2004 was a greatyear for Hong Kong's theatrical business with strong box office revenues postedfor both local and foreign productions.

The figurescompiled by the Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA) put total box officetaking at $118m (HK$917m) as of December 30 - almost returning to the high 2001level of $129m.

HongKong-produced films grossed $54 million in total, up 15% from last year andaccounting for an impressive 46% of this year's total box office. The number oflocal films released, however, continued its downward slide to 64, compared to77 in 2003, 92 in 2002 and 133 in 2001.

Five of the top10 were local titles, including Fantasiawhich came in fifth, New Police Story(6th), Magic Kitchen (7th),Elixir of Love (9th) aswell as Kung Fu Hustle, the mostanticipated Chinese film of the year written and directed by Hong Kong king ofcomedy Stephen Chow.

Although theaction comedy opened only on Dec 23, it quickly earned $4.8m million in itsfirst week, vaulting the third HarryPotter (which grossed $4.4m in its entire run) from the second position.Chow's Shaolin Soccer is Hong Kong'shighest grossing film of all time after collecting $7.7m in 2001.

Thanks to thestellar performance of the summer releases, five Hollywood titles made it to thetop 10. The Day After Tomorrow whichhauled in $5.3m was the highest grossing film in 2004.

A total of 168foreign productions were released which scored $63.6m at the box office,compared to 176 titles and $54m in 2003 (up to December 14).

Top 10 filmsin Hong Kong from 1 January to 30 December 2004

1. The Day AfterTomorrow $5.3m (HK$41.63m)

2. Kung FuHustle $4.8m (HK$37.71m) (still playing)

3. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban $4.4m (HK$33.91m)

4. Spider Man 2$4.1m (HK$31.91m)

5. Fantasia $3.2m(HK$25.24m)

6. New PoliceStory $2.7m (HK$21.10m)

7. Magic Kitchen$2.6m (HK$20.22m)

8. Troy $2.2m(HK$17.39m)

9. Elixir of Love $2m (HK$15.80m)

10. Shrek 2 $2m(HK$15.74m)