2015 and the current total gross of the Korean box office including all movies is around  $1,041 million which is rather impressive considering that the average ticket price is about $8 here in Korea. It is expected to to be a better year than the previous one in terms of overall revenue. However, the overall profitability of domestic movies will most likely be lower considering the several disastrous big budget bombs.

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