The Dutch box office dropped by 10% to Euros 151.3min 2004, according to end of year figures from the Dutch Federation ofAssociated Cinemas (NVF).

The year on year downturn brings to an end over ten years ofuninterrupted growth at the Dutch box office which has posted increases everyyear since 1993.

Admissions stood at 22 million, down from last year's 24.7 million,while Dutch films' share of admissions fell back from 13.6% to 9.4%.

The fall is in stark contrast to most other European territories whichhave reported strong box office growth in 2004.

The NVF blamed a lack of blockbusters for the downturn, but otherfactors seem to have impacted on the box office - in particular local picturesfailing to attract big audiences.

The most successful Dutch film in 2004 was Shouf Shouf Habibi!(320,000). By contrast, 2003 saw local hit Skippers Of The Kameleon rackup 743,000 admissions.

NVF director Wilco Wolfers also denied the drop was linked to thecontinuing rise in ticket prices, which rose by 3.4% on average last year.

Last year's most successful films in the Netherlands were The Lord OfThe Rings: Return Of The King (Euros 8.6m), Harry Potter And ThePrisoner Of Azkaban (Euros 8.3m) and Shrek 2 (Euros 6m).