Germancinemas saw takings fall year-on-year by 18.1% and admissions by 20.4% in 2005,according to figures collated by Nielsen EDI for January 3 2005 to January 1 2006.

Box-officerevenues amounted to $869.5 (720.1m Euros), compared to 1061.6m ( 879.1m Euros) in 2004, while the total admissions slippedfrom 151m to 121.3m in the past 12 months.

Theterritory's decline was in line with much of Europe and had already been anticipatedearly on in the year since there had been year-on-year shortfalls in everymonth of the year except for March and November.

March,which saw gains of 4% over the same period in 2004, had been fuelled largely bya spectacular run for Sony Pictures' romantic comedy Hitch which grossed $ 33.8m to become the 4th most successfulrelease in 2005. Germany was the most successful Europeanterritory for the romantic comedy ahead of the UK's $33.5m. Robots, which opened on March 11 for 20th Century Fox was alsostrong with $11m.

November'sboost - up 3% on 2004 - was largely thanks to Warner's Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire which grossed a colossal $ 58m(49m Euros) by the end of the year, making it Germany's top grossing film for2005 and more than $ 10m ahead of the second placed film Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Siths.

AlthoughUIP released five fewer titles in 2005 than a year before, the Frankfurt-basedmajor remained at the top of the distributors pile for a second year runningand even extended its market share from 20.3% to 23.0% thanks to such strongtitles as Madagascar, War Of The Worlds,Meet The Fockers and King Kong.

WhileWarner and Buena Vista held on to second and third places with only slightreductions in their market shares, Fox saw its slice of the box-office cakegrow from 2004's 7.6% to 11.8% thanks to the year's No.2 film, Star Wars: Episode III with $59.1m (49m Euros) Fox's second best performer, RidleyScott's Kingdom Of Heaven just missedthe Top 10 at No. 11 with $15.4m (12.8m Euros) takings followed by Robots (at No. 14) with $9.9m (8.2m. Euros).

While Constantin retained its market leader position among theGerman independent distributors, it was with a much reduced market share - downfrom 2004's 14.9%, which had also put it ahead of Sony and Fox - to 6.4%.

True, theMunich-based producer-distributor was behind the release of the year's toplocal film, Hermine Huntgeburth'sThe White Masai (Die Weisse Massai)which premiered internationally at the TorontoInternational Film Festival in September before being released in Germancinemas and ended the year at No. 9 in the Top 10. But Constantin- and the German film industry overall - suffered from not having a blockbusteron the scale of a (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1or 7 Dwarfs (7 Zwerge)to boost the domestic market share.

In 2004,the Michael "Bully" Herbig scifi send-up had been seen by over 9.1m cinema-goers andtaken over $61.8m (51.2m Euros) to become the year's overall No. 1. The localfilms' share consequently increased from 2003's 17.5% to 24.5% with no lessthan three German films charting in the year's Top 10

However,2005 only saw one local film reach the year's Top 10 - TheWhite Masai which made just a quarter of (T)Raumschiff'sbusiness - and the local market share is expected to have dipped back under 20%again.

Amidstthe gloom about the year-on-year drop in takings and admissions, there was someconsolation to be had from Kinowelt's successfulreturn to the circle of leading players in the German distribution scene: theLeipzig-based company was the second most successful independent after Constantin clinching the year's No. 5 film placing with Mr & Mrs Smith at $25.6m ( 21.2m. Euros) Other successfulreleases included March Of The Penguinsand Million Dollar Baby.

Another2005 success story was Munich-based Universum Filmwhich came seemingly from nowhere to garner a 2.6% market share off suchreleases as Around TheWorld In 80 Days, Sahara and The Transporter.


1 Harry Potter AndThe Goblet Of Fire (UK-US) Warner Bros, Euros 49.3m

2 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge OfThe Siths (US), 20th Fox, Euros 37.6m

3 Madagascar (US), UIP, Euros 35m

4 Hitch (US), Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational, Euros 25.5m

5 Mr & Mrs Smith (US), Kinowelt, Euros 21.2m

6 Meet The Fockers (US), UIP, Euros 19.1m

7 The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (US), BVI,Euros 16.62m

8 War Of The Worlds (US), UIP, Euros 16.61m

9 The White Masai(Ger), Constantin, Euros 13.8m

10 King Kong (US-NZ), UIP, Euros 13m

Source: Nielsen EDI, 3.1.05 - 1.1.06


1 The White Masai,Constantin, Euros 13.8m

2 Barfuss, BVI,Euros 8.9m

3 Die Wilden Kerle 2, BVI, Euros 7.3m

4 Siegfried, Constantin,Euros 7.1m

5 The Little Polar Bear 2 (Der Kleine Eisbaer2), Warner, Euros 6.2m

6 Alles Auf Zucker!, X Verleih, Euros 5.8m

7 Felix - Ein Hase Auf Weltreise, UIP,Euros 5.65m

8 Sophie Scholl - The Last Days, X Verleih, Euros 5.62m

9 Es IstEin Elch Entsprungen, BVI, Euros 5.3m

10 NVA, Delphi, Euros 4.6m

Source: Nielsen EDI, 3.1.05 - 1.1.06


1 UIP,23.0% (2004: 20.3%), Euros 165.7m

2 Warner,17.7% (19.7%), Euros 127.3m

3 Buena Vista, 14.1% (15.8%), Euros 101.3m

4 Fox,11.8% (7.6%), Euros 85.6m

5 SonyPictures, 8.0% ( 8.6%), Euros 52m

6 Constantin, 6.4% (14.9%), Euros 45.6m

7 Kinowelt, 5.1% (2.3%), Euros 36.4m

8 Universum, 2.6% (-), Euros 18.8m

9 X Verleih, 2.0% (-), Euros 14.1m

10 Tobis, 1.7% (1.2%), Euros 12.1m

Source: Nielsen EDI, 3.1.05 - 1.1.06