Cinema admissions in Brazildropped 26% in the first six months of 2005, according to figures released byFilme B, a local film company specialised in compiling theatrical statistics.

The total number of ticketssold fell to 41.7 million compared to 56.3 million in the same period lastyear.

Total sales amounted to$125m (R$304.1m), a 20% fall compared to the first six months of 2004. Theaverage ticket price reached $3, up 10% on the period.

With a total of 18 titlesreleased, Brazilian films were seen by 3.6 million people, representing amarket share of only 9%. This is considerable drop from the previous year, whenlocal productions racked up 6.5 million admissions, with a market share of 12%.

Only Xuxa e o Tesouro daCidade Perdida passed the one millionadmissions mark with 1.3 million tickets sold.

Among the Hollywood studios,20th Century Fox enjoyed the largest market share in Brazil, with 27,1%.

Thanks to blockbusters suchas Stars Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Kingdom of Heaven and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the distributor sold 11.3 million tickets. WarnerBros. took the second spot with 8,8 million admissions and a market share of21.3%, most of which derived from the blockbusters Constantine, Ocean'sTwelve and the first weeks of BatmanBegins, released on June 17th.

According to Paulo SergioAlmeida, president of the Filme B, the fall in attendances and in Box Office inBrazil will not have an immediate negative impact on the expansion of theexhibition sector for 2005.

This year 150 new screensare expected to open, increasing the existing 1,997 registered at the end of2004 - for a population of 183.5 million people. "But it won't be a surprise ifthe numbers of new screens per year dropped to 100 in the near future," headded.