The numberof foreign films released in Australia in 2004 from countries other than the USand the UK nearly doubled compared to 2003.

However,the 80 films in question from across the world earned $28.4m (A$36.8m) -down from the $32.6m earned by just 43 foreign films in 2003.

Thisequated to average earnings of only $390,000 per film last year, which was halfof the result of the previous year.

Of therecord 318 films released in 2004, 200 or nearly two-thirds were from the US,22 from the UK and 16 were from Australia.

US picturesearned $603m of the 2004 annual gross of $702m, a whopping 85.9% of the total.

The USshare of Australian box office is rising: in 2003 it was 83.8% and in 2002 itwas 76.5%.

UK picturesscreening in 2004 earned $35.7m or 5.1% of the total.

The figureswere included in statistics released last week by the Australian FilmCommission which revealed that the $9.2m in box office revenue from the 24Australian films in cinemas in 2004 was only 1.3% of the total, the lowest forthe 27 years in which records have been kept.

Leading thecharge was Strange Bedfellows with a gross of $3.7m. Somersault and One Perfect Day were the only other films that tookmore than $775,000 (A$1 million). Contributing to the poor annual performance wasa fall in the number of films released.