SEOUL, Jul. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — With the annual number of moviegoers in South Korea peaking at around 200 million, and the multiplex industry stagnating, top movie theater chains are ramping up investment in infrastructure and making concerted efforts to branch out into international markets.
Amid the rise of video streaming services and IPTV, and the threat from other forms of entertainment like gaming, South Korean multiplex chains have been urged to do more to attract moviegoers, some of which have resorted to cutting-edge technology.
CGV Yongsan is the latest example, reopening on Tuesday with 20 screens and over 3,800 seats after months of renovations, and now boasting the world’s largest IMAX laser screen, five times bigger than the average screen size.
Lotte Cinema at Lotte World Tower adopted a cinema LED screen in collaboration with Samsung, which the move theater franchise claims to be a world’s first.
Along with the adoption of new theater technology, efforts to break into new markets abroad have also become noticeable in recent years.
CGV is leading the trend with plans to reach 10,000 screens and an annual customer base of 700 million people by 2020. Currently the South Korean multiplex chain owns 3,100 screens at 410 locations.
“The domestic market is already saturated and it’s becoming harder to open new theaters,” said Seo Jung, the CEO of CGV.
“The South Korean movie industry should be looking outwards to the global market for future expansion,” Seo added.