Cinema attendancefigures in Argentina dropped by an estimated 15% in 2005. The period saw 36million admissions as opposed to 42m in 2004, the biggest year for the localmarket in almost two decades. However, audiences were still up from 2003 bythree million admissions and from 2002 by four and half million.

Hollywoodblockbusters took a 79.8% share of the market (80.8% in 2004), local productionslogged 12.5% (from 14.2%, in 2004), while European and Asian films recorded a7.7% (5% a year ago).

The fall inattendances particularly affected Argentinean films. The 69 titles(co-productions included) released during 2005 saw sales drop to 4.5 millionfrom 6 million in 2004, but up from 2003 (3.3m) and 2002 (3.5m).

Only five filmshave attracted over one million viewers, a list led by Madagascar, local hit Papa sevolvio loco (Daddy's Gone Crazy), War Of The Worlds, Meet the Fockers and HarryPotter and the Goblet of Fire. OlivierHirschbiegel's Downfall,at 450.000 admissions, was the most successful of the 43 European filmsreleased.

"2005 was agood year for the Argentinean market. The numbers for 2004 were bolstered bysuch hits as Shrek 2 with 3.2m admissions; The Passion of Christ with 2.8m andlocal film Patoruzitowith 2.1m. 2005 was a record year for UIP Argentina with almost 9m admissionsand our office was awarded by Universal, Paramount and DreamWorks as the bestterritory of the year," says Sebastian Alonso, general manager of UIP inBuenos Aires.

"We are veryconfident in the future with the Argentinean economy recovering 9% in 2003, 8.4%in 2004 and an estimated 9% in 2005," adds Bernardo Zupnik,president of top local distributor Distribution Company, who released Million Dollar Baby and A History of Violence.

Top 10 films in2005 (admissions)

1. Madagascar,2.200.000

2. Papase volvio loco (Daddy's Gone Crazy), 1.650.000

3. War of the Worlds, 1.520.000

4. Meet the Fockers,1.300.000

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire1.270.000 (still playing)

6. Star Wars: Episode III, 940.000

7. Fantastic Four, 910.000

8. Chicken Little, 750.000 (still playing)

9. Mr. & Mrs. Smith, 735.000

10. Batman Begins (EE.UU.) 730.000

Local top 10(admissions)

1. Papase volvio loco (Daddy's Gone Crazy), 1.650.000

2. El aura (The Aura), 600.000

3. Elsa& Fred, 540.000

4. Tiempode valientes (On Probation), 470.000

5. Iluminadospor el fuego (Blessed by Fire), 330.000

6. Whisky Romeo Zulu, 190.000

7. Cama adentro (Live-inMaid), 105.000

8. Lasuerte esta echada (The Die is Cast), 70.000

9. Whisky, 65.000

10. Hermanas (Sisters), 55.000