Thanks to such local hits as Til Schweiger's romantic comedy Rabbit Without Ears and Dennis Gansel's school drama The Wave, box-office takings for German films increased year-on-year by almost 50% in the first half of 2008.

While German films posted $ 103m (Euros 64.4m) in the first six months of 2007, this total climbed 49.1% to $ 153.6m (Euros 96m) for this year.

In comparison, ticket sales for US films slipped 8.5% to $ 367.4m (Euros 229.6m) from last year's $401.4m (Euros 250.9m), while the releases of all other films generated 23.1% less takings than during the first half of 2007 to come out at a total of $54.4m (Euros 34m.)

It was therefore thanks to the success of the German releases - which also included The Wild Soccer Bunch 5, Cherry Blossoms and Summer - that managed to offset the disappointing results of several US films in the past months so that the overall half-year result of $ 575.2m (Euros 359.5m) ended up the same as last year's.

According to Nielsen EDI's statistics, German films clinched a 26.7% market share which, however, did not include the documentary Our Earth.

The German-UK co-production has so far taken $ 34.4m (Euros 21.5m) since opening on February 7 for Universum Film.

The top German film, Rabbit Without Ears is still in German cinemas seven months after its release by Warner Bros on December 20 and has now been seen by over 6.1m cinema-goers with takings of $63m (Euros 39.4m).

On August 7, the romantic comedy will be released on 140 prints in Russia by Cascade Film, followed a week later by TOV Gemini opening the film on 40 screens in Ukraine.