Germany's box office has made a welcome recovery since Mayafter a year-on-year decline in admissions and revenues for the first quarterof 2004, according to EDI Nielsen.

In April, EDI reported that admissions were down 6.4% fromlast year's 37.58m to 35.18m in the first three months, while revenues slipped8.6% from Euros 225.68m to Euros 206.27m.

However, in the period between January 1 and June 20, EDIreported box office takings of Euros 396.4m, compared to Euros 393.5m for thesame period in 2003, and more than 67m tickets sold (2003: 66m).

Industry observers suggest that this turnaround in theGerman cinema sector's fortunes is thanks to the wave of blockbusters sinceearly May such as Van Helsing (Euros14.5m to date), Troy ($ 34.2m), The Day After Tomorrow ($ 27.5m) and thesurprise local hit Der Wixxer($11.7m). Moreover, Harry Potter 3 has taken over $ 39.4m since opening on June3 .

Exhibitors and distributors are now optimistic that 2004will end with a box office result equalling or surpassing 2003. They point tothe high expectations of such forthcoming releases as Shrek 2 (UIP, July 1), Spider-Man2 (Columbia TriStar, July 8), (T)RaumschiffSurprise - Periode 1 (Constantin Film, July 15) and I Robot (20th Century Fox, August 5).