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2002 : Gaumont’s annus horribilis


2002 was a disappointment for Gaumont with reported losses of Euros8m.
Gaumont is one of the French film industry’s biggest companies with interests in every sector, from production to distribution and exhibition. The end-of-year report is in stark contrast to 2001, when the company made a Euros59.2m profit. The reason 2002’s poor performance lies with a general lack of and poor performance by French films. Gaumont produced just three features in 2002, all of which under-performed at the box office: Le Raid was seen by 1.4million people (well below forecasts) while La mentale managed just 369,000 and Autour de Lucy was seen by just 132,000. Overall, the French distribution sector is experiencing hardship and Gaumont Buena Vista International slipped two places in the national top ten to 5th position, a 24 per cent drop in the domestic market share.
Despite suffering a Euros24.8m drop in turnover for 2002 (Euros60.9m against Euros87.5m of 2001), Gaumont is fighting back and beefing up exhibitionn (a sector it still dominates in partnership with Pathé and their EuroPalaces circuit) and film production. In 2003, five new films are scheduled to see the light : Fureur by Karim Dridi (16 April), Bullit et Riper (June), Père et Fils by Michel Boujenah and starring Philippe Noiret and Charles Berling (20 August), Lovely Rita [+see also:
film profile
(4 November) and most especially Super Ripoux by Claude Zidi with Thierry Lehrmitte and Philippe Noiret (9 December).

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(Translated from French)

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