German cinema admissions have slipped by 7% in the third quarter of 2008 though box-office revenues remain stable, according to figures from EDI Nielsen.

The data shows 29.6m tickets sold between July and the end of September 2008. This compares to 31.7m for the same period in 2007. Meanwhile, box-office takings increased, but only by $675,000 (Euros 500,000) to $263m (Euros 194.8m).

The figures can be considered a major improvement on the second quarter of 2008 when exhibitors posted just $161m (Euros 119.3m) in box-office revenues from 19 million admissions between April and the end of June.

The latest data means that the cumulative takings for the first nine months in 2008 are still down on 2007, standing at $734.3m (Euros 544.4m) from 87.7m tickets. This compares to $744m (Euros 551.6m) from 89.9m sold tickets for the same period last year - or a drop of 1.3% in revenue and 2.4% in tickets.

Sony Pictures' Hancock was the most successful of the 2008 crop of releases in Germany with $33.3m (Euros 24.7m) box office, followed by Universal's Mamma Mia! The Movie at $32.2m (Euros 23.9m). The Abba musical has, however, sold 3,862,569 tickets against Hancock's 3,842,111.

However, the most successful film of the year so far remains Til Schweiger's Rabbit Without Ears (Keinohrhasen), which was released by Warner Bros. in December 2007. The romantic comedy has now clocked up $54.2m (Euros 40.2m) from 6.2m admissions. The film was seen by 4.7m cinema-goers so far in 2008 alone.

Not surprisingly, Warner is the market leader for the first nine months with a 21.5% market share thanks to such films as Schweiger's comedy, The Dark Night, Sex And The City, and I Am Legend. Universal is not far behind though, with a 20.8% share from titles such as Mamma Mia! The Movie, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, and Kung Fu Panda.

Constantin Film held on to its traditional place as the leading German independent distributor with an 8.2% market share. Dennis Gansel's school drama The Wave (Die Welle) is the group's most successful release so far this year with $ 20.3m (Euros 15.1m) takings.