Australians spent $693m (A$907m) going to the cinema lastyear, the highest annual result ever, according to new Motion PictureDistributors Association of Australia (MPDAA) figures.

This was 4.79% or $31.6m more than last year's record.The MPDAA has not released the figure for admissions, however. This may havedipped, meaning that growth came from ticket price rises rather than anincrease in admissions.

"These results are extremely encouraging anddemonstrate the great passion Australians have for cinema," said MPDAAchair Joel Pearlman in a statement. "2004 marks a year which yieldedstrong performances from a wide range of genres. This demonstrates the affinitythat the Australian public has for cinema and is encouraging for all sectors ofthe film industry as it confronts the continuing challenge of piracy.

The most successful film of the year was Shrek 2, which took $38.5m.

TOP 10 FILMS OF 2004
Title / Distributor / Box Office (US$m)

Shrek 2 UIP $38.5m
Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of AzkabanRoadshow $25.3m
The Return Of The King Roadshow$23.2m
Spider-Man 2 Columia Tristar$18.6m
Troy Roadshow $18.1m
The Day After Tomorrow 20thCentury Fox $15.5m
Bridget Jones: The Edge Of ReasonUIP $13.6m
The Bourne Supremacy UIP $12.1m
Something's Gotta GiveRoadshow $12m
Shark Tale UIP $11.7m