China's box office grew by 40% to $125m (RMB1bn) in the first half of 2006,compared to the same period last year, according to local reports, of which revenue-sharingHollywood imports accounted for 51%.

The other 49% of the marketwas shared by flat-fee imported films and local productions.

Sony's The Da Vinci Code and UIP's KingKong were the top imported films, while Fearless, starring Jet Li, and black comedy Crazy Stone headed ticket sales among local films in the first halfof the year.

Da Vinciwas the top grossing film during the period with $13.2m (RMB105m) followed by Fearless with $12.9m (RMB103m). The restof the top 10 movies are revenue-sharing Hollywood films.

A total of 11revenue-sharing imports were released in the first six months, which grossed acombined $63.9m (RMB510), a 48% increase on the same period last year.

The figures were reported inlocal newspaper Beijing News but theFilm Bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is yet toconfirm them.

Traditionally releases oflocal films are arranged for the latter half of the year as distributors generallysee the first half as low season. But the record high gross of imported filmsin the first half of this year may lead distributors to rethink the scheduling,said Yuan Xin of Beijing-based Stellar International Cineplex.

Local films scheduled forthe next six months include kung-fu actioner Dragon Tiger Gate, which opens this weekend; Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet (Sep 15), Jackie Chanvehicle Rob-B-Hood (Sep 29); AndrewLau's Confession Of Pain (Dec 2006)and Zhang Yimou's Curse Of The GoldenFlower (Dec 2006).