Positive spring results
by Fabien Lemercier
09/06/2009 - With 85.72m admissions for the first five months of 2009, audience figures in French theatres have dropped by 5.5% compared to the same period in 2008, according to estimations published by the National Film Centre (CNC).
However, spring has brought good news, for April and May saw the number of viewers rise by 12% and 23.4% respectively, compared to the same months in 2008. This has increased the annual total so far, reducing the gap with respect to last year’s results, which were boosted by the phenomenal hit Welcome to the Sticks [trailer].
The market share for French films also rose again to 41.1% during the first four months of 2009, compared to 44% for US productions. Much more striking is the upturn enjoyed by features of other nationalities, whose market share increased to 14.9%, compared to 8% for the same period last year.
At the box office, European films currently take pride of place alongside US blockbusters. Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces [trailer, film focus] has attracted 595,000 viewers after 19 days on release (Pathé Distribution - 408 screens in its third week); and Danish director Niels Arden Oplev’s Swedish production The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [trailer, film focus] is nearing 1m admissions (987,000) after five weeks (UGC Distribution - 509 screens).
UK filmmaker Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric [trailer, film focus] has drawn 260,000 viewers in 12 days (Diaphana - 374 screens), while The Boat That Rocked by fellow Brit Richard Curtis clocks in at 527,000 admissions after four weeks (Studio Canal - 186 screens).
As for domestic productions, spring has been marked by the success of Michel Hazanavicius’ OSS 117: Lost in Rio [trailer] (2.5m admissions in two months - Gaumont ); Philippe Lioret’s Welcome [trailer, film focus] (1.16m viewers in 12 weeks - Mars Distribution); Anne Fontaine’s Coco Before Chanel [trailer] (994,000 admissions in six weeks - distribution Warner); Bertrand Tavernier’s In the Electric Mist [trailer, film focus] (832,000 viewers in seven weeks - TFM Distribution); and Lucien Jean-Baptiste’s surprise hit Meet the Elisabethz [trailer] (1.6m admissions in ten weeks - Mars Distribution).
(Translated from French)