Korean cinema major CJ CGV has raised its ticket prices for the third time since the start of the pandemic as attendance continues to lag. The basic raise will be KRW 1,000 (USD $0.83), pushing the price up to KRW 14,000 during the week (USD $11.58) and KRW 15,000 (USD $12.41) on weekends. Premium formats such as IMAX, 4DX, ScreenX, SphereX, and Starium will go up by KRW 2,000 (USD $1.66). In addition, tickets for high-end cinemas such as Cine de Chef, Tempur Cinema, and Gold Class will be increased by KRW 5,000 (USD $4.14). However, discount rates for military personnel, police officers, firefighters, and persons with disabilities and national merit will remain in place.
CGV said that it was forced to raise the movie ticket price after suffering a cumulative operating loss of KRW 360 billion won (USD 300 million) in Korea alone over the past two years due to the COVID-19 outbreak, CJ CGV also has cinemas in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and elsewhere that have also suffered significant losses.
According to the 2021 Korean Film Industry Collected Data announced by the Korean Film Council, the sales of the Korean film industry in 2021 decreased to KRW 1.23 trillion (USD $1.02 billion) for two consecutive years. It has decreased by nearly 60% compared to 2019’s KRW 2.509 trillion (USD $2.08 billion), before COVID-19. “The film industry ecosystem, including production, investment and distribution, no longer has the strength to sustain itself, so the price has inevitably been raised to survive,” CGV said in a statement.
Due to COVID-19, the share of Korean films has dropped below 50% for the last two years. Currently there are 60 major domestic releases that are awaiting a new release date, with distributors holding off releasing them in cinemas due to lower takings and clash of dates with Hollywood films. Meanwhile CGV tries to innovate with virtual reality art showings.