Filmgoers Venturing Back into Cinemas After MERS Scare

      June 15, 2015 11:13

      /Newsis

      Movie audience numbers are rebounding after a weeks-long decline amid the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome scare.

      According to the Korean Film Council, some 920,000 people went to the movies on Saturday, compared to 688,000 on June 6 and 851,000 on May 30. The figure is close to the Saturday average for the year so far, which is 908,000.

      Throughout last week, audience numbers continued to fall on-week until Wednesday. On Thursday they began to improve, increasing 52 percent on that day, 39 percent on Friday and 34 percent on Saturday.

      The figures appear to suggest that the movie market is recovering from the MERS fears. Many families visited theaters to see the Hollywood blockbuster "Jurassic World" on Saturday, when it drew about 645,000 viewers on the day alone. The film is off to a good start, with over 1.23 million people screening the film in just the three days after its release.

      In a survey of 813 members by online bookstore Yes24 between last Tuesday and Thursday, 21 percent of respondents said they would not hesitate to go to the movies if one was showing that interested them.

      Some 36 percent said they would first check to see how the MERS situation was developing but were basically willing to go, while 23 percent also said they would check developments but were unwilling to go. Only 7 percent said they would not go under any circumstances.

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