The largest player in the Irish cinema advertising market,Carlton Screen Advertising, has reported an all-time high of 1.9m admissions inthe Republic of Ireland for the month of July. This compares with 1.6madmissions for the same month last year, a rise of 18%.

Shrek 2 and Spiderman 2, aided by some bad weatherlater in the month, are credited with having had the drawing power to pushIrish admissions within striking distance of the 2 million a month benchmark. Shrek 2 with a cumulative gross of justover Euros 6m is now second after Titanicin the all time top ten grossing films in the Republic of Ireland.

While June also recorded a substantial increase (22%) onlast year, the first six months of 2004 showed a marginal decline on the firstsix months of 2003 with the months of January, February and May recordingnotable drops.

While Irish box office figures bucked a Europe-wide negativetrend in 2003 the growth was largely achieved on the success of a number ofIrish-made films, led by Veronica Guerinand Intermission, which accounted forEuros 11m of the local box office last year.

Irish releases have, so far, failed to match these resultsin 2004 and the trade will be watching to see how local fare Adam & Paul (Abbey Films, August27), Man About Dog (BVI, Oct 1) and Inside I'm Dancing (Momentum, Oct. 10),perform.