Italy'sbox office tumbled 7.1% in 2005 to $648.5m (536.9m Euros), with the industrysorely missing the previous year's juggernauts The Passion of The Christ and Lordof the Rings: The Return Of The King. Still, November's record-breakingrelease of Harry Potter And The Goblet OfFire and a Christmas season marked by Italian blockbuster comedies, meantthat overall 2005 results in Italy were less drastic than many internationalterritories.

Accordingto Cinetel, which tracks 75% of the Italian market, Italy clocked in 90,630,334admissions in 2005 - a 7.46% drop on 2004's 97,940,986 admissions.

In2004, the local box office grossed $698.1m (577.9m Euros).

Theresults were still better than 2003's 87.5 million admissions, which werethemselves down from 2002's 89.2m.

Meanwhile,Italian films fared well: the market share of local pictures rose 4% in 2005 to24.7%. Local films grossed $159.4m (132m Euros) and registered 22.3madmissions.

Localtitles were led by December's Christmasin Miami (Natale a Miami) - the latest in Filmauro's blockbuster Natale series - which grossed $24.6m (20.4mEuros) from 3,298,538 admissions.

NeriParenti's comedy, reported the final instalment in the 20-year-old series,joins 2002 entry Christmas On The Nile(Natale Sur Nilo) (4.6 million admissions) in the country's top 20 films ofall time. It has already surpassed 2003's ChristmasIn India (3.1 million admissions) and 2004's Christmas In Love (2.87 million).

Medusa'slocal comedy Ti Amo In Tutte Le LingueDel Mondo released the same week as ChristmasIn Miami in Italy - has grossed $20.39m (16.88m Euros) to date. Together, thetwo Italian films successfully held their own against The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe $16.86m (13.96m Euros) and King Kong, which hasearned a lukewarm $ 9.65m (7.99m Euros)since its release on December 16. Overall, December's results were down 0.82%on the same month in 2004.

2005had got off to a poor start: the industry reported a 13-14% loss at the boxoffice in the first six months of the year, partly due to 2004's champions The Passion of The Christ $24m (19.9m Euros)and Lord of the Rings: The Return Of TheKing $27.6m (22.85m Euros).However, War of the Worlds boostedJuly's year-on-year takings by 44%.

TheItalian film industry was also buoyed by the extraordinary opening of Harry Potter And the Goblet of Fire,which earned a massive $9m (7.5m Euros) on its opening weekend on November 25 -the biggest opening in Italy of all time.

Thoughfinal distributor market share figures are not yet available UIP once again appearsa clear champion releasing top earner Madagscarand five further top 20 titles. These included Shark Tale (February 25) and BridgetJones: The Edge Of Reason (January 7) which saw 2005 releases in Italyhaving released in most international territories in 2004.

Top20 films - Italy 2005

Title(Distrubutor) Total adms Total gross

1 Madagascar (UIP) 3.6m $25m

2 Christmas In Miami (FilmAuro) 3.3m$24.1m*

3 Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire(Warner Bros) 3.3m $23.4m*

4 Ti Amo in Tutte Le Lingue Del Mondo(Medusa) 2.7m $19.9m*

5 The Tiger And The Snow (01 Distribution)2.5m $17.5m*

6 Meet The Fockers (UIP) 2.4m $17m

7 Manuale D'Amore (FilmAuro) 2.35m $16.5m

8 The Chronicles Of Narnia (BVI) 2.3m$16.5m*

9 War Of The Worlds (UIP) 2.2m $15.6m

10Charlie And The Chocolate Factory(Warner Bros) 1.85m $12.75m

11Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason(UIP) 1.6m $11.8m

12Fantastic Four (20th Fox) 1.5m $10.7m

13Shark Tale (UIP) 1.5m $10.35m

14Star Wars: Episode III (20th Fox) 1.4m $10m

15Alexander (Warner Bros) 1.4m $9.9m

16King Kong (UIP) 1.3m $9.4m*

17Million Dollar Baby (01 Distribution)1.32m $9.2m

18Mr And Mrs Smith (01 Distribution)1.23m $9m*

19Hitch (SPRI) 1.25m $9m

20Kingdom Of Heaven (Medusa) 1.26m$8.8m

*Still on release at year-end.