More S. Koreans going to theaters alone: CGV

January 28, 2016
One Korean cinema is even offering 'Singles only' screening this Christmas Eve.   (Megabox Facebook capture/Newsis)

One Korean cinema even offered ‘Singles only’ screening on Christmas Eve. (Megabox Facebook capture/Newsis)

By Park Sojung

SEOUL (Yonhap) — An increasing ratio of the country’s movie-going population go to theaters by themselves, the latest research by the nation’s largest theater chain showed Thursday.

One in 10 people went to the movies alone in 2015, up 0.4 percentage points from the year before, the CGV Research Center said at a forum in southern Seoul.

In fact, single admissions have steadily increased since 2012, when only 7.7 percent of movie-goers went by themselves, Lee Seung-won, head of the think tank, said.

Nearly a quarter of these people were women in their 20s, followed by 30-something men with 14.2 percent.

More than half of them went alone because they wanted to focus more on the movie, a survey by the research center showed.

Nearly 19 percent said they were too lazy to find a matching schedule with others. Some 17 percent said finding someone to watch movies with was already too much work.

Another noteworthy trend from last year is that more people are watching R-rated movies than before.

R-rated movies were watched by 18 million people last year, up nearly 47 percent from 2014, an increase driven by the popularity of the Hollywood spy movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and domestic crime thriller “Inside Men.” Meanwhile, the total movie admissions for the past few years has remained around 200 million.

R-rated movies were also most popular among 20-something women, who comprised a third of their audience.

“You would think more men in their 20s and 30s would want to see them. So it’s interesting that women in their 20s preferred to watch them most,” Lee said. “That’s definitely something to note from a film marketing perspective.”