Singapore'stheatrical business saw a 9% year-on-year rise in box office revenues in 2004 to $73m(S$120m) thanks largely to the popularity of summer releases.

Spider Man 2, which grossed $3.27m,finished on top to become not only Singapore's highest grossing film in 2004,but also the fourth biggest film of all time after passing its predecessor'srecord of $3.21m.

Sixother key summer attractions contributed to the surge in box office revenues.These include the third Harry Potterwhich took second place, The Day AfterTomorrow (4th), Shrek 2(5th), Troy (6th),Van Helsing (10th) andlocal production The Best Bet (8th),all of which opened between May and June.

The Passion of the Christ, which came in 10th,was the first M18 film released in Singapore after the rating system wasrevised for the first time in a decade. Grossing $1.56m, it set the record fora film with such a high rating.

StephenChow-directed Kung Fu Hustle,together with The Best Bet, was oneof the only two Chinese titles that cracked the top 10, a reflection of how theSingapore market is dominated by Hollywood titles.

But Kung Fu Hustle, which grossed $1.14m atthe opening Christmas weekend, emerged as the biggest opener for a Chinese filmand the fifth biggest opener in Singapore's film history. While the actioncomedy is still playing at theatres, its opening weekend has alreadyout-grossed the entire run of Chow's ShaolinSoccer which took $930,000 in 2001.

More new titlesalso helped to boost ticket sales. In 2004, 309 titles were released, up 18.4%from last year. The number of titles that UIP and Mediacorp Raintree handled,for instance, was an all-time high.