Movie attendance fell by an estimated 5.2% at Brazil's theatres in 2007, according to Filme B, a local film company that reviews theatrical market data.

Since 2005 there has been a drop in admissions in the country, where 85.5m tickets were sold last year. Box office revenues went down slightly by 1.6%, bringing the total to $390.5m (R$ 684m). The official numbers will be announced next week.

There was an increase in tickets price (up 3.9% from the previous year), which contributed heavily to the fall in admissions and revenue in Brazil, where moviegoers are very price sensitive. 'If a family saves the money spent on movie tickets for six months, they can buy a DVD player or even a home theatre,' said Paulo Sergio Almeida, director of Filme B. 'The only films that can break this pattern, creating a sense of urgence, are the blockbusters which could have done better in Brazil last year.'

The biggest local hit was Jose Padilha's Elite Squad, which sold 2.4m tickets and 'saved' the market in the second half of the year, when most Hollywood titles performed below expectations. The film opened Rio International Film Festival last September and will be in competition in Berlin next month.

Elite Squad is the only domestic production to appear in the top 10 films of 2007 at number seven. 'Elite Squad could have attracted many more spectactors, probably 4m in total, if its performance hadn't been harmed by the piracy,'' says Cesar Silva, director of Paramount Pictures Brasil.

Brazilian films were seen by 10.3m people, representing a market share of 12% (as opposed to 11% registered last year). Besides Elite Squad, a contoversial title for exposing police corruption, A Grande Familia - O Filme, was also responsible for keeping moviegoers interested in local films. Directed by Mauricio Farias, the movie version of a famous country's sitcom sold more than 2m tickets.

For 2008 the most promising Brazilian films are Mauro Lima's Meu Nome Não e Johnny, a drama about a young man from Rio who became the most infamous drugdealer in the 80's and 90's, and Bruno Barreto's 174, based on a real-life hijacking of a Rio bus. Meu Nome opened last Friday, selling 151,200 tickets in three days, and 174 will be released in August.

Top 10 Brazil 2007 (in admissions)
1 Spider Man 3 (Sony) 6.1m
2 Shrek The Third (Paramount/Dreamworks) 4.6m
3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Warner) 4.2m
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (BVI) 3.8m
5 Night at the Museum (Fox) 3m
6 300 (Warner) 2.7m
7 Elite Squad (Universal) 2.4m
8 The Simpsons Movie (Fox) 2.2m
9 Ratatouille (BVI) 2.2m
10 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Fox) 2.1m