S. Korean movie industry hit hard by COVID-19 outbreak
Updated: 2020-03-29 14:13:04 KST
The coronavirus outbreak in South Korea has pushed the nation's movie industry to the verge of collapse.
According to the Korean Film Council,the number of daily ticket sales has been on a steady decrease since the beginning of March.
The 25-thousand tickets sold on Monday was an all-time low in the 16-year long history of the Korean Film Council.
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"This movie theater in central Seoul is going to shut down temporarily starting Saturday and it's not the only one that's closing its doors."
One of South Korea's largest multiplex theater chains -- CGV -- has decided to turn the lights off at 35 of its 116 movie theaters across the country.
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"The situation is that there are practically no customers and the sales have plungedSo all movie theaters should shut down. But considering how big of an impact they have on the film industry and local businesses, we decided to close 30 percent of our cinemas."
In 2019, movie ticket sales accounted for around 76 percent of South Korea's entire film industry revenue, which was about 2.1 billion U.S. dollars.
So if cinemas can't sell enough tickets, it could lead to unintended layoffs in the movie industry.
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"All businesses in the movie industry including filming houses, marketing firms and post production companies are all devastated."
Two other major movie theater chains -- Megabox and Lotte Cinema -- have also taken action to deal with the crisis.
Megabox has decided to close 19 of its 102 cinemas in April.
Lotte Cinema executives have turned in 20 percent of their wages.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.