Movie theater attendance nears pre-pandemic level in May: data

SEOUL-- South Korean film attendance numbers nearly shot back up to the pre-pandemic level in May, data showed Wednesday, with a couple of big hits leading the charge.

According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), movies screened in the country amassed a combined 14.55 million admissions in May, the highest monthly figure since 16.84 million from January 2020 -- the last full month before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The May figure was also a massive jump from just 3.21 million admissions in April.

During the pandemic, monthly attendance numbers reached rock bottom with 970,000 admissions in April 2020 and have been hovering around a couple of millions in ensuing months.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," the latest Marvel blockbuster, and "The Roundup," a Korean action comedy film, have been doing the heavy lifting since their premiere in May.

The sequel to "Doctor Strange" had drawn over 5.8 million admissions through Tuesday. "The Roundup," the sequel to the 2017 hit "The Outlaws," is tops in the box office with more than 7 million admissions.

"The Roundup" is the most-watched film in South Korea in 2022 and also the biggest Korean hit here during the pandemic. It surpassed the 7 million mark in admissions on its 14th day, the fastest to reach that milestone since "Parasite" did so in 12 days in May 2019.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and "The Roundup" will go up against a pair of award-winning films hitting theaters this month.

"Broker," for which South Korean star Song Kang-ho earned the top acting prize at the Cannes Film Festival, will premiere next Wednesday. "Decision to Leave," whose South Korean director Park Chan-wook claimed the Best Director award at Cannes, will be unveiled on June 29.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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