Thailand 's box office scored a hat trick in 2006 by breaking the $87m (BHT3bn) milestone for three years running.

Total box office in the major cities of Bangkok and Chiangmai reached $91.69m (BHT3.15bn) in 2006, up by 2.5% from the previous year. The results were better than the Thai industry had predicted as there was a lack of local and Hollywood blockbusters earlier in the year

While 2005 saw five films break the $2.9m (BHT100m) barrier, three of which were Thai pictures, only two Hollywood pictures did so in 2006. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest grossed $3.58m (BHT123m) while Mission: Impossible III took $3.11m (BHT107m) to become the top two grossing films of the year.

The highest-grossing Thai picture was the country's first 3D animation Khan Kluay which took $2.82m (BHT97.3m) to become the biggest animation of all time in Thailand.

The better-than-expected results were mainly driven by two strong titles which opened in the last two months of the year. Noodle Boxer, a local comedy about a noodle joint owner who dreams of becoming a boxer, emerged as a surprise hit when it took the number one spot for two weeks and went on to gross $2.76m (BHT95.2m), whereas Casino Royale opened strongly and collected $2.34m (BHT80.8m).

Four local productions cracked the overall top ten. A combined $33.14m (BHT1.14bn) from local releases was recorded, representing a market share of 36.2%.

Thailand Top Ten Films 2006

1. Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 (BVI) $3.58m (123.1m)

2. Mission Impossible III (UIP) $3.11m (107.2m)

3. Khan Kluay (Sahamongkol) $2.82m (97.3m)

4. Nong & Teng: Sons Of Golden Mountain (Sahamongkol) $2.77m (95.4m)

5. * Noodle Boxer (RS Films) $2.76m (95.2m)

6. X-Men: The Last Stand (Fox) $2.66m (91.6m)

7. Superman Returns (WB) $2.42m (83.5m)

8. Casino Royale (BVI) $2.34m (80.8m)

9. The Da Vinci Code (BVI) $2.14m (73.6m)

10. Seasons Change (GTH) $2.08m (71.7m)

*Still on release after December 31

Thailand Top Ten Local Films 2006

1. Khan Kluay (Sahamongkol) $2.82m (97.3m)

2. Nong & Teng: Sons Of Golden Mountain (Sahamongkol) $2.77m (95.4m)

3. * Noodle Boxer (RS Films) $2.76m (95.2m)

4. Seasons Change (GTH) $2.08m (71.7m)

5. See How They Run (GTH) $2.02m (69.7m)

6. The Memory (RS Films) $1.62m (55.7m)

7. Noo-Hin The Movie (Sahamongkolfilm) $1.58m (54.4m)

8. Metrosexual (GTH) $1.49m (51.3m)

9. Loveaholic (Sahamongkolfilm) $1.47m (50.6m)

10. Dorm (GTH) $1.46m (50.3m)

* Still on release after December 31