Warner Bros. was top dog at the German box office last year and has started well in 2004 with the final episode of The Lord Of The Rings continuing to reign supreme for the fourth week running and the Tom Cruise vehicle The Last Samurai entering at No. 2 with $ 4.9m gross from 829 prints.

However, the impressive $5,955 screen average for Zwick's martial epic was trounced by the week's only other new entry to the Top 15 - Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation at No. 5 - which scored an average of $8,709 from 88 prints to gross $ 766,398.

This latest success will be further proof for Constantin Film of its wisdom in developing a strand for quality arthouse titles after last year's release of such films as Hero and City Of God.