Admissions to German cinemas fell by 50% in the second quarter compared to the first three months of 2008, according to figures prepared by EDI Nielsen.

Exhibitors posted $188.4m (Euros 119.3m) box-office revenues from 19m admissions between April and the end of June. The half-year total is $565.8m (Euros 358.1m) - slightly up on 2007's $564.2m (Euros 357.1m), but more than 4% below 2006's six-month total of $590.1m (Euros 373.5m).

The first quarter of 2008 had seen box office takings and admissions increasing by over 30% compared to the same period in 2007.

According to industry observers, a number of factors have contributed to the fall of admissions in the past three months: the Euro 2008 football championships in June as well as the anticipation of hot weather at weekends prompted distributors to hold back potential blockbusters until later on. An upturn in the exhibitors' fortunes should come now with the releases of Kung Fu Panda and Hancock since last Thursday (July 3) as well as forthcoming titles such as The Incredible Hulk on July 10and Get Smart on July 17.

There were only three releases between April and June which managed to negotiate the 1m admissions hurdle: Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (2.5m admissions/$27.4m), Sex and The City (2m/$22.4m) and What Happens In Vegas (1.1m/$11.2m).

The top German title - Mike Marzuk's coming of age tale Summer - took $7.9m (Euros 5m) at the box office with admissions of just over 900,000.

So far this year, Warner Bros. has led the field of distributors with a 24.5% market share and box-office takings of $138.7m (Euros 87.8m), while Constantin Film has taken the crown as the leading local independent distributor with a 6.4% share and takings of $ 56.1m (Euros 35.5m)