Germany's arthouse sector reported a slight increase in admissions for 2002, according to an internal survey conducted by AG Kino, the trade association for specialist cinemas.

The survey reported that admissions grew between 5%-8% in the cities, while admissions in smaller towns either remained stable or fell slightly. In comparison, German multiplexes posted an 8% drop in admissions in 2002 over 2001, and overall cinema admissions fell by 7.9% from 2001's 177.9m to 163.9m last year.

AG Kino's chairman Detlef Rossmann pointed out that "in the first quarter of 2003, the specialist cinemas again registered distinct increases in admissions thanks to an excellent range of films on offer. Arthouse [films] and quality cinemas are enjoying a strong growth in interest from the audiences."

Among the films scoring with arthouse audiences so far this year are Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin!, the European Film Award-winning French documentary Etre Et Avoir, Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine, and Julie Taymor's biopic Frida.

Last year's downward trend for multiplexes and cinemas in general had continued into 2003, according to Rossmann.

Top 10 Arthouse films 2002

1 8 Femmes (France) Constantin Film, Euros 7.99m
2 Nackt (Germany) Constantin Film, Euros 5.7m
3 Italian For Beginners (Denmark), Kinowelt, Euros 4.76m
4 The Pianist (France-Poland-Germany-UK), Tobis, Euros 4.7m
5 Winged Migration (France-Germany), Kinowelt, Euros 4.6m
6 Bowling For Columbine (Canada-Germany) Prokino, Euros 4.34m
7 The Others (Spain) Senator, Euros 4.31m
8 Solino (Germany) X Verleih, Euros 3.1m
9 Bend It Like Beckham (UK-Germany) Highlight, Euros 2.81m
10 Gosford Park (UK-USA) UIP/ottfilm, Euros 2.8m