Korean Distributors Fight for Box Office Market Share

Korean distributors are having to fight ever harder for their share of Korea’s theatrical market share. Threats on the horizon include a slide in the performance of local movies, consolidation, the arrival of new players and the challenge from streaming services.

South Korea’s theatrical box office is now bigger than that of France or Germany despite a smaller population. But it has largely stopped growing and may be at a turning point. Admissions have plateaued since 2013, and gross revenues have increased largely due to ticket price increases.

The country’s powerhouse exhibition companies Cj-cgv and Lotte have responded by expanding abroad. But for distributors, it means a fight on many fronts.

The clearest evidence that the old order was under threat came last year when Lotte Cultureworks (formerly Lotte Entertainment), dethroned Cj Entertainment as the country’s top distributor for the first time in 15 years. Success came from

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