Over 115m admissions have been registered atGermany's cinemas in the first nine months of 2004, up 12.7m on 2003's 102.5mfor the same period, according to figures collated by the German Federal FilmBoard (FFA).

The FFA noted thatadmissions increased year-on-year by almost 89% in July, 21% in August and 12%in September.

Thanks to the popularity of such local summerreleases as Dreamship Surprise - Period 1 ((T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode1), Der Wixxer and The Downfall (Der Untergang), a total of23.5m tickets were sold for German productions between January 1 and September30, compared to 14.4m last year. This translates into a local market share of20.7% (2003: 14.4%) ,with the three above-mentioned titles alone attractingover half of this share.

The FFA suggested that German films would alsoprove the motor for further box office success in the fourth quarter of 2004.The family films Lauras Stern and Bibi Blocksberg Und Das GeheimnisDer Blauen Eulen have already both passed the 1m admissions mark and arelikely to continue doing business in the run-up to Christmas. In addition, thecomedy 7 Dwarves (7 Zwerge - Maenner Allein In Wald) had already clockedup 4m admissions in its first two weeks of release.

While there would be no Lord Of The Ringsor Harry Potter films at the end of this year, the Berlin-based bodyargued that the new Bridget Jones film and Oliver Stone's Alexander couldbe key attractions which would contribute to 2004's box office total returningto the level of 2002 when 163.9m admissions were posted.

Box-office takings over the first nine monthsincreased year-on-year from Euros 586.3m in 2003 to Euros 659.5m this year,while the average ticket price climbed by one cent from Euros 5.72 to Euros5.73, the FFA reported