However, total box office gross was 11% up from last year because of a 23% rise in the average ticket price.
Hollywood blockbusters took a 80.8% share of the market (84.8% in the same period of 2007), local productions logged 6% (from last year's 4.4%), while European, Asian and other Latin American films recorded 13.2% (10.8% a year ago).
The fall in attendances particularly affected Argentinian films. The 33 titles (co-productions included) released during the first six months drew only one million admissions. Daniel Burman's sixth feature Empty Nest (265,000 spectators); Rodolfo Ledo's comedy Brigada Explosiva (240,000 tickets) and Pablo Trapero's prison drama Lion's Den (120,000 admissions) were the only three local hits.
Frank Oz's British black comedy Death at a Funeral (540,000 tickets sold), Spanish Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage (200,000 admissions) and Alex de la Iglesia's psychological thriller The Oxford Murders (140,000 spectators) were the most successful European productions of the Jan-June period.
The Argentinian industry is still confident to beat last year's 9% share, thanks to several upcoming high-profile local releases such as 100% Lucha, Valentina, High School Musical: El Desafio; Los Super Agentes: La Nueva Generacion and Un Novio Para Mi Mujer.
Top 10 films by admissions, Argentina Jan-June 2008
1 Enchanted (Disney, US), 900,000
2 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Disney, US), 780,000*
3 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (UIP, US) 760,000*
4 I Am Legend (Warner Bros, US) 645,000
5 10.000 B.C. (Warner Bros, US) 640,000
6 The Bucket List (Warner Bros, US) 580,000
7 Speed Racer (Warner Bros, US) 570.000*
8 Death at a Funeral (Impacto, UK) 540.000*
9 National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Disney, US) 500,000
10 The Game Plan (Disney, US) 440.000
* still on release