In 2010 the Korean Film Industry grew to new levels both domestically and abroad. 7 out of 10 of the top movies were Korean and the market share grew to nearly meet that of the U.S. More movies than ever before were also exported to Europe and the Americas. In addition, Korean film distributors did better than ever before. It seems that this trend will only continue as well as 3D technology becomes more popular and the Korean IT infrastructure works on new initiatives. More recently in 2012 Korea saw both an increase in market value and number of moviegoers and in 2013 it is looking even more promising so far.
The reasons and explanation for this success can be traced back to the 1990s. First, in 1988 South Korean markets opened up to the United States. Soon after this, Korean film importers, production and distribution companies began to shut down. Hollywood was taking over the industry and local film production dropped dramatically (Shim 360, in L&B). This trend continued for several years and then in 1993 the Korean film Sopyonje topped the charts. It was considered to be a film reminiscent of true Korean culture and values. More movies of this type continued to be made and in 1999 the film Shiri topped the charts again and even gained some international recognition (Yoon 202-203). This film began initiatives and organizations such as Cultural Industry Bureau. Korea realized that through movies they could both recapture their culture in film and profit from culture as an industry (Shim 361, in L&B).
Once this occurred and more culturally true movies were produced that Koreans could connect to, the Korean film industry began to attract more locals. It was out of the political trade battles with the U.S. and the American cultural movie content that spurred this reaction form the Korean film industry. As a consequence they developed their own styles of movie making, although they learned much from Hollywood, and developed their own films with characters and stories more relevant to the Korean audience, both serving to preserve cinematic culture and earn profit. Now the Korean wave is spreading across Asia and the rest of the world and Korean moviemakers are even making their way into Hollywood.