Its report shows that EU countries produced 669 films in 1996, compared to the 421 made in the US over the same period. France led the way with 134 films, of which over half were national productions rather than international co-productions.The UK came a close second with 128 films (including 53 national productions), followed by Italy and Spain with 99 and 91 films (including 77 and 66 national productions) respectively.While Union producers were busy making movies, cinema attendances also showed clear signs of a recovery, with overall EU box office receipts rising to 3.29 billion ecu in 1996 from 2.39 billion ecu in 1990. This was still only half of the US attendance figure. The Irish were the most avid movie-goers, averaging 3.2 cinema visits per person in 1996 compared with the EU average of 1.9. Total Union ticket sales reached 702 million in 1996, on a par with those in 1985, but well down on the 1.04 million tickets sold in 1980.