London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Movie industry export earnings decline

A rather gloomy article in the Chosun Ilbo, following on from a melancholy thinkpiece by Darcy a few weeks ago.

1. The number of loss-making Korean movies is on the increase

An increasing number of Korean movies are losing money due to a surge in the number of movies and sluggish overseas interest. The number of Korean movies stood at 87 last year and will set a fresh record this year with 87 already released between the beginning of this year and Oct. 31. It is to exceed 100. But less than 20 of them are likely to break even (last year it was 30 percent).

2. Exports are less profitable

Exports of Korean movies, which surged over the last few years, declined dramatically this year. Export contracts plunged 58.3 percent to US$17.42 million (W16.1 million) in the first half of this year from $41.81 million a year ago. Export price per movie also plummeted to $136,088 from $273,268 last year. One reason is that many are mediocre and rely solely on the appeal of soap stars popular abroad because of the Korean Wave in Asia. Production costs, meanwhile, are spiraling. In Japan, for instance, exports stood at $30.98 million in the first half of 2005. But the figure nosedived 71 percent to $8.72 million in the first half of 2006.

I’m afraid I don’t have any answers to offer, though a healthy domestic DVD market would surely help a little.

Update 22 December 2006: The Hankyoreh reports a decline in TV Drama export earnings as well.


2 thoughts on “Movie industry export earnings decline

  1. When you can get 3 DVDs for manwon on the side of the street or download from the internet for free, I can’t see official DVDs doing too much business.

  2. Precisely. A little bit of copyright law (or enforcement thereof) would be a load more beneficial than the many millions that are being directed to the film industry

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