Germanexhibitors are on the rebound as cinemas reported a 17.89% year-on-yearincrease in admissions and 18.08% rise in box-office takings for the first fourmonths of 2006.

Accordingto Jan Oesterlin, managing director of Zukunft Kino Marketing (ZKM), cinema attendance andreceipts this year even surpassed the strong beginning of 2004, with admissionsup 5.92% and revenues increasing 6.61% over the same period two years ago.

Oesterlein suggested that the upwards trend would continuethroughout this year as there are several strong titles coming through such as The Da Vinci Code,Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and the local family film Hui Buh - Das Schlossgespenst and theliterary adaptation Perfume - The StoryOf A Murderer.

"Iam certain that the combination of strong films, the 'Cinema. That's what filmsare made for' campaign, and the commitment of the cinemas
will ensure for a successful cinema year," Oesterleindeclared.

Theoptimism of the exhibitors and distributors is also underscored by statisticscollated by Nielsen EDI for the first 16 calendar weeks of 2006 which showedbox-office takings of $332.4m (Euros 262.11m), compared to $278.2m (Euros219.34m) for 2005 and $329.7m (Euros 244.9m) for 2004. The most successfulrelease so far this year was Ice Age 2:The Meltdown, which opened on April 6 and has taken more than$49.9m (Euros39.3m) and been seen by more than 7m cinema-goers.