Admissions for the first four months of the year in Franceovertook those in the same period of 2003 by a thumping 16%.

According to new data from the Centre Nationale de laCinematographie (CNC) admissions between January and April totalled 68 million,boosted by a heavyweight April, 43% better than the same month last year.

The figures also suggest that last year's theatricaldownturn could once again be reversed as the rolling 12 month total was also up2.3% for a total of 181 million.

Market share for locally-made films in the period - one inwhich French films traditionally do well - was an unchanged 44%. Over the last12 months market share for French pictures was 35%.