Intheir exhaustive annual analysis of the entertainment sector in Spain publishedyesterday, the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) and the FundacionAutor have pinpointed a rise in fortunes for Spanish films in 2003 - to 15.8percent of the market, up from 13 percent in 2002. However, overall, they foundaudience figures for all films are still down despite a rise in screens.

The hike for Spanish film was largely due to twotop-grossing titles, La Gran Aventura de Mortadelo y Filemon and DiasDe Futbol. Mortadelo alonetook 22.5 percent of all box office revenues for Spanish films.

Butthe SGAE found that audience figures are down, despite an increase of 5.1% inthe number of screens in 2003 to 4,251.

The market is still focused in Madrid (15% of screens and19.8% of all viewers) and Barcelona (12.5% of screens, and 16.2% of viewers).The increased screen capacity led to a 10 percent rise in screenings throughoutSpain, but admissions were still down to 135 million in 2003, not a hugepercentage drop at 2.9% but a confirmation of a downward slide which started in2002 after a decade of uninterrupted growth.

Per capita, the figures show Spaniards paying 3.18 visits tothe cinemas per year. Although that's a drop from 3.42 in 2002, it still gives Spainthe third-highest per capita viewing figure in Europe after Ireland (4.46) andIceland (5.65), according to the SGAE.

Overall box office rose by a scanty 1.4 percent to Euros 636million in 2003, with 67.4 percent of that being swallowed by US films. 716titles US titles were distributed, and 416 Spanish titles.