Nielsen EDI and Dis-Service reported a 16%year-on-year increase in admissions and 33.8% rise in box office takings forthe first half of 2006 in the Argentinian market.

The period saw some 19.5 million admissions as opposedto 16.8 million for the first six months of 2005.

However, audiences are still down by 2.8m admissionsfrom 2004, which was the biggest year for Argentinian cinema in almost twodecades.

Box office takings grew 33.8% to $51.1m (Pesos 157m),a record since the 200% local Peso devaluation in 2002.

Hollywood blockbusters recorded an 87.7% share of themarket, local productions logged 4.2%, European films took 7.4%, while Asianand Latin American movies stood at just 0.7%.

Local product's share of the market slipped to adisappointing 4.2% compared to 7.1 in 2005, but the industry is still confidentto beat last year's 12.5% share, thanks to the success of three Argentinianfilms (Rodolfo Ledo's Bathers III:Superpowers, Jose Luis Massa's Patoruzito 2 and Juan Pablo Buscarini's Little Tooth Mouse) during the winter holidaysthis month and other upcoming high-profile local releases.

Only three films have attracted over one millionviewers so far this year, a list led by IceAge: The Meltdown, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Da Vinci Code.

Woody Allen's British production Match Point, at 460,000 admissions, isthe most successful of the 24 European films released, while Adrian Caetano's Buenos Aires 1977 with 200.000 spectators)Daniel Burman's Family Law (195.000 tickets) topped de local list.

Hollywood companies (BVI, Fox, Sony, UIP and Warner)took an impressive 77% market share during the first half of the year.

Top 10 (Admissions, Jan-June 2006)
1- Ice Age: The Meltdown 2,540,000
2- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe 2,090,000
3- The Da Vinci Code 1,570,000
4- X-Men: The Last Stand 730,000
5- Mission: Impossible 3 540,000
6- Match Point 460,000
7- Brokeback Mountain 405,000
8- Inside Man 380,000
9- Scary Movie 4 365,000
10- The Wild 350,000