In January to October, CJ ENM, an entertainment unit of CJ Group, distributed 13 films, garnering 45.4 million admissions and taking up 24.5 percent of the total tickets sold.
Walt Disney Company Korea, the local unit of the U.S.-based media titan, also managed 13 movies, which attracted 45.2 million moviegoers with a market share of 24.4 percent.
On the list of the top 10 hit movies in 2019, three blockbusters -- "Extreme Job," "Parasite" and "Exit" -- were distributed by CJ ENM, while Walt Disney had four -- "Avengers: Endgame," "Aladdin," "Captain Marvel" and "The Lion King."
For the remaining two months of the year, the two giants are expected to continue their fierce competition for the top spot at the end of 2019.
Walt Disney will deliver the highly anticipated "Frozen 2," set to hit South Korean screens on Thursday next week. "Frozen" was the first animated film seen by more than 10 million cinemagoers in South Korea.
The upcoming disaster film "Ashfall," to be released in December, is CJ ENM's weapon of choice for the winter vacation season. The flick is attracting media attention for an all-star cast that includes Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ma Dong-seok and Bae Suzy.
Amid the competition between the two companies, other film distributors have been sluggish.
Lotte Cultureworks, the No. 1 last year on the back of the success of the "Along With the Gods" series, dropped to third place with a share of 8.1 percent over the 10-month period. It has distributed more than 20 films but none of them set the market alight.
Warner Bros. Korea came in next with 6.4 percent, followed by Showbox with 6.2 percent and NEW with 5.6 percent. (Yonhap)