Continuing on an upward trend, Malaysia's 2007 box office crossed RM300m for the first time with its revenues hitting an all-time high of $100.64m (RM325m), up a whopping 22.55% from the previous year.

In addition to the three record-breaking Hollywood blockbusters - Transformers, Spider-Man 3 and Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End - which broke the RM10m barrier as reported earlier, Indian Tamil films also contributed significantly to the box office growth.

Sivaji: The Boss, which emerged as Malaysia 's highest grossing Tamil film of all-time, took sixth place in the top ten, beating Mr. Bean's Holiday and Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer. Other Indian Tamil films such as Vel, Azhagiya Tamil Magan and Pokkiri also fared considerably well to enter the top ten Asian films chart topped by Sivaji.

The above Indian Tamil films were distributed by Lotus-5 Star which also operates several cinemas in major cities. Indians are one of the major ethnic groups in multi-racial Malaysia.

Local producer-distributor MetroWealth churned out a big hit, Jangan Pandang Belakang (Don't Look Back), which was in the top ten and became the top local film of all time.

Nevertheless, the market share for local productions contracted to 7.7% with a combined box office of RM25m, compared to 11.2% in 2006 with RM29.6m.

Of the 328 titles released, 52% were Asian (excluding Malaysian) films, 38.7% were Hollywood and non-Asian films, and only 7.7% were locally produced.

The local releases included the limited release of a handful of award-winning films such as Liew Seng Tat's Flower In The Pocket, Deepak Kumaran Menon's Chalanggai and James Lee's Before We Fall In Love Again.

'[With an increase of RM80m], 2007 saw the strongest absolute increase in gross box office ever in Malaysia, being fueled by new screens and a very strong product line-up from the majors. We are expecting this to continue into 2008 as more screens open and a more robust line-up is being released,' said Nicholas Yong, UIP managing director for Malaysia and Singapore.

A record 88 new screens were added last year with no fewer than another 50 set to open in 2008.

Malaysia 's Top 10 Films (2007)

1. Transformers (UIP) $5.67m (RM18.3m)

2. Spider-Man 3 (SPR) $5.33m (RM17.2m)

3. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (BVI) $4.33m (RM14m)

4. Ghost Rider (SPR) $3.1m (RM10m)

5. Rush Hour 3 (GSC) $2.72m (RM8.8m)

6. Sivaji: The Boss (Lotus-5 Star) $2.6m (RM8.4m)

7. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (WB) $2.60m (RM8.4m)

8. Mr. Bean's Holiday (UIP) $2.39m (RM7.7m)

9. Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (Fox) $2.23m (RM7.2m)

10. Jangan Pandang Belakang (MetroWealth) $1.95m (RM6.3m)

Malaysia 's Top 10 Asian Films (2007)

1. Sivaji: The Boss (Tamil) Lotus-5 Star - $2.6m (RM8.4m)

2. Jangan Pandang Belakang (Malay) MetroWealth - $1.95m (RM6.3m)

3. Otai (Malay) Grand Brilliance - $1.84m (RM3.5m)

4. Vel (Tamil) Lotus-5 Star - $0.90m (RM2.9m)

5. Protege (Chinese) GSC - $0.84m (RM2.7m)

6. Azhagiya Tamil Magan (Tamil) Lotus-5 Star - $0.77m (RM2.5m)

7. Zombi Kampung Pisang (Malay) GSC - $0.77m (RM2.5m)

8. Nana Tanjung 2 (Malay) Grand Brilliance - $0.68m (RM2.2m)

9. Twins Mission (Chinese) RAM - $0.68m (RM2.2m)

10. Pokkiri (Tamil) Lotus-5 Star - $0.65m (RM2.1m)