Despite Argentina's crushing economic crisis, box office earnings shot up 15% and admissions rose 20% during the country's school holidays compared to the same period the previous year, according to the latest figures from EDI Nielsen.

While robust ticket sales are normal during the winter months in Argentina, this year's increase seems to indicates that movie-going remains reasonably recession-proof.

"Ticket prices are among the few items which have not gone up in this country," said Pablo Sahores, senior manager, Walt Disney Company, Argentina. "Furthermore, there has been a greater selection of good children and youth- targeted films this year," he added.

While the studios may have fared well, independent distributors are hurting badly. There has been a 14% drop in releases in the first half of this year - mainly due to less European and Argentinian pictures - and the devaluation of the peso has pushed up p&a costs. "Most of us are on the verge of collapse," said Bernardo Zupnik of Distribution Company.