Poland has recorded aphenomenal box office increase of 43% during 2004 - from $103.4m (Zlotys324.3m) in 2003 to $148m (Zlotys 464.2m) last year.

Admissions saw a similarleap, from 20033s 23.8 million admissions to 33.3 million in 2004, a 40% hike.With a total population of 38.6 million people there is still a low per capitaadmissions rate (0.8) in the country compared to leading European territories.

For the first time in threeyears Lord Of The Rings was not able to top the annual chart with ReturnOf The King reaching third place despite earning more in the country thanits predecessor The Two Towers.

UIPHs Shrek 2 led thebox office ahead of Mel Gibsonns The Passion Of The Christ, howeveradmissions marginally favoured The Passion which had a lower averageticket price of $4.12 (Zlotys 12.91) than Shrek 2Hs $4.53.

With a population that is95% Roman Catholic it is of little surprise that The Passion performedso well in the incumbent Popees homeland. Poland was the ninth highest grossinginternational territory for the film which helped provide the best month of theyear in March when 4.6 million admissions were recorded for a $19.5m (Zlotys61.1m) gross. This put it ahead of Julyys 4.12 million admissions when Shrek2 ruled the charts. Only four local titles made the top fifty led by NigdyW Zyciu which placed fourth.

Film (Nat) Dist Total Adms Totalgross
Shrek 2 (US) UIP 3.4m $15.4m
The Passion Of The Christ (US) Monolith 3.45m $14.2m
Lotr: Return Of The King (US-NZ) Warner Bros 2.1m $9.5m
Troy (US) Warner Bros 1.18m $5.5m
Brother Bear (US) Forum Film 1.17m $4.6m

Film (Nat) Dist Total Adms Totalgross
Nigdy W Zyciu (Pol) ITI Cinema/Interfilm 1.6m $7.3m
Vinci (Pol) ITI Cinema 0.34m $1.7m*
Prengi (Pol) Vision Dist 0.32m $1.4m*
Alexander (Fr-Neth-UK) Monolith/SPI 0.25m $1.2m*
Downfall (Ger) Monolith 0.23m $1.1m
Source: ES Media
* Still on release at end of year.