Ticket sales drop 2.5%

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine film admissions dropped 2.5% to 34.5 million in 2007 from 35.4 million a year earlier, with U.S. titles taking 82% of the market despite a robust offering of local films, according to Nielsen EDI Argentina and Dis-Service data.

“The Simpsons Movie” topped the chart with 2.55 million tickets sold, followed by “Shrek the Third” with 2.05 million and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” with 1.6 million.

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” trailed with 1.5 million, “Spider-Man 3″ with 1.4 million and “Ratatouille” with 1.35 million.

Argentina’s contingent of 92 releases – up from 74 releases in 2006 – drew 3.12 million admissions, or 9% of the total. That was down from 4.1 million, or 11.6% of the total, in 2006.

Action comedy “Incorregibles” led the pack with 750,000 admissions, coming in tenth overall. Juan Taratuto’s romantic comedy “Quien dice que es facil” (Who Says It’s Easy”) came second with 42,000 tickets sold. It was followed by Ricardo Darin and Martin Hodara’s detective caper “La senal” (The Signal) with 37,000 admissions and animated epic “El arca” (The Ark) with 33,000 admissions.

Animated feature “Isidoro, la pelicula” (Isidoro, the Film), co-produced by Cartoon Network, pulled in 27,000 admissions and Cannes Critic’s Week winner “XXY,” the story of a troubled teenage hermaphrodite, followed with 20,000. Most of the rest notched up less than 10,000 ticket sales.

Asian, European and other Latin American titles saw admissions decline to 8.9% of the total from 9.4% in 2006.

Industryites blamed the decline in admissions to piracy, rising ticket prices and concerns about the impact of 20% annual inflation on spending power. Figures in currency terms were not available.

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