German cinema admissions and box office revenues fell by 10.9% and 12.2% respectively in the first six months of 2003 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics compiled by Nielsen EDI.

Around 67.46m cinemagoers were registered until June 29 - compared to 75.2m in 2002 - while box office takings slipped from Euros430m to Euros398.98m.

Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin! was the top ranking film between January and June with Euros35.46m in box office takings, followed by Matrix Reloaded (Euros28.6m) and The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (Euros27.42m).

The second most successful local release was the Erich Kaestner adaptation The Flying Classroom (Euros8.4m) with the last ever release from Columbia TriStar's German production arm Anatomie 2 clocking up Euros4.2m.

Thanks in particular to Lenin!'s performance, the German market share climbed up to 14.3% from an overall 11.9% for 2002. However, US films' market domination remained largely unaffected with a share of 75.2%.

The downward trend in the first six months of 2003 only continues a development witnessed year-on-year between 2002 and 2001: 2002's box-office turnover was down 2.8% from 2001's Euros 987.2m to Euro 960.1m and admissions fell 7.8% from 177.9m to 163.9m last year (Screen Daily, February 6 2003)