Germany saw arecord-breaking weekend in the cinemas with the first four days on release ofthe Mel Gibson-starrer What Women Wantand Ridley Scott's Hannibal. Accordingto the German distributors association VdF, the result(February 15-18) of 3,563,651 admissions and box office takings of $19,937,759 (DM42,898,463) broke the previous record set in September 1997 by such films as Men In Black, Bean and The Fifth Element.

Statisticscollated by AC Nielsen/EDI report that the Buena Vista release of What Women Want opened with 726 printsto take the top No. 1 position with 1,281,330 admissions and a screen averageof 1,764, while Scott's sequel to Jonathan Demme's The Silence Of The Lambs came in at No. 2 with 1,075,660 admissionsbut a higher screen average - 1,887 - from 570 prints for distributor TobisStudioCanal.

This was thefirst time in German film history that two films were each able to sell morethan one million tickets in the four-day period from Thursday to Sunday, andalso the first time that an '18' certificate film attracted more than onemillion over that time.

Compared tothe previous four day period (February 8-11), box office shot up by over 90% andadmissions by some 86%.