Swedish cinemas struck back in 2006, having lost 11% both in attendance and gross box office receipts the year before: admissions reached 15.3 million and ticket sales $181 million (Eu131 million), up 5% and 7%, respectively.

However, according to the annual report on the film industry published by the Swedish Film Institute, local productions suffered another set-back, controlling 18.8% of the market, 3.8% down on 2006 and less than the 1997-2006 average of 20.6%.

From 44 domestic releases (2005: 45), including eight full-length documentaries, five qualified for the Top 20 charts, but only one - Colin Nutley's Heartbreak Hotel - took more than 400,000 admissions.

Neither Heartbreak Hotel nor the latest installment of the Beck thriller franchise (286,000), local comedies Offside (253,000), Göta Kanal 2 (227,000) and Every Second Week (194,000) entered the 1997-2006 list of the 20 most popular Swedish movies.

New Swedish Film Institute managing director Cissi Elwin has implemented a plan of action for the country's film production to improve the performance of local fare which has dropped steadily in spite of an increasing volume.

To avoid under-financed and under-developed projects, the institute will support fewer productions by larger subsidies, and by the selection the instiute's consultants will influence the repertoire more strongly. Last year institute support for production reached $25.8m (Euros 18.6m).

Six US productions exceeded 500,000 attendance, with Pirates of the Caribbean-Dead Man's Chest in the lead (1.135m), pushing the American share of the market to 65.4%, up 5.6%. European fare accounted for 13.7%, down 1.8%.

Buena Vista International Sweden became 2006's leading distributor from a 22% stake in ticket sales, while Bonnier-owned SF Bio - after the recent demise of Astoria Cinemas the sole major exhibitor - catered for 54% of the audiences. DVD sales took a high jump, soaring from 24m to 30m discs, while video was reduced from 2.8m units to 511,000.