German B.O. dips 5% in first half of 2007

Admissions fall by 8%

COLOGNE — Germany’s box office dipped in the first half of the year, but exhibs are optimistic that the strong release slate in the fall will help make up lost ground.

According to figures issued Friday by industry org Filmfoerderungsanstalt (FFA), 60 million tickets were sold from January to June, a drop of 8% from the 65 million sold in the first half of 2006. Revenue fell by only 5% to e364 million ($491 million) as ticket prices had risen.

The FFA cited the weather as the crucial factor, with admissions down 40% during a hot April, and noted that Hollywood pics failed to have any real impact until the release of “Spider-Man 3” in June, closely followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Shrek the Third.”

The upward trend continued into the second half of the year, with “The Simpsons Movie” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” attracting a combined 10 million visitors.

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