The Polish box office declined slightly in 2002, falling back by half a million compared to 26 million admissions in 2001.

Some pundits have blamed the lack of big budget Polish productions for the decline. In 2001 the box office was driven by Quo Vadis with more than 4m admissions and the top three slots in the top ten were all Polish films.

Andrzej Wajda's Vengeance starring Roman Polanski and released in the autumn was the top Polish box office entry for 2002 with nearly 2m admissions. More than 1m Poles also saw Roman Polanski's The Pianist which was co-produced by local production outfit Heritage Films. Polish productions accounted for more than 25 percent of the overall box office.

But the top spots at the box office were taken by Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and the first instalment of the Lord of the Rings. With the next instalments of both on the way and no major Polish productions in the pipeline the 2003 box office could look like a re-run of 2002.

US films made up the rest of the top ten while two French films Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra and Amelie made it into the top 20.

Local distributors Warner Bros Poland took a 33 percent share of the local market while Syrena Entertainment Group which last year scored bit with Polish blockbusters Quo Vadis and The Spring To Come dropped to a 25 percent share with foreign titles from Buena Vista and Fox. UIP and local indies Vision and Gutek Film made up the majority of the rest of the numbers.