It's been quite a different story for the domestic film industry in the first half.
But lately, two Korean productions have been bringing back the crowds.
One is a drama based on a tragic pro-democracy movement, and the other is a fantasy tale about a monster.
Son Heekyung has more.
The struggling Korean cinema industry has started the second half of the year on a high note with the releases of one drama and one sci-fi flick.
The drama ''Splendid Vacation,’’ and the sci-fi film ''D-War'' are creating a buzz.
Both movies have broken this year's ticket sales record set earlier by the thriller ''Voice of a Murderer,’’ which attracted more than three million viewers.
With a production budget of 10 billion won or around 11 million U.S. dollars, ''Splendid Vacation'' deals with the Gwangju Democratization Movement, which left more than 200 students and protestors dead and thousands more injured.
''The focus of the drama is based on the lower middle class and the film excludes the political side, making it easier for the audience to relate to the story. We had some difficulties getting hold of costumes. We had to import more than 10-thousand clothes from China and create new sets. Most importantly, I didn't want to bring trouble to the Gwangju residents and the bereaved families of the 1980 Gwangju movement.''
Director Shim Hyungrae's dragon movie ''D-War'' is flying high.
The film portrays a legendary Korean monster that the two main protagonists must prevent from turning into a dragon.
With a production budget of around 30 million US dollars, the English-language film took six years to complete.
''The film uses 100 percent Korean technology. Computer graphics may look easy, but it was really difficult to match it in the film. I enjoyed shooting the film with Hollywood actors and crew. I would like to thank Koreans for giving me encouragement.''
''D-War's'' distributor says special effects, computer graphics and word of mouth from audiences are the elements that are attracting audiences to theaters.
''Splendid Vacation'' on the other hand is luring audiences for a different reason.
The younger generation can sympathize with Korea's modern history while the older generation can reminiscence about it.
Many critics say ''Splendid Vacation'' and ''D-War,’’ backed by strong nationwide interest are likely to keep dominating theaters in the coming weeks.
Son Heekyung, Arirang News.