Columbia TriStar is considering distributing third-party German films, on top of in-house productions by Deutsche Columbia Pictures.

If Columbia does take on German films, it will be welcomed by many in the local industry who have seen the number of heavy-weight distributors shrink over the last two years.

Juergen Schau, Columbia TriStar Film's managing director in Germany, said that this opening up to more German films is "under consideration and I think that would be the right direction to go".

"We would have the capacity to take on more films because we have the distribution knowhow there," Schau added.

Since 2000, Columbia has distributed five German in-house productions with varying degrees of success.

Stefan Ruzowitzky's Anatomie was a huge hit, ranking as the number one film in Germany in 2000.

The next three - Lars Kraume's Commercial Men, Gregor Schnitzler's Was Tun, Wenn's Brennt and Maria von Heland's Big Girls Don't Cry - failed to live up to box office expectations.

However, Ruzowitzky's sequel Anatomie 2 is doing well and last week posted 270,000 admissions on its first weekend, just short of the original's opening performance.