Germany's box office saw a fall in admissions and revenuesfor the first quarter of 2004, according to figures collated by EDI Nielsen.

Admissions weredown 6.4% from last year's 37.58m to 35.18m in the first three months, whilerevenues slipped 8.6% from Euro 225.68m to Euro 206.27m.

Apart from the final part ofthe Lord Of The Rings trilogy, TheReturn Of The King, which opened onDecember 17 last year and was seen by over 3.9m cinema-goers in 2004, only fourother films - Something's Gotta Give, The Last Samurai, Scary Movie 3, and Brother Bear - passed the 2m admissions barrier.

The absence of alocal hit on the scale of Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin! between this January and March wassorely missed: the domestic market share slipped back to 10%, and box officerevenues for German films more than halved from 2003's Euro 42.33m to Euro20.57m, with admissions shrinking from 7.5m to 3.86m.

The Germanreleases in the first quarter failed to set the box office alight: LarsBuechel's Erbsen Auf Halb 6 and Achim von Boerries' Love In Thoughts couldn't get to the 200,000 admissionsmark and Warner Bros' release of the computer-animated feature Back To Gaya was a bitter disappointment with lessthan 100,000. In fact, the German market share was largely made up ofthree "holdovers" from 2003 - Ben Verbong's family film Das SamsIn Gefahr, Eric Till's Luther and Soenke Wortmann's The Miracle OfBern.

On thedistribution front, Warner Bros led the field with a market share of around30%, followed closely by Buena Vista whose top titles were Scary Movie 3,Brother Bear and TheHaunted Mansion. Themost successful German independent was Constantin Film with such releases as LostIn Translation and ThePassion Of The Christ.